Understanding Credit Monitoring Services

What is a credit monitoring service, anyway?

Credit monitoring is a service offered by the main credit bureaus and other organizations.  For a monthly fee, the companies will alert you by phone, text or email to changes or suspected fraud.  In addition, most services give you unlimited access to your reports and offer free credit management education.

Why should I use a Credit Monitoring service?  I can check my own credit report.

Let’s say you check your credit report the recommended every 2 months.  On January 1, you pull your report and everything looks fine.   On January 2nd, you are the victim of identity theft and fraudulent activity begins.  Fast forward to March 1st - with 2 months of time to open credit cards in your name, a thief could rack up a lot of debt.  Guess who’d be responsible for paying the bills or risk taking a hit to their credit score?  You – until you can prove to them that you were a victim.

Am I at risk of identity theft?

Identity theft is a damaging, ongoing threat for anyone who makes purchases online, uses online banking or makes in store purchases with credit cards.  Even secure websites can be compromised and your information can quickly end up in the wrong hands.  A quality monitoring plan will let you move forward using credit cards with peace of mind - knowing that in the event your information is part of a hacking scheme or data breach, you would be alerted almost immediately.  Credit monitoring allows you to be proactive and gives you the power to stop the fraud quickly.

Is my credit score negatively affected by things other than identity theft?

Sometimes suspicious information on people's credit reports is not the result of a scammer or identity thief, but the result of an error. Errors cause all the same negative effects as identity thieves, only without a malicious person to blame. With credit monitoring services, people can respond to misinformation on their credit report quickly, before they feel the negative effects

Where can I find more information about the different Credit Monitoring services available?  

More information including trial period specials, price and ratings can be found here