Is Credit Monitoring Worth it
Identity theft is a very complicated problem and one that leaves people quite powerless. Who knows the number of doctors’ offices, government entities, credit card companies etc. that have very sensitive information, such as addresses, Social Security numbers and other such personal information. You cannot simply trust each person who has access to your records that contain sensitive information, and in fact it can be all too easy for criminals to gain access to such information. This is where credit monitoring can come into play. It is a seemingly clean solution to the issue of stolen information. For anywhere from $10 to 15 each month, you can have banks, credit bureaus and other such financial service companies keep an eye out for fraudulent activity occurring to your personal information.
What Do They Offer
Most credit monitoring services will check all of your credit reports on a daily basis in order to see if anything changes, and if it does will notify you via text or email. Most will also offer a guarantee for identity theft reimbursement as well as access to a resolution specialist in the case that your identity is stolen. On top of this, many credit monitoring services will score the Internet for the unauthorized use of your information such as your Social Security number as well as your credit and debit cards.
Pros of Credit Monitoring
One of the most important pros of credit monitoring is that it will help prevent your identity from being stolen. By looking over your credit reports, you can tell if there is someone who is attempting to gain access to your credit reports. If you find any of your accounts that are open, which you had nothing to do with then you will know that there was someone who was trying to gain access to them. Another reason to use credit monitoring is that it will help you know whether the actions you take are helping or hurting your credit score.
Cons of Credit Monitoring
When you are actively monitoring your credit, one of the biggest cons of the entire process is that it is quite costly. You are usually given one free credit score report from each of the major credit bureaus each year, however you will have to pay for the extra credit reports after that. This can be extremely expensive if you access your credit a lot. Another disadvantage of credit monitoring is that you may end up over-analyzing everything that is reported on your credit report. This may lead you to spend way too much time making little changes that won’t actually do much good.
Is it Right for You
Many consumer advocates, which include the Consumer Reports, claim that credit-monitoring services are not worth your money as they are extremely expensive for the services you receive. However, if you are concerned with your financial safety then they may be worth the time and money it takes in order to protect your information.