2019 Experian IdentityWorks and CreditWorks Review

Experian is pricier than the competition, but both of its products—CreditWorks and IdentityWorks—offer detailed, comprehensive coverage.

Experian

    CreditWorksSM plans start at $24.99/mo.

    IdentityWorksSM plans start at $9.99/mo.

    Experian CreditWorks review

    These days, credit monitoring services offer more than just a free credit report or a brief glance at your credit history. Experian CreditWorks—Experian’s credit monitoring service—has detailed coverage that includes account balance changes, credit inquiries, credit utilization, and a daily Experian report.

    That’s handy if you have experienced identity theft and need to keep a close eye on vulnerabilities or if you’re trying to build credit for big purchases like a new home or car.

    Experian’s main drawback is that it’s more expensive than its competitors. It also has less positive customer feedback than either IdentityForce or Credit Sesame.

    Experian CreditWorks pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletFree membership for basic services
    • Pro BulletFICO score tracking
    • Pro BulletExpansive identity theft protection in higher-tier package
    Cons
    • Con BulletExpensive subscription fees
    • Con BulletMore negative customer reviews than other services
    • Con BulletNo bank or credit card account monitoring

    Compare Experian CreditWorks plans

    *Data effective 03/08/2019. Offers subject to change.

    CreditWorks Price

    Experian offers two tiers of credit monitoring services. Its no-cost package, CreditWorks Basic, doesn’t offer much, but it’s great if you just want to keep an eye on your credit.

    What comes with CreditWorks Basic
    • Monthly Experian credit report
    • Monitoring for credit inquiries and new accounts

    CreditWorks Premium is more inclusive and a great plan if you’re looking to get more serious about your credit security or want to get frequent feedback on your efforts to build credit before a loan. For $24.99 per month, you’ll get everything from the Basic plan, along with more monitoring.

    What comes with CreditWorks Premium
    • Three-bureau credit monitoring*
    • Daily Experian credit report
    • Monthly three-bureau credit report with FICO scores
    • Account balance change monitoring
    • FICO score simulator
    ASecureLife insider tip
    Our Choice
    If you’re not sure whether you want to commit to paying such a hefty price for Experian, you can sign up for a trial that costs only $4.99 for the first month. Just be sure to cancel before the plan automatically renews if it’s not a good fit.

    The premium package also offers extensive identity theft monitoring and protection, including the following:

    • Dark web monitoring
    • Identity theft insurance up to $1,000,000
    • Lost wallet assistance
    • Access to a fraud resolution specialist
    • Social Security number monitoring
    • Identity validation alerts

     

    If you’ve recently had your identity or credit info stolen or are worried about identity theft, this plan gives you the tools to react quickly to suspicious activity.

    CreditWorks features

    Experian CreditWorks is one of the only credit monitoring services that tracks your FICO(R) Credit Score**, which can be a good get if you’re looking into a serious loan in the near future. We also trust Experian’s accuracy and like the idea of getting information about your credit straight from the source—in this case, one of the three credit reporting bureaus.

    Experian CreditWorks is one of the only credit monitoring services that tracks your FICO score.

    We also like that CreditWorks offers dark web and Social Security number monitoring services. If you’ve had your credit stolen, these tools can help you stay on top of where your information is used. That makes it easier to get on top of fraud early and prevent larger issues.

    Standout feature: Experian security freeze

    Experian offers a credit freeze to prevent credit, loans, and other services from being approved in your name.

    The Experian security freeze service is free—technically, all credit freezes are free, thanks to a new nationwide law enacted in 2018—and it’s easy. You can place a freeze on your Experian credit report through the Experian Freeze Center by calling in or submitting your request by mail. If you’re an Experian customer, the Freeze Center is a great way to take care of all your credit concerns in one place.


    Experian IdentityWorks review

    Experian IdentityWorks is Experian’s identity theft protection service that offers credit monitoring at its highest tier (much like CreditWorks offers identity theft protection at its highest tier).

    IdentityWorks is a little pricey, but it offers detailed monitoring at a fair price. Plus, it can help prevent identity fraud and alert you to suspicious activity— like when you’ve misplaced your driver’s license.

    Experian IdentityWorks pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletLow-cost membership for basic services
    • Pro BulletBank and credit card account monitoring
    • Pro BulletFamily coverage
    Cons
    • Con BulletOnly quarterly credit reports with Premium subscription

    Compare Experian IdentityWorks plans

    *Data effective 03/08/2019. Offers subject to change.

    IdentityWorks price

    A subscription to IdentityWorks Plus is $9.99/month with a no-cost 30-day trial***. We suggest it for anyone who has basic concerns about identity fraud. You’ll get some basic identity protection and a bit of credit monitoring.

