Save on unnecessary services

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Millions of consumers are signed up for credit monitoring services and pay for it about $60 to $180 per year. But is it really worth its money, moreover is it worth signing up at all?

Providers of such services claim they protect people from identity theft by watching for changes detected. However, in reality that may create a false sense of security because some forms of ID theft may not appear on your credit report for a long time, if ever.

Indeed, some consumer advocates warn that credit-monitoring services are like a broken alarm that warns you about break-in long after it has occurred.

In spite of these shortcoming, demand for credit-monitoring services and ID theft-protection is increasing. Major credit reporting companies offer services such as Equifax Credit Watch, Experian ProtectMyID, and TransUnion Credit Monitoring. These credit-monitoring tools monitor a subscriber’s report and alarm via messages about inquiries or changes to the report. The cost of these services usually include a monthly subscription fee that covers daily credit report monitoring, providing fraud-resolution insurance, and sending alerts.

But be aware! Consumer watchdogs warn that these services can be costly and incomplete: many only check activity on one credit bureau report, not all three. They also note that most services done for a fee can be done by consumers for free. The other thing is that you can do it yourself but many people willingly pay for the convenience of having someone do it for them.

However, critics of credit-monitoring tools admit that these services may worth the money for some people. For example, if you have been a victim of ID theft or if you are at high risk, it can pay the cost. Also it is true for those who keep a lot of money in their banking accounts, rarely check their banking activity, travel regularly, travel abroad, and who don’t care about checking their own credit reports.

There are no doubts that some people may already have ID theft insurance and not know it given as a part of their credit card features. So check before you buy.

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