Online credit monitoring services provide consumers with a suite of tools that help you to take proactive action in monitoring your credit report, while protecting your credit and identity information. Monitoring services notify you via email and/or wireless telephone instantly of any changes made to your credit report, which can help you identify fraudulent activity faster, and therefore minimize the negative impact it would have on your credit.
Notifications by Credit Monitoring Services
What types of activity will generate a notification or alert from the credit monitoring services? As a member of such a service, you’ll receive notification whenever your address has been changed, a new account has been opened, or when an existing account has been changed. This is extremely valuable information as you will know immediately if someone is attempting to use your good name to obtain financing. Time is of the essence when dealing with credit and identity fraud, and without credit monitoring services, it could be several months before you are aware of fraudulent activities.
Tips for Improving Credit
Most credit monitoring services also provide a host of tools that allow you to see what your credit score is at the current time, as well as steps you can take to improve it. Since credit scores are used to determine whether or not to extend individuals credit and at what interest rate; it’s important that your score be as high as possible.
Citi’s Credit Monitoring Service provides a very useful credit analyser function that allows members to determine the effects of several types of activities on their credit score. For example, if you’re considering applying for a car loan, you can use the analyser to determine how much of an impact applying will have on your score, as well as what would happen if you obtained the loan or applied and were denied the loan.
You can also use the analyser to view how missing a payment or two might effect your score overall, or determine which activities will raise your score the most and how long it will take. Extremely useful for individuals who are working diligently to improve their credit score, the Citi Credit Monitoring Service with credit analyser takes the guesswork out of improving your credit.
Identity Theft Insurance
Many credit monitoring services offer identity theft insurance programs that will reimburse members of the credit monitoring service up to a certain dollar amount if there are instances of fraud. (This service is not available to individuals living in the state of New York.) Typical expenses that are covered by identity theft insurance include:
Lost wages for several weeks of work missed if you take time off to deal with the fraud
Repayment of notary or certified mail costs for the delivery of affidavits.
Long distance phone costs in conjunction with the fraud
Attorney fees incurred for dealing with the fraud
Companies Offering Credit Monitoring Services
There are numerous companies that offer credit monitoring services. Most of the services offered are the same or similar, but a few companies having notable differences may make their services more beneficial to individuals.
If you’re looking to improve your credit, you want to be sure a credit monitoring service offers an analyser, like Citi Credit Monitoring Service, TrueCredit, or Identity Guard.
If you want to see results from all credit bureaus, then it’s important that you select a company that provides access to all of the major credit bureaus and not just one. Equifax offers a credit monitoring service, but only for your credit information with Equifax. Each of the credit bureaus may report slightly different information, so you may want to go with a service that can provide access to all 3 of the major credit reports.