Credit Monitoring Services

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1999
Credit Monitoring Services
6
Thu, 02-21-2013 - 10:55pm

I just looked at the TransUnion website and read the overview of the credit monitoring service. I'm basically wondering if it is worth the cost, or if simply getting the free credit reports every couple of months is sufficient.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Fri, 02-22-2013 - 11:35am

RL -

I have had TU for 4 years now and it helped me in my need for up to date information on my debt journey, but I do not think it is necessary. I am one of those insane folks who spreadsheets everything and that tool helped me.  Another reason for initially signing up, one of the 3 credit companies had my name mixed up with a women with my same name in Georgia.  NO same social or anything, we just had the same name, so I got her credit on mine, and that was bad as she skipped out on an apartment, utilities, etc. and it was driving down my score.  I had to put in a formal dispute and it took over 4 months to clear it up.  During that time I was checking the TU site often, and it became a habit.

Recently I got rid of it and didn't really miss it.

-MV

#Marie
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Fri, 02-22-2013 - 12:28pm
I don't think its worth it. You would need to get it through TransUnion and Equifax (the other credit bureau) and they each charge for it. All Canadians are entitled to receive one free credit report per year per bureaou (its hard to find on their website but it is a mail in application). I space it out so every 6 months or so I get one.

Bex -

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Fri, 02-22-2013 - 6:05pm

In the  US. you can easily get each of your three credit reports for free once every 12 months by going to annualcreditreport.com   You can just print them right from the site or request hard copies by mailed to you. The reports don't include your credit scores, however.  But they are still extremely useful when monitoring your credit.

I also learned from Suze Ornman that you can get your FICO score for free by signing up at myfico.com.  You must remember to cancel by using the "cancel my subscription" on their "contact us" page.  I used this last year and had no problems.  I didn't have to use it this year to check my score since my bank showed me my score when I recently refinanced.

As far as monitoring, Clark Howard suggested using CreditKarma.com  This site is completely free (I believe they either have ad support or access to your email - though I haven't found that I got any more junk mail since I've been using the site for approximately 1 1/2 years).  The site provides your TransUnion and Vantage scores, and allows you to check them as often as you like.  It gives pretty detailed info on what is affecting your score, and some tools to see how you can manipulate your scores (ie; paying down a cc balance, etc . . .) I use it monthly.  I check both my and H's scores everytime I do a new monthly budget.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sun, 02-24-2013 - 11:26pm

I have Experian's credit monitoring service becuase my employer accidently lost some of my personal information (and they are paying for the service).  While there are some slight differences between that and CreditKarma, I am not entirely sold that the credit monitoring service is worth the extra money.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 02-26-2013 - 6:38pm

Thank you for all the feedback. I'll stick with getting the free credit reports for now and once there is a bit more breathing room I'll order the credit scores. I'd like to get them now so have a starting point to monitor the credit scores, but that will have to wait for now.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 12:51pm

I just wanted to add that I was turned on to Credit Karma here on DSG. Just know the score does seem to be high. I am not sure if that is because TransUnion leans towards higher scores, or not. But I found that when I checked with my credit union about maybe refinancing my transmission loan, she told me what my score was and it was significantly lower than Credit Karma. I don't recall if they used Experian or Equifax. Lastly, I did try one of those for a month and cancelled before I was billed. I had it free for a year one time because of glitch with my CC company and you have to be aware that you may only get one FICO score, not all three.

p.s. Even if Credit Karma is high, at least you get can see your score change.  I at least know that my score is slowly rising.  

Serenity