Whether you are individual trying to obtain finance or a business with many different bank accounts, it is imperative to monitor your credit file, which can often be updated with new information without you knowing about it.
Credit Secure from American Express is a program which allows you to access your credit reports from three different credit reference agencies, and allows you to opt into emails which will notify you every time there has been a change to your credit file.
The service also provides a number of financial resources and other credit information, ideal if you need to run a free background check prior to working with a new business client. Here are some of the benefits and how you can make the most out of this helpful financial tool.
Credit Secure is a popular product offer by American Express – yes, the credit card company. And while AMEX is a decent entity, I’ve had mixed feelings and heard mixed reports of their Credit Secure service. We’ve decided to dive in ourselves to see what they have to offer.
We’ll give you the scoop on Credit Secure with no fluff in between.
And the service looks great on the onset.
Let’s see what it has to offer.
What is Credit Secure?
When making a financial decision, using one credit reference agency to evaluate your credit history is often not enough.
Sometimes lenders only report credit information to one agency, meaning that information may be incomplete or missing when you use a service.
Credit Secure provides you with instant online access to credit reports from the credit reference agencies EquiFax, Experian, and TransUnion, giving you a much more comprehensive overview of your credit history.
You will also be able to receive an email alert every time a lender submits a piece of information to your credit file, such as a new bank account being opened, or a default.
What type of credit alerts will I receive with their monitoring service?
When there is a significant change to your personal or business credit report, you will receive an email alert which can help you to take swift action if you suspect there has been fraudulent activity on one of your accounts. This service has also been beneficial in recognizing identify theft, allowing you take action before your personal details are compromised. You will be able to customize the type of email alerts you receive, and will receive a notification when a new account has been opened, or if information about a court judgment has been added to your credit file.
How do I sign up?
Signing up for the service is quick and easy and within minutes you will be able to view your credit history and PLUS scores, as well as being provided with resources and helpful advice which can help you to improve your understanding of your credit file. CreditSecure works on a subscription basis, with a monthly fee of $14.99, which will be automatically billed to your credit or debit card until you decide to cancel the service. If you do decide to cancel, you will still be able to access your credit history through the service until the end of the billing period, rather than receiving a refund for any fees that have already been paid. All services including access to credit files, credit resources, and the comprehensive background check are included as part of the subscription fee.
All information is safe and secure and because the service takes advantage of a Secure Socket Layer encryption, or SSL, your payments and sensitive credit information are protected. Information about your credit history can be accessed on a variety of different web browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
How Can Credit Monitoring Help My Business?
CreditSecure is an effective service, regardless of the size of your business. You will be able to perform a free background check of any business, and access public records and other important business information. This can help to save you money on the costs involved in acquiring this information from a number of different sources. By reviewing the information provided from the online background check, you will be able to make a financial decision about the best course of action for your business when working with potential clients, and will able you to establish a business relationship based on trust from the off-set.
Will my information be safe?
All information about your financial history that is used to set up your new account, such as verification of your identity, will be kept until your subscription is cancelled, and credit reports will be then removed from the database after 30 days. Information is not sold to third-party companies, ensuring peace of mind when using the service.
Our Credit Secure Review
American Express’ Credit Secure offers a way to monitor your credit score while you live your life. This is a monitoring system that routinely monitors your credit score and provides you with updates as they’re available.
It’s a great service in that respect.
But a lot of people get hooked into a $1 intro offer to get your scores, and then you’ll notice a $14.99 charge on your card because you forgot to cancel. I hate these unsuspected charges, and when you call the company to cancel, they’ll put you through to the retention center which try and keep you subscribed.
I hate wasting my time but most of us are now used to this song and dance thanks to Dish Network, AT&T, etc…
When you choose to use this service, you’ll benefit from a few neat product features, including:
- Alerts: Active alerts will notify you when your credit changes. This is a great way to stay informed if someone opens a new credit card account in your name, or if a new loan in your name is put on your account. Identity thieves are caught rapidly through alerts.
- 3 Bureau Reports: Gain access to all three credit bureau reports twice per month with the cost of your service. This allows you to monitor errors on your report or any unauthorized accounts.
- Plus Score: Track the Plus Score (we’ll talk more about this soon).
- Tools: Gain access to a variety of tools and articles that can help you get your finances under control and help boost your credit.
