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.
- Comprehensive credit file monitoring and automated alerts of key changes to your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports
- Wireless alerts and customizable alerts available
- Free 3-in-1 Credit Report and unlimited access to your Equifax Credit Report™
- Up to $20,000 Identity Theft Insurance with no deductible (certain limitations and exclusions apply) at no additional charge to you
- Knowledgeable Customer Care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
I have used all these services (including Customer Service) and I personally love knowing that someone, other than ME is watching out for me! If you’ve ever considered a credit monitoring service, I highly recommend you Get Equifax Credit Watch Gold 3-in-1 Now!
Another feature that Equifax offers is called Score Power. This unique concept allows you to run different scenarios to see how your actions would affect your credit score. If you’re planning a major purchase and will be utilizing your credit score, it helps to know what specific actions you should take in order to maximize your credit score…and minimize your interest rate. Should you pay off this account or that account? Should you make minimum payments or pay off a certain account? All these questions can be used as scenarios to see how your credit score changes.