Credit monitoring Services

According to the Federal Trade Commissions, almost 10 million Americans become victims of identity theft every year with a median cost of around $5,000 per victim. Two-thirds of these victims incurred no expenses though because they discovered the misuse of their private data.

Credit monitoring can help greatly in minimizing the incidence of identity theft and detect any hint of credit card fraud early on. Basically, the credit reporting service provider will notify you in case something unusual is going on with your credit; these monitoring reports arrive on a weekly or monthly basis in most instances.

There are various credit monitoring service providers that claim to provide protection to the consumers, but taking advantage of these services may not be for everyone.

Some people think twice before getting credit monitor services because of the additional expenses they will incur. It is also important to consider that not all credit monitoring companies are reputable, and these companies may try to take advantage of you.

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Meanwhile, some consumers think that signing up for credit monitoring can affect their credit score for the worse, because it will be reflected in the credit bureau reports. This is not true though, because each person has the right to know their credit report without it affecting their score in any way; in fact, there is a term for this - "consumer pull". Your report will only be affected when a creditor requests a copy because it implies that you are applying for new credit lines.

Take note that credit monitoring companies will need the most relevant information from you. Revealing a lot of personal information can make some people uncomfortable but this is a necessary process for the company to verify that you really are who you say you are.

There is an important aspect in credit monitoring you should take note of though. That is, you will only be notified of any unusual activity when it occurs on the same credit bureau that the company you hired is monitoring.

For example, if you sign up for a company that monitors your Equifax data, you will not receive a notification when a Porsche car dealer checks your data from Experian because of "your" loan application. You will only be notified once the car is bought in your name. In case you decide to avail of a credit monitoring service, try to choose a package that will monitor your data from the three credit bureaus so you will not risk getting bad credit.

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