As many of you know, I went through the awful experience of having my identity stolen. Identity theft has quickly become one of the top complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down!
Banks used to be robbed, primarily because that was where “the money was at,” but today, when your identity is for sale to he highest bidder, “the money” is in cyberspace. It’s easier and safer to steal someone’s identity, making off with a couple thousand bucks than to rob a bank. The result: you have to take actions to protect yourself. The credit freeze is one possibility, but it has some drawbacks, namely that it has to be turned on and off and back on again anytime you apply for credit. That can be a pain.
One thing that I personally use and have had great results with is Equifax’s Credit Watch Gold. Again, I personally use this service and can wholeheartedly recommend it. Not only does Equifax monitor my credit report, but they send me an email ANYTIME there is a change to it. That change can be an inquiry, a new account, or a balance change. I can set up the parameters to email me based on a percentage change in an account’s balance or just any change whatsoever. It is worth the small monthly fee to have this peace of mind, particularly after the nightmare I went through with having my identity stolen.
But here’s the added bonus to using Equifax — I can pull my credit report 30 times a month if I want. And, when there’s no news for a calendar month on my credit report, I get a “No news is good news” email from them. Of course everything is customizable to your preferences.