    What comes with IdentityWorks Plus

    • Dark web monitoring
    • Identity theft insurance up to $500,000****
    • Lost wallet assistance
    • Social Security number monitoring
    • Address change verification
    • Daily Experian credit report
    • Daily FICO score
    • Credit inquiry notifications
    • Account balance change notifications
    • New account notifications
    What is a FICO score?
    Definition
    The terms FICO score and credit score are often used interchangeably, but FICO is one type of credit score. It’s also the most popular.

    Of all Experian’s offerings, we like the IdentityWorks Premium plan best. It’s great for someone looking to take serious action against identity fraud, whether they’ve been a victim of identity theft or not.

    At $19.99 per month with a 30-day trial, the Premium plan gets you everything from IdentityWorks Plus, along with a few extras.

    What comes with IdentityWorks Premium

    • Up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance
    • Bank account and credit card monitoring
    • Identity validation alerts
    • Social network monitoring

    IdentityWorks Premium also offers most of the same perks of CreditWorks Premium, including credit reports monitored by all three bureaus and a daily Experian credit report. The main difference is that IdentityWorks offers only a quarterly three-bureau credit report, where CreditWorks offers that service monthly.

    IdentityWorks features

    Both IdentityWorks plans offer a FICO Score simulator, which can help prevent or catch identity theft. It also can help you manage and improve your finances, whether your identity is stolen or not.

    What customers are saying about Experian

    Although Experian offers accurate and comprehensive services with CreditWorks and IdentityWorks, many users describe a negative customer experience.

    Some users complain about being given the runaround when trying to cancel their subscription. Some reports say that getting in touch with an actual person can be complicated, often taking hours.

    Our recommendation

    For most people, we recommend Experian IdentityWorks Premium. It’s the most comprehensive plan, puts together the best parts of Experian’s monitoring services together for a fair price of $19.99/month, and is a great choice if you’re looking to keep track of your finances.

    On the other hand, we have serious concerns about Experian’s customer service. If that’s important to you too, we recommend IdentityForce. It has great credit monitoring and identity theft protection services and would make a good fit for most users looking to make both their credit accounts and identity more secure.

    >>Decisions, decisions. Ready to make yours? Check out Experian's subscription plans.


    *Monitoring with Experian begins within 48 hours of enrollment in your trial. Monitoring with Equifax and TransUnion takes approximately 4 days to begin, though in some cases cannot be initiated during your trial period. You may cancel your membership in Experian CreditWorksSM any time within 7 days of enrollment without charge.
    **Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO Score than FICO Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. FICO® Scores are developed by Fair Isaac Corporation. The FICO Score provided by ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., also referred to as Experian Consumer Services ("ECS"), in Experian CreditWorksSM, Credit TrackerSM and/or your free Experian membership (as applicable) is based on FICO Score 8, unless otherwise noted. Many but not all lenders use FICO Score 8. In addition to the FICO Score 8, ECS may offer and provide other base or industry-specific FICO Scores (such as FICO Auto Scores and FICO Bankcard Scores). The other FICO Scores made available are calculated from versions of the base and industry-specific FICO Score models. There are many different credit scoring models that can give a different assessment of your credit rating and relative risk (risk of default) for the same credit report. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO Score than FICO Score 8 or such other base or industry-specific FICO Score, or another type of credit score altogether. Just remember that your credit rating is often the same even if the number is not. For some consumers, however, the credit rating of FICO Score 8 (or other FICO Score) could vary from the score used by your lender. The statements that "90% of top lenders use FICO Scores" and "FICO Scores are used in 90% of credit decisions" are based on a third-party study of all versions of FICO Scores sold to lenders, including but not limited to scores based on FICO Score 8. Base FICO Scores (including the FICO Score 8) range from 300 to 850. Industry-specific FICO Scores range from 250-900. Higher scores represent a greater likelihood that you'll pay back your debts so you are viewed as being a lower credit risk to lenders. A lower FICO Score indicates to lenders that you may be a higher credit risk. There are three different major credit reporting agencies — the Experian credit bureau, TransUnion® and Equifax® — that maintain a record of your credit history known as your credit report. Your FICO Score is based on the information in your credit report at the time it is requested. Your credit report information can vary from agency to agency because some lenders report your credit history to only one or two of the agencies. So your FICO Score can vary if the information they have on file for you is different. Since the information in your report can change over time, your FICO Score may also change.
    ***A credit card is required to start your free 30-day trial membership in Experian IdentityWorksSM Plus or Experian IdentityWorksSM  Premium. You may cancel your trial membership at any time within 30 days without charge. If you decide not to cancel, your membership will continue and you will be billed $9.99 each month for Experian IdentityWorksSM Plus or $19.99 each month for Experian IdentityWorksSM  Premium. You may easily cancel your trial membership online anytime within the trial period without charge.
    **** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.