Credit scoring is no joke. Our credit details influence our ability to get homes, cars, jobs, and more. Yet, many of us are afraid to even look at them!
So, it may come as a surprise that many financial professionals suggest investing in credit score monitoring apps.
Monitoring your credit score is absolutely necessary and doesn’t have to be frightening. In fact, staying on top of your financial health will help you manage and even improve it.
With that in mind, if you haven’t already, it’s high time you consider some of the best credit score monitoring apps available to you today. But what is the best app for credit score tracking, anyway?
To simplify things, I’ve compiled a list of some of the top free and paid apps you can subscribe to today.
The Best Apps for Credit Score Tracking
Let’s take a look at what I feel are the best credit score tracking apps available for download in the US right now.
myFICO is a great app for checking your credit score and keeping up with your financial monitoring, and it arrives directly from the FICO score provider. Your FICO score is a type of credit rating built by FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) that some lenders will use in part to determine your creditworthiness.
In fact, if you’ve used services such as Experian before, or have applied for credit already, you’ve likely already come across FICO in one shape or form.
In addition to credit monitoring, FICO offers identity theft insurance, identity monitoring, and identity restoration – which, given the statistics mentioned earlier, really can’t be understated.
There are three packages with myFICO available. They start from $19.95 per month and go up to $39.95 per month.
The most affordable Basic plan offers credit monitoring from Experian alone and does not include identity monitoring. The second, however – the Advanced package – offers identity monitoring alongside three bureau credit monitoring opportunities. You will also get updates on your FICO score every three months.
With the third, the Premier package, you will receive updates on your FICO score every month.
I think myFICO is a great investment if you care deeply about your financial profile and need to keep intensive track of these details for borrowing and application.
However, it is worth remembering that while the pricing isn’t particularly extreme here, there are other free credit score apps available, as you will see below.
Speaking of free credit score apps, it is definitely worth taking a look at Credit Karma! This app uses information from your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports to give you an estimate of your credit score.
The app will also make recommendations regarding credit cards, loans, and more – if there are any particular products that you’re interested in. Credit Karma will even tell you which credit cards and loans you would likely be approved for and how certain decisions could affect your overall credit profile.
The service will also analyze what, if anything, affects your credit score and tell you how to improve it. Should any major changes occur in your credit report, Credit Karma will notify you.
And, thanks to the ID monitoring tech onboard the app, you can easily change your passwords should any of your information have been a part of a data breach.
However, Credit Karma does have its drawbacks. For example, you can’t lock your credit using the app.
What’s more, even though ID monitoring is a huge boon for most people, it doesn’t do much more than allow you to change your password in case the worst happens.
All in all, Credit Karma is surprisingly powerful for a free service! But, its small, albeit important drawbacks may be too much of a negotiation on your part, especially when ID protection comes into play.
That said, I think it’s one of the most accurate free credit score app downloads on the market. There are apps like Credit Karma that go much deeper into the ID protection side.
CreditWise is another completely free credit tracking app – and it’s provided by the credit gurus as Capital One. The great news is that you do not have to have a Capital One credit card to sign up for the app.
Your VantageScore 3.0 through CreditWise is provided by TransUnion, and you will be notified of any changes to your Experian or TransUnion credit reports.
CreditWise is adept at monitoring the web for any signs that your information has been compromised, and if anything happens, the app is quick to alert you.
However, what usually attracts people to CreditWise is the credit score simulator. To get started, all you need to do is type in any financial moves you’re planning on making, such as taking out a new loan, for example, and the app will show you a simulation of how that could affect your credit score.
As appealing as this technology is, it is worth remembering that you will only get updates regarding your TransUnion VantageScore 3.0 credit score, which can be an issue for some. If you’d like a more in-depth analysis and protection, it’s worth looking into myFICO.
Credit Sesame offers a free credit monitoring app that scales up in price depending on what you need. If you decide the free options aren’t working for you, you can choose to subscribe to the service via its Premium plans.
The app provides you with your TransUnion credit score updates every month. It will also provide you with tips on how to save on credit card interest and even on how to manage your debt.
The credit monitoring is free; however, you can get a decent price if you like a few more bells and whistles. For example, if you pay for Premium, you can monitor your credit across all three credit bureaus, not just TransUnion.
The app also monitors your credit report and will notify you about any changes to your credit report. And they also offer identity theft insurance (up to $50,000) and fraud remediation assistance.
So, what are the cons of Credit Sesame? Generally speaking, it’s a user-friendly app, and the free version is absolutely worth considering.
