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Credit Alert - Is it worth it?


Guest zipperzone
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Guest zipperzone

All the credit card companies I deal with offer a credit reporting service for the recurring monthly fee of $15. They claim they will notify you immediately of any credit enquiries, opening of new accounts, change of name/address - all of which could be an indicator of identity theft. They also provide you with your credit report and FICO score.

 

This amounts to $180 per year. What's your opinion? Is it a rip off or a worthwhile service? If it truly can prevent to nightmare of identity theft, I'm very tempted to subscribe.

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Guest zipperzone

All the credit card companies I deal with offer a credit reporting service for the recurring monthly fee of $15. They claim they will notify you immediately of any credit enquiries, opening of new accounts, change of name/address - all of which could be an indicator of identity theft. They also provide you with your credit report and FICO score.

 

This amounts to $180 per year. What's your opinion? Is it a rip off or a worthwhile service? If it truly can prevent to nightmare of identity theft, I'm very tempted to subscribe.

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Guest ryan2552

Just contact each agency and put a lock on your credit, can only be accessed with a password you have. Its free if you tell them you have had your info stolen otherwise a one time fee.

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Guest ryan2552

Just contact each agency and put a lock on your credit, can only be accessed with a password you have. Its free if you tell them you have had your info stolen otherwise a one time fee.

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I'm surprised you haven't received any free offers. I haven't paid a dime to credit reporting agencies in the past three years because my bank or another financial institution I am associated with has "lost a computer tape" containing my information. The other free offer was due to a "stolen laptop" that a consultant left on a desk at lunchtime.

 

Personally I am a little leary of these free offers but as long as they provide me with free credit reporting and a free FICO score, who cares?

 

I became suspicious when I opened a letter my 89 year old Mother recieved providing her with free credit reporting another computer tape had been lost from one of her pension companies.

 

ED

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I'm surprised you haven't received any free offers. I haven't paid a dime to credit reporting agencies in the past three years because my bank or another financial institution I am associated with has "lost a computer tape" containing my information. The other free offer was due to a "stolen laptop" that a consultant left on a desk at lunchtime.

 

Personally I am a little leary of these free offers but as long as they provide me with free credit reporting and a free FICO score, who cares?

 

I became suspicious when I opened a letter my 89 year old Mother recieved providing her with free credit reporting another computer tape had been lost from one of her pension companies.

 

ED

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A monitoring service that can alert you when a credit inquiry, change in score, etc., at the three major credit bureaus isn't a bad idea. I'm not sure I'd use a service tied to an individual *card*, but it is actually comforting to get that monthly e-mail saying "no change, no activity".

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A monitoring service that can alert you when a credit inquiry, change in score, etc., at the three major credit bureaus isn't a bad idea. I'm not sure I'd use a service tied to an individual *card*, but it is actually comforting to get that monthly e-mail saying "no change, no activity".

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If you want to access your credit report with the agencies such as Equifax or TransUnion, you only have to write them (their addresses are on the Internet) and they will send you a free copy. You need to provide them with ID and you only can do this once every two years, I believe.

 

It won't give you your FICO score but it will detail each credit account you have such as credit lines at banks, credit cards and consumer loans such as car leases. It will show activity up to the month before the report is sent to you and your standing on each account (eg fully paid up, no delinquencies, number of times payments were 30, 60 or 90 days overdue, etc).

 

It also shows who made credit enquiries regarding your credit history at that agency. I did this a month ago with Equifax and received my report two weeks later. It was very interesting in that it showed a flurry of credit enquiries last fall starting right after Lehman Brothers failed. I guess that put the fear of God into everyone in

the credit business!

 

Identity theft is a hard thing to protect yourself against when often things are beyond your control. But there are things one can do to minimize the danger. Protecting your PIN is amongst the most important. Using credit cards only at reputable companies and merchants you know is another. Also having insurance for stolen or lost credit cards is useful for your peace of mind.

 

And monitoring your accounts on a regular basis is a good idea. I look at my bank balances daily on the Internet. It only takes a minute.

 

As for paying for your FICO score, I think this might only be useful if you are considering making a large credit transaction such as negotiating a new mortgage where your score will influence the rates you will be offered. Otherwise I'm not sure what value you are receiving by simply knowing your FICO.

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If you want to access your credit report with the agencies such as Equifax or TransUnion, you only have to write them (their addresses are on the Internet) and they will send you a free copy. You need to provide them with ID and you only can do this once every two years, I believe.

 

It won't give you your FICO score but it will detail each credit account you have such as credit lines at banks, credit cards and consumer loans such as car leases. It will show activity up to the month before the report is sent to you and your standing on each account (eg fully paid up, no delinquencies, number of times payments were 30, 60 or 90 days overdue, etc).

