Experian CreditWorks Personal Review

When it comes to getting a mortgage, credit card, or an auto loan, lenders and creditors review credit scores provvied by the Big Three credit bureaus: Experian®, TransUnion, and Equifax.
But more than reporting your credit, one of the three powerhouses have turned its services back to the consumer: You. Not only can you access your credit report and credit scores to watch for errors and know what potential lenders know, but you can monitor your credit daily with Experian CreditWorks™.
In this review, I’ll run you through how the platform works, key features, pros, and cons, and explain how Experian stacks up against competitors.

What is Experian CreditWorks™?

Experian is one of the three major crediting bureaus in the United States. It maintains credit reports with credit scoring companies like FICO Score® and VantageScore® analyze your debt and credit accounts, on-time payments, and credit history to calculate a three-digit credit score. A basic Experian account is free and provides an online platform for you to access your FICO® Score* and Experian credit report.
In addition to credit scores, Experian also offers personal finance tools and calculators, fraud and identity protection services, credit card and loan recommendations, and auto insurance quotes.
Experian will show your FICO® Score — one of the two main credit reporting models — but does not offer your VantageScore.

Experian CreditWorks Features

FICO® Credit Score

The main appeal of using the Experian online platform or app is to view your FICO® Score. Experian not only shows your credit score but also ranks your credit scores (Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent). Your credit scores can be viewed at any time with the free Experian account.

Experian Credit Report

Experian CreditWorks also provides access to your credit file, which by law you can obtain for free from each crediting bureau – Equifax and TransUnion are the others – once a year. This report will provide an in-depth history of your credit accounts and allow you to review all information associated with your credit history to verify it's correct.

Account balances

Experian also shows you a rundown of all of your open credit accounts, which offers you a glance at your current debt. It provides a breakdown of open accounts, self-reported accounts, late accounts, closed accounts, and collections. It also shows your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and debt summaries by credit type.

Personal finance products

Experian is just starting to build out a variety of personal finance products. It offers a Savings Center that shows you ways to save money with balance transfers or more affordable insurance and allows you to view all of the perks your current credit cards offer. Experian recently rolled out a Bill Negotiation service that offers bill negotiation to help lower the costs of utilities like cell phones, internet, and cable services. Another new beta service Experian is offering is a personal finance budgeting tool.

Dark web surveillance, identity monitoring, and fraud protection

Experian CreditWorks also alerts you if your information is found on the dark web. It will also offer details on any suspicious activity of your accounts. By upgrading to the paid Experian CreditWorks Premium membership, you’ll receive even more in-depth data regarding your personal information.

Credit card and loan recommendations

You’ll also receive personalized credit card and loan recommendations based on your credit profile. Experian makes it easy to search for cards that best suit your needs by sorting them into categories such as no annual fee, rewards, cashback, balance transfer, and no interest rates.

Auto insurance quotes

CreditWorks can also help you find out if you’re able to save money by switching to a new auto insurance provider. As your credit scores improve, your chances of securing less expensive auto insurance can also go up. You can gain access to quotes right through the Experian platform.

Experian Boost™

This free feature allows you to boost your FICO® Score by adding payments to utilities, cellphones, streaming services, and others to your credit history. This includes water, electricity, phone, and internet bills. If you have great on-time payments for utilities, it’s an easy way to potentially give your credit scores a boost.

Experian CreditWorks Costs

Experian has two tiers of CreditWorks accounts — a free service and a paid membership. Here’s what you get with both.
FeatureCreditWorks BasicCreditWorks Premium
PriceFree$21.95 per month (7-day free trial)
Credit monitoring and credit score services (updated monthly)Experian dataExperian, Transunion, and Equifax data
Daily credit scoresNoExperian
Credit inquiry monitoringYesYes
Account balance change monitoringNoYes
FICO® Score SimulatorNoYes
Access to personal finance, credit card, loan, and auto insurance optionsYesYes
If you don’t need access to all three credit bureaus’ data, then the free version offers everything you should need to keep an eye on your credit scores. However, if you’re looking for all three reporting agencies’ FICO® Scores, I recommend searching around for more affordable options, since $21.95 a month is pretty steep.
Experian also offers two tiers of paid services for identity protection: Experian IdentityWorks Plus and IdentityWorks Premium. Here’s the difference between the two:
FeatureIdentityWorks PlusIdentityWorks Premium
Price$9.99/mo$19.99/mo
Identity Theft InsuranceProtection up to $500kProtection up to $1 million**
Social Security MonitoringYesYes
Bank/Credit Card MonitoringNoYes
Social Network MonitoringNoYes
Quarterly Credit ReportNoYes
Daily Credit ScoreNoYes
If identity fraud protection is important to you and you also want more affordable access to credit monitoring, the $19.99 per month IdentityWorks Premium plan might be a good choice for you.

