Our series on identity theft protection apps will evaluate the features, pricing options, competition, and also the overall value of using each app. However, these are not full hands-on reviews since evaluating identity theft protection apps is almost impossible. It would require several months of testing, purposefully hacking accounts to see if the protection app works, handing over personally identifiable information, performing multiple credit checks, and risking exposure of the reviewer’s personally identifiable information.
Most of us lead pretty normal lives. That’s not meant to be a ding or a complaint, but we tend to do our jobs, raise our families, and spend leisure time when we can. Few of us expect to win a million dollars in a lottery and when we go on vacation it might be to the beach for a few days. It’s not a bad thing – average means no surprises, no drama, and no major hardships.
If you’re the victim of identity theft, it’s anything but predictable and normal. It can throw your entire life into disarray – not being able to access a bank account is one of the surreal experiences that can put you on edge. If a hacker starts using your credit card, you have to go on the offensive and try to restore your good name. That’s why identity theft protection apps are so helpful – they can provide the tools you need when life goes haywire.
Unfortunately, Credit Squad is a fairly typical and average Identity Theft app. It provides predictable services like credit morning and a credit score, and you could argue it’s a good option to help in a crisis. The problem is that, if your identity has been stolen, you want more than an average product. It’s a tumultuous time and there is a lot of stress involved. What you really need is a powerful app and supportive representatives to call and guide you through the repair process. A host of services provide all of that, including Norton LifeLock and IdentityForce, at roughly the same price. Credit Squad ends up losing all appeal because it’s a little too average.
Plans and pricing
Even if Credit Squad is average and offers a typical list of features, the price is not exactly unique. There are three main pricing plans and the easiest way to describe them is that there is one for $14.99, one for $19.99, and one for $24.99 but the only difference is that the lowest Standard plan doesn’t include theft insurance and is really only for credit monitoring.
The poorly named Complete plan includes most features, $1 million in identity theft insurance, and only a credit report from one agency – it’s not quite complete. The Elite plan includes all options and reporting from three agencies. Credit Squad also offers family plans – for $5 more depending on the pricing plan you select, covering your kids in the same household.
The biggest red flag with Credit Squad is that, even when you scour the entire website and do a Google image search looking for screenshots, you won’t find anything. There are no reviews of the app and no smartphone versions. The app seems like an enigma from the very start. A deeper search reveals an average app that looks like every other option around.
There’s nothing in the feature list for this product that stands out. You’ll see all of the most common features related to credit reporting, a credit score, lost wallet assistance, and alerts about sex offenders moving into your area. The credit reporting and credit scores are common with all of the identity theft protection apps. Credit Squad doesn’t specifically state there are agents available to assist you with identity theft recovery.
Unfortunately, the app has a penchant for explaining things in a way that is heavy on SEO keywords and short on actual details. A description of the Full Service ID Restoration says it “reduces the time and effort a consumer endures in the event that his or her identity is stolen, and goes beyond traditional credit report restoration by offering robust case knowledge in non-credit restoration.”
Even if you read that a few times, you won’t know if that means there is a power-of-attorney privilege involved, if we’re talking about licensed investigators or a hotline, or if this feature is more about using the app. The term “robust case knowledge” can mean almost anything (or nothing).
Credit Squad starts to look like a weak product the more you inspect the website and the pricing strategy. For about the same price as Norton LifeLock, the app doesn’t offer any of the status updates in the app or the wizards that help you learn about and resolve problems. If you’re looking for a robust portal of educational information you won’t find it here – no blog posts, no news alerts, nothing that even explains what the product actually does.
The last thing any of us need is to feel helpless and uneducated about an identity theft. While Credit Squad has the basic features you might need, the website is remarkably light on details including an explanation of what the features even do (using specifics). If the pricing was much lower it might be worth considering for basic identity theft protection. As it is, there isn’t enough here to warrant even a cursory look compared to the more robust competition.