In this highly technological age, it’s very easy to keep track of your finances online. You have access to all the information you need with just a click of the button. However, this also means that hackers can easily steal your information and use it for financial gain. The growing number of data breaches has paved the way for credit monitoring companies to offer their services to customers who are weary of getting their information, or worse, identity stolen.
If you’re not having your credit monitored, these are the reasons why you should.
Prevent identity theft
Identity theft happens more frequently than you realize. It may not seem like a big deal until it happens to you and your credit is ruined forever. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but still. A poor credit score ruins your chances of getting approved loans.
The longer the fraudster is able to get away with it, the worse your credit score will get. Sometimes, it might even take more than two months to find out that your credit is due. This is because credit bureaus don’t report late payments until its 60 days past due.
In worse cases, your debt gets passed on to a collection agency, and lenders can sue you for not paying your credit. That’s almost 100 points deduction to your credit score if it gets reported to credit bureaus.
While the damage may be repairable, the time and stress you gain from disputing unauthorized charges and dealing with legal consequences can take a toll in your daily life.
One person who suffered from identity theft, Bradley Shaw from Texas, said he had to spend more than 50 hours over a span of six months trying to fix his credit with the three credit reporting agencies. That’s a lot of time you’ll never get back.
With credit monitoring, you can avoid these issues since the company notifies you right away if someone is using your credit card. You’re able to respond quickly to the issue and prevent further damage.
Better financial decisions
Credit monitoring companies will show any changes to your credit score. Being informed of your credit standing helps you to make better financial decisions. You can evaluate your performance for that specific month and identify the things you are doing right and ones that need improvement.
Credit monitoring companies provide comprehensive services. As a consumer, you get to tailor what reports, notifications, and alerts gets sent to you. For example, you can choose to get notifications every time there’s a suspicious purchase on your credit cards. Or if you’re applying for a car loan, the company will send you information on the best rates depending on your financial condition.
You also have a say on how extensive the monitoring will be. You can opt to have all your credit from all major reporting agencies monitored or just the smaller agencies. Do you want to have your public records monitored too? That’s another piece of information you can have included in your report.
There are many institutions that provide credit monitoring services. For example, Credit Sesame can help you keep track of your credit each month for free and provide you with insurance for a certain amount in case your identity gets stolen.
You may want to also consider a service that monitors your credit. After all, identity theft is not just used to max out a person’s credit cards. Anyone can misuse your information for financial gain such as applying for a tax refund or getting a job with your Social Security number.
It pays to be vigilant, and credit monitoring does that for you.
What are your thoughts about credit monitoring? Have you tried it yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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