With stories of identity theft surfacing daily, it’s no wonder that consumers want to be able to keep an eye on their credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
But there can be a hidden problem with these credit monitoring services. Each time your credit is checked by a third party, it lowers your credit score a little. If you personally check your credit, there is no impact.
The problem is that some of these credit monitoring services allow you to check your credit daily, and they count as a third party check. That means every time you check your credit, you’re lowering your credit score.
What’s the alternative? Consumers can get one free credit report on themselves from each of the credit agencies each year under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Use annualcreditreport.com to get your credit report instead of a “monitoring service.” Spread those three requests out throughout the year so that you can check on your credit regularly.
And don’t be fooled by paid credit report monitoring services. Some try to appear as if they are the free reports offered under the law, but they are not. Their goal is to sell you services by offering you something free as a teaser. The one that trips up consumers most often is freecreditreport.com.