Equifax Review—How Well Will It Protect You?
Written byBranko Krstic
Updated · Oct 19, 2022
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- Credit freeze capability
- Digital exposure reports
- IP address monitoring
- Proprietary monitoring technology
- 2017 data breach
- Outdated dashboard
- No social media monitoring
Anyone who has a Social Security Number is a potential victim of identity theft. That means somebody could use your information to open accounts fraudulently. This will hurt your credit and your future financial opportunities.
That’s why having credit monitoring and identity theft protection is so important.
Equinox is one of the companies that offer you these services. They can give you peace of mind by alerting you of any changes made to your credit record and by constantly monitoring darknet markets, forums, and other databases to ensure your personal information isn’t traded online.
Check out our Equifax review to see what makes it one of the best identity theft protection services available.
What Is Equifax?
Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting companies that also offer direct-to-consumer credit monitoring, fraud protection, and identity restoration services.
TrustedID is another name Equifax's ID theft protections services go by.
Equifax has all the best fraud protection features you need to take control of your credit and be well-protected from identity fraud and theft. Here are some of them:
The Equifax family plan covers up to two adults and four kids and includes tools like Dark Web Scanning and Automatic Fraud Alerts.
The former scours online black markets and alerts you if your personal info is found there, while the latter encourages lenders to take extra steps to confirm your identity before extending credit.
Other benefits include Credit Report Lock (which allows you to secure your credit report from being accessed), Lost Wallet Assistance (to help cancel and reissue lost cards and identity documents), and complete Identity Restoration.
Should you become a victim of identity theft, you’ll be assigned an Equifax TrustedID dedicated restoration specialist.
The specialist will assess your case and, once you’ve signed a claims kit, they’ll have a limited power of attorney to do the heavy lifting for you.
They can liaise with creditors, the IRS, and banks, for example. They can also mediate calls, help you complete and file an FTC identity theft report, and walk you through the whole ID recovery process.
ID recovery is not only time-consuming, but it’s also rather costly. This is why identity theft insurance is such a valuable benefit.
As part of Equifax protection services, you get insurance coverage of up to $1 million, which encompasses even day-to-day expenses that come with ID recovery, such as making calls, mailing documents, and other obscure costs (like childcare costs, for example).
It’s designed to cover the costs of ID recovery, including all expenses related to reclaiming financial identities and repairing credit records.
Stolen Funds Replacement
Identity thieves can use tactics like phishing or skimming to steal money from you. You can recover stolen funds through resolutions processes. However, this isn't always the case.
Luckily, the Equifax membership fee includes a benefit called Stolen Funds Replacement.
This means that Equifax will recover, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million of stolen banking, checking, and credit card funds that are not recovered through your financial institution.
Only the Premier and Family plans include the Stolen Funds Replacement benefit.
Lock & Alert
With Equifax, you’re in charge of your personal credit information.
During the research for our Equifax identity theft protection review, we discovered that users can create permissions and exceptions to how their credit report can be accessed and thus protect themselves better against identity theft.
If you want to do credit locks on the go, you can download the Lock & Alert Equifax app.
Depending on the Equifax subscription you choose, you may receive financial, credit, and dark web monitoring alerts.
For instance, when you have credit monitoring alerts set up, you receive Credit Score Change Alerts and Credit Score Band Change Alerts.
Every time you receive one of these Equifax alerts, you’ll receive a description of the change to your score and detailed information about what the new score means.
- Equifax had a data breach in 2017, which compromised the personal information of over 160 million people.
- It lacks some essential features, like social media and credit card monitoring services.
- You can only get tri-bureau credit reports annually. Plus, the basic subscription plan doesn't include them.
- The dashboard is a little outdated—it still uses Adobe Flash Player, which is a well-known point of attack for hackers and has a documented history of privacy and security concerns.
Plans & Pricing
Equifax prices vary depending on the plan you choose:
This individual plan will give access to one-bureau credit reports and VantageScore credit scores. You also get ID restoration services, up to $500,000 ID theft insurance, and Equifax credit report monitoring and locking.
It grants you access to an annual tri-bureau credit report and VantageScore credit scores. Additional benefits include SSN monitoring, up to $1 million ID theft insurance, and stolen funds replacement.
For the same price as the Equifax Complete Premier plan, you can get the same benefits for you, another adult, and up to four children.
You can cancel Equifax anytime you want, but the company has a no partial-month-refund policy.
You can contact the support team by either phone or email. Their working hours are weekdays from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (EST) and from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM over the weekends.
For the purposes of our Equifax identity theft protection review, we tried the email option to find out a few things about the service, and we didn’t receive a response for a few days. We hope that their customers usually get more expedited support.
Equifax does have some helpful material available on their website, like a FAQ section and some educational articles to help you learn about identity theft, credit reports, credit scores, and more.
Ease of Use
Positive Equifax reviews tend to highlight how easy it is for customers to use the service.
