CreditWise Review: A Look at Capital One Credit Monitoring
Tracking your credit is a bit like learning to juggle — there are multiple factors influencing your score that you may need to wrangle all at once. Using a credit monitoring product like Capital One’s CreditWise to do the heavy lifting is not only free, but can make this aspect of life much easier to manage.
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What is Capital One CreditWise?
CreditWise is a credit monitoring service for both current Capital One customers and noncustomers. Credit monitoring is the process of tracking your credit scores and checking your credit history to catch fraud and suspicious activity. The best credit monitoring services can help you take steps to improve your credit score too. But while some companies will charge fees for credit monitoring, CreditWise is a free product and doesn’t directly affect your credit score.
With CreditWise, you can access activity on your Experian and TransUnion reports, see your VantageScore 3.0 and get notifications if your personal information is found on the dark web. CreditWise also offers a feature that allows you to see how your credit score may be impacted depending on what steps you take.
Capital One CreditWise features
The Capital One CreditWise service comes with a variety of features that can make managing and monitoring your credit a much easier process.
CreditWise tracks all activity that appears on your Experian and TransUnion credit reports. Experian and TransUnion are two of the three major credit bureaus that produce your credit reports, which then determine your credit score.
Using a credit monitoring service may be best for those with bad credit who are trying to improve their credit health or consumers looking to take out a loan, such as a mortgage or auto loan. If you’re looking for other ways to check your credit score for free, you can also use Experian or ask your current lenders or bankers.
CreditWise vs. FICO
There are two main credit scoring models that creditors use: FICO Score and VantageScore. While most lenders use FICO Score to evaluate your credit, VantageScore is preferred by more than 2,600 financial institutions. CreditWise uses the VantageScore 3.0 model.
Social Security number alerts
As part of its credit monitoring services, CreditWise also protects your personal information, including your Social Security number (SSN). CreditWise tracks any credit applications using your SSN. If your information is run by a creditor, you’ll receive an alert from CreditWise.
Tracking your personal information can help stop identity theft. If cyber criminals get ahold of your SSN, they can take loans out in your name, steal money from your bank account and even steal your tax refunds.
Credit score simulator
If you sign up for CreditWise, you can access Capital One’s credit simulator. This service works a bit like a crystal ball. It allows you to see what effect certain financial moves can have on your credit. This can be a helpful tool, especially if you’re trying to boost your credit score.
Some of the most important moves you can make are to pay off debt and to avoid any missed payments. Both FICO Score and VantageScore heavily weigh your credit utilization ratio — how much credit you’re using versus how much you have available — and delinquent debt when calculating your credit score.
Free credit reports
Consistently checking your credit reports can help you track where your credit stands as well as help you catch and dispute credit report errors. CreditWise gives you free access to your TransUnion credit report.
Your personal information, credit accounts, types of credit, payment history and credit limits are included in your credit reports. The activity on your credit reports is used to provide you with your credit score, which helps creditors evaluate the risk of lending to you.
How to sign up for CreditWise
Signing up for CreditWise from Capital One is straightforward. The service is open to both Capital One members and nonmembers. Signing up for CreditWise will not impact your credit score.
- If you’re already a Capital One customer, you can register for CreditWise by signing into your account. If you’re not a customer, you can create an account by providing your full name and email.
- Next, you’ll need to provide your phone number, address, date of birth and SSN. Once you fill out this information, you’ll need to confirm your identity.
- Once you create an account, you can start to use the CreditWise credit monitoring services. You can cancel your account at any time.