Good credit is an important thing in life. You can’t apply for credit cards, loans, or a mortgage without it. Therefore, it is critical to know at all times the state of your credit report and to make sure there aren’t any errors on it. One of the ways people do this is through credit monitoring.
Why Do I Need Credit Monitoring
Credit monitoring is a manual or automated process of keeping tabs on any changes made to your credit report with either of the three big credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian). The purpose of credit monitoring is to avoid fraud due to identity theft.
With so many data breaches over the past decade (Capital One, Equifax, Home Depot, Discover, Experian, etc.), your information is most likely out there, and identity theft is a real concern. Credit monitoring is one way Americans protect their credit report and credit scores from identity thieves.
More than 43% of identity fraud cases were discovered through credit monitoring.
What are Credit Monitoring Services
There are a lot of options available when it comes to credit monitoring, and services offered will vary depending on who you sign up with. The basic idea of credit monitoring is that you are alerted within 24-hours if a change occurs on your credit report. Some of these changes could indicate fraud or identity theft. A sampling of the changes that you will be alerted about are:
if a new loan, credit card account, or other financial vehicle shows up on your credit report, you will receive an alert via text, email, phone, or mail, depending on the preference you chose.
whenever you or someone pretending to be you applies for credit, and the lender requests a copy of your credit report, this is called a hard inquiry, and you will be notified about those as well.
Changes to Your Existing Accounts
if the balance on one of your accounts goes over the credit limit, you will be notified. If you pay off a credit card and your credit score changes, you will also be notified of this. Any changes to existing accounts are flagged for notification.
Public Court Record Filings
If you file for bankruptcy, are slapped with a tax lien or civil court judgment, those will also show up on your credit report, and you will get a notification about those too.
Home Address Change
if the home address associated with one of your loans or credit cards changes, you will receive a notification. An address change could be associated with fraud.
How to Set Up Credit Monitoring with IDStrong
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report with all three of the credit reporting agencies each year. However, unless you stagger those requests, you will have to pay for additional copies throughout the year. You can certainly get copies and monitor your credit that way, but there is also another way that is more efficient and more useful.
Sign up for credit monitoring with a solid, trusted company like IDStrong and take the hassle off your plate. By letting them continuously monitor your credit, you’ll get up-to-date reports all the time. You won’t have to remember to order your new credit reports each year; you’ll have access to them all the time. As an added bonus, their team of experts will also help you repair your identity if you are a victim of identity theft or fraud. They will troll the dark web to search for your information and let you know if a data breach has resulted in your personal details ending up for sale.
Credit monitoring packages include a lot of valuable services that you would not be able to handle yourself. Credit monitoring makes sense to keep your identity safe. Some of the features of IDStrong.com’s service are:
- Fraud detection.
- Credit monitoring.
- Protection by a $1,000,000 insurance policy.
- Privacy protection tools.
- Lost Wallet Assistance.
- Public records monitoring.
- Social media record monitoring.
- Chat room monitoring.
- Dark web monitoring.
- Personal specialists to help you with identity theft.
How To Keep Your Identity and Credit Report Safe
These days you cannot be too careful when safeguarding your identity. Some other ways you keep your credit report and identity safe are:
- Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report if you have been a victim of identity theft in the past. A fraud alert tells creditors that they need to be extra careful verifying your identity when you apply for new loans.
- Request a credit freeze if you want to prevent anyone from opening new accounts in your name.
- Ask about a credit lock where you can instantly lock and unlock your credit report from a mobile app.
- Be watchful for phishing or other suspicious emails.
- Never click on links or download attachments inside an email.
- Do not share your personal information with anyone unless absolutely necessary.
- Keep all your devices updated with the latest software patches and antivirus software.
- Never share passwords and do not use them on multiple sites.
Use common sense and watch out for anything that sounds too good to be true; it probably is not true. Your identity is too important to take any chances.