Saturday, March 14, 2015

What Can Credit Monitoring Accomplish?

Many people do not understand the difference between a yearly credit report and credit monitoring. Though these two both detail financial transactions over a period of time, the two are different in terms of the information that they provide as well as the time frames that they cover. Both can be extremely useful, but credit monitoring services are able to help protect individuals from the threat of identity theft in a way that a yearly credit report could never hope to.

Credit Monitoring as a Useful Resource

When it comes to keeping an eye on personal account information, credit monitoring is as useful a tool as any. This type of service monitors your credit file activity every day, looking for certain types of activity - activity that could indicate identity theft. When detected, they send you a prompt alert so you can verify the change or take action should you suspect identity theft. In addition, you receive quarterly updates of your credit report and score, so you can check the overall accuracy of the information and know if your credit score is on track. The services provide a wealth of information, along with recovery services if you do become a victim. An annual credit report cannot provide this level of detail, nor does it provide any kind of regular monitoring; these yearly reports simply list the results of many months worth of transactions, giving people a general idea of what transpired throughout the year.

Using Credit Monitoring as a Babysitter

What does this all mean for you, the consumer? If, for example, someone uses your personal information to apply for a new credit card, the creditor will check with one, two or all three credit bureaus for your credit history. This is called an inquiry. When one is detected, you receive an alert notifying you someone - maybe you; maybe not -  has applied for your credit. If it was you, all is well. But if you didn't apply for that credit card, you'll want to spring into action. Implementing some type of credit monitoring software or service can thwart attempts at thievery before they get out of hand.

Giving the Consumer Peace of Mind

This type of service will help those using it feel more confident about the safety and security of their livelihoods. People work very hard for their money, so knowing that others do not have access to it readily can be quite comforting. Despite the inability of products like a credit monitor to stop identity theft before it starts, these services are quite accomplished at alerting users to potentially occurring theft in order to enable them to put a stop to it - and get control over their accounts back.

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