Best Credit Monitoring Services from SmartCredit®
Credit monitoring is the process of periodically reviewing your credit reports for accuracy and changes that could be indicative of fraudulent activity. Credit monitoring can be done either manually or by using a passive credit monitoring service, such as SmartCredit®. The purpose in either case is to identify credit report errors and to monitor identity theft.
In this day and age, with the technology available, consumers can't avoid monitoring their credit and identity - it's just too easy for criminals to take advantage of you. Having a service that monitors your credit and identity activity "24/7" by checking thousands of databases for misuse of your personal information can give you the peace of mind you desire. SmartCredit® will monitor the databases, and tell you if there's any key changes to your credit report, new applications for credit, misuse of your identity, as well as filling you in on any creditors that have responded to actions you've taken using SmartCredit®'s Action buttons. This gives you the ease of use and control over your credit and the monitoring you need. Click here to learn more.
Credit monitoring services generally look for any suspect changes to your credit reports including name changes, new addresses, new account information, new inquiries and new delinquencies. If the credit monitoring system identifies any of these items, the consumer receives an alert. The alerts are generally in the form of a text message or an email. Once you've been alerted to potentially fraudulent activity, you can take steps to correct any credit report mistakes and close down fraudulent accounts.
Credit score monitoring is one of the most powerful tools you have in life. A good credit score opens doors to credit cards, auto loans, home mortgages, and more savings. Because of its value, your credit is often under inquiry for important decisions which is why credit monitoring is one of the best assets you can have to protect your financial well-being.
If you've never been the victim of identity theft or a data breach, consider yourself quite lucky! However, with the increasing number of breaches and instances of identity theft, that luck can run out eventually.
The good news, though, is that there are precautionary measures you can take to prevent the worst-case scenario from happening, one of them being credit monitoring.
But what exactly is credit monitoring, and how does it work? Keep reading below as we take you through, step by step, how credit monitoring functions, and why you need it.
While most consumers utilize credit monitoring services to protect themselves against identity theft, credit monitoring services also track consumer credit reports and credit scores.
As most criminal activity related to someone's credit happens without the victim knowing, by the time someone realizes it has happened to them, it may be too late to take action. By the time the illegal activity is detected, someone's credit could be completely damaged and potentially destroyed.
Credit monitoring is a service that acts as a personal assistant and daily watchdog of sorts to your credit accounts. In the event that fraudulent activity occurs, the credit monitoring service will alert you of any changes that were made to your credit report.
With SmartCredit®'s professional credit monitoring service, you will have the chance to act quickly, and take the necessary action to prevent any problems from getting further out of hand.
Most credit monitoring services will also provide you with quick access to your credit history, allowing you to check your credit report as frequently as you'd like. Additionally, if a credit card balance was increased, or if any new accounts were opened in your name, you would get an immediate alert notifying you of the activity.
With a quality credit monitoring service like SmartCredit®, you will always be on track to maintaining the healthiest credit score possible, while protecting your personal information.
In today's world, not only is it essential to have a solid understanding of your credit, but it can also save you a lot of money down the road. Maintaining good credit is dependent on a lot of things such as loan approvals, insurance premiums and, in some instances, could even help you land your dream job.
While regularly checking your credit report and credit scores is always a good idea, especially when you've been the victim of fraud, having a year-round credit monitoring service makes it easy to manage.
Believe it or not, credit report errors are more common than one might believe, and each one has the capacity to negatively affect your credit score. As such, you could be subjected to higher interest rates or find it more challenging to apply for a line of credit in the future.
Credit monitoring can help alert you of errors or potential signs of identity theft, giving you adequate time to take action to address the issue(s). For example, monitoring your credit makes it much easier to spot activity such as hard inquiries or new account openings that were made without your permission or knowledge.
Additionally, credit monitoring can also provide you with tools to help you make better decisions about your credit score. Maintaining a good standing in credit is a financial habit that everyone should be aware of, and credit monitoring services often provide you the education and resources to enable those habits today more than ever before.
While all of this may seem complicated, with SmartCredit®, it's very simple. With our ScoreTracker tool, you can see all of your different types of scores, how they are progressing, and where your credit currently stands. Take action with your credit today and sign up with SmartCredit®!
Self-monitoring is the process whereby you monitor your credit reports on your own, without the help of an automated credit monitoring service. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), entitles you to receive a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can claim them at www.annualcreditreport.com, which is the official website mandated by the Federal Government.
