Better Alternatives to Buying Credit Monitoring

Better Alternatives to Buying Credit Monitoring

The credit agencies are eager to sell you credit monitoring at about $20/month. Here are reasons not to buy it. It doesn’t prevent ID theft, it only tells you after the theft has been committed – the proverbial shutting the barn door after the horse has run away.

If you are really threatened with identity theft, you can put a security freeze on your credit files that actually prevents the ID theft by locking out access from the credit reports.

Credit monitoring is not a good value proposition. You can check your credit report regularly by downloading one from Experian, Equifax or Trans Union every 4 months.

Some believe that daily reports on your credit score will only make you nervous. According to Chi Chi Wu at the National Consumer Law Center, if you really want to monitor your credit score, you can do it for free now with FICO’s Open Access program, as long as you can qualify for a Discover, Amex, or Barclays card. You can sign up to check your FICO monthly if you want to do so. For information on FICO’s Open Access program, go to http://www.fico.com/en/node/8140?file=8393

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