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The Basics of Credit Monitoring

June 30, 2014

credit monitoringAfter purchasing a credit monitoring product, you will be able to receive alerts when suspicious changes to your credit file occur. Alerts can sometimes be about changes you initiated yourself, but others might be about a change you do not recognize. Here are a few questions and answers from the Equifax Finance Blog article “

Credit Monitoring FAQs: I Received an Alert, What Should I Do?

What is credit monitoring?

By purchasing a credit monitoring product, you will gain access to your credit reports and credit scores from one or more of the national credit reporting agencies. Your credit files will also be monitored, alerting you of significant changes in your file. Various credit monitoring products provide identity theft insurance and specialist assistance as well.

What are credit monitoring alerts?

Notifications of key changes to your credit file are called credit monitoring alerts. Services will notify you via text message, email or personal phone call, giving you the option to verify the credit activity. An alert you receive about a change you were not responsible for could be a sign of identity theft. This is why receiving these alerts is so important, because it can help you jumpstart your course of action against fraud.

What should you do if you receive an alert?

Immediately after receiving a credit monitoring alert, you should check your credit report for information you do not recognize. If you recognize everything on your credit report, you do not have to do anything about the alert. If you find information you are not responsible for, report the activity right away.

What should I do if I find suspicious activity?

  1. Place a fraud alert or a security freeze on your credit reports.
  2. Close any breached or fraudulent accounts.
  3. Call the police.
  4. Contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint.

To learn more about personal finance, credit and insurance, be sure to visit the Equifax Finance Blog.

 

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