Consumers who choose to self-monitor, normally stagger their free credit reports throughout the year. For example, you can claim one in January from Experian, one in May from TransUnion and one in September from Equifax. And while this certainly isn't perfect, it is free.
Some state laws provide for additional free credit reports from each credit-reporting agency. If you live in a state where you're entitled to additional free credit reports the self-monitoring process is more effective. You can order a credit report from a credit-reporting agency every two months rather than every four months. Keep in mind this is not an automated process, so you have to remember to order your reports in order for this strategy to be most effective.
If you want to receive an automatic notification of changes to your credit report, you can sign up for a subscription-based credit monitoring service. Many companies offer these services for a monthly fee. Automated credit monitoring does the work for you and lets you know when something suspicious has happened to your credit report so you can take immediate action.
The reason you want to know of potential fraud immediately, is so you can take care of it now, not months later. Consumers who monitored their credit reports identified approximately 43% of identity fraud cases. Consumers who used electronic monitoring methods had lower than average out-of-pocket costs of $851 as compared to $1,378.
There are several things that identity thieves can do with your personal information. Whether they have your name or social security number, cybercriminals can open lines of credit, purchase a vehicle, and even open new bank accounts.
In most cases, victims of identity theft aren't aware that they've been compromised until they receive their credit report or unauthorized credit card statements, and by then it's often too late.
Credit monitoring is much more than a financial tool; it's a life tool. With more than 12.7 million cases of identity theft in 2014, topping the list of consumer complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission for 15 years straight, the need for financial protection is more critical than ever.
With a trustworthy credit monitoring service, you can rest assured that your personal information is always monitored 24/7.
When choosing the best credit monitoring service for you, there are several factors that should be considered.
With several financial institutions offering credit monitoring as part of their additional services, consumers should carefully consider the differences between each institution's offerings before determining which service is the best credit monitoring service for them. As features vary between each available service, you may find that one fits your particular needs more than others.
Some institutions offer customers free credit tracking services for a limited time, while others offer them as part of a more comprehensive package. Additionally, some credit monitoring platforms include services that help you manage all of your financial data from money to credit. This provides consumers with a more detailed view of their financial standings. That's what we do at SmartCredit®.
Choosing a credit monitoring service that works best for you the way you need it to can be a complicated process. With SmartCredit®, we can help you be the master of your future credit score. Sign up with SmartCredit® and start improving your credit health today.
If the idea of your data being breached causes you to worry, then credit report monitoring services are worth considering no matter what. When it comes to your financial and personal data, it's always better to lean on the side of caution.
If your data has previously been compromised, it doesn't necessarily mean that your data has been used by cybercriminals. It does, however, put you at an increased risk of identity theft in the future.
While freezing your credit until the matter is resolved is one route to take, adding an additional layer of credit monitoring could provide you with the peace of mind, insurance and security you're looking for.
Before deciding that you would like to purchase credit monitoring, there are a few things you should consider.
Prior to signing up, make sure that the credit monitoring service offers identity theft insurance, as many companies may not.
If you're still on the fence about credit monitoring, here are a few more reasons the service might make sense for you.
- You've already been the victim of identity theft, or your personal information has previously been disclosed in a data breach.
- You would rather not go through the hassle of freezing your credit reports.
- You don't have available time to monitor your credit on your own.
With SmartCredit®, we aim to provide you with all the tools you need to create a personal plan to better your credit. Our ScoreBuilder® tool walks you through creating a personalized 120-day plan to help you better understand your financial status, and the Action buttons available to address any negative accounts weighing you down.
Sign up with SmartCredit® today to keep track of your credit and finances all in one place.
While credit monitoring services certainly provide consumers with warning signs of fraudulent activity or identity theft, it is best to be used in a combination of ways to protect and monitor your personal and financial information.
Regardless of signing up with a credit monitoring service, consumers should always stay vigilant and remain cautious before providing personal data such as social security numbers, bank account details, and credit card numbers, especially when done over the internet or phone.
With identity thieves and cybercriminals creating more invasive techniques for hijacking personal information, it's always safest to consider best practices when secure data is involved.
While credit monitoring services can't prevent credit card fraud, phishing scams, or identity theft from occurring, they can provide you with additional security measures to take proactive steps. Always be sure to check your credit card and bank statements for 100% accuracy.
Monitoring your credit is a difficult task for anyone to do by themselves. We strive to provide you with a new and innovative way to monitor your credit and resolve problems as they occur.
If you're ready to take control of your financial future, sign up with SmartCredit® to take control of your future score!