August 19, 2015

Credit Monitoring

Major Protection Credit Monitoring Services Provide

It is estimated that more than 70 percent of all consumer credit reports now contain at least some type of error, and that last year alone, over 12 million people reported identity theft of some form or another.  Statistically speaking, the need for credit monitoring services has never been greater.  Considering the importance of having a good credit rating for purchases, employment, and insurance, why wouldn’t you explore credit monitoring?

Why Choose Credit Monitoring

Before credit-monitoring services were created, most consumers only found out that their credit account information was inaccurate or accounts had been breached when they applied for credit, and were turned down.  Sometimes their bank’s fraud department would catch suspicious activity on their account after large purchases were made.  Usually they were sitting at an auto dealership waiting for final approval before they drove off the lot.  Others found their dream home only to be turned down for a mortgage loan at the 11th hour. 

Before credit monitoring services were offered at a consumer level, most people didn’t have the information necessary to get protection for accounts or their good credit rating.  At the very best they were given credit bureau phone numbers to report issues after a problem with their credit occurred.  Now, consumers are encouraged to think about identity protection before ID theft can ever happen, http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports.

Credit Monitoring Scans For Specific Changes

Fortunately, with the advent of credit monitoring there are new ways to protect your good credit reputation.  Credit monitoring services examine your credit file every day, 365 days a year, and alert you immediately to any changes, such as a home address change, suspicious credit activity, or unusual patterns of spending behavior on your accounts. 

Identity thieves can only operate when consumers are unaware that their accounts have been compromised in some way.  Credit monitoring takes away that window of opportunity for thieves to steal your identity and purchase more merchandise and services with your personal information.

If public records have been added to your credit file, or if a new account has been opened using your specific identifying information, credit monitoring will trigger an alert notification sent to you.  Sometimes inaccurate information has simply been posted to your credit file.  This can damage your credit rating however.  Your credit file mixed with someone else’s can create problems for months and years to come.  Detecting unauthorized changes immediately is the key to preventing disastrous consequences in the future.

Credit Protection—It Really Works!

Without the protection of someone monitoring the daily changes on your credit file, you take a risk every time you apply for credit, employment, or insurance.  In fact, an identity is stolen every two minutes in the United States, and the average amount of time it takes to resolve a consumer identity issue is 25 hours.  Banks, credit unions, landlords, insurance companies, and many employers have access to your credit information.  They use your credit history to gauge risk on whether or not to lend money to you or hire you for employment. 

This is not the time however to find out that your credit has been damaged by identity thieves or inaccurate credit reporting.  Even if a consumer credit file that reflects good credit is crossed with yours, you can still have problems.  Lenders will look at your debt ratio-to-income numbers before approving an application for a loan or a credit card for you.  A mixed credit file could indicate you actually have too much credit if yours and someone else’s are combined.  Credit monitoring services help to catch errors like this before they can cause problems.

Credit report monitoring of the three credit bureaus lets you know immediately if derogatory information is reported to Equifax, Experian, or Transunion.  If someone opens a new account in your name using your personal identifying information, you will be notified immediately.  In this way, you can be confident that your accounts are secure and your personal information is not being used to finance someone else’s dream. 

Credit report agencies, lenders, and courts of law can all make mistakes and unintentionally report inaccurate and damaging information.  When this happens, it can take months to straighten out the credit mess inaccurate information has caused.  If you’re a likely candidate for employment or a new home, you don’t have months to waste.

Choosing The Best Credit Monitoring Service

Learning what to look for in a credit monitoring company is an important first step toward ensuring your credit accounts are accurate and your personal information is secure.  While many companies offer a variety of services and monitoring packages, there a few basic things that a good service will offer.

  • Monitoring of all three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.  It doesn’t do much good to pay for single service credit monitoring if your lender only reports information to the other two.
  • Round-the-clock monitoring, 365 days a year.  Thieves don’t take the day off and neither should your credit monitoring service.
  • Immediate alerts that indicate unusual changes in your credit profile and breaches of security in accounts.  If someone opens an account using your Social Security number, you’d better know about it immediately, or untangling the mess they make could take months or years.  While the majority of consumers are not generally held responsible for debt procured through false or fraudulent means by another, the time it takes to resolve these situations and the stress and inaccessibility to accounts can be taxing.
  • Monitoring of inactive credit accounts.  These are some of the most vulnerable credit accounts since thieves reason that consumers will be less likely to check monthly statements.  Most of us never think of “zero balance” credit card accounts that have gone dormant over time, but a good credit monitoring service should.
  • Monitoring sites that may contain personal consumer information such as public records, search engines, and directories.  These are treasure troves of information for people looking to make large purchases quickly using fake identification and credit cards.
  • Detecting inaccurate information added to your credit profile by mistake.  Many of us don’t discover these things until we apply for credit and are denied.  A credit profile that contains erroneous creditor information that an account was paid late will certainly affect the ability of the consumer to borrow money.

With five percent of consumer credit reports inaccurate enough to affect the ability to qualify for credit, why take the chance that one of them could be yours?  Only credit monitoring services can check your credit profile daily to ensure the information that represents you is accurate and without compromise.

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