When it comes to monitoring your credit, accessing and reviewing your report could become a full time job. Busy consumers may not have ample time to spend reviewing their credit files to ensure accuracy and compliance. To fill this void, credit monitoring companies were introduced. For a reasonable fee, many busy consumers are willing to pay for monitoring when these companies purport to ensure accuracy of a consumer’s report. These services promise twenty-four seven monitoring and notification of any potentially fraudulent activity on your report.
If a consumer signs up for credit monitoring, he or she can expect to receive alerts if someone tries to open credit in the consumer’s name. Consumers can also sign up for what is referred to as “dark-web” monitoring. This is where the service monitors the web to see if a consumer’s name is being fraudulently used in public records. This situation is ideal for victims of identity theft.
While credit monitoring programs are useful, most consumers are capable of monitoring their credit all on their own. Credit monitoring companies charge somewhere between $10 to $30 per month. Additionally, some companies offer free credit monitoring to consumers when they enroll to receive their credit score. However, these companies offer a more limited service. When it comes to deciding if paying for a monitoring service is the right choice for you, the first question a consumer should ask is, “Do I have time to monitor my credit on my own?”; “Am I concerned I may be a victim of identity theft?”; “Am I concerned my credit report may not be in order?” Credit monitoring is extremely useful for busy people who don’t have the time to access their report and review it on a regular basis. Investing in credit monitoring is also extremely useful for consumers who have been the victim of identity theft.
While monitoring your own report is simple, it can be time consuming. Consumers who are monitoring their own report can opt for any of the free services that are offered by the credit reporting agencies. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (“FCRA”) consumers are entitled to one free credit a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. If a consumer is planning to monitor his or her own credit, the best way to do it without spending money is to order a report from one of the three major agencies every four months. Every four months review the report, make sure everything is accurately reported and that every account belongs to you.
If you believe your rights may have been violated and would like the advice or assistance of counsel, contact SmithMarco, P.C. for a completely free case review.