Credit Monitoring Won’t Improve Your Score
Credit monitoring services won’t improve your credit score, which is calculated by a complex formula. Credit scores range from 300 to 850 and are based on information in your credit report. Credit reports provide information about where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you have filed for bankruptcy. A low credit score makes it harder to get loans and may make it more expensive when you do borrow money. If your score is low, improving it should be a top priority. Credit monitoring can help with that.
In addition to providing an alert if someone tries to open a new account in your name, these services can send alerts if you miss payments or need to take action because of an error on your credit report. They also can alert you if there’s unusual activity on one of your accounts or transactions that seem out of character for you.
Identity Theft Protection Is A Bonus
If your information is stolen, it can take time to fix your credit history, but if you’re a victim of identity theft, being able to monitor your credit report will be crucial. Credit monitoring services give you access to both—to ensure that criminals aren’t using your data to get a loan or open new accounts in your name. And because most services are free for people with good credit histories, there’s no reason not to sign up and stay on top of things. A free service may sound like a good deal, but some may charge high fees or even enroll you without your consent (this happens more often than you might think). For these reasons, look for a reputable company that provides clear information about its products and services. When considering which credit monitoring service to use, make sure they offer: 24/7 fraud detection: It doesn’t do much good if someone steals your identity while you’re sleeping!
It Helps Find Errors On Your Credit Report
If you’re applying for a loan, credit monitoring can help you find errors on your credit report that could disqualify you from getting approved. Some firms will alert you when an account is opened in your name or when there’s unusual activity on your accounts. Make sure to get free access to at least one credit report annually and be proactive about flagging any errors so they can be fixed before they appear on your file. A few months after filing your taxes, it’s also a good idea to check your report again since most tax filings aren’t updated until two months after you send them. This is particularly important if you live in a state with no income tax (like Florida) since creditors are more likely to look at where you live as opposed to where you work when deciding whether or not to grant you credit.
You Can Use It To Prevent Identity Theft
If your credit report gets stolen, it can take months to clean up—and even then you might not get everything straightened out. Using a service like Experian allows you to watch your reports and have any unauthorized activity flagged immediately. And it’s all thanks to something called a credit freeze. This doesn’t mean that no one will ever be able to see your credit file again, but it does mean they won’t be able to do anything with that information. That means they can’t open new accounts in your name or run up charges on existing ones. It also means that if someone tries to steal your identity, there isn’t much for them to work with since all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) are reporting that nothing has changed about your financial situation.
Using A Service Shows Lenders You Care About Your Financial Health
In today’s day and age, it’s all too easy to sign up for a service or subscribe to a program without really understanding what you’re getting into. Using a credit monitoring service shows that you are serious about your financial health and can help prevent someone else from gaining access to your sensitive information. It also provides peace of mind, which is priceless!
If you’ve been worried about identity theft but aren’t sure how to protect yourself, signing up for a service is an excellent first step. And if there is any fraudulent activity on your account in the future? You will be notified immediately so you can act fast. This could be particularly important if any changes were made on accounts like mortgage payments or utilities, as these could have more drastic consequences than fraud on your credit card.
It Comes With Other Perks
Get your credit score for free. One perk of many credit monitoring services is that they offer your three-digit FICO score, which can be a valuable tool when checking in on your finances. You can also use it to make sure everything’s looking good with potential business partners before you finalize any agreements—or keep tabs on whether anyone with access to your personal information has been misusing it.
The only downside?
Some reports are easier to read than others. But if you want more than just an online snapshot of your financial health, consider signing up for one of these nine free credit monitoring services. And even if you do already have an account, take some time to look over all your info and see how it compares to what you know about yourself.