With the latest credit data debacle, I thought I should share the info I have been using for the past few years and information that has been released lately. I am using links to articles and resources to make sure I do not paraphrase or misrepresent information. I am not endorsing any particular action. However I have set up credit monitoring at creditkarma.com and are in the process of freezing our credit accounts at all three credit agencies for me and my wife Aline. The biggest problem with freezing our credit is the cost, the fact that you have to “thaw” your access if you want to apply for any credit and if you lose the PIN number to access your account it is very difficult to gain access to your credit reports. (I have saved the PIN numbers in multiple places both on computers, phones and on paper). Be aware that any accounts that you have open will not be protected by the credit freeze.
Remember to check all of your credit card statements monthly. A best practice is to set an alert anytime your credit card is used. It is a way to monitor the usage of your credit cards.
Here is where you can get a free copy of all three credit reports https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action Most people will download one report every 4-6 months to check the credit activity.
Here is a good tutorial about credit freeze http://clark.com/personal-finance-credit/credit-freeze-and-thaw-guide/
Please read all of the information carefully, as always call/email me anytime to discuss or with any questions.
Kevin R. Conley CRPC®, CFP®