Selecting Credit Report Monitoring Services
Choosing Credit Monitoring Services
Selecting the right credit report monitoring service is a critical part of any credit protection plan. Monitoring your credit regularly at all three major credit bureaus can help you minimize credit and identity theft worries and gain the peace of mind you deserve. And isn't that one of the biggest reasons to take control of your credit in the first place?
What do credit report monitoring services do, exactly?
Credit report monitoring services provide protection for your credit report and your overall credit health. In fact, it might be a good idea to think of a credit monitoring service as a type of ongoing credit wellness exam. The credit monitoring service you choose is an early detection online warning system for your credit — alerting you when changes occur in your personal information, accounts, payment histories and a variety of other credit report information.
Why do I need an early warning system? Can't I just do my own credit checks?
Of course, you're ultimately responsible for your credit report and your overall credit history. After all, credit monitoring services don't actually fix credit report mistakes for you. These services just alert you to any changes that may occur; the responsibility to investigate and follow up on any credit status changes rests solely with you.
And remember this: Lenders, banks and mortgage companies only know you from the information that's included in your credit report. It might not seem fair, but you are what your credit report says you are.
What specific features should I look for from a credit monitoring service?
A reliable credit monitoring service should supply you with the extra credit safeguards and reassurances you need. Make sure you choose a credit monitoring service that offers you a solid combination of the following:
Reliability and Convenience – A reliable credit service will let you know that something has changed on your credit report — no matter what that change is. Understanding your credit report and the information it contains will help you better understand why you need credit monitoring.
Speed and Efficiency – When you're alerted immediately to changes in your credit, you can take action to check your credit quickly and efficiently — and proceed with a credit freeze if necessary. Time is critical when it comes to your credit, and even more so when it comes to identity theft.
Trouble-Shooting and Peace of Mind – If fraudulent activity does occur, credit monitoring protection can help you save money, time and headaches.
How does credit report monitoring help guard against identity theft?
If someone else applies for credit using your identity, credit monitoring protection will automatically alert you that there's been a change in your credit report. If such fraudulent activity has occurred, the credit report monitoring feature can help you investigate immediately. Since lenders, banks and mortgage companies will judge your overall credit worthiness based primarily on the information included in your credit report, don't risk additional problems. Identity thieves don't care about who you are. To them, your personal information is like a winning lottery ticket. Don't take unnecessary chances.
Put your trust in your credit monitoring service, and allow both credit report and identity theft monitoring features to help keep your overall credit in good standing — while you also preserve your good name and financial future in the bargain.