How credit monitoring services work
One of the most important parts of credit monitoring services is identity theft protection. These services monitor your credit scores regularly and say that they can quickly detect any issues and minimize any damages created by mistakes or fraudulent activity on your credit cards or bank accounts.
As an example of this, the Experian Credit Tracker™ checks your three credit reports every day and then notifies you if it detects significant changes. This service also provides unlimited access to your credit report and credit score and your credit risk level. This service costs $14.95 a month.
How credit-monitoring services can help
The credit monitoring companies such as Freecreditreport.com say that credit monitoring is important in today’s complicated financial world. The company says that because your credit history and credit score are so important. it just makes sense to monitor your credit continually to make sure you don’t fall victim to fraud or find yourself unable to get new credit because of mistakes that were made on your credit report. In short, credit-monitoring services will say they can provide an overall peace of mind, as you will know your credit record is protected.
The critics of credit monitoring services
Before you sign up for any of the credit monitoring services, you need to ask yourself if it’s really worth $15 or so a month. The critics of these services point out that if there is any suspicious activity on any of your credit card accounts, the company will notify you. As an example of this, I put a $400 charge on my MasterCard® last week, which is well above my normal transactions, and MasterCard immediately contacted me to ensure the charge was legitimate.
As a standalone product
Second, if your biggest worry is identity theft, you can buy this service as a standalone product.
The insurance you get with credit monitoring services promises to reimburse you if you are the victim of identity theft. But in most cases, the only money you will be reimbursed will be for the costs associated with cleaning up the damages that were done to your accounts. In other words, there is no identity theft policy that promises to reimburse you for the amount of money that was stolen from your charge card or bank account.
Finally, each of the credit monitoring services charges differently. Some will start you at a relatively low rate but then attempt to sell you more services for even more money. This means if you’re not careful, you can get caught in this trap and end up spending even more money then you had anticipated.