Credit information services are companies specifically dedicated to checking on the credit of their clients and making sure that they are not damaged. Those credit information services can be of great help to consumers, but can also be expensive for them to use as well.
Credit information services began to rise in popularity along with the growth of the Internet, as more people would be able to review information quickly as opposed to waiting weeks for correspondence to arrive by regular mail. These credit information services not only allow the consumer access to their credit reports, but monitor activity on those reports and inform their customers when something out of the ordinary appears.
The concept behind these credit information services is simple: they believe people will pay for the opportunity to review their credit information at any time, and will be willing to pay even more for someone to make sure that information remains safe and secure. With identity theft and credit card fraud becoming increasingly big problems, it appears the creators of credit information services are right.
For an annual fee—usually $80 or more—credit information services companies will allow customers access to all three of their credit reports (though their system) at any time. Many of them advertise the opportunity for customers to receive their credit reports for “free”, but in most cases these offers only apply to one credit report or have some critical information redacted—information, that, of course, can be viewed once it is paid for.
The other service provided by credit information services, credit monitoring, is becoming increasingly popular. When an individual’s identity is “stolen”, their credit information is jeopardized and the activities of the criminal (using the real customer’s name) starts showing up on their credit report. If a credit information services company is monitoring the credit report, they may be able to identify the problem, alert their customer and help start the process of clearing the activities of the identity thief from their record.