How to Monitor Your Credit Reports for Free

Don't get suckered into paying for credit monitoring services. There are free options all around.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you use the internet, your data is under constant threat of being stolen. According to a recent analysis from the Identity Theft Resource Center, roughly 820 incidents of large and small data breaches have been reported so far this year. Even so, the constant threat doesn’t mean you need to pay for a credit-monitoring service.

In early April, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued credit bureau TransUnion for violating a 2017 order to stop deceiving customers into signing up for a subscription to various services that include credit reports, credit scores and credit monitoring. TransUnion implied the services were free, but after a trial period, the credit bureau started charging for them. The CFPB is seeking financial restitution for the affected customers.

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Rivan V. Stinson
Ex-staff writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Rivan joined Kiplinger on Leap Day 2016 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. A Michigan native, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and from there freelanced as a local copy editor and proofreader, and served as a research assistant to a local Detroit journalist. Her work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Observer and Sage Business Researcher. She is currently assistant editor, personal finance at The Washington Post.