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Is Experian CreditWorks Premium Worth it?
You’ve likely heard the name Experian when discussing credit scores, credit bureaus, and financing. While the company is best known as one of the three well-known major credit bureaus, Experian also offers its consumer branch of business that it calls Experian CreditWorks—Not to be confused with Experian’s Identity Works program that focuses on identity protection.
Our Experian CreditWorks review focuses on Experian’s CreditWorks free and premium plans for credit monitoring. We’ll review the cost, ratings, customer reviews, and compare this product to other leading brands.
Experian credit bureau officially began doing business under its current name in 1996. However, the company has a long history of gathering and reporting credit data under various names. In addition to acting as one of the three major credit data companies and operating in at least 37 countries worldwide, Experian also provides consumer resources, credit monitoring, and identity protection.
Experian credit monitoring, or CreditWorks, offers both a free service that tracks and reports on your Experian credit score using the FICO scoring model, as well as a monthly paid subscription that includes monitoring and reporting from all three bureaus and modest versions of identity protection benefits.
What’s the difference in Experian CreditWorks Basic vs. Premium Plan?
The CreditWorks free, or Basic, plan includes typical credit monitoring services, reporting, and monthly updates based on your Experian credit score, account alerts, and a mobile app. CreditWorks’ Premium plan, however, offers several additional benefits, including daily score updates, monthly access to all three of your full credit reports, and other FICO scores.
Here’s how Experian’s CreditWorks Free and Premium plans differ:
Experian CreditWorks Premium Review
Signing up with CreditWorks Premium also allows members to –
- lock and unlock their Experian credit file
- provides identity protection benefits, including $1 million identity theft insurance, fraud resolution and lost wallet assistance, and
- identity monitoring and alerts with dark web monitoring.
Experian’s website also offers anyone options to purchase a copy of their full Experian credit report or full copies from all three bureaus. Both credit monitoring plans offer Experian Boost, which offers the potential ability to rapidly improve your FICO credit score by providing additional utility bills and banking information.
Credit monitoring provided directly from one of the three major credit bureaus
Experian Boost availability can help quickly increase your credit score
$1 million identity theft insurance available
Widely used FICO score reporting
Free monthly credit report access with the paid plan
17% discount for annual plan purchases and pre-payment
The free trial period is likely too short to make an informed purchasing decision
Premium plan identity protections fall short of the competition at a similar cost
Review Experian Features and Benefits
Experian CreditWorks’ free and paid plans offer credit monitoring and reporting using the FICO 8 scoring model, the most commonly used score relied on by 90% of lending institutions. Experian CreditWorks offers several valuable features among both plans, including the following list.
- Monthly or daily credit score updates
- Experian Boost to help rapidly increase your FICO credit score
- Continuous activity monitoring of one or all three credit scores
- FICO score simulations
- Additional FICO score reporting
- Dark web monitoring
- Lost wallet and fraud recovery assistance
- $1 million identity theft insurance
Experian Editorial Rating
Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for Experian: 9.0
|Better Business Bureau Grade||4|
|Trustpilot Review Rating||4|
|Free Credit Monitoring Available||7|
|Three-Bureau Reporting Available||5|
|Best Plan Monthly Cost||7|
|Identity Theft Features||7|
|Credit Score Update Frequency in Lowest-Cost Plan||2|
|Credit Score Update Frequency in Highest-Cost Plan||8|
|Family Plan Available||0|
|Expert Opinion Score||36|
Experian Plans and Prices
|CreditWorks Basic||CreditWorks Premium|
|Monthly Price||$0||$24.99 after a 7-day free trial, or $249.99 annually if paid in full at purchase|
|Features||Experian credit monitoring with monthly FICO score updates and access to credit card, loan, and insurance offers, plus Experian Boost||Same features as the free plan plus credit monitoring from all three bureaus and daily updates, monthly full credit report access, additional FICO score availability, identity theft protections, including $1 million in insurance, and credit file locking ability|
Is Experian Right for You?
Experian CreditWorks’ free plan offers standard credit reporting from a single credit bureau and a few other helpful features, including the potential to raise your credit score by providing detailed utility bill and banking information to the company. From that standpoint, there’s little risk in signing on with Experian’s free monitoring plan. However, expect an onslaught of numerous credit card and loan advertising in the app and online.
The paid plan, however, offers in-depth credit monitoring, reporting, and availability. While the Experian CreditWorks Premium plan includes a relatively steep monthly cost, the annual payment discount can help if you’re willing to make a year-long commitment.
In exchange for the subscription cost, the Premium plan offers some unique benefits that other credit monitoring providers simply miss. Monthly full credit report access and FICO score reporting stand out and may be worth the cost if you’re looking to build your credit score quickly or focusing on a large financed purchase.
While Experian does offer some identity theft protections with the CreditWorks paid plan, its cost is likely too high to be worth it compared to more focused ID protection providers. Experian’s IdentityWorks program may be a better fit in that situation.
Experian Vs. Equifax
Equifax is another of the three main credit bureaus and also offers credit monitoring and basic identity theft protections based on your chosen plan. The primary differences between Experian and Equifax are the number of available plans, the option for free credit monitoring, and the scoring model used.
