How to Choose a Credit Monitoring Service
Which Credit Monitoring Tool Is Right for You
In choosing a credit monitoring service, it's important to think about how you want to use this tool. It can be used to cut down on the chances of identity theft and credit errors, or just to stay as informed as possible about how your credit is affected by what you do. Lots of things, like marital status, interstate moves, and new bank accounts, can affect your credit. A credit monitoring service can help you stay aware of the changes that are taking place. Knowing what's happening with your finances every day can be the difference between saving up or getting lost in red tape and account volatility. A good credit monitoring service will be a handy helper at your side, not another burden on your bottom line.
Someone getting into a contract with a credit monitoring service should consider how credit report monitoring works. Although bank account holders generally know how and when they're putting money into various accounts, a credit monitoring service can show how those transactions end up appearing on a personal credit report.
A credit monitoring service should be comprehensive. When a member signs up, the service should apply to all three credit agencies. Some credit monitoring services only include one of the three agencies, and credit items not reported to that agency can still have the same effects on an overall credit score. Linking to all three national credit agencies — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax — is a valuable service to consumers who need to know about all of their credit history.
Customers should also be aware of what credit monitoring services will cost them. Some companies offering "free" credit reports will charge a credit card indefinitely for a one-time service. Hidden fees can pop up in all kinds of ways, including charges for each credit check or monthly fees. Make sure the charges are stated upfront in a credit monitoring service agreement.
With this in mind, credit report monitoring is a great tool for empowering yourself to deal with your finances.
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