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Monitor your Experian and TransUnion credit reports for free with CreditWise from Capital One

CreditWise from Capital One is a free credit monitoring service that alerts you of changes to your credit. Here's how to register and benefit from CreditWise.

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Staying on top of changes to your credit file isn't easy to do alone, but a credit monitoring service like CreditWise® can make the process a lot easier. CreditWise is completely free to use, unlike many of the best credit monitoring services that charge a monthly or annual fee.

When you sign up for CreditWise, you can get help spotting potential fraud early and monitoring your personal information across the web.

Here are the benefits of using CreditWise, and how you can sign up for the free service.

CreditWise® from Capital One

CreditWise® from Capital One
Information about CreditWise has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the company prior to publication.
  • Cost

    Free

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    TransUnion and Experian

  • Credit scoring model used

    VantageScore

  • Dark web scan

    Yes

  • Identity insurance

    No

Terms apply.

Benefits of CreditWise

Cost

CreditWise is completely free to use. You don’t need to enter a credit card during sign up.

Two credit bureaus are monitored

CreditWise works with two out of the three credit bureaus to monitor your Experian and TransUnion credit reports. While this is decent, triple-bureau credit monitoring provides the most coverage by also alerting you of changes to your Equifax reports. But this isn't an option with CreditWise.

You can receive email updates whenever your Experian and TransUnion credit reports change. Alerts you may receive include new account inquiries and openings, delinquent accounts and balance changes.

Dark web scanning and social security alerts

CreditWise stands out from other free services by providing dark web surveillance and social security number alerts. If your social security number or email address is found on the dark web, which includes thousands of unsafe sites, hacking forums, and illegal digital marketplaces, CreditWise will alert you.

Plus you’ll receive notice if your social security number is associated with a credit application that has a new name or address. (Learn more about how credit card fraud happens and tips to protect yourself.)

Credit score simulator

As an added tool, CreditWise provides a credit score simulator that can help you to gauge the potential effect that certain actions, such as paying off debt or closing a credit card, may have on your credit score.

Since the simulator provides insight into the possible impact these actions can cause, you can make an educated decision before you close a card or apply for a new one.

How to sign up for CreditWise

Anyone can register for CreditWise, regardless of whether you’re a Capital One customer. But if you happen to have a Capital One product, like the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card or Capital One 360® Checking Account, you can seamlessly sign up and access CreditWise from within the Capital One mobile app.

If you’re not a Capital One customer, here’s how you can sign up for CreditWise:

  1. Visit CreditWise.
  2. Enter your first and last name and email address, then click "Get Started."
  3. Enter your birth date, social security number, phone number, home address.
  4. Review and agree to the terms, then click "Locate My Credit Info."
  5. Confirm your identity and create an account.

Bottom line

CreditWise is a great free credit monitoring service that can help you keep track of changes to your Experian and TransUnion credit reports. However, if you want more comprehensive  coverage, consider alternative paid services like Experian IdentityWorks℠ that monitor all three credit bureaus and provide identity insurance coverage.

Experian IdentityWorks℠

Experian IdentityWorks℠
On Experian's secure site
  • Cost

    $9.99 to $29.99 per month

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    Experian for Plus plan or Experian, Equifax and TransUnion for Premium plan

  • Credit scoring model used

    FICO

  • Dark web scan

    Yes

  • Identity insurance

    Yes, up to $500,000 for Plus plan and up to $1 million for Premium plan

Terms apply.

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Information about the Capital One products have been collected independently by CNBC and have not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Capital One is a Member FDIC.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.