Credit Squad 2023 Review
Credit Squad Review — Great For Personalized Advice
A newcomer in the credit monitoring and identity theft space, Credit Squad stands out from the competition with its team of trained counselors who are ready to offer you personalized financial advice.
If it hasn’t happened already, it’s almost a certainty that your personal information will be compromised in a data breach. Along with the headline-making breaches that seem to occur every few months, there are thousands of data breaches annually.
You can take steps to keep your information secure online and off, and follow best practices by using different login information for your online accounts. But realistically, there’s a good chance that your personal information will wind up in the hands of fraudsters.
When that happens, having credit monitoring and identity theft protection services in place can save you time and money.
- Credit monitoring means the company will monitor at least one of your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion and send you an alert if there’s unusual or suspicious activity.
- Identity theft protection services may include credit monitoring, but they also look for your personal information in other databases and online. The services may also come with insurance and assistance that can help you recover from identity theft.
Credit Squad offers both credit monitoring and identity theft protection, and backs up either option with 24/7 US-based customer service and certified credit counselors.
Credit Squad Identity Theft Protection: What You Need to Know
Credit Squad is a relatively new and lesser-known company than some of the big identity theft protection companies such as LifeLock or IdentityIQ. But it’s aiming to make a name for itself with high-touch service and guidance that you won’t find elsewhere.
“The philosophy behind Credit Squad is more bank for your buck,” says Ashley Davison, the chief operating officer at Credit Squad. “We want to help you make the best decisions for your overall finances.”
There are different plans to choose from, ranging from basic one-bureau credit monitoring to three-bureau credit monitoring with identity theft protection. But no matter which option you choose, you’ll have access to certified credit counselors who can offer personalized advice based on your credit, financial situation, and goals.
How Does Credit Squad Identity Theft Protection Work?
After signing up for one of Credit Squad’s identity theft protection plans, you can tell the company which information you want it to track. This can include your name, email address, phone numbers, medical ID numbers, SSN, bank accounts, and up to 10 credit cards number.
Additionally, the service will monitor either your Experian credit report or all three credit reports (depending on your plan) for suspicious activity.
You’ll receive real-time alerts if your information is found online, or if there’s an unusual or suspicious change in your credit report. Additionally, you can log in to track your VantageScore credit score, which will be updated every 30 days.
The plans that include identity theft protection offer many of the protections that you’ll find with the big-name rivals. These include: bank account monitoring, lost wallet replacement services, payday loan alerts, full-service identity restoration assistance, and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy.
Credit Squad also created a proprietary web scanning program called Light Watch that it uses to monitor the internet for your personal information. And the stand-out feature, the access to a certified credit counselor, is available with any plan — including the basic credit monitoring option.
“You get to speak to an expert who can help you understand your credit and deal with your debt,” says Davison. “They may recommend services or options and their advice is based on what’s best for you — we’re not making any money by referring you to other companies.”
For example, if you’re wondering why your credit score suddenly dropped or how to improve your credit history, a counselor can walk you through your credit report and the factors that impact your score. Or, if you’re struggling to pay down credit card debt, they can explain the difference between settling your debt, consolidating your debt, and getting on a debt management plan.
Where is Credit Squad Available?
Credit Squad is available to customers in all 50 states.
How Much Does Credit Squad Cost?
Credit Squad offers five plans with varying features and different monthly fees:
- **Credit Squad Standard ($14.99): **One-bureau credit monitoring and score tracking
- **Credit Squad Complete ($19.99): **Credit score tracking and identity theft protection
- **Credit Squad Elite ($24.99): **Three bureau credit monitoring, score tracking, and identity theft protection
- **Credit Squad ID Theft ($19.99): **Identity theft protection for you and your kids
- **Credit Squad 1B + ID Theft ($24.99): **One-bureau credit monitoring, score tracking, and identity theft protection for you and your kids
- **Credit Squad 3B + ID Theft ($44.99): **Three bureau credit monitoring, score tracking, and identity theft protection for you and your kids
The basic credit monitoring service doesn’t come with the identity theft protection services, but still includes access to a credit counselor. On the other hand, the basic family plan (called ID Theft) focuses solely on identity theft protection and doesn’t include credit monitoring.
