Why Is Credit Monitoring Important?
Credit monitoring proactively alerts you to activity from lenders and creditors so that you can act immediately if you think there is an error or that your identity may have been stolen.
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What is Credit Monitoring?
Even though you are entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three national credit reporting bureaus, you may find that you want more frequent access to your credit history.
With a credit monitoring service, you can check your credit report as often as you like, from at least one of the national credit reporting bureaus — but sometimes all three — and set up alerts that will notify you if the information in your credit file changes.
The Equifax credit monitoring service will alert you to any changes in the information contained in your credit history, allowing you to act immediately if you suspect an error has been introduced into your credit file or your identity has been stolen. If a new credit account is opened in your name or if a company requests a copy of your credit report, for example, you will be alerted of that activity — either through email or text message. You can monitor both your credit report and your credit score if you also sign up for a credit score monitoring product, which triggers alerts when your credit score changes beyond an alert threshold you have established.
How Does Credit Monitoring Work?
If you sign up for Equifax credit monitoring, you will receive email alerts anytime certain changes are made to your credit history. These changes occur when your creditors (including credit card companies, lenders and other creditors) send new credit information to Equifax and other credit reporting bureaus.
You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.1Buy Now
In general, Equifax credit monitoring services include alerts for:
- Changes to your personal information, such as your name and address;
- New accounts that have been opened in your name;
- Some changes to your current accounts;
- Inquiries from companies that have requested a copy of your credit report;
- Bankruptcies and other public record information;
- Dormant card activity based on a self-selected dormancy period;
- Balance increases or decreases, according to a self-selected threshold based on either dollar amount or percentage.
How Can Credit Monitoring Help Me?
Credit monitoring is a valuable tool you can use to help protect yourself against identity theft and other types of financial fraud. With a credit monitoring service, you will be able to quickly spot fraudulent accounts that have been opened in your name, as well as unfamiliar loans that may have been taken out using your Social Security number and other personal information.
The sooner you catch activity by an identity thief or fraudster who has hijacked your personal information and used it to take out a loan or open up a credit card in your name, the easier it will be to restore your identity and financial life.
What Does My Credit Monitoring Service Include?
Equifax offers three different credit monitoring services, designed to meet your specific needs. The three services include a combination of one or more of the following features:
- Privacy monitoring 2
- Credit report monitoring from each of the three credit reporting bureaus
- One 3-Bureau credit report from Equifax
- Unlimited access to your Equifax credit report
- Identity theft assistance
- Credit report lock
- Financial Alerts
- 3-Bureau Credit scores from Equifax
- Lost Wallet Protection
- Identity theft protection insurance 3
- And more…
Equifax 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax® Credit Score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.4
How Often Will I Receive Alerts From My Credit Monitoring Service?
When you sign up for Equifax's credit monitoring services, you will receive alerts as changes are recorded in your credit history. Most lenders report new account activity within 30 days, but some can take as long as 90 days to report activity. Remember, not all creditors report account activity to each of the national credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you want to know which bureaus a creditor reports to and how often, you should contact the creditor directly.
If you receive a credit monitoring alert for unfamiliar credit activity, immediately contact the company listed in the alert to see if the activity is a threat. If the alert wasn't triggered by unauthorized activity, your alert preference thresholds could be too narrow, so you may want to consider updating them.
If your lender confirms unauthorized activity has occurred in your name, you could be a victim of identity theft, and you should start taking the necessary precautions to remove the illicit activity from your credit report and to prevent further damage.
If your lender confirms
unauthorized activity has
occured… you could be a
victim of identity theft…
What are the Benefits of Credit Monitoring?
By enrolling in a credit monitoring service, you'll be on your way to becoming more knowledgeable about your credit profile.
With a credit monitoring product, you’ll be able to:
Your credit score is a three-digit number — typically ranging from 280 to 850 — calculated based on the information in your credit report. With a higher credit score, lenders will view you as less of a risk and will be more likely to extend you credit at the best terms and lowest interest rates.
By monitoring your credit, you’ll learn how your credit behavior influences your credit score and you can watch how your credit activity impacts your score over time. The Equifax Complete Advantage Plan, for example, offers the Interactive Score Simulator so you can easily determine how certain credit behaviors could alter your credit score. Keep in mind that when you are applying for new credit, lenders will view you as a more favorable consumer if your credit score has gradually improved over time. If your credit score has recently dropped, however, they may offer you credit at a high interest rate — if they offer you credit at all.
If you are preparing to apply for new credit, be it a credit card, auto loan or mortgage, you'll want to first view a credit score similar to what a potential lender may use. With credit report monitoring, you'll know your Equifax credit score ahead of time, so you'll understand how lenders and creditors that will use a similar score will view you and what kind of loan terms or interest rates you'll qualify for. If you learn that your credit score does not satisfy your lender's requirements, you can work to change your score over time, and track your own progress with your credit monitoring product.
If an identity thief or fraudster steals your personal information and gets access to your credit, your credit score could quickly plummet. While you can periodically check on your credit history with your free annual credit reports, only a credit monitoring product allows you regular access to your credit report and credit score in order to quickly identify any unauthorized charges. When it comes to identity theft or financial fraud, speed is everything. The sooner you spot identity theft or fraud on your credit report, the easier it will be to untangle fraudulent accounts and restore your identity.
Many credit monitoring services are on the market, and each comes with unique features that could help you understand your creditworthiness and achieve your financial goals. Some products, for example, will send you text message alerts, and some come with identity theft insurance. If you enroll in the Equifax Complete Advantage Plan, you will receive monitoring and automated alerts of key changes to your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files, as well as have an automatic fraud alert placed on your file. This feature renews your Equifax initial 90-day fraud alert automatically every 90 days, free of charge.
Before you pay for a credit monitoring product, make sure it comes with features that meet your financial needs.
Does Credit Monitoring Monitor My Credit with All Three Bureaus?
When you are shopping around for a credit monitoring product, make sure you find one with features that match your needs. A credit monitoring service that allows you access to your credit history from all three national bureaus, for example, could be beneficial, since some creditors report their information only to one of the three bureaus.
Each of Equifax’s credit monitoring services monitor the three credit reporting bureaus for changes to your credit file.
Does Credit Monitoring
Hurt My Credit Score?
Not only does credit report monitoring not hurt your credit history and score, it could have a positive impact on it by allowing you to keep close tabs on your credit activity.
Your three-digit credit score is based on the information in your credit report. Credit monitoring will help you understand exactly how your credit behavior (such as your payment history, debt-to-credit ratio and number of active credit accounts) influences that score, which in turn influences how much money you dish out in interest. In general, the higher your credit score, the more likely you will be offered credit at the most competitive terms and interest rates.
Monitor your credit with Equifax Complete Advantage
You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.1Buy Now
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1 We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up. We will immediately charge your card the stated price above and will charge the card that amount for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
2 Privacy monitoring, powered by Reputation.com, Inc., searches Internet sites to attempt to find the consumer's personal information on the Internet and, if you purchase Equifax Complete Premier or Equifax Complete Family Plan, the feature will also include removal of the information. However, there is no guarantee that Privacy Monitoring is able to locate and search every possible internet site where consumers' personal information is being displayed. In addition, certain data companies may not honor requests sent regarding removal and data cannot be removed from those sites.
3 Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.
4 The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
Equifax Credit Score and Equifax Credit Report are a trademark of Equifax, Inc.