Signing up for Experian

The signup process is fast, and you’ll need to provide a few personal details to get started. This information allows Experian to pull your credit data and verify your identity.
Experian will ask for your:
  • Full name
  • Current address
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number (last four digits)
From there, you’ll create a username for your account and get set up right away. When you log in, Experian will bring you to its main credit monitoring screen with access to the most commonly used products.
Experian

See How Much Experian Boost™ Can Raise Your Credit Scores Instantly

  • Experian® is one of the three credit bureaus providing your credit scores
  • Experian Boost is a free feature that can help you increase your credit scores for making on-time payments for your phone, utility, or streaming service bills for 100% free and in minutes
  • Average users who received a boost improved their FICO® Score 8 based on Experian Data by 13 points. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders use credit information impacted by Experian Boost™.
  • Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether.

How I’ve used Experian CreditWorks to improve my credit

I have been using Credit Karma for years to monitor my credit, but I signed up for Experian just to confirm that my FICO® data matched my VantageScore information. (Credit Karma doesn't provide Experian's reporting or access to your FICO® Score.) I enrolled in Experian's program 6 months ago, when I began to aggressively pay down my debt.
Here’s how I’ve used Experian’s software to boost my credit score.

Reviewing my Experian credit report

I had recently decided to refinance a private student loan to take advantage of the current low rates and was surprised when the creditor I chose didn’t instantly approve me. According to Credit Karma, my credit was near excellent and my debt utilization ratio was very low. I decided I needed to review my FICO® credit data to better understand this creditor’s decision.
I initially chose to look at my Experian credit file for the year and only signed up for CreditWorks to do this. When I viewed my Experian credit report, I found the two red flags that likely stuck out to the lender — and they were both reporting incorrect information. I decided to take advantage of the Experian CreditWorks product and file a dispute.

Flagging incorrect information

I’ve filed disputes with Credit Karma before but found two interesting reports on my Experian account.
I noticed an error for a credit account that had fully been paid off and closed last March reporting as “open” and “late” for the past 10 months. I verified my payment and account status with the creditor first, then filed a dispute with Experian, noting the discrepancies. The process was simple — a few clicks here, screenshots of my account documentation, and a brief explanation — and the dispute was resolved in about a week. My account status was updated and the change gave my credit scores a boost.
Additionally, I noticed another account that I had paid a few times in December was reflecting “no payment” for this month and “late.” I again filed a dispute and this one was resolved, correcting my late status and also boosting my credit scores.

Experian CreditWorks Pros and Cons

How Experian CreditWorks Stacks Up Against the Competition

MyFico

MyFico provides a basic plan that offers FICO scores for Experian data, credit reports, and credit scores and monitoring services. This service costs $19.99 monthly but offers many of the same features as the free Experian account. FICO® is considered the most trustworthy source for credit reporting (for FICO® Scores) but the data is available on both platforms.
My FICO also offers $29.95 Advanced and $39.95 Premier per month plans with access to three credit bureaus’ information. The Advanced plan updates every three months, while the Premier plan updates monthly.
The Advanced plan is similar to the Experian CreditWorks Premium account in cost, but Experian provides monthly updates. The MyFico Premier account gets you the most in credit monitoring from an unbiased reporting agency but is quite expensive.

Credit Karma

Credit Karma also provides a free credit monitoring service, but as I've discovered using it, it does not give you access to Experian's credit report, which is why I use both.
Credit Karma gives you access to TransUnion and Equifax credit scores and you can view your account balances and history. Like Experian, you will receive credit cards and loans targeted to your score. However, it does not provide your FICO® Score.
Additional features of Credit Karma include a high-yield savings account (although it is not tied to a checking account), free tax return filing, and financial resources and services. And it is truly 100% free!

Credit Sesame

With Credit Sesame's free credit score monitoring platform, you can receive access to your VantageScore but it only provides credit information connected to TransUnion in its free service. For $9.95 per month and up you can have access to all three credit bureaus.
Other features include free and fee-free checking accounts, 15% cashback on purchases through its accounts, and cash rewards when you improve your credit score.

Bottom line

If you want access to your Experian credit scores, the free Experian CreditWorks account is a great way to obtain this information. I recommend using it in partnership with a platform that also reports your VantageScore data.
I’d also recommend the IdentityWorks Premium plan for robust fraud insurance and identity theft protection, with additional credit monitoring services. The paid Experian CreditWorks account, however, is a bit too steep for my monthly budget, and I wouldn’t recommend this to users looking to trim expenses and get their credit on track — there are free tools you can utilize instead.
  • Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.
** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.  Review the Summary of Benefits.

See How Much Experian Boost™ Can Raise Your Credit Scores Instantly

  • Experian® is one of the three credit bureaus providing your credit scores
  • Experian Boost is a free feature that can help you increase your credit scores for making on-time payments for your phone, utility, or streaming service bills for 100% free and in minutes
  • Average users who received a boost improved their FICO® Score 8 based on Experian Data by 13 points. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders use credit information impacted by Experian Boost™.
  • Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether.
Share this article
RECOMMENDED POSTS
Best Credit Monitoring Services - Keep Your Credit Safe
September 14, 2021
Best Credit Monitoring Services - Keep Your Credit Safe
How to Establish Credit When You Don’t Have Any
August 23, 2021
How to Establish Credit When You Don’t Have Any
Understanding Your Credit Report
August 04, 2021
Understanding Your Credit Report
What to Do When There Is An Error On Your Credit Report
August 01, 2021
What to Do When There Is An Error On Your Credit Report
Start Making Money Moves