Thursday, April 06, 2006

Credit Monitoring Services, Are They Worth It?

Sure you can get a free credit report every year, but I'm not quite sure how effective it will be to find out something odd on your credit report up to a whole year after the fact. A lot of damage could already have been done. So, I went through the process of trying to find some "credit monitoring" or "credit protectors." Just to clarify, there are credit card protection services that will cover your debt should something happen, but have nothing to do with monitoring for fraud. Then there are credit card protect services that monitor for fraudulent activity. Be aware that some credit monitoring services only monitor for changes weekly, while others check daily. I looked some up: Citi Credit Monitoring 9.95/mo http://www.creditmonitoring.citi.com/index.asp?source=CMN00001 IdentityGuard http://www.identityguard.com/se/landing_se_fam.asp Amex CreditSecure https://www124.americanexpress.com/cards/loyalty.do?page=creditsecure You are in the best position to decide if credit monitoring services would be good for you. To learn more about the American Express Credit Aware Service, call our toll-free number 1-800-964-3594. I may consider something like Citi Credit Monitoring, but I'm still not sure if it's worth it. At almost $120/year, that's not cheap for credit monitoring, but should someone happen to try and steal your identity you would find out very quickly, and that would make $120/year seem like a steal. :) Are you using a credit monitoring service?

5 comments:

Tricia said...

I have credit monitoring service from myfico.com and although it is $56/year - I does give me some peace of mind.

I had a scare recently where I received an alert. It turned out to be nothing, but if it was something, I would have been able to react very quickly.

Donna Jean said...

I think monitoring services are great for those who are taking active steps to make improvements in their credit, in terms of challenging or contesting information and working to have things removed. CreditBoards.com has a lot of information for people interested in doing something like this and provides a pretty self-evident case on how monitoring could be useful.

Beyond that, I am content with just getting a free copy of my credit reports every year to keep an eye on things.

freedumb said...

Tricia, MyFICO.com is pretty neat...Fees are reasonable for the service...and that graphic on the correlation of your FICO score and mortgage is great.

Donna, Yeah, it is a great tool...After visiting myfico, which has a graphic on the effect of your FICO score and mortgage payments, I can see how someone would want to wait until their score is just write to apply...Creditboards.com forums are pretty heavily populated! I may make that a regular read...Thanks!

freedumb said...

just right, not just write :)

My Financial Journey said...

No idea how I did it, but when I ran a credit report on myself from Transunion 2 years ago they asked me if I wanted to add credit monitoring for $9.95 a year. I did and I get a an email every week from the service. I had to pay $9.95 to renew a year later and I keep getting my alerts every week of any changes.

If I go to their site though I don't see any product remotely close or as cheap as this.