While Equifax offers more plan choices than Experian, it doesn’t provide any free service options. Experian uses the FICO 8 scoring model instead of the VantageScore model used by Equifax.
|Free plan available||Yes||No|
|Credit score agency||FICO 8||VantageScore 3.0|
|3-Bureau credit monitoring||Available with paid subscription||Yes, with all plans|
|Credit score improvement advice and tools||Yes||Yes|
|Credit score update frequency||Monthly with the free plan or daily with the paid plan||Daily|
|Digital banking options available||No||No|
|Identity theft protections||Available with paid subscription||Yes, with all plans|
|Family plan available||No||Yes, in the top-tier plan|
|Identity theft insurance||Yes||Yes|
|Lowest monthly cost||Free||$16.95|
|Highest monthly cost||$24.99||$29.95|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Experian?
Experian is, first and foremost, one of the three major credit bureaus. Experian also offers consumer services, including credit score monitoring and identity theft protection.
Is Experian legit?
Experian is a legitimate, publicly-traded company. It started doing business under its current name in 1996 and is one of the three major credit bureaus in existence. Experian operates in 37 countries worldwide and is also a well-known credit monitoring and identity theft protection company.
How does Experian monitor credit?
Experian monitors credit using the FICO scoring model from one or all three credit bureaus, depending on your plan choice.
Why are my FICO score and VantageScore different?
There are several credit score reporting systems in existence. FICO and VantageScore are the two most prominent ones lenders and credit-monitoring companies use. While both models use numerous scoring metrics, FICO and VantageScore incorporate different ones to determine your score. Seldom do the two types of scores match, and in some cases can vary widely from each other.
Can Experian help me improve my credit?
While credit monitoring can only report your credit scores and provide advice to help you improve your credit score on your own, Experian has a program called Experian Boost that can help you improve your credit score by proving on-time utility bill payments that might otherwise be overlooked.
Does Experian monitor all 3 credit bureaus?
Experian credit monitoring services do offer a paid plan for a one-time cost of $39.99 that provides and monitors all three credit reports.
However, Aura credit monitoring offers the same service for nearly half the price.
Additionally, Aura’s plans include VPN protection, password management, ID theft insurance, fraud protection, and credit reporting from all three bureaus.
Is Experian credit monitoring accurate?
The information reported on your credit report comes from your creditors, including lenders and credit card companies that you do business with.
Often, this information may be inaccurate. Therefore, it’s recommended to review your credit report at least twice per year.
With Experian credit monitoring services, you can easily dispute any inaccurate information through their user-friendly interface. Simply click on “dispute” and provide a valid reason for the dispute.
How much does Experian credit monitoring cost?
For free, you can utilize Experian’s credit monitoring services to check your credit score and keep track of your credit activity. Additionally, they provide free access to Experian Boost, which allows you to report your cellphone and utility payments to potentially enhance your FICO score.
Experian’s credit monitoring alerts you in the following scenarios:
Any indications of fraud or identity theft arise.
Changes occur to your credit score.
New accounts are added to your credit report.
A payment is missed.
Your credit limit experiences changes, either increases or decreases.
Cost for Experian’s 3-Bureau CreditWorks Premium Plan:
For $24.99 a month, you gain access to Experian credit monitoring’s advanced features, including identity theft insurance, fraud resolution support, live customer support, and, of course, access to all three credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
How are Experian credit monitoring customer reviews?
Experian’s BBB customer reviews have an average rating of 1.08/5, based on 272 reviews.
Additionally, Experian has 12,318 customer complaints listed at the BBB, as of August 2023.
For more information about Experian credit monitoring customer reviews, visit Experian’s BBB profile page.
Is Experian BBB Accredited? Experian is not a BBB accredited company.
Recent complaints against Experian’s credit monitoring services:
Here is a summary of recent complaints submitted to the BBB regarding Experian credit monitoring services:
Remayne W: The customer experienced a drop in credit score due to a mysterious inquiry that was not visible on their credit report. They faced unprofessional and unhelpful customer service when trying to resolve the issue.
Garvin M: The customer received an email from Experian stating that they no longer have a FICO score and their credit history seemed to have disappeared after disputing student loans.
Teri S: The customer had a negative experience with Experian’s credit program, which charged them in the middle of the month for the full amount but only provided limited access to their credit report. They also had issues with the Experian Boost service.
Jeff D: The customer faced difficulties in contacting Experian’s support in their region (Germany) and experienced concerns about their phone number being used by someone else.
Lavon O: The customer criticized the credit agency’s system, expressing frustration over their credit score declining despite their efforts to improve it responsibly.
Keith M: Experian charged the customer for a credit report they did not request, and the company declined to reverse the charge.
LaShanna W: The customer had a terrible experience with Experian’s online support, being unable to log into their account and receiving no help from customer service.
Piper B: The customer was locked out of their account and found it impossible to speak to a human representative, leading to a frustrating experience.
Jonathan A: The customer had a dispute with Experian regarding a debt claim that they believed was incorrectly reported. Experian’s dispute handling was perceived as ineffective and unhelpful.
Mohammad A: The customer had a negative experience when trying to lift their credit freeze, as the agent asked for more personal information and the customer doubted the company’s security measures.
Overall, the complaints cover a range of issues, including discrepancies in credit scores, unhelpful customer service, difficulties with dispute resolution, concerns about data security, and frustrations with Experian’s services and communication channels.
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