Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Are Credit Monitoring Services and Identity Theft Insurance Policies Worth the Cost?

In an effort to keep yourself and your finances protected, you may be considering signing up for a credit monitoring service or an identity theft insurance product. While these services may seem like they would be invaluable, you may want to think again before ordering one of these services. Or, at the very least, make certain you are truly getting a valuable service before you spend your hard earned money to put one of these services into place.

What You Need to Know About Credit Monitoring Services

Credit monitoring services make the promise to continually monitor your credit report and rating so you can be notified if there are any potential problems with your credit. Unfortunately, many of these services only check your credit report once or twice per year. In addition, many of them only check your credit report with one of the three credit reporting agencies. This is hardly a valuable service, especially considering you can do the same thing for free on your own.

In an effort to help consumers keep better track of their personal credit reports, the government has made it possible for consumers to request one free copy of their credit report per year. Since there are three credit reporting agencies, you can request one report from one agency every four months. If you notice anything wrong with the report you receive from one of the credit reporting agencies, you can get the information corrected and that agency is responsible for reporting the changes to the other two agencies. Therefore, you can track your own credit report without having to give up your information to an outside agency or paying them for a service you can perform yourself.

If you still want to hire someone to monitor your credit report, be certain to select one that continually monitors your credit throughout the year and that checks with all three credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This way, you will be getting more value for your buck.

What You Need to Know About Identity Theft Insurance

Unless identity theft insurance is included for free with an insurance policy or is available at a very low cost, purchasing this type of protection is generally a waste of money. First, although identity theft is a very real threat, you are not likely to need to use this insurance coverage. Second, banks and insurance companies generally provide some form of identity theft coverage for free, which means you won't need a separate policy in order to be protected. In fact, if your identity is stole and someone uses your credit card, you can only be held responsible for up to $50 that is charged and many companies waive this expense. Third, most identity theft insurance policies only cover your expenses involved with cleaning up the mess resulting from the theft, not the amount of money you directly lost from the thief or thieves.

Your best identity theft insurance policy is yourself. Be vigilant about protecting your identity and check your credit report regularly and you will likely never have to worry about becoming a victim.

About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for http://www.reliacredit.com/ . For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit http://www.reliacredit.com/

No comments:

Are Credit Monitoring Services and Identity Theft Insurance Policies Worth the Cost? ~ ReliaCredit.com - How's Your Credit? - Blog