Keeping a tab on your credit score and credit report will benefit you in many ways.
When seeking a loan, credit card, or other financial aid, your credit score and report are things your lender considers before giving in to your request.
Another benefit of monitoring your credit report is to detect fraud quickly. With the prevalence of identity theft in Canada, you can limit its effect if you monitor your report regularly.
Doing these manually can be tasking or almost impossible as it will take a ton of your time.
Fortunately, there are free and paid monitoring services that ease the work.
In this review, we shall look at the 6 best credit score monitoring services in Canada.
Here are the best six credit monitoring services in Canada with free and paid access that can help improve your credit score.
Table of Contents
What is Credit Monitoring?
Credit monitoring involves a regular check of your credit records. When there is a change to any of the components of your credit records, a monitoring service informs you.
There are two major credit bureaus in Canada that compile and keep your credit records. They are Equifax and TransUnion.
When there is any change or inquiry on your credit records, you will be notified by the credit monitoring service you sign up with.
Your credit report has the following information:
- Identity (Name, Social Identification Number (SIN), employment status, address)
- Credit history (credit accounts, payment history, open and closed accounts, account balances, etc.)
- Credit queries. (A list of benefactors who asked for your credit report)
- Bankruptcies, collections, court judgments, liens, and other public records.
These pieces of information are the factors that determine your credit status.
If you sign up with any of the credit monitoring services mentioned in this article, you will be notified if there are any changes to them.
For example, if your credit score increases or decreases, you will be notified.
Why Use a Credit Monitoring Service?
A credit monitoring service informs you when there is a change in your credit score.
Furthermore, if a lender asks for your credit records to know your creditworthiness, you will be notified also.
If there is unauthorized activity, like a new credit card you didn’t ask for on your account, you will be notified also. This could mean your identity had been stolen and used fraudulently.
A good monitoring service will inform you as soon as possible to limit the effect of such.
Credit monitoring service providers inform you about these changes at different intervals. While some notify you daily, others do weekly and some monthly.
Time is of the essence here as the earlier you know about these changes, the better you can make a decision.
Knowing about a fraudulent act on your credit at the end of the month may result in a lot of damage to your credit. If you knew earlier, you might be able to curtail it.
Note that to get the most features from credit monitoring, you may need to sign up with a paid service provider.
While you can make use of free services, the services will be limited. Most free monitoring services notify you weekly.
6 Best Credit Monitoring Services in Canada
Here we are going to look at the 6 best monitoring services in Canada starting from free to paid ones.
Founded in 2014, Borrowell is a fin-tech company that provides free credit monitoring services in Canada. It boasts of having over 2 million users.
The organization was the first to provide free credit monitoring services in Canada. Its headquarter is in Ontario.
Borrowell provides weekly credit scores and reports from Equifax.
The features of this credit monitoring service provider are:
- Free weekly credit report
- Free financial products recommendations (credit cards, loans, investment products, mortgages, etc)
- Credit coach (Molly) (the company uses an artificial intelligence credit coach that analyses your credit profile and gives insights on how to improve it)
- Interest-free cash advances: Borrowell also gives a $75 non-interest credit advance you can use for bill payments.
2. Credit Karma
Credit Karma provides weekly credit scores and reports from TransUnion, the second-largest credit bureau in Canada.
Credit Karma is an American-based financial institution. It was founded in 2007 and expanded to Canada in 2016.
The features of Credit Karma are:
- Free weekly credit reports
- Financial products recommendations (loans, credit cards, mortgages, and others)
Learn more: Credit Karma Canada Review
Mogo is another financial technology company that provides credit monitoring services in Canada.
Based in Vancouver, Mogo provides weekly reports to their clients from Equifax database.
The following are some of the key features of Mogo are:
- Free monthly credit scores and reports
- Credit card protection (it offers a 90-day free credit card protection against fraud when you open a Mogo account.
- Financial product recommendations (loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc.)
Learn more: Mogo Review
Cost: $9.95 to $29.95 per month (1 free monthly credit score)
As one of the largest credit bureaus in the world, Equifax also renders credit monitoring services to Canadians.
Founded in 1899, Equifax is a multinational, data, and analytics technology company with headquarters in the US.
The following are some of the key features of Equifax:
- Daily credit scores and reports
- Identity theft protection and insurance up to $500,000
- You can monitor another person’s reports on your account
- Free monthly credit score
The following are Equifax Pricing:
- Equifax Complete: 1-bureau credit monitoring service + ID protection for a $9.95 monthly subscription.
- Equifax Complete Premier: 3-bureau credit monitoring service + greater ID theft protection for one adult for a $19.95 monthly subscription.
- Equifax Complete Premier Family Plan: 3-bureau credit monitoring service + greater ID theft protection for two adults and up to 4 kids for a $29.95 monthly subscription.
Cost: $19.95 (1 free monthly credit score)
Established in 1968, TransUnion is one of the largest credit bureaus in the world providing credit monitoring services.
TransUnion is a multinational providing consumer credit scores and reports.
