When considering credit monitoring services, there are a lot of companies to choose from. These can be very useful if you need to keep track of your credit reports and score. You should understand the difference between services that just monitor your credit and those that do more. Here is a quick overview of what to look for when choosing the right company.
Credit monitoring services actually do what the name implies – monitor your credit reports. They inform you of changes in your credit reports, usually through email, phone or text. The exact action reported by your credit monitoring services varies by company, but typically it will include the following: freeze accounts, re-age accounts, close accounts. Some companies even report activity to the three credit bureaus.
The biggest advantage of credit-monitoring services is you can stay informed about changes in your score without having to manually check it yourself. You will only know when it affects your score, and you can then take action to remedy the situation. If you don’t manually check your score, you won’t know if there is activity on your account that would affect your score.
Another advantage of credit-monitoring services is you can notify the bureaus of any new applications for loans, credit cards and other new accounts you receive. This will help you avoid opening up new accounts in areas you don’t qualify for. For example, if you apply for a mortgage, but the lender offers you a credit card with a 30-day grace period, you don’t want to open it right away. Notifying them of your new account the same day you open it will prevent you from being charged fees.
Credit monitoring services also help you spot fraud. Most people don’t check their credit reports each year for errors. This is one of the reasons why identity theft and fraud are so prevalent. There have been many cases of identity theft and fraud where someone has used your information to obtain loans, mortgages and other things they shouldn’t have been able to. By checking your credit reports annually, you will be able to see whether there is information on there that shouldn’t be and help you act quickly when you see something that should be removed. By notifying the three credit bureaus you can spot potential fraud, which will help you stop it before it gets too out of hand.
Some may think that credit monitoring services cost money, but in many cases they are free. You typically just need to download and install the software onto your computer, which will keep track of all your financial activities. There are no monthly fees, and there is no service charge. You don’t even need to print reports, since you can access them online whenever you want. It is an ideal solution for identity theft protection, whether you are a business owner or a homeowner.
When looking for the best credit monitoring services, there are a few things to consider. The monitoring service should be able to send notifications via email and/or text message in the event of a problem. Some of these programs only notify you through the use of phone calls, which can be unreliable if the company you are dealing with isn’t reliable. Also, the monitoring service needs to provide you with the ability to access your reports online, which will be very important if you have to make changes to your credit reports.