Saturday, June 22, 2013, AM | 12 Comments
Credit monitoring is crucial, especially if you live with the paradigm that factor in credit. While some may be able to survive in a cash-only paradigm, most cannot live like that. Most people will actually want or need credit throughout their life. It is then crucial for anyone who has credit to know how credit monitoring helps you manage your credit.
You may be able to go about credit monitoring through these different ways:
Manually checking your credit accounts
One of the most important things that former ID thief Dan DeFilippi shared is how to properly keep your accounts safe from ID thieves: monitoring your credit manually and more importantly, daily.
It may sound a little obsessive, but it makes sense, because it will only take ONE fraudulent transaction for hundreds to thousands of dollars to be charged to your account, which in turn will require months and money to clear up.
Remember that the more transactions made on your account, the more you will have to clean up when you get down to cleaning up the ravages of a credit account tampered with through identity theft.
Subscribing to a credit monitoring service
Monitoring service offered by any of the credit bureaus, or other companies that provide credit monitoring. The good part about a credit monitoring service is that it actually frees you from the task of manically monitoring your accounts day by day. It will provide you with alerts if your accounts have been compromised, as well as if new accounts have been opened with your name.
Though nothing quite assures you that your accounts are still safe more than a manual check, especially done daily, a credit monitoring service will give you the protection you need when you can’t check your accounts yourself.
Credit reports are part of the services that are available, and your score is often included for those who opt for credit monitoring on a periodical, yearly basis. If you’re wondering “How will I be able to check my credit score without incurring an additional expense?” then this is your answer.
Since there are both credit monitoring services that will allow you to check your credit reports as part of the package, and other services that will aid you in identity theft prevention over and above the credit monitoring component, the question to ask, then, would be, “Is paid credit monitoring worth it?”
There are a few things, then to consider when subscribing to paid credit monitoring services:
- Do you want to have an aid to help prevent identity theft?
- Do you have a busy lifestyle?
- Do you travel, or plan to travel in the near future?
- Can you afford to pay an extra $15 a month for a credit monitoring service?
If you answered “yes” to these four points, then it might be wise to subscribe to such a service. Credit monitoring is made worth it when you consider the fact that it is a measure to help protect yourself against identity theft.
Remember that there is no surefire protection from identity theft just yet; rather, the only way that a credit card user will be able to help protect himself from ID theft is through credit monitoring.
Subscribing to a credit monitoring service gives a credit user an extra layer of protection in monitoring any and every credit activity on his account.
“I recently was at Best Buy and applied for a store credit card because they had an in-store promotion. When I got home, I already had an alert notifying me there was a credit inquiry. It’s comforting.” –Neal O’Farrell, executive director of the Identity Theft Council.
Such is the sense of security that a credit monitoring subscription can provide. More than just how credit monitoring can help you manage your credit; the service is a way for you to be able to keep yourself better protected from ID theft.
Here are the other benefits of using a credit monitoring service:
- It will keep your accounts monitored allowing you to spot illegal activity.
- It will allow you to monitor your own credit use, thereby helping you manage your spending habits.
- It will warn you about hard credit pulls that may cause your credit score to plummet to bad credit.
More than just helping you manage your accounts and warning you about transactions that may be indicators of identity theft, credit monitoring ultimately helps you keep your credit score from plummeting.
At the end of the day, the most important benefit of how credit monitoring helps you manage your credit is really in keeping your credit score healthy and in good standing.
Amy Johnson is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance related articles to encourage people to manage and protect their finances.