If you were a victim of identity theft, would you rather find out by being turned down for a job or a loan that you really needed, or by a text message alerting you to the theft as soon as it happens so that you can take action immediately? The obvious correct answer is the latter, and it is easier to do than you may think. Credit monitoring services can keep an eye on your credit report for you and alert you to new accounts or other suspicious information. Here is what to look for when shopping for services monitoring credit.
The best services monitoring credit will monitor your credit report from all three credit bureaus, and do so at least monthly. Your score can vary from each bureau, and a fraudulent account may have only been reported to one. The more often they check all three bureaus, the sooner you will discover and can take action to dispute identity theft.
Services monitoring credit should also monitor the internet to identify if your information is being traded illegally, and your public records to alert you to any suspicious information and remove outdated information.
Choose services monitoring credit that allow you to choose to receive your alerts by phone, text or email so you can be sure to receive them as soon as possible.
Services monitoring credit will not only alert you to suspicious activity, but they can help guide you through getting the incorrect information removed from your credit history. This can be a complicated, multi-step process, so having an expert in your corner is a huge advantage.
Services monitoring credit often offer additional service too, such as:
- Lost wallet protection. Cancels your credit cards for you if they are lost or stolen and notifies creditors to be on guard for suspicious activity.
- Mail list removal. Contacts marketing mailing lists to request that your contact information no longer be used.
- Computer security. Software such as anti-virus and password managers to help protect your computer.