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Personal Finance

Should You Monitor Your Credit?

Credit monitoring is easier than ever these days, yet not everyone does it. If you fall into the category of those who do not monitor, take a minute and consider the mistake you are making. There are many reasons to sign up for a credit monitoring service immediately. Check out a fe of the top ones.

Are you still not monitoring your credit in this day and age? Huge mistake. Credit monitoring is simpler than ever and here are some reasons that you should start doing it today.

To Protect Against Fraud

One of the key benefits of credit monitoring is detecting credit fraud. While a monitoring service can not prevent fraud, it is your first line of defense against it, if it happens.

As soon as a new account or inquiry is noticed, your credit reporting service will report it to you. This will allow you to jump into action quickly and stop the bleeding before too much damage is done.

Credit monitoring can keep a small problem from becoming a huge ordeal.

To Motivate Yourself

When you are working on your credit rating and your finances in general, a credit monitoring service can be a great motivating tool.

If you are trying to improve your score and go from a bad credit rating to a good one, you can see the weekly improvements and it will help to encourage you to keep on the path.

If your main focus is on reducing debt, it can still be a motivating factor. You will see your available credit increase every month and a corresponding increase in credit score. That ever climbing number will be proof that you are getting it done.

To Find Mistakes

Credit reports are littered with mistakes. Wrong addresses, account errors and even other peoples credit information. If you have not checked your report in several years, you probably have at least a few errors.

The bureaus make these mistakes all of the time and it is best to keep your file clean because it can affect you in a number of ways that do not even involve credit, such as getting a new job.

When you have a credit monitoring service, they alert you to any changes on your report, no matter how small. Most will also have online dispute forms so that you can dispute it easily.

To Know Your Credit Score

Knowing your score is important when you are applying for new credit. It can help you recognize whether or not you are getting the deal that you deserve.

The difference between the credit rate that you qualify for when you have an excellent versus a good score is dramatic. Not all finance companies will give you the rate you deserve though, at least initially. If you know your score, you will know what rate that you deserve and can send an offer back if needed.

This is particularly useful at auto dealership finance departments. They tend to be secretive with credit scores and will often add several percentage points to the rates that they offer you. It is their way of making money off the “back end” of a car deal.

To Get Something For Free

It used to be that you had to pay for credit monitoring, but that has changed. Now there are numerous credit monitoring services such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. Experian also has their own free service and just about every credit card will have their own complimentary service.

Since it does not cost you a dime and it does so much good, it is quite crazy to not take full advantage of a credit monitoring service.

Wrapping Up

Obviously, there is no real reason not to have a credit monitoring service, in fact you should probably have several. My recommendation is to have one of the free services like Credit Karma, use the free Experian service and then sign up for the free services offered by your credit cards.

By having multiple services, you can get information just as soon as possible and it will not cost you a dime.

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