Recently I had a chance to try the service of PrivacyGuard. Besides separate credit reports and scores on sale from $9.99 to $44.99, PrivacyGuard offers a 2-month trial for its subscription service for only one dollar. The subscription service, which costs $119.99 annually after the trial, includes the following benefits:
- Triple-Bureau Credit Report
- Triple-Bureau Credit Score, Analysis & Comparison
- Credit Score "What If" Simulator
- Single-Bureau Daily Credit Monitoring
- Identity Theft Protection (Up to $10,000)
It also offers some information such as the forms to request for your driver's record, medical record and social security reports and some financial calculators.
You may sign up for the two-month trial online, but need to wait for a snail mail which contains your personal access code (this is to verify your permanent address) before you can see your credit reports and scores.
Now to the product itself: the triple-bureau credit report and score are great! It lists your credit profile from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion side by side in a super clean manner, and I have to say it really helps me to understand my credit status better.
Some of the interesting findings out of my report:
- Credit Score: Experian = 675, Equifax = 670, TransUnion = 669. This is quite significantly different from what I received from Providian and Eloan credit monitoring services.
- Lots of misspelling in the address section: Equifax messed up the city name and TransUnion forgot the apartment number I used to live in.
- Apparently all of my credit accounts are reported to all three bureaus. On the other hand, not many companies only use one bureau for credit checking. A handy list of who uses who according to my credit report:
American Express: Experian
CapitalOne: All Three
Chase: TransUnion (recently) and Experian (earlier)
MBNA: TransUnion (recently) and Experian (earlier)
Providian: TransUnion (recently) and Experian (earlier)
Of course, the annual subscription is a bit overpriced and I have no intention to keep it beyond the 2-month period. Here is how to cancel according to the FAQ:
"We’re offering a 2-month trial membership for $1, which includes a copy of your Credit Report. Unless you call 1-877-202-8828 (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST) to cancel during your 2-month trial, your membership will be automatically extended for a full year, and the then-current Annual membership fee of $119.99 will be billed to your designated credit card account. For uninterrupted service, your membership will be automatically renewed annually, and your credit card will be automatically billed at the then-current membership fee without you having to do anything else. At any time during your membership, you can cancel by calling 1-877-202-8828. If you cancel this Agreement during your trial period, you will not owe any annual membership fee. If you discontinue your membership at any time after the trial period, you can receive a refund for the unused portion of the current year's membership fee. The Credit Report is yours to keep no matter what!"
(This post is part of PFBlog Product Review series. Check out more reviews here.)