The sign-up process is pretty standard. They ask you to fill out a traditional form asking for basic info, like name, address, phone number, and SSN. Everything is relatively simple—almost too simple.
The dashboard is well organized and detailed, although it seems a little outdated compared to the design of most of its competitors. This simplistic design might be a pro for novices but a con for agents accustomed to a more sophisticated UX.
Equifax User Reviews
Some of the users who left a review for Equifax seem to have trouble looking past the 2017 data breach—and it’s not like we can blame them.
The breach was deemed as “entirely preventable” by experts, which has translated into a lot of negative feedback for Equifax on platforms like TrustPilot and ProductReview.
Nevertheless, the outstanding ratings Equifax has earned on other platforms lead us to believe that many customers have chosen to overlook the security breach.
Equifax has a 3.5 rating on Consumer Affairs (based on 885 user reviews), a 4.7 rating on FeaturedCustomers (based on a whopping 1,667 reviews), and an A+ rating on BBB.
Users tend to praise the customer service and the Lock & Alert feature.
Is Equifax Worth It?
Despite the negative impact the 2017 data breach had on Equifax’s reputation and credibility, the company has many positive qualities and valuable features.
Equifax can help you manage your security freezes. It can also place recurring fraud warnings on your credit file as an extra layer of protection.
As we’ve mentioned throughout our Equifax identity theft protection review, on top of the credit monitoring and identity protection services, the company also offers other features.
Lock & Alert, for example, lets you lock and unlock your credit file as you fit, while Score Watch grants you access to your FICO score and Equifax credit reports.
The dated Equifax dashboard notwithstanding, all its features and functionality make Equifax more than worth the admission price.
Alternatives of Equifax
As part of our Equifax review, we at Web Tribunal decided to highlight a few alternative identity theft protection services to provide users with more options:
Equifax vs Experian
When comparing both companies, we took three things into consideration—price, features, and functionality.
Equifax has three subscription plans which cost less than $20/month. Experian plans, on the other hand, are more flexible and extensive.
Experian offers three different packages, each with two subscription plans, for as much as $29.99/month.
They include features that Equifax plans don't have, like Child Identity Protection, Social Network Monitoring, Address Change Verification Alerts, and Payday Loan Monitoring.
To put it simply, while Equifax will get the job done, Experian IdentityWorks will give you a comprehensive protection service (with cherries on top).
Identity Guard vs Equifax
Identity Guard is one of the highest-rated identity theft protection services and a more than worthy alternative to Equifax—it’s slightly more expensive, yes, but it also includes quite a few extra protection and monitoring features.
IBM Watson AI, for example, is an impressive technology that automatically tracks millions of pieces of information that make up your identity, like your Social Security Number, to help identify potential personal data theft points.
Identity Guard also includes a Safe Browsing Extension that protects you against trojan horses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Equifax is more of a practical option, foregoing the pomp and circumstance to provide a less complicated service.
Identity Force vs Equifax
Equifax offers affordable plans that include three-bureau credit file monitoring, credit report lock, stolen funds replacement, SSN and dark web monitoring, plus complete ID restoration.
Still, you’ll get more protection features if you opt for IdentityForce.
IdentityForce offers advanced fraud monitoring, intelligent SSN tracking, social media watch, and online PC protection tools, like anti-phishing and anti-keystroke logging software to protect you from malware.
IdentityForce also has a feature called ChildWatch, which ensures that your children are protected from identity theft too.
Equifax credit monitoring and alert services help you both uncover potential fraud and feel confident in your creditworthiness.
Equifax has affordably priced plans, which include SSN and dark web monitoring, as well as stolen funds replacement if you ever lose money due to identity fraud.
It also offers complete ID restoration services and up to $1 million ID theft insurance. With this, you can pay off any fees incurred in the restoration process.
Equifax has been around for over 100 years. It’s still one of the top credit reporting companies in the world.
With Equifax security features, customers can rest assured that their credit is under control and their personal information is as safe as it can be online.
If you’re willing to overlook the 2017 breach and the consequent hit their reputation took, there are many great benefits to signing up for Equifax.
It has a reasonably good number of credit monitoring and identity theft protection features for individuals and families, including credit reports, stolen funds replacement, and ID restoration services.
Plus, the Equifax membership cost is quite affordable.
You can generally expect to get Equifax updates at least once a month. It could be more often because each time any one of your creditors sends information to Equifax, then your credit record is updated.
Yes, it is. TrustedID was acquired by Equifax in 2013 and was offered as a free service for a year after the 2017 Equifax breach.
That depends mainly on your needs, wants, and budget.
In our Equifax review, we included a summary of the benefits of some of the best identity protection services in the market (Experian, Identity Guard, and Identity Force).
Another excellent alternative, especially in terms of cybersecurity features, would be Norton LifeLock.
Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.
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