If the news of recent data breaches have you worrying about your bank accounts and identity being affected by naughty phishing scams, rest easy. You might not know it, but there are credit info sites out there that won't jerk you around and we've done the research. Here are 4 smart ways you can check your credit reports, scores, and even protect yourself from identity theft - and best of all, they're all verified - and free.
1. Credit Sesame
With Credit Sesame, you'll be able to monitor three things: your credit report, credit score, and your identity. The site, and app, is free to sign up for, doesn't ask for your credit card info, and gets you a monthly credit score update. You'll also get a free TransUnion credit report to give you a good idea of your credit history (and see any new and unauthorized activity that might be on it).
If that isn't enough, you'll also get $50,000 worth of fraud insurance, just by signing up - a pretty good bonus from a free service, according to personal finance site TheSimpleDollar.com.
One of the more generous free credit info services, Quizzle lets you check your full TransUnion credit report and VantageScore credit score every three months. Thanks to their partnership with Quicken Loans, Quizzle chose to provide your VantageScore credit score so you'd have a more consistent idea of what lenders and mortgage businesses might see when they look into your credit.
And if you see check your credit report and notice something funky going on, the site makes it easy for you to file a dispute form, right on their site - just one of the things making Quizzle one of the easiest to navigate and most consumer friendly credit info sites out there.
If you like to keep a constant eye on your credit info, get signed up on WalletHub. This site offers free credit scores and full credit reports that are updated on a daily basis - a feature that's hard to find for free anywhere else.
The site also provides 24/7 credit monitoring, customized credit improving tips, and personalized money-saving advice, just for you. Not to mention that WalletHub has been featured among the best new apps by Apple and Android. It's the credit info service for the modern age that knows you want to watch your money, and makes it easy for you to do so.
4. Credit Karma
Credit Karma is more than just the silly commercials you might have seen on your tv. The easy to use free service offers a bunch of tools for you to keep an eye on your credit and identity, from easy access to TransUnion credit reports and scores, to analysis and management of your credit and loans.
One of its most consumer friendly aspects on the site and on the app is its credit simulator that allows you to see what would happen to your credit score if you made certain decisions we all make about our lives and our money: getting a new loan, opening a new credit account, even missing some bills (we've all done it).
The best thing about Credit Karma? It's got the fewest amount of ads you'll see on a free credit info site or app - now that's consumer friendly.
If you're pretty confident in your credit and identity and don't plan on checking your credit score that often, consider using AnnualCreditReport.com. This site will give you a free copy of your credit reports from each of the 3 major nationwide credit companies for free every 12 months.
After filling out basic information and picking the reports you want, you'll be able to review your reports online. After checking them, you can request to have a copy of them for your records delivered instantly online or have them shipped to you for free - you'd only have to pay $8 for your credit score, a small price to pay for some piece of mind.
Do you use any particular sites or apps to monitor your identity and credit info? Why or Why not? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.