Credit monitoring is a relatively new service that allows you to get the same view of your credit scores that lenders and financial agencies get. It is a paid service that is activated on subscription and remains active as long as you pay the monthly fee. The credit monitoring service keeps you updated with any modifications that are made to your credit report, including any changes to your credit or personal information. The credit monitoring service sends an alert to your Internet-based account regularly along with an email in order to let you know about the specifics of each change.
Why You Should Use A Credit Monitoring Service
Credit report monitoring is an essential part of your personal identity security and fraud detection strategy. Though this service cannot stop identity theft, it can at least update you as to changes to your credit report, and as a result, could save you from suffering substantial monetary losses.
The basic need for a credit monitoring service is to protect your credit record, as a negative item could be placed on your credit report without you knowing, and thus negatively impact your credit score. What most consumers don’t know about identity or credit card fraud is that neither your social security number or any of your personal details are required in order to perpetrate such fraud; it generally depends on where and how your credit card information is being used. A credit reporting service can even inform you the exact moment when any negative entry is made on your credit report.
Signing up for a credit monitoring service is both convenient and essential, as you need to actively protect your identity and your credit information. It is especially important in this day and age, with incidences of identity theft and credit card fraud rising on a daily basis.
What Does A Credit Monitoring Service Track?
Credit monitoring services generally vary in levels of service, but most track the following:
a) Queries To Your Credit File: It monitors people who are inquiring about your credit history and therefore detects any illegal activity that may be taking place regarding your credit.
b) Fake Emergence Of New Accounts: The service monitors any new accounts that have been opened in your name and report it to you. If you have not opened the account, you can contact the merchant in question and let them know of the fraud.
c) Change Of Address: Identity theft can take place when thieves change your address to theirs, using the name of the victim (you) while applying for new credit. If you really didn’t change your address, you would then be aware that someone else is trying to impersonate you.
d) Collection Accounts: Many times, people find out about that their identity has been stolen only when they are turned down for credit. A credit monitoring service would let you know of any possible collection accounts, enabling you detect problems with your credit before you go to a lender.
e) Change In Account Information: Credit monitoring services make you aware of any changes made to your credit accounts that might include a rising debt load or opening of new accounts.
f) Increase In Credit Limit: More often than not, fraudsters raise the credit limit of your account – having a credit monitoring service lets you know about this the moment it happens.
g) Change In Public Record: You will be promptly informed of any changes that are made to your public record such as judgments, bankruptcies and the like.
h) Closing Of Accounts: You would be made aware of any recent closing of accounts.
Having a credit monitoring service enables you to protect your credit accounts and reports from being used illegally by someone else, possibly causing your financial life to be completely ruined. Because of the increase in the “creativity factor” related to identity theft (as new detection methods arise to prevent fraud, the criminals also invent new ways to outsmart the system), the benefits of having a credit monitoring service greatly outweighs the cost.