Capital One’s Credit Wise, a free credit tracking tool, will now alert you if and when someone uses your Social Security Number to apply for a new line of credit or open another financial account.
Anyone can use the service, which is available online and as a stand-alone app for iOS and Android, regardless of if you have an account with Capital One or not. It also tracks your credit reports from Experian and Transunion and will notify you if there are changes, and will alert you if your email address or SSN are found on the Dark Web.
Other companies offer similar services, but often at a price or to their members (for example, Discover offers free FICO scores to everyone but reserves SSN tracking for cardholders).
Credit Wise also offers steps to take to improve your score, and lets you know how you rank in various credit factors, like account history and credit utilization.
One hiccup: It’d be nice if Credit Wise’s app required a pin for access like some other financial apps, including Credit Karma’s and NerdWallet’s, which also track your scores and reports. But tracking a user’s SSN for free is a nice bonus.