Credit monitoring services are increased in popularity with the advancement of the internet, online shopping and the alarming rates of credit fraud, identity theft & data breaches. These services provide members with early alerting of any changes in their credit reports as well as alerts if unauthorized loans or credit cards are opened in the account holders name. They also serve as excellent tools to keep track of your credit report & scores as you try to improve your credit rating or correct errors found on your reports The quality, options and pricing vary with each monitoring service, but we’ve compiled ten of the major credit monitoring services available today. Many offer free trials for you to test the monitoring service before you commit to a monthly plan. Pricing ranges from free to $29.00 / month depending on the level of monitoring you want to have.
What is a Credit Monitoring Service?
Most consumers now are very much conscious of the value of keeping an excellent credit history. The data reported on your personal credit history may ascertain whether you’re accepted for credit and whether or not you receive a low interest rate.
So what do you do if the information appearing in your credit report is erroneous? Before you can do anything, you need to be aware that you have a problem in the first place. If you don’t check your credit score/report regularly, it could be months before you even know that you have been the subject of identity theft or fraud. This is where a solid credit monitoring service can help.
In today’s hectic world, most people are willing to pay someone else to provide a service they are unable to do themselves. Monitoring your credit independently is certainly an option, but for a small monthly fee you can be part of a comprehensive credit monitoring service that will do the tedious work for you and alert you if there are any issues with your credit report, such as fraud, identity theft, unauthorized accounts etc.
How Does a Credit Monitoring Plan Work?
Each credit-monitoring service is distinct, nevertheless the methodology stays the same over the business. Most monitoring agencies will notify you if they spot inconsistencies within your credit activity and review the data that’s reported to all 3 credit bureaus. Because dubious activity may signify fraud or identity theft, the credit-monitoring service notifies you within 24-hours (or earlier) to help reduce the problems caused when your private information falls into hands of an identity thief.
Is Credit-Monitoring Worth the Price?
There are basically two schools of thought concerning the cost-effectiveness of most credit monitoring plans. Many consider the price to be too much for something that many people could execute themselves. Credit card companies have dedicated services in place to help decrease fraud and there are several other safeguards which can be in place to cut your chance of id theft.
Customers can decide to take more hands on approach in reviewing their credit history and other action noted in monthly credit statements. This will definitely save you money, however, if your credit-monitoring service detects action may have otherwise gone undetected, the service has more than paid for itself by saving the customer hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars, plus the hassles and headaches caused by a case of identity theft. It’s important to remember that it could take years for a victim of identity theft to recuperate both emotionally and fiscally. Weigh all of these options when considering if a credit monitoring service plan is right for your situation.
****Service Guarantee benefits for State of Washington members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy issued by United Specialty Insurance Company. Benefits for all other members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. Under the Service Guarantee LifeLock will spend up to $1 million to hire experts to help your recovery. Please see the policy for terms, conditions and exclusions at LifeLock.com/legal.