A lot of people make the decision to use Credit Score because it’s offered by AMEX.
But, there are more reasons aside from using a well-known company that people pay for this service:
- People need to understand their credit reports with assistance provided
- Subscribers are planning a major purchase in the future and need to keep on top of their score
- Fraud is a major concern and fear, and the subscriber wants to know of any fraudulent activity as it occurs
And these are all valid reasons for using any credit monitoring program. With a rise in identity theft, it makes sense to keep a close eye on your credit report. People can’t even rent an apartment or get a store card with a bad credit score.
A mortgage on a home is a dream, too, if a person doesn’t have a good credit score.
If identity theft could stop future plans, it makes sense to use a credit monitoring system to stay on top of your credit at all times.
Credit is your key to getting any form of financing. We know you already understand this but it bears repeating.
Credit Secure does allow you to stay on top of your credit at all times.
But you’re also paying for: Plus Score.
What is a Plus Score?
PLUS score provides a user with a credit score between 330 and 830. This model was developed by Experian to help people requesting a report from Experian to better know how to judge their credit worthiness.
And this metric also offers:
- Risk assessment
Every person’s credit history provides a risk assessment. Low scores indicate a lower chance of repayment, while a high score indicates that a person is at low risk of not repaying.
Plus Score seems like a great metric.
But there is an issue.
When a person has their Plus Score, they’ll often be overconfident when going to a lender. The major problem is that the Plus Score isn’t accurate. Oftentimes, a borrower will go to a lender that has a completely different score that varies widely from a Plus Score.
Credit denial and higher interest rates can result from this discrepancy.
In theory, PLUS scores sound great.
But since a lender uses their own scoring system, it’s a novelty at best.
The company focuses on selling consumers on the PLUS Score feature despite it being proved time and time again that lenders are abandoning the metric.
So, you’re paying a lot for credit alerts, reports and a score lenders don’t recommend because it’s inaccurate.
The alerts and information are great resources. While the tools are helpful, they’re not anything that can’t be found online. The resources are very helpful, but again, they’re free resources you can often find online.
What is the Best Identity Theft Service?
If you’re looking for the best identity theft service, I don’t recommend Credit Secure. The service is a little over-priced for what they offer, and they fail to offer some of the great features that our top recommended service offers: Identity Guard.
When you choose to use Identity Guard, you’ll gain access to:
- 3 credit bureau reports
- Alerts of any suspicious account activity
- Keystroke encryption
- Anti-virus and spyware protection
- Black market monitoring to catch identity thieves
- $2,000 cash if your wallet is stolen
- $1 million identity theft insurance
This is total protection.
Credit Secure vs Identity Guard
Credit Secure doesn’t offer the same level of protection. You can’t be too secure when using your credit or debit card anywhere. But, a lot of people, especially older people, will use their computer unsecured.
This is a big no-no.
Did you know there are apps to steal information through Wi-Fi if you’re using public W-iFi? It’s so simple that anyone can steal your information. If you’ve used public Internet or even the Internet at a hotel, your information is at risk. Starbucks is also unsecure – sorry.
And I want to state that while credit card skimmers are popular when stealing someone’s identity, most people have their identity stolen due to their online activities. A virus or simple phishing scam can lead to identity theft.
Keystroke encryption works to circumvent these issues.
A simple encryption removes the ability for key loggers to track your information and send it to a thief. Oftentimes, this is all you need to be able to stop an identity thief right in his or her tracks.
Let’s not forget that you’ll gain up to $2,000 in cash if your wallet is stolen and an additional $1 million in identity theft insurance.
This insurance works to help you correct your credit if your identity is stolen.
And the best part is that there’s a 30 day free trial.
There are also plans ranging from $19.99 – $24.99 that offer a variety of protection options. This award winning service also uses IBM Watson for analysis to help ensure that your credit and privacy are safe at all times.
When comparing the two, it’s clear that Credit Secure isn’t able to meet the demands of current identity theft issues quite as well as identity Guard.
The monitoring service may have been good in the past, but they haven’t updated their service in so long that they’re missing the mark. You can’t risk your identity on a service because it’s a few dollars cheaper per month.
Identity Guard is the only service I trust to secure my identity.
Click here to sign up for Identity Guard today.
Your identity has never been as vulnerable as it is now.