Last Updated: September 13, 2022|Categories: Credit Monitoring|

We’ve done the research for you and narrowed down the Top 5 Free and Paid Apps for Monitoring Your Credit Score so you can stress less and let your money work for you in building future financial security.

The TOP 5 Free and Paid Apps for Monitoring Your Credit Score

If your idea of credit monitoring is checking your credit score once a year, it’s time to reconsider your credit monitoring strategy.

Credit monitoring is the act of checking your credit score for important changes or fraudulent activity that may require your attention. It’s important to check your credit often in order to protect yourself against fraudulent attacks. Staying up to date with your credit score also ensures you have great credit as soon as you need it.

Why Monitor Your Credit?

Believe it or not, you can fall victim to breaches and hacks even if you don’t have a credit card. Actively monitoring your credit can protect your credit data from scammers and fraud. Be proactive by checking your credit at least once a month to make sure it’s in great condition.

If you notice any suspicious activity such as a hard inquiry, it’s important to address these issues right away. A hard inquiry is a credit inquiry made by a potential lender that will typically impact your credit score. If you never authorized a hard inquiry showing up on your credit report, this is a prime example of suspicious activity that needs to be monitored. This happens more often than you’d think.

It’s also helpful to check your credit score frequently so you can correct issues as they arise, instead of checking right before you need your credit score to be in great condition. Most people check when they realize their credit is about to be viewed before a major purchase and then try to raise their credit score in a pinch. There’s no need to delay – especially since checking your credit score doesn’t negatively impact your score.

If you’re already in a pinch and need to raise your credit score fast, learn these top 5 fast and easy ways to build your credit.

Free vs. Paid Apps for Credit Monitoring

Deciding whether you should use a free or a paid credit monitoring app depends on the app functionality you’re looking for.

Most free apps will report basic account information along with your credit score and active accounts. You may only be able to view 1 or 2 credit scores at a time from the 3 main credit bureaus, while paid apps will let you view all 3 in the same app.

If you want a comprehensive understanding of the factors impacting your credit score all in one app, a premium package or paid app might be the best option for you.

Top 5 Credit Monitoring Apps

The chart below will show you the top 5 free and paid credit monitoring apps, the cost, and what you get when you download.

App Cost What You Get
1. Credit Karma  Free
  • Credit reports from Equifax and TransUnion (Using VantageScore 3.0)
  • Credit cards approval recommendations
  • Personal loan eligibility calculator
  • Car insurance marketplace
  • Home loan refinancing options
  • Home and car insurance options
  • Buy or sell your car
2. Credit Sesame   Basic: Fee

 Advanced:                                         $9.95/month

 Pro: $15.95/month

 Platinum: $19.95/month

  • Basic: TransUnion report (VantageScore 3.0); up to $50,000 in free identity theft protection
  • Platinum: Credit reports from the 3 credit bureaus; 24/7 live unlimited lost or stolen wallet protection; social security number monitoring
3. Chime Free
  • Credit report from Experian (FICO® score); credit builder checking and savings accounts
4. Experian Free
  • Experian credit score (the most used rating model)
  • FICO® score
  • Push notifications for credit changes
  • Monthly credit score updates
5. TransUnion Free
  • TransUnion credit score
  • VantageScore 3.0

1. Credit Karma

Credit Karma leads the pack in credit monitoring as it pulls scores from two major credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax, which gives a very accurate read. Credit Karma calculates using VantageScore 3.0, a credit scoring model that expands credit reach beyond the traditional FICO® model.

Credit Karma’s users enjoy recommendations for credit cards and their likelihood of approval, as well as:

  • Personal Loan Eligibility Calculator
  • Auto Insurance Marketplace
  • Home Loan Refinancing and Insurance Options
  • Buy or Sell Your Car

Get the most out of the Credit Karma app. Download the Credit Karma app for iOS or Credit Karma app for Android.

2. Credit Sesame

The Credit Sesame app comes in a close second in popularity. It has both free and paid options. The free option offers a credit report from TransUnion, while their paid option is divided into 3 tiers – advanced, pro, and platinum.

The advanced package is $9.95 a month and offers 1 daily bureau credit score update, monthly full credit score update, and monthly full credit reports. The pro and platinum packages add advanced features such as 24/7 live experts to help solve credit report inaccuracies and social security number monitoring.

Download the Credit Sesame app for iOS or Credit Sesame app for Android.

3. Chime

Chime not only reports your Experian credit score but also offers the Chime Credit Builder program. This program offers a secured Visa® Chime Credit Card you can open without a credit check. The card helps build credit by providing a Checking account and an optional Savings account. Keep in mind that Chime is not a bank – it’s a financial technology company aiming to help raise your credit.

Download the Chime app for iOS or Chime app for Android.

4. Experian

If you prefer getting your credit score directly from one of the three main credit bureaus, the Experian app might be a great choice. This free app provides a FICO® score and sends push notifications when there are changes to your credit. However, remember that your credit report is updated every 30 days, while Credit Karma updates you every seven days.

Download the Experian app for iOS or Experian app for Android.

5. TransUnion

TransUnion is another great choice if you’re looking for a score from a major credit bureau. However, the score may vary compared to the other bureaus. There’s also a chance that VantageScore 3.0 might not be the model used by your lender, which could skew your results. You will be paying $29.99 a month for just one score.

Download the TransUnion app for iOS or TransUnion app for Android.

Reduce Overwhelm In Credit Monitoring

If this is still overwhelming, check out this list of the best credit monitoring companies. These companies offer a hands-on, tailored approach to your credit monitoring. They report credit monitoring variables beyond changes to your credit score, such as ID theft monitoring and fraud restoration.

In Closing

As you can see, credit monitoring doesn’t protect you from fraud, credit theft, or hard inquiries. It simply lets you see your account in greater detail to catch any suspicious activity in order to correct it. Scores will vary depending on the app you choose, and that’s okay.

As a rule of thumb, you can loosely predict the general health of your credit score based on the readings you receive and assume it will vary by a few points depending on the credit model used by your lender.

Monica Bulnes
About Monica Bulnes

Monica Bulnes is a business writer based out of San Diego, California. Monica received her business education from the top #7 best business school in the country, Rutgers University. She has worked in numerous marketing departments, including major multinational conglomerate, Panasonic. Her passion for personal finance and financial literacy is an extension of her passion for health and wellness. Monica truly believes that financial health is just as important as physical and mental health, considering the important role money plays in each and every person’s life. In her free time, you’ll find Monica inspiring the world through Instagram, writing in her journal, or sketching palm trees at the beach. To learn more about Monica and her writing, find her at

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