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Should You Use a Credit Monitoring Service?

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A lot of people look at using credit monitoring services and there is no shortage of sites offering this service. However, before you leap at the service you need to consider whether or not this is actually something you need. You should also consider what these services actually offer and how they could potentially help you.

What do Credit Management Services do?

There is a difference between what you think a credit management service should do and what they actually do. Most people assume that these services are going to do all of the credit management you need. The true is that they only offer a small portion of the service you are looking for.

Most of the credit management services out there will monitor your credit to see if any new applications are being made. This does not mean that they are actually going to stop the applications. Most people assume that the service is going to protect them from identity theft as this is what most of the companies who offer this promise. However, the notification you get from the company when new credit is taken does not actually stop the process.
If a new line of credit is being fraudulently taken out in your name the credit management service will contact you. However, you will then need to contact the company that the credit is being taken out with and inform them that you are not actually the person who made the application. There are some credit management companies that will help you make contact with the company the credit is being taken out with. However, this is not something that all the companies will offer.

Do You Really Need a Credit Management Service?

Once you know more about the service you are actually going to get you should consider if this is the right option for you. Avivah Litan, a fraud analyst with Gartner Inc, has created a list of reasons why the average consumer does not actually need these services.

The list includes the fact that credit management services do not tell you if wireless or cable services are taken out in your name. They will also not monitor your bank account transactions, credit card accounts or loyalty accounts which can also be targeted by identify thieves.

The credit management service will also not notify you if your identity has been hijacked for any non-financial purposes. This means that identity theft where a driving license or passport has been created will not be picked. As this is one of the areas that consumers are most worried about it makes no sense to have a service that does not look at this.

The list created states that credit management services don’t actually help the average consumer much because they only offer a limited service. However, if you are being offered a credit management service for free then it would not hurt to sign up. Of course, you need to consider who you are getting the service from and what they can actually look at or manage.

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