The following are some of the key features of TransUnion:
- Daily credit scores and reports
- Identity fraud notifications (TransUnion alerts you when your identity is used for fraudulent activities)
- Identity theft insurance (TransUnion covers you in cases of fraudulent activities up to $50,000 on identity theft)
- Credit and debit analysis (TransUnion provides an analysis of your account and gives insights on how to make things better)
- Free monthly credit score
6. Credit Verify
Cost: $24.95 per month
Credit Verify is another consumer credit score and reports service provider in Canada.
It was established in 2018 by Credique LLC, a credit score and reports service provider in the US.
Credit Verify offers a daily credit score and reports services for a cost.
The following are the key features of Credit Verify.
- Daily credit scores and reports services
- Credit score simulator (This tool provides insights into your financial decisions and the potential effect on your credit report)
- Financial products (Credit Verify offers additional products such as loans, credit cards, debt assistance, etc.)
Opening an account with Credit Verify starts with a 7-day trial. During this period, you pay $1.
If you find their services unsatisfactory after 7 days, you will be refunded the $1. If you want to continue, you will be charged $24.95 on your linked credit card.
Choosing Between Free vs Paid Credit Monitoring Service in Canada
Having gone through the available credit monitoring service providers in Canada, the next step is to make a choice.
With the exception of Mogo, all the above free credit monitoring service providers offer weekly reports. Mogo offers a monthly report which makes things worse.
So if you want to access a quick update on your credit report, you may want to sign up with any of the following paid providers.
The following are the key factors to consider when choosing between free and paid credit monitoring services in Canada.
- Frequency of alert
This should be a major pointer when deciding which credit monitoring service provider you should sign up with.
While paid services offer daily updates, free services offer weekly and monthly updates.
As noted earlier, the frequency of getting credit updates will affect how quickly you can rectify errors or prevent identify fraud.
- Identity protection and insurance offers
This should also influence your decision. All the paid credit monitoring service providers offer some form of identity protection and insurance against fraud.
Equifax covers up to $500,000 while TransUnion covers up to $50,000 of the damages that fraudsters may cause when your identity is used for fraudulent activities.
This coverage is not available at any of the above free credit score monitoring services.
You should consider your financial capacity before deciding whether to go with a free or paid credit score monitoring service.
Bear in mind that all the above credit score and monitoring services provide accurate reports as per their rating and monitoring formulas.
Practical Tips to Protect Your Identity from Fraudsters in Canada
Credit monitoring services only provide fraud alerts. They can’t protect your identity from fraudsters by themselves.
As such, the responsibility to protect your identity from fraudsters lies on your shoulders.
The following are some practical tips that will help protect your identity against fraudsters in Canada:
- Be careful of the personal information you share on social media.
- Don’t click suspicious links or submit your personal information through such links.
- Take regular scrutiny of your credit report to note changes or errors. Take steps immediately if you find anything strange.
- Do not use your name, address or phone number as your password.
- Protect your devices, phones and laptops, from malware with strong anti-virus applications.
- Keep a tab on your bank statement often.
- Keep your IDs in safe places.
- Do not use public WiFi to access sensitive applications like the bank app on your phone.
- Use credit score monitoring services and check your credit reports regularly.
- Guard your details while using the ATM.
- Cut all papers with sensitive information in ways such information cannot be retrieved before disposal.
- Be sure of the person you’re speaking to before you give out your SIN over the phone.
- Contact the police immediately if you notice any fraudulent activity on your accounts.
Best Credit Score Monitoring Services in Canada: Final Thoughts
Monitoring your credit score and report is very important. Not only do they help you protect your identity, but they also help you improve your credit and qualify for favourable credits.
The above are some of the best free and paid monitoring services in Canada. You can see how they differ in terms of their features.
Unless you sign up with Equifax’s Complete Premier and Family Plans that offer 3-bureau credit score monitoring services, You may need to sign up with 2 credit monitoring service providers.
That way, you will get a broader picture of your credit profile based on different credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion).
If you want to go with a combo of free credit monitoring services, you can sign up with Borrowell or Mogo for Equifax and Credit Karma for TransUnion.
Bear in mind that until you take action, a monitoring report can’t directly improve your credit score.
If you follow the above practical tips effectively, you would have less problem improving your credit score in Canada.
Over to you — which monitoring service are you going with? Let us know in the comment section.
FAQs on Best Credit Score Monitoring Services in Canada
What is the best free credit reporting site in Canada?
Borrowell, Mogo, and Credit Karma are regarded as the best free credit reporting sites in Canada due to their unique credit-building solutions.
Is Credit monitoring worth it in Canada?
Absolutely. Your credit score determines if you will get financial products like credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc. Without monitoring your credit regularly, it may be difficult to take effective actions on improving your credit score.
Can I check my credit score for free in Canada?
Absolutely. Thousands of Canadians are already checking their credit scores for free through Borrowell, Mogo and Credit Karma.
The two major credit bureaus, TransUnion, and Equifax also offer free monthly scores to Canadians.
Additionally, you may access a free credit score at your bank (such as RBC, TD and BMO).