I hope this is not news to you, but freecreditreport.com is not free. Although the company isn’t doing anything illegal, I think they still deserve a swift punch to the throat. It infuriates me that a company boasts about it’s free credit report service, when in fact it is a we-hope-you-don’t-realize-you-are-signing-up-for-a-monthly-subscription service. Sure, your initial report is free, but they stick it to ya 30 days later if you haven’t had the due diligence to cancel the contract you probably didn’t know you signed up for. Now I haven’t been tricked by suckycreditreport.com, but a lot of people I speak with think that is the place to go.
Okay now that I’m done with my ranting on to better things. Yesterday, I hopped on annualcreditreport.com (the truly free site) to review my credit report. I do this every four months. I usually print off a copy of the report and keep it in my files. It’s important to periodically check your credit report. Why? It’s the best way to protect yourself against identity fraud. If someone manages to get their hands on your personal information, it wouldn’t be too difficult for them to sign up for a credit card in your name. If you don’t check your credit report, there is no way of knowing if someone has opened unauthorized accounts. If you don’t know what a credit report is, it’s basically is a complete list of all debts you have had over the last seven years. Credit cards, school loans, late taxes, car payments, they all will be in your credit report. Even those who have gone all Dave Ramsey and sworn off debt, you still need to check your report.
This leads me to my question. If you follow me on twitter, I tweeted about this the other day, but now I want to bring it to all the PF bloggers stopping by. Is credit monitoring worth it? I have been utilizing my three free checks per year and so far haven’t had any identity theft issues. I did some simple browsing yesterday, and it looks like for about $10 to $20 you can get a decent amount of protection against identity theft. It would be super convenient to get email notifications each time an account was opened in my name. Or a text message each time a large purchase was processed on my credit card. But is it really worth the monthly fee? Do you pay for credit monitoring? Have you dealt with having your identity stolen? I bet it only takes one incident to convince someone credit monitoring is a worthwhile expense.