Experian Review: Pros, Cons and Comparison Chart (2019)

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This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

Article Approved By Banking Expert

This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

In this Experian review we look at Experian Identity Works, Experian Credit Works, and the Experian free credit report. We’ll detail how they work and what they include so you can choose the product that’s best for you.

experian review

Experian IdentityWorks

  • Identity theft monitoring and alert
  • Identity theft insurance
  • Dark web surveillance
  • Access to U.S-based fraud resolution specialists
  • Experian CreditLock
  • Real-time alerts on attempted credit inquiries
  • Credit bureau monitoring
  • 3-Bureau FICO® score alert and tracking

Experian IdentityWorks: Plans, Pricing

The Experian IdentityWorks Premium plan costs $19.99/month or $199.99 for a full year. Experian IdentityWorks Plus is $9.99/month or $99 per year.

Experian IdentityWorks Plus is cheaper but doesn’t offer key features available via IdentityWorks Premium.

Those features include:

  • 3-bureau credit report and FICO® scores,
  • As well as identity monitoring services
  • Such as bank account and credit card takeovers,
  • Identity validation alert, payday loan monitoring,
  • And even social network monitoring.

Experian offers a 30-day free trial and straightforward signup process.

You’ll need to provide your name, address, date of birth, phone number, email, and social security number. You’ll also have to answer identity verification questions.

ServiceRatingCredit ScoreMonitoringPricing
You receive daily updates on your Experian credit score, a quarterly credit report, credit scores from all 3 bureaus, and best-in class identity and credit monitoring. The plan includes a free credit score from all 3 bureaus. It includes free credit monitoring from all 3 bureaus. They offer a 30-day free trial or a 2-month free trial if pre-paid annually.
TransUnion will provide ongoing updates on your credit score (but not much else). Given the limited feature set, it's costly. The plan includes a free TransUnion credit score. Your plan with them will also includes 3 bureau monitoring. The TransUnion plan costs $19.95 a month (they offer no free trial at this time).
Credit Karma is 100% free but your personal information is repurposed to sell you other credit products. Their free plain includes a free Equifax and TransUnion score. Their free plain includes a free Equifax and TransUnion score. It's completely free.

Why Use Experian IdentityWorks Premium?

Experian IdentityWorks Premium allows you to continuously monitor your financial health. The easy-to-use Reports and Scores section shows alerts for suspicious activities. You can also filter through various reports, scores, and other information.

The plan provides access to Experian score daily. You can also get quarterly credit reports from all three credit bureaus.

IdentityWorks Premium allows you to see additional FICO® scores (e.g., mortgage, auto, bankcard) and compare all your credit scores.

It shows you what each credit score means and offers recommendations on how to improve them.

CreditLock is quick, easy to use and prevents anyone from opening a credit line in your name.

The plan also monitors a wide range of websites for your information to give you additional peace of mind.

Although IdentityWorks Premium is more expensive than some competitors, it offers comprehensive coverage to prevent identity theft and personal information misuse.

You’ll also be notified if your information is used to apply for a non-credit loan, payday loan, or rent-to-own application.

experian review

Experian CreditWorks $1 Trial

  • Credit report monitoring
  • 3-Bureau FICO® score
  • Experian CreditLock
  • Identify theft monitoring and protection

Experian CreditWorks: Plans, Pricing

Experian CreditWorks Basic is free and CreditWorks Premium costs $24.99/month or $249.99 for the full year.

The free CreditWorks Basic monitors new credit inquiries and new accounts on Experian.

You also get a monthly Experian credit report and FICO® score. However, it doesn’t offer the many key features included in the Premium plan, such as 3-bureau credit reports and scores, Experian CreditLock, and identify theft monitoring (e.g., dark web surveillance, social security number monitoring, identify validation alerts, and more.)

Related: the 5 best credit repair companies of 2019.

The Premium Plan also includes additional FICO® scores (e.g., home, auto, and bankcard,) the FICO® score simulator, identity theft insurance, lost wallet assistance, and access to U.S.-based fraud resolution specialists.

Order a $1 credit report from Experian to start a 7-day trial membership. You’ll need to provide your personal information and credit card information. After the 7-day trial period, you’ll be billed $24.99 /month for the membership, which you can cancel anytime.

Why Use Experian CreditWorks?

You can sign up for the free Basic package or the comprehensive Premium plan. While CreditWorks Premium is more expensive than many of its competitors, it offers detailed and comprehensive coverage.

CreditWorks Premium has some unique features such as daily access to your Experian credit report and FICO® score. You’ll also get FICO® score tracking and Experian CreditLock to gain more control over your financial health.

What Does An Experian Free Credit Report Include?

  • Experian credit report and FICO® score
  • Experian Boost to increase FICO® Score
  • Refreshed report and score every 30 days
  • FICO® score monitoring with Experian data
  • Experian credit monitoring and alerts
  • Dark web surveillance

experian-review

Other Experian Features

Get access to various Experian credit information at no cost, including credit reports, FICO® score, and credit monitoring.

Besides your free credit report, you can use some of Experian’s credit monitoring services and educational information to help improve your credit scores.

You can submit dispute online if you see activity that doesn’t belong to you on your credit report.

Additionally, you can view the specific score factors that are impacting your FICO® score, including payment history, debt, credit history length, new credit amount, and credit mix. This will help you focus on specific areas to raise your credit score.

Related: is Jora Credit worth it?

The interactive FICO® score tracker is powered by Experian data. It helps you visualize changes in your credit score over time and provides customized alerts.

Experian Boost can raise your FICO® score rapidly by linking your utility bills.

It allows you to get credit for phone and utility bills by adding positive payments to your Experian credit file.

Also, keep in mind that the information only comes from Experian. You won’t have access to credit scores and FICO® scores from Equifax or TransUnion unless you purchase the 3-bureau credit report for an additional fee.

This free credit report service doesn’t offer the credit monitoring and alert features available through IdentityWorks Premium and CreditWorks Premium for ongoing credit monitoring. However, it offers a good starting point for understanding your credit and financial health.

Experian Review: The Bottom Line

Experian is one of the three big credit bureaus. Using its credit monitoring and fraud prevention services gives you access to data directly from the source for maximum accuracy.

Related: is the Clarity Money app any good?

In conclusion, while Experian’s credit monitoring plans may cost more than many competitors, the range of credit and identity information they monitor is quite comprehensive. You can get the peace of mind that your identity and personal information isn’t being misused.

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts

Editor at CarefulCents
Featured in The Washington Post and published in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Insider, Time, Inc., CNBC and others.