Can Credit Monitoring & Identity Theft Alerts Help You?

Published on May 22, 2014 06:00 am

Members enrolled in just got access to some great new stuff. Did you know that one of the first places identity theft can be apparent is on your credit report?

Because identity theft continues to grow every year, we’ve added even more personalized alerts.

Why Timing Is Important

When it comes to identity theft, learning about it sooner rather than later can make a huge difference. If you’re alerted to suspicious activity shortly after your identity is stolen, you can take action more quickly, which can help lessen the damage since the identity thief doesn’t have as much time to harm to your identity.

What Can You Do to Help Protect Yourself?

The bottom line is to stay informed. Checking your own credit report regularly is the first step. There are also credit and identity monitoring products available online and these products may help identify changes in your credit report sooner. You can look for monitoring products that alert you when your personal information is being accessed or authenticated by a business, agency or organization.

How Do I Receive Alerts?

You can get these alerts via email or choose to also receive them via text message. (Keep in mind that for text message alerts, standard message and data rates may apply depending on your carrier.) These alerts tell you when someone tries to open a new bank account, loan or credit card application with your information.

What Alerts Are Available to free Members?

There were already a variety of alerts available to members. These new alerts include:

Identity Alerts: If a financial institution, creditor or another company in our network tries to validate your personal information or submit information that a new account is requested, you’ll get an immediate alert.

This can help if it wasn’t your identity that was validated or you who applied for the account, because it could be a sign that you were a victim of identity theft or fraud.

Credit Usage & Credit Limit Alerts: You’ll get an alert if your credit limit on an existing account goes up or down by at least $100. Also, as a member, anytime your credit usage increases or decreases significantly from the last reported amount, you’ll receive a notification.

Credit usage is an important factor that contributes to your credit score. Credit usage increase alerts notify you when a significant amount of your available credit is being used. This is because essentially a higher credit limit and using less of your available credit might help you be seen as less of a credit risk to a lender when you apply for a loan.

With enrollment in free, you can view alerts – current and past – after logging into your account. Your credit dashboard is customized with your information in your Alert Center.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc., an Experian company.   © 2014, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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