Credit Monitoring Services
What are Credit Monitoring Services? What to look for?
One of the options in the fight against Identity theft is a proactive subscription to one of the Monitoring Services. Each service is slightly different and not all benefits are the same. Let’s look at some of the key things to look for in choosing a credit monitoring service.
Do Monitoring Services prevent Identity Theft?
Truthfully, the only way monitoring services can help you is after something has happened to your credit and something has been placed on your credit report. So the act has already occurred and what credit monitoring is doing is telling you real time it has happened. It is not preventing it but advising you of the activity.
The cost of these services will vary. The range is as low as $4.95 a month up to $180 for a full year subscription depending on what type of service you desire and who the provider of the service is. Ultimately you have to decide is the price worth the cost?
Monitoring Services – Security and Peace of Mind?
As I said earlier signing up for this service does not completely protect you. The credit monitoring agency is just going to alert you as to any changes in your credit report, such as a credit card being opened in your name. There is value in that. Consumer Reports who has done a review of these plans has said that one of the issues is the credit bureaus don’t routinely link accounts together with same social security number and different names.
Are Monitoring Services worth the money?
Good question, it’s a matter of personal choice. In some situations you may want to know if something has happened on your account so that you can take action. However, there may be less expensive alternatives like “freezing your credit report” or asking the credit agencies to alert you with a fraud alert.
This may make sense if you’re in the process of repairing your credit and your having to order a credit score each month, a credit monitoring service may make more sense and me a more inexpensive alternative.
What about Free Trials?
Yes, you can get a free trial from many of the credit monitoring agencies and it may make sense to try it out. However, they give this with the idea that most people who sign up will forget and continue the service. In all cases the only way you start the trial service is with your credit card and they will charge after the trial period unless you give them notice you are cancelling.
Return to the top - Credit Monitoring Services
Back to Protection Against Identity Theft
Back to the Home Page