However, some users find that the paid extra packages are not worth the money, and you can find what they offer at a cost for free somewhere else. I think it’s worth downloading just to see if the free features offer you what you need first and foremost.
You wouldn’t be mistaken if you thought that Mint was mainly a personal finance mobile app. That is what the app is primarily known for; however, it also offers some free credit monitoring services.
You can easily sign up for free, see your credit score, and even get a quick summary of your credit report. And, when new credit information is added to your TransUnion credit report, the app will notify you. The app will also make credit card recommendations for you, using companies they’re partnered with.
The great thing about Mint is that you can consolidate everything in one place. Your credit card and bank account balances, your budget, financial goals, and, of course, your credit score.
The downside to Mint is that “free mode” might subject you to some advertising. But, if you’re willing to look past the ads (and they’re to be expected in lots of free apps these days), it is a worthwhile download.
Mint might not be the best app for credit score management outright, but it holds a host of personal finance tools you’ll likely find useful elsewhere.
Nav is a great option for business owners seeking credit advice in particular. The app is built for credit monitoring and credit-building services businesspeople need to help access lucrative lending options. What’s more, you can either download it for free or invest in one of the paid subscriptions available.
The free Business Basic plan gives you access to business credit reports, as well as personal credit reports. What’s more, it will also give you some tips on how to improve them.
However, if you’d prefer to invest in the $49.99 per month Business Boost plan, you can use the app to improve your business’ credit score using the tradeline reporting feature.
What’s more, you will get access to valuable identity theft protection and recovery services.
Nav is therefore a recommended ally if you’re growing your business and need help with the financing. However, even though it does offer personal credit reports, too, without a business, you would likely be better off with one of the other apps mentioned in this guide.
That’s especially the case considering the subscription plan is one of the most expensive options on this list, for arguably very little in the way of upgrading!
Experian is one of the most popular credit monitoring apps on the market today. It, too, can either be completely free, or you can subscribe to a paid monthly plan for $24.99 per month.
Experian, being one of the three major credit bureaus, provides you with your monthly credit score and information regarding your credit card account activity, current debt, and the effects of your credit card usage on your credit score.
The app uses the FICO Score 8 model to give you a highly accurate reading of your FICO score. In fact, millions of people across the US and Europe rely on Experian’s free mode to simply check their scores.
However, if you subscribe to Experian Boost, you can use the app to help improve your credit score. It reports on-time bill payments to credit bureaus, which it finds via your bank and credit card statements.
This is a great way of helping to improve your credit score quickly – and, in my experience, it’s a great little platform to start from if you want to learn more about how credit finance works under the hood.
While the Experian app is a great download, it is worth remembering that it will only work with Experian’s bureau alone – meaning if you’d prefer the three-bureau approach, it’s worth looking at the other options on this list.
Why use an app for monitoring your credit score?
Keeping an eye on your credit score can’t be underestimated. Lenders of all shapes and sizes rely on your credit history to determine whether or not you’re reliable for paying back money you borrow.
No one likes having to think of their credit scores, but whether we like it or not, our credit scores play huge roles in our lives. We need them to open credit cards and get loans for our homes, cars, and so on. They can even play a role in us getting certain jobs!
Credit score apps help us to stay up-to-date and informed regarding any changes to our credit files. And, as you will see below, some will even help us to improve our credit scores, which can be a significant help when buying your first home, or securing a new vehicle for home or business.
Finally, believe it or not, credit score apps can even help to prevent you from falling prey to identity fraud, which, in this day and age, is a huge issue. There’s said to be around 1.4 million ID fraud cases in the US each year, and this number is rising.
So, whether you are considering getting a credit score app for yourself or your business, I highly recommend you shop around to find a program that suits your needs (and immediate budget) best.
Will checking your credit score affect your ability to borrow?
Many worry that using credit score apps will lower their credit score and affect their ability to borrow money in the future.
However, there is no need to worry. Checking your credit score, even frequently, will not harm your credit score.
I understand the confusion! Your credit score is affected by six major factors, including hard inquiries, which are not the same as you generally checking on it. Hard inquiries occur when lenders actively look at your credit history and profile to learn more about you. Soft inquiries, while not as deep, will also affect your credit score.
Your credit score is also affected by your payment history, the age of your credit history, how you use credit, and your total accounts open. But, no, rest assured – using credit management apps won’t harm your score! Try out my picks for the best app for credit score management and see how you get on.