Should I have credit monitoring and if so what do you recommend. We have 4 checking accounts and numerous credit accounts. Thanks.

Terry Says:

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think you can do your own credit monitoring if you stay on top of your major bank and credit accounts.  The first thing is to check your checking and credit card accounts online at least weekly.  Make sure you review all transactions and flag any suspicious ones to your bank.  They will likely cancel your card and issue a new one while they investigate.  (This can be a real pain if you have auto-pay for some bills directly to your credit card.  When you get your new card, you have to notify the billers of your new card number!)

The next step is to get your free credit report from each of the three major bureaus every four months.  Since you get one free report from each bureau every year, staggering the online viewing will help you catch any NEW credit opened in your name.  Go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com to get direct online access to your report from each bureau.  (You can sidestep offers of credit monitoring services.)

And if you are not planning to use your credit for new purpose (renting an apartment, buying a house or car, getting life insurance, etc) you could actually put a “freeze” on your credit — requiring that you be notified if anyone wants to open new credit in your name or view your credit.

If you do those things faithfully, you should be able to monitor your own credit and save some money!

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