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  • Writer's Editor

5 Best Consumer Credit Reports

Consumer credit reports are an easy way to check your credit. But there are many differences between one credit report to the next. Here is what we are interested in when it comes to consumer credit reports.

1) IT SHOULD REPORT TO ALL THREE BUREAUS. Getting a credit report in important, but because some credit bureaus have different information, it is valuable to see what each of the three major bureaus (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax) have to say about what items appear on your credit report.

2) IT SHOULD HAVE A SCORE. Now we understand that the score is not always accurate, but consumers want one that has a score that is as close to accurate as possible.

3) IT SHOULD BE EASY TO UNDERSTAND. We are not all finance managers who understand how to read a credit report, so we value a report that is easy to read and understand vs. a report that is obscure and difficult to comprehend.

Based on the conditions outlined above, here are the reports that made the cut:


annual credit report

-All three bureaus

-Free (no scores available)

Why we like it. This is the ONLY source for a free credit report authorized by Federal Law. We put this one on the list because it does provide a free source to pull your credit report. However, this report is lack-luster and does not include a credit score like the other four options.

4) SmartCredit ®

smart credit

-All three bureaus -$1 scores available (7 day trial)

-Credit monitoring available -Starts at $13.99/mo Why we like it. While the trial period is rather quick, the product is solid and the monitoring is very inexpensive.

3) PrivacyGuard®

Privacy Guard

-All three bureaus

-$1 Scores available (14 day trial)

-Credit monitoring available -Starts at $19.99/mo

Why we like it. The credit reports are very thorough and easy to read. The reports include late payments and have scores that are similar to what you might expect to see when pulling a Fico score. Offers three different monitoring options available to help keep it affordable.

2) MyFreeScoreNow

My Free Score Now

-All three bureaus -Scores available (14 day free trial) -Credit Monitoring available -Starts at $24.95/mo Why we like it. This company is for those who want a very simply to use, premium service. One nice feature is that you can update your score multiple times a month vs the typical once a month.

1) IdentityGuard®

Identity Guard

-All three bureaus

-Scores available (30 day free trial)

-Credit Monitoring available

-Starts at

Why we like it. Similar to PrivacyGuard it offers ease of use and accurate credit information from all three of the major credit bureaus. It does have a longer free trial period and a tiered structure to choose the options you like best in your credit report monitoring. While there a many sites that offer consumer credit reports and credit scores, it is helpful to find a company that meets the above criteria and offers credit scores that are as close to accurate so that you don't have a surprise when you apply for credit.


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