 

It also shows who made credit enquiries regarding your credit history at that agency. I did this a month ago with Equifax and received my report two weeks later. It was very interesting in that it showed a flurry of credit enquiries last fall starting right after Lehman Brothers failed. I guess that put the fear of God into everyone in

the credit business!

 

Identity theft is a hard thing to protect yourself against when often things are beyond your control. But there are things one can do to minimize the danger. Protecting your PIN is amongst the most important. Using credit cards only at reputable companies and merchants you know is another. Also having insurance for stolen or lost credit cards is useful for your peace of mind.

 

And monitoring your accounts on a regular basis is a good idea. I look at my bank balances daily on the Internet. It only takes a minute.

 

As for paying for your FICO score, I think this might only be useful if you are considering making a large credit transaction such as negotiating a new mortgage where your score will influence the rates you will be offered. Otherwise I'm not sure what value you are receiving by simply knowing your FICO.

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Guest ReturnOfS

>All the credit card companies I deal with offer a credit

>reporting service for the recurring monthly fee of $15. They

>claim they will notify you immediately of any credit

>enquiries, opening of new accounts, change of name/address -

>all of which could be an indicator of identity theft. They

>also provide you with your credit report and FICO score.

>

>This amounts to $180 per year. What's your opinion? Is it a

>rip off or a worthwhile service? If it truly can prevent to

>nightmare of identity theft, I'm very tempted to subscribe.

 

I use a service that does everything that you describe for $6.95/month

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Guest ReturnOfS

>All the credit card companies I deal with offer a credit

>reporting service for the recurring monthly fee of $15. They

>claim they will notify you immediately of any credit

>enquiries, opening of new accounts, change of name/address -

>all of which could be an indicator of identity theft. They

>also provide you with your credit report and FICO score.

>

>This amounts to $180 per year. What's your opinion? Is it a

>rip off or a worthwhile service? If it truly can prevent to

>nightmare of identity theft, I'm very tempted to subscribe.

 

I use a service that does everything that you describe for $6.95/month

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I signed up for a similar service about a year ago and so far they have sent an immediate e-mail every time there has been activity against my credit file. Fortunately, each activity was legitimate. It is nice to know that all three bureaus are being monitored. On the West Coast, where I live, Experian tends to be a dominant player. When I received an e-mail indicating that activity was detected on my Trans-Union bureau, I was surprised...until I remembered that I had completed an instant-credit application from a department store chain based in Milwaukee, where Trans-Union is a big player.

 

Mine is not as pricey as the one you described ($12.95 versus $15.00). I wouldn't say that these services are a rip-off, but you have to ask yourself how much value you place on knowing when an inquiry has been made.

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I signed up for a similar service about a year ago and so far they have sent an immediate e-mail every time there has been activity against my credit file. Fortunately, each activity was legitimate. It is nice to know that all three bureaus are being monitored. On the West Coast, where I live, Experian tends to be a dominant player. When I received an e-mail indicating that activity was detected on my Trans-Union bureau, I was surprised...until I remembered that I had completed an instant-credit application from a department store chain based in Milwaukee, where Trans-Union is a big player.

 

Mine is not as pricey as the one you described ($12.95 versus $15.00). I wouldn't say that these services are a rip-off, but you have to ask yourself how much value you place on knowing when an inquiry has been made.

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  • 3 months later...

As a victim of credit card fraud, I highly recommend Credit Inform. They tell me every time there is any kind of change associated with my SSN (address changes, new accounts, limit increases). They do this for whatever fee they negotiate with you (I pay only $8.95/month, so I can't speak to the $15/month fee you mentioned), and it simplifies everything. It's worth it, in my opinion, to not have to call each agency separately all the time.

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This is very much worth the investment and that is actually pretty cheap. I have a long background in banking and credit along with finance/treasury management when I worked in the corporate world. When it comes to credit and ones credit rating (score) this defines who and what you are and can do in the financial world. These services are worth it because they will monitor and inform you of any changes to your credit such as new lines of credit being opened against your social security number (SSN) which gives you the opportunity to shoot off red flares if something doesn't look right. Also, most of these services also offer insurance that if something is opened against your will and you were not notified, they will do the necessary work to correct the issue all the while giving you the resources to stop credit fraud before it goes too far.

 

Again, highly recommended and well worth the small investment. If you think about it, credit fraud can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars so the 180 a year is a small price to pay for a bit more security and peace of mind.

 

All the credit card companies I deal with offer a credit reporting service for the recurring monthly fee of $15. They claim they will notify you immediately of any credit enquiries, opening of new accounts, change of name/address - all of which could be an indicator of identity theft. They also provide you with your credit report and FICO score.

 

This amounts to $180 per year. What's your opinion? Is it a rip off or a worthwhile service? If it truly can prevent to nightmare of identity theft, I'm very tempted to subscribe.

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