Although the ID Theft plan is found under the family plans, it may be the best option for individuals who want identity theft protection and already have a credit monitoring service elsewhere.
For example, our top-rated credit monitoring company Credit Sesame offers free TransUnion credit report monitoring. You can also get free TransUnion and Equifax monitoring from Credit Karma, and Experian offers free credit monitoring for your Experian credit report.
However, if you want one account with three-bureau monitoring, you’re going to have to sign up for a paid service like Credit Squad. This could be important because some creditors only send information to one or two credit bureaus. As a result, if someone opens an account that only reports to Equifax, and you’re only monitoring TransUnion, you might not get an alert.
What Do Credit Squad’s Identity Theft Services Cover?
Credit Squad offers various levels of credit monitoring, but all of the plans that include identity theft protection services come with the same level of coverage. These services can help warn you if someone is trying to use your identity to take out a loan or open an account in your name, and help you recover from identity theft:
1B or 3B Credit Monitoring
Depending on your plan, Credit Squad may monitor your Experian credit report or all three of your credit reports and notify you of suspicious activity and major changes. Some plans also come with an annual credit report that has seven years of credit history.
1B or 3B Credit Score and Tracking
You will also get access to a VantageScore credit score based on your credit report (or reports). The credit score tracking will be updated monthly so you can watch your score(s) change over time.
Real-Time Inquiry Notifications
Get an alert if a new hard inquiry appears on your credit report. Hard inquiries are the result of creditor reviewing your credit report after you submit an application. If you didn’t apply for an account, this could be an indication that your identity is compromised.
Change of Address Monitoring
Get notified if the USPS is being redirected to a different address. Some fraudsters may do this before applying for a credit card in your name so they can be certain they’ll receive the card in the mail. Or, they may want to receive your mail, which could include account statements and bills with personal information.
Early Warning Account Takeover
Credit Squad will send you a warning if it detects your personal information is being used to apply for or open a new bank account. Bank accounts don’t appear on consumer credit reports from the major credit bureaus, which makes this an important addition to identity theft protection.
Full-Service ID Restoration
If your identity is stolen, you’ll be assigned a caseworker and paralegal who can help you get your accounts in order and secure your identity. It can be a long and tedious process, and you’ll want trained professionals by your side.
Light Watch Risk Report and Dark Web Monitoring
Credit Squad’s proprietary software that searches for your personally identifiable information (PII) in online databases, including in the dark web (parts of the internet that don’t show up in search engine results). Information that’s taken from a data breach is often packaged and sold online, and you’ll want to know if someone could potentially buy your PII.
Fraudsters may try to create synthetic identities by combining real and fake personal information and then use these identities to apply for financial accounts. The SSN trace will send you a report of all the names that are associated with your SSN, and notify you if a new name appears on the list.
Child Light Watch and SSN trace are also included in the family plans.
Sex Offender Monitoring
Find out if someone who is on the sex offender list lives in your area or moves into your area.
Lost Wallet Replacement
Get help if your wallet is lost or stolen, which may include assistance with freezing accounts and ordering replacement credit cards.
Non-Credit Loan Warning
Some types of loans also don’t usually appear on credit reports. This service will let you know if someone tries to take out a payday loan using your SSN.
$1M ID Theft Insurance
Coverage for losses of up to $1 million if you’re the victim of theft insurance.
24/7 Certified Credit Counselors
Speak to a certified credit counselor about your credit report, credit scores, debts, and financial options at any time.
