Credit cards can be used pretty much everywhere that you can purchase goods and services. Both online and in person shopping trips can be completed with credit and debit cards, making it important to keep track of your finances - and what your credit card statements look like. In order to build credit, you must first have credit... but that can be accomplished in may different ways, and must be carefully watched. Close credit monitoring after you've opened up a few accounts is imperative to not only staying on the right track financially, but also helping to prevent identity theft. Over the past few months, the phrases "identity theft" and "data breach" have been quite prominent on the evening news, making taking some extra precautions seem like a good idea.
What is Credit Monitoring
When deciding how to protect your identity, choosing a credit monitoring program or service is a good way to get detailed information about some of your most sensitive financial information. Rather than waiting on a yearly credit report to give you detailed information about your credit data, credit monitoring services report back on a much more frequent basis. In addition to receiving quarterly updates of your credit report and scores, many services monitor your credit files for certain activities, sending you a prompt alert when detected. This type of advanced warning and information makes it possible to catch identity theft in the early stages, which can help prevent prolonged exposure of your account and information, lessening the effects of someone stealing and using your information. Though these types of services cannot flat-out prevent ID theft, they are useful tools when it comes to helping stop it from going too far.
Why is it Helpful?
Not only will these types of monitoring services alert you to potential fraudulent activity, they also give you up to date information about your credit score, and inquiries made to lenders, creditors or those running credit checks - like in the case of apartment rentals or home loans. These updated numbers or informational reports give you the ability to ensure that everything looks as it should, and give you a chance to catch and fix any errors that may have been made against your credit. Although these scenarios are not extremely common, they do occur - which makes the phrase "better safe than sorry" ring true.
Who Uses These Programs?
These programs can be used by anyone from individuals to businesses; these services are meant to help anyone that wants an added level of protection for their finances. People that have been prior victims of identity theft or those that just want to keep a closer eye on things have found that credit monitoring services and other types of identity theft protection have helped to give them the peace of mind that they seek. It doesn't matter if you're extremely wealthy or just a college student that wants to make sure that things are going smoothly - credit monitoring services provide true comfort to those that are even the slightest bit concerned about financial security.