The Pros and Cons of Credit Monitoring Services

We have all seen the advertisements for credit monitoring services, promising to alert you whenever activity occurs on your credit report that within hours that consists of new inquiries, late payments, new accounts, accounts opened in another name, address change, new employer, bankruptcy posted to the file, and public records. But is it really worth the $100 to $150.00 per year that these services charge the consumer? Is it really worth it in regards to what the companies promise to do? This is really a matter of personal choice when deciding if you should sign up with one of the services or not.

What you should know, is it is impossible for a company to monitor each one of their customers credit file hour by hour and day by day. Many creditors do not report these accounts right away which means you will not be notified in hours of the activity taking place. These services can not detect all fraudulent activity since there are a number of things that can take place with your credit and your information compromised that the credit bureaus are not alerted about. If someone finds out your social security number and then uses it with someone else’s name, you will know about this for quite some time. If someone who is committing fraud with your information opens an account that does not require a credit check, you will not know about this right away either.

Identity theft monitoring might make more sense when it comes to monitoring your credit file. You can also do most of the monitoring yourself without paying a fee. Being that you are entitled to so many free copies of your credit report from all three credit reporting bureaus a year, why not check your file yourself. Using some everyday common sense to protect your credit can also be very helpful. Whether you have the service from on of the companies or not, this is something you should always practice. Many of these services trick the consumer into thinking their complete credit file is being monitored when it is really only one of the three credit bureaus that the company keeps an eye on.

There are three major credit bureaus, Experien, Equifax, and Transunion. When signing up for one of these services make sure they are watching all three of these instead of just one. Many consumers have complained how difficult it was to cancel the monthly service. Many find they are still being charged the monthly fee long after they canceled the service. Trying to get that money refunded to you can prove difficult. Many consumers have complained they were unaware they had signed up for a credit monitoring service and find they did so unknowingly when receiving one of those offers stating they had earned money or points by using their credit card. When signing the check for these earned credits, is when they unknowingly signed up for the monitoring service. I don’t know about you but any time a company needs to sneaky is a red light for me.