Credit Squad Identity Theft Protection Features
- Founded with a mission of offering customers unbiased financial advice and guidance
- Choose from multiple plans with varying levels of credit monitoring and identity theft protection
- Pay monthly and cancel at any time
- Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance
- Get professional help if your identity is stolen
- Receive professional help at any time if you have questions about your credit or managing your debt
Pros and Cons of Credit Squad Identity Theft Protection
There are many credit monitoring and identity theft protection services available, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons of Credit Squad:
- US-based certified counselors are available 24/7
- Choose the plan you want and cancel at any time
- Pick and choose which information you want to share and monitor
- Looks for your information in a variety of databases and in the dark web
- Quickly sends alerts if your personal information is found
- The $1M insurance policy is included in all the identity theft protection plans
- New service that doesn’t have a proven track record
- Credit scores are updated monthly rather than daily or weekly
- You can get one-bureau monitoring for free elsewhere
- Three-bureau monitoring and score tracking are only available with the most expensive plans
- The sign-up process requires you to share your SSN and verify your identity
Discounts on Credit Squad Identity Theft Protection
Credit Squad doesn’t currently offer any discounts.
Credit Squad Customer Reviews
As a new service provider, Credit Squad doesn’t have many customer reviews online.
How to Purchase Credit Squad Identity Theft Protection
You can sign up for Credit Squad online:
- Go to www.creditsquad.com
- Choose the plan you want and click “Start Membership”
- Create an account by filling in your email address, password, and agreeing to the terms and conditions
- You will be asked to provide information such as your name, birthdate, financial account information.
- Enter your personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number
- Verify your identity by answering questions based on information in one of your credit reports
- Enter your payment information
How to Contact Credit Squad
Address: 400 Rella Blvd Suite 165 Suffern, NY 10901
Does Credit Squad Offer Other Kinds of Services?
Credit Squad offers credit monitoring and identity theft protection services (or a combination of the two). It’s free credit counselors may also be able to advise you on building credit, managing credit, and dealing with debt.
As the new kid on the block, Credit Squad has a lot to prove. It’s covering all the bases with its credit monitoring and identity theft protection services, and trying to distinguish itself by offering free access to unbiased counselors.
“There’s an experience you’ll get here that will be lost in the goliath of a larger company,” says Davison. “You have insurance for your body and home, why not for your identity? You’re at risk every minute you're online.”
Credit Squad may be worth trying out if you’re looking for more than hands-off credit monitoring or identity notification services. Even if you only want the basics, its identity theft protection services is available for $14.99 a month, which is in line with what you’ll pay from big-name providers (that don’t offer a personal touch). However, if you only want basic credit monitoring, you could save money with one of the many free options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Identity Theft Protection Services Prevent Identity Theft?
No. Monitoring and protection services can quickly notify you if you’re a victim of identity theft, and they may offer personal and financial assistance during the recovery. However, they can’t keep hackers or fraudsters from stealing and using your information.
What Can I Do To Help Prevent Identity Theft?
The best way to prevent identity theft is to keep your information secure, and make sure someone can’t access multiple accounts using the same credentials. Create unique usernames and passwords for all your online accounts — especially your financial accounts. If you need help creating and remembering everything, you can use a secure password management service.
You can also freeze your credit reports at all three bureaus, which you can do for free. Once frozen, the credit bureaus won’t release your credit report to a credit that’s trying to underwrite a new account. In other words, even if someone has your information, they’ll have trouble taking out a loan or opening a credit card in your name. Make sure you freeze all three, and don’t forget to unfreeze them when you want to apply for a new account.
Also, be cautious of what information you share online and in your social media accounts. Consider a common security question, “What was your high school mascot?” If your high school is listed in your online profile, it may be easy for a fraudster to figure this out with just a little digging.
What Should I Do If Someone Steals My Identity?
Your response may depend, in part, on what happens. For example, if someone opens an account in your name, you’ll want to contact the financial institution and let it know that the account was fraudulently opened. You’ll also want to review your credit reports and dispute the accounts because they didn’t belong to you.
Credit Squad’s recovery and credit specialists can help you through the process and fixing your credit. You can also use the Federal Trade Commission’s IdentityTheft.gov website to create a personalized recovery plan based on your circumstances.
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Our Identity Theft Protection Partners
Credit Squad , Identity Guard® , IdentityIQ , LifeLock
|Credit Score Required||None|
|Pricing||Starting from $14.99/month|
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