Credit Monitoring Services 101

Credit monitoring systems allows a number of benefits to its customers including protection against identity theft, and regular updates of credit reports.

There are a large number of scams and frauds that are constantly striving to get hold of personal data in order to benefit at someone else’s expense. There are large numbers of people nowadays, who have become victim of some kind of fraud, without even knowing about it.

The most worrying part is people assume that by being careful and cautious, they can avoid any type of fraud or scam. But, they are oblivious to the fact that there are many ways to get scammed, and it is not a matter of their caution, but time before they become victims of a fraudulent activity.

This is exactly why you need to realize the benefits and effectiveness of a credit report monitoring system. This is the right solution for all type of frauds, known or unknown to you. By using such service, you are given the ability to keep a close check on your credit standings and become aware of any access, whether authorize or not.

A monitoring system notifies individual whenever someone accesses their credit file or seek to make changes. This helps in avoiding any kind of fraud before its damaging affects takes place. However, the task of finding the right solution is not easy, and requires careful consideration of all possibilities in terms of their services, features and ability to meet you requirements and budget.

It is essential that you evaluate each option before taking any decision. You should evaluate the ability to use fraud alerts on credit reports and should have the option of putting a credit freeze on accounts, in case of any unauthorized access. The monitoring service should also be able to assist during recovering money lost to frauds.

Essential services that are a must for any monitoring plan include being able to access your credit record and report, protection against identity theft and other services such as obtaining a complete picture of what is happening with your credit standings. This will really help you in safeguarding your sensitive data against unauthorized access. It is wise to use such services, or otherwise you may end up find yourself burden by debt or loans that you did not obtain.

Some people are of the view that all the credit monitoring service plans are scams, and are not useful at all. Well, this is not true, as there are many useful monitoring systems out there that can be successfully used to protect your credit and identity.

Every year, millions of people have their personal information compromised from data breach or identity theft in the United States.  Chances are, you have been or will soon be a victim of identity theft

Quick Facts

  • Identity theft hits 1 in 4 US households
  • Over 79 million identities were lost in the past 12 months
  • Over 3 million social security numbers are illegally traded online
  • Identity theft costs people an estimated $6.4 billion/year

Five Ways on How A Credit Monitoring Service Helps Rebuild Your Credit

One of the most effective ways to repair your post-bankruptcy credit is to get new credit. But, as you get that new credit you need an efficient way to monitor the effect it is having on your credit report. To do that, you should use a trusted credit monitoring service. While you can do the monitoring yourself, these services are helpful for a number of reasons.

1. Monitoring services monitor any inquiry made on your credit report and give you the reason for the inquiry.

By getting regular reports of the queries on your credit report and the reasons for those queries you can easily discover any unauthorized activities being done under your name.

2. They notify you when any new credit accounts are opened in your name.

Obviously, you’ll know about the accounts you open. But, one of the ways identity thieves use your private information is to open up new credit accounts in your name. Then, they max out those accounts and leave you with the bill. Monitoring protects you from the damages of identity theft because you’ll know immediately if a new credit account has been opened in your name.

3. They also monitor any changes to your mailing address on your credit accounts.

Another tactic of identity thieves is to change your mailing address for your credit cards. They do this so that your credit card statements are sent to them. When they get those statements, they steal your account information and use it to run up charges on your account. If this ever happens to you, it could take you months to sort out the problem and figure out exactly what happened. You’ll get an immediate notification when there are unauthorized changes of address on any of your credit accounts.

4. Monitoring services monitor credit limit changes on your credit cards.

Identity thieves like to request increases on your credit card limits. This allows them to run up even more debt for you. A good service alerts you to such changes as soon as they happen.

5. You receive quick, convenient access to your credit report.

The ability to access your account information online is a big time saver. And, you can opt to have the credit bureaus email you any alerts on your credit report account. Those alerts are delivered as soon as a change is detected in your account. This makes it easier for you to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Online access to your credit report also makes it much easier for you to correct any inaccurate information on your account very quickly and easily.

Monitoring has many benefits for you as you recover from bankruptcy and start the process of rebuilding your credit.

Comparing Services

In a world populated with many devious individuals, monitoring your credit with a paid service gives you another layer of protection against identity theft and fraud. It involves having your credit report monitored for fraudulent activity, which is done through a credit-monitoring service.

Often identity theft is committed by skilled computer hackers who access your financial information without leaving a clue behind. By the time you realize something is amiss, the criminals are long gone, and you are left with a financial nightmare, including ruined credit. Active monitoring allows you to thwart identity theft early when criminals are most likely to be apprehended and damage to your credit is contained.

Identity Theft Is Only Getting Worse

According to the Federal Trade Commission, over 10 million consumers are victimized by some form of identity theft each year. Besides being one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States and Canada, it is an ever-evolving threat to consumers as cyber criminals constantly refine their skills. To prevent identity theft from happening, growing numbers of consumers are turning to credit-monitoring agencies to oversee their credit report.

How Does Credit Monitoring Work?

Monitoring your credit can either be done by the consumer or through a credit-monitoring service. For the latter, a monthly fee is paid to have your credit report monitored daily or weekly. With the service, any changes to your credit report are automatically sent to you by email, alerting you at the earliest possible time. Someone may be trying to open an account under your name, or may be using your social security number, or may be making purchases on your credit cards, etc.Three-bureau credit monitoring offers the highest level of protection and security, since all three major credit reporting bureaus (CRAs) are monitored. Although it is the more costly choice, it ensures that you are informed of all changes made at each bureau.

If you do your own monitoring, you must keep abreast of the changes made on your own credit report by ordering your credit report frequently, and from all three CRAs. Although not a fool-proof protection against criminal activity, a trusted monitoring plan is the best available defense against identity theft and fraud.

Other Points to Consider

Credit monitoring offers other benefits besides added security to your accounts. It’s also a good way to monitor credit expenditures since it can provide you with pertinent information on your spending habits throughout the year. In addition, it can point out errors on your credit report, which then can be promptly and properly amended. Accounts which are no longer used can be permanently closed, reducing the amount of financial information available on your finances in cyberspace.

No amount of monitoring can guarantee complete protection against fraud, consumers are advised to take the following steps to further reduce the possibility of identity theft:

  • Shred personal and financial information papers before discarding
  • Delete unsolicited emails before opening them up
  • Use strong passwords that avoid the obvious, such as birth dates or numbers in sequence (many sites now let you know the strength of your password, make sure it rates strong or excellent).

Suggested Identity Theft & Credit Protection Resources

More About Monitoring Your Credit Reports & Identity Theft On YouTube

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