Your credit’s health depends on various factors, which may include (but are not limited to) fraud issues, your use of loan and credit products, the kinds of credit accounts you may have, and also the duration that such accounts have been active.

Identity theft can be considered a form of fraud. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, thousands of Canadians fall prey to identity theft, thus, resulting in losses amounting to more than CAD 10 million from ID fraud.

One or more of the above factors can adversely affect your credit report and credit score, which is the reason why you should be mindful of your credit report. You can keep track of it by using a credit monitoring service.



What is a Credit Monitoring Service?

In the same way that your financial decisions affect your credit, your credit also affects your financial choices. Your credit history is a primary factor that can affect whether you qualify for certain financial products or benefits, or not. Your financial health can affect interest rates, loan approval, insurance premiums, and rental agreements.

A credit monitoring service can help you track your credit score, manage your finances, help you deal with fraud, and ensure your credit accounts are in good standing. If you always ask for copies of your credit score or credit report from either TransUnion or Equifax, you may need to go for credit monitoring services.

You can access your credit history via credit monitoring, and you can go over your credit report regularly without having to request for a paid copy every time you need a report. As you enroll in the service, you can check your credit report and access your account where you receive credit information-related alerts.

In a nutshell, credit monitoring:

• Allows you to monitor credit files,
• Enables you to you track your credit score,
• Alerts you if you’ve missed a payment,
• Informs you when a credit account is opened under your name, and
• Alerts you on the changes and issues regarding your credit.

Credit monitoring services are usually offered by big banks and consumer credit reporting agencies. For example, MBNA Canada offers its cardholders the extra protection of credit monitoring services. After a 30-day complimentary trial, you then pay CAD19.99 a month. You can access your credit information anytime on your mobile device or online. If there’s any suspicious activity on your profile, an example of which is an address change, you’ll be notified the next day.



Setting Up Credit Monitoring

If you use credit actively, you can avail of credit monitoring. If dealing with monthly payments is a concern for you, however, it may not be the best choice. Anyone can benefit from credit monitoring. However, there are special situations when it can be of great value.

Some instances are:

• If you seek to improve credit score,
• If you want to track your credit accounts, or
• If you seek protection, especially if you have identity theft concerns.

Before you sign up for a credit monitoring service, weigh the advantages and disadvantages. While such service can help protect you against fraudsters, credit monitoring can also be pricey.

For fraud victims, credit monitoring can be invaluable, and you may have to overlook monthly fees. For people who are not fraud victims, getting a free credit report copy twice yearly can help you track your credit profile. If you want to make sure, you can pay for instant online credit report access and check regularly for suspicious activity.