Why do you need credit monitoring?
The credit ecosystem plays a significant role in your life, this is something many people don’t realise. Inevitably, each of us will need to apply for it in our lives. Depending how much credit you’ve been issued in the past and how responsible you’ve been with it, will determine how successful you’ll be at securing new forms of credit. The next time you apply for credit, a lender will assess your creditworthiness, which results in how much they will lend, or if they will lend to you at all. If you do have an active credit profile, it’s worthwhile considering credit monitoring.
According to Symantec, in 2015 8.8 million South Africans fell victim to cybercrime. This alarming statistic rings all matters of concern, however, in the event of somebody obtaining your personal identity, there are measures you can take to greatly minimise the risk of being a victim. If you haven’t considered credit monitoring before, Friendly Finance provides some key pointers on why it makes sense to. Read on:
Detect identity theft early
About 76% of South Africans feel that identity theft is more likely to take place than ever before. Therefore, the sooner you’re aware, the sooner you can take necessary action. The three major credit bureaus in South Africa: Experian, TransUnion and Compuscan all provide credit monitoring services, so you could be alerted after someone attempts to open a new account using your personal details.
Unveil mistakes in your credit report
Unfortunately, mistakes do happen – even with the credit bureaus. According to the Credit Bureau Monitor, of all credit reports issued in Q4 2015, over 17% were challenged for alleged inaccuracies. Of these disputes, nearly two-thirds were resolved in favour of the consumer. If you do spot what looks like a mistake in your report, you can immediately take up the matter with the credit bureau directly. A consumer who regularly checks their credit report is in far better steds to maintain their good credit score by taking these precautionary measures.
Keep on top of all changes
Credit monitoring is synonymous largely with identity theft, although it has numerous other value-added benefits to the consumer to help you keep up to date on any changes to your report. A good example being if you hold a credit card with another authorised user on the account and they miss a payment, you could receive an alert for that. You can also receive alerts for positive changes, such as your credit score going up a few points resulting in it going from good to excellent. That’s an alert worth getting!
Know who’s viewing your report
Another added benefit is that a credit monitoring service can inform you whenever another company or person requests a copy of your credit report. Perhaps you requested a credit limit on your credit card or are looking to take out a new mobile phone contract. The majority of the time these requests are legitimate, although it’s good to know if anybody you don’t recognise is looking at your report.