How to Choose a Credit Monitoring Service

How to Choose a Credit Monitoring Service

A credit monitoring service is a company or service that monitors your credit report and your credit score. These services are for individuals, not for companies. They will also alert you for any sudden change in your credit and check the errors of your credit report for you. By using plan comparison sites, comparing the perks of each offer, and considering the company’s reputation, you should be able to find the credit monitoring service that is right for you.

Using Plan Comparison Websites

Find Credit Monitoring Review Site Not all sites are the same and some are actually run by companies selling services. ConsumerReports.org is a non-profit site for the purpose of consumer protection, so they can be a good choice. The next adviser, though not non-profitable, is also aimed at independent of their reviews, and they are recognized by the Better Business Bureau with A + ranking. These are the places to go to the first place, but you can also do a personal search on a particular company that comes in Web Search.

Understand that these companies review credit monitoring companies, rather than monitor credit.

See through the listed criteria. Review sites will often include what the credit bureaus monitor credit monitoring services. They will usually include a link for price comparison, notes about free trials, and a long review that will describe the company and its experience in more detail.

Read the full reviews. To understand the strengths and weaknesses of the company, it is best to read the entire review. While a chart of major differences will allow you to gain a basic meaning of the company’s quality compared to other companies, full review will allow you to get a sense of experience working with that company.

Consider any possible bias of the reviewer. If you are unfamiliar with the site, or there are significant differences between a particular company and everyone else, then you should review with a grain of salt. You want to compare any of these review sites with ConsumerReports.org, a non-profit organization that reviews products and services keeping in mind the interests of consumers.

Comparing Plans

Check the price. For monitoring service, you must either pay monthly or annual fees. Also check what you are paying. Sometimes you can terminate services that you will not use instead of lower rates.

Ensure that the company monitors all 3 major credit bureaus. Most credit monitoring services claim to report from all 3 reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. However, few actually do it. Ensure that the company you choose will give you access to the report from all 3 bureaus because your credit report may be a bit different between each agency.

A reputable company will clearly say to whom they get their data from three bureaus, or if they get data from all three.

You can use free credit monitoring through credit karma and credit sesame, but these reports may be limited to information less than Big 3.

Ensure that the company monitors all 3 major credit bureaus. Most credit monitoring services claim to report from all 3 reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. However, few actually do it. Ensure that the company you choose will give you access to the report from all 3 bureaus because your credit report may be a bit different between each agency.

A reputable company will clearly say to whom they get their data from three bureaus, or if they get data from all three.

You can use free credit monitoring through credit karma and credit sesame, but these reports may be limited to information less than Big 3.

Find out what the company will monitor. Find a credit monitoring company that will monitor your report and notify you immediately if they suspect identity theft or any suspicious activity. You want a service that will alert you to any of your changes or scores, good or bad changes. If a new account is opened in your name, then they should also alert you.

Check to see if the company includes 24-hour customer support. You will want to choose a company that offers complete customer service. Since there may be something for your credit at any time of the day, it is best for a company that has 24-hour customer service support. Find a company that offers 24-hour phone service and real-time email response.

Try a free trial. Most services will allow you to sign up for the free trial period. This period can be anywhere from 7 days to one month. The test period is a good way to test a credit monitoring service to determine if you have the features you are looking for. When you sign up for a free trial, you will most likely be able to enter your credit card information, so make sure that you keep track of it when your trial expires.

You may want to do a web search on the company first, to see if there was no problem if other users were unhappy with the test.

Membership automatically ends after the trail period until it is stopped and can be billed for more than one month. In these cases, there may be trouble getting your money back.

To avoid this, you must call and cancel your membership before the free trial period ends.

Considering the Company’s Reputation

Do a web search on the company. This will give you the original reputation of the website. To get the best results, narrow for news items, because big stories will appear there on a particular company. You can type “-site: url of the website” (-site: lifelock.com, for example) to get only search results from websites other than the company.

Check the company through the Better Business Bureau. This is a non-profit business-monitoring agency that allows you to see the business to see if it has customer complaints and if the company has addressed those complaints or not. Companies often have a rating from F to A, in which A + BBB can give. Checking with BBB can help you feel more secure in trusting a credit monitoring company. If any service is honored, you can also check with the State Attorney General Office to determine.
Ask friends about their credit monitoring experiences. An easy way to figure out whether a friend has found a particular credit monitoring service helpful or if there are any credit-monitoring horror stories, it must be seen. In any case, it can take a deep look at someone else’s experience with credit monitoring service, which neither BBB nor online reviews generally provide.

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