Cancel ID Theft & Credit Monitoring Services

When you’re trying to save a few bucks you should take a close look at your budget and see what you can eliminate. Often times you look at entertainment expenses like restaurant outings or movie theater visits as easy targets to eliminate. But you can also get rid of some services you’ve been brainwashed into thinking you need. Here are two services you do not need and should cancel if you want to save money.

Identity Theft Protection Services

Identity theft protection services rave about the dangers of getting your identity stolen. They use various scare tactics to attempt to convince you into forking over a monthly fee to stay protected. But do you really need these services? My answer is no.

What are the odds that your identity will be stolen and credit cards will be opened in your name? Odds are slim to say the least. Instead of paying a company to protect you, do it yourself for free.

Shred any documents that contain your social security number. Criminals sometimes go through trash to look for financial documents. Having a secure mailbox is another way to prevent thieves from getting your mail before you do. Not falling for phishing scams online and removing malware on your computer are other ways to protect your identity.

Credit Monitoring Services

Maintaining a clean credit report is important if you’re planning on making a big purchase like a car or a house in the near future. So you might be thinking about signing up with a credit monitoring service. Typically ranging from $10 to $15 per month, these services will provide you with access to your credit score and your credit report as well as notifications of any significant changes to your report. For example, you will receive an email notification when a new account is opened or a late payment is reported.

But if you open a new account yourself or are late with a payment, wouldn’t you already know that? But what if someone else opens a new account you ask? A credit monitoring service can’t stop them, it will just let you know about it. That’s like useless car alarm that lets you know when your car has been stolen.

Instead of wasting $150 a year on credit monitoring, check your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com. You can get it for free every twelve months. If you want your credit score you can pay for that every year halfway through the year so twice a year you’ll know the status of your credit. If you want it even cheaper, Credit Karma gives you free access to your TransUnion credit score with no credit card necessary and no strings attached.

Anum Yoon

Anum Yoon is the founder and editor of Current on Currency. She loves all things personal finance, which is why you'll find her work all over the PF blogosphere. Catch her updates on Twitter @anumyoon!

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