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Credit Protection Programs Explained

Credit monitoring programs are constantly advertising, mostly online, that they have the ability to help protect your identity and help mange your credit. Here’s the truth:

-These services will claim to access three-in-one credit reports for a price, but you can do it for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.

-They will offer credit monitoring every business day to keep track of your credit-file activity. The truth is, you can do it yourself if you just read your bank statements.

-If you do sign up for one of these programs, you’ll likely pay something like $12.95 a month (don’t pay attention to cash-back certificate offers, they’re mired in rules and restrictions) after a 30-day trial, giving you an annual bill of $142.45. If you just access your credit score from myFICO.com or from one of the three credit bureaus, you will save $100.

-Lastly, these credit monitoring ads would have you believe that by just monitoring your credit score will rise. Actually, monitoring alone won’t raise a thing. Only you and your behavior can raise your credit score.