Equifax: Proactively Monitor Your Credit For Free

Credit cards, a chain and an open padlock is seen in front of displayed Equifax logo in this illustration taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illutration

All companies customer information is able to be compromised. With the recent data breach at Equifax possibly affecting a large portion of the country, it’s a good time to get in the habit of monitoring your credit (it’s actually always been a good time). Basically information that can be used to file fake tax returns or open bogus credit cards was potential compromised.

Here’s what you can do and should have already been doing prior to the breach

First step is to see if you’ve been potentially affected here.
The big caveat in signing up for the service is you are waiving your right to a law suit somewhere in the fine print.

Something else you can do is check your credit report for free. This is the real free annual credit report with info from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.  You don’t have to enter a credit card number or anything.  You get access to all the credit reports for free each year, once a year (not your credit score however).

What I like to do is access one report every 4 months.  What this allows you to do is actively monitor your credit throughout the year for free.  By accessing one of the three reports every four months, you can continually look for any suspicious credit cards someone may have opened using your information.  If you spot something suspicious, the credit card company info will be listed and you can contact them to get things sorted out.

Again, checking your free credit report cost nothing but a little of your time.

If you are wanting to monitor your credit score, I would just look to see if that is offered for free with one of your credit cards.  I have 2 credit cards that provide that as a free service each month.  This is a good way see if something suspicious happens, should you see a sudden unexpected drop in your score for an unknown reason.

Through my Discover Card, I have also signed up for their free service that monitors your SSN and new credit card account partnered with Experian.  Again a free service, just to be proactive.

One final thing you can do to be safe is to opt out of the junk credit card offers.  The 5 junk card offers you get in the mail everyday is just an easy target for thieves to get their hands on to open up cards you don’t know about.  If you have modestly good credit, you can get a card when you want one and probably with better bonus offers.  You don’t need that crap sitting in your mail box.  I’ve done the permanent opt out, the lack of junk mail everyday is awesome.

These company breaches suck when they happen, especially on such a large scale as the Equifax breach, but you should continually be proactive in monitoring your credit.

Has anyone signed up for paid service? What are your thoughts on those. Are you affected by the Experian incident?  Sound off below.

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