True Credit Review – How I Use the Credit Score & Credit Report Monitoring Service
July 19, 2008
What is True Credit?
True Credit is a credit monitoring service that allows you to check your reports and scores from all three credit bureaus each month.
Do you really need to monitor your credit reports?
Well, depending on who you ask this service is either a valuable lifeline or a total and complete waste of money.
Let me be frank: If you are able to walk into any bank or auto dealership in America and have them roll out the red carpet for you, then you do not need this service! You can simply check your free credit reports once a year, look for inaccurate information, and give yourself a well deserved pat on the back for expertly managing your credit.
However, if you are like the rest of us, and your credit score needs a little work, then yes, this service should be invaluable to you.
Personally, I monitor my credit each month through a service called True Credit. Using this service has allowed me to raise my credit score over one hundred points (yes you read that correctly) and it has prevented me from accidentally lowering my score by applying for things I might not get approved for. Forewarned was forearmed in my case.
For $15 a month True Credit bought me access to all three of my credit reports and scores in an easy to read format. The sad fact is, not all of my creditors were reporting to all three bureaus, and I was shocked to find that my score varied wildly from place to place.
How True Credit Helped Me:
- As soon as I signed up I was able to look at my reports from all three credit bureaus. It turns out, I had incorrect information on all three credit reports. I was able to immediately challenge an incorrect past address, and several old collection accounts that had already been paid off but were still reporting as open accounts. That is what raised my score.
Now, it is important to note that you do not have to pay for a credit monitoring service to challenge items on your credit report – that is free. However, having everything in one place, printable, and easy to compare side- by- side made the process much easier for me. In my opinion that alone was well worth the $15 because it saved me time and stress.
- I had a former friend who stole my personal information and used it to open an account in my name. I had previously resolved that issue, but keeping tabs on my report each month lets me be very, very sure that they do not do it again. Once your personal information has been stolen, you can never really be sure that the thief won’t use it again, or give it to someone else.
Using True Credit gives me enormous peace of mind. No more identity theft here – I’m going to know it as soon as it happens and be able to take action on it. They also give me the ability to freeze and un-freeze my credit report with the click of a button. If I ever do notice suspicious activity, I can stop it right then and there.
- Knowing my credit scores has save me from making several bad decisions. Once I knew what my score was I stopped applying for credit card offers that I probably could not get approved for, like platinum cash back rewards cards. Before, when I did not know my credit score, I always figured,
“What the heck? Maybe I will get approved and that is a good offer!”
Now, let me tell you that was the wrong way to go about it. Applying for any new loan can lower your credit score so while I was happily applying (and getting rejected) for several cards a year, my score was plummeting.
- True Credit allowed me to time the purchase of our last car. I was able to wait until my score had gone up some (and because I monitored them, I knew exactly what all three of my scores were). Because of that, we were able to finance at a better interest rate than we would have gotten several months earlier, and we came out on top of the deal.
- I noticed an interesting psychological effect – Once I started paying to monitor my credit, I started taking my score more seriously. I felt more in charge, and more comfortable with the credit side of my finances. It would be interesting to know if any of you have had that same effect come from monitoring your credit? Did you notice any change in the way you handled things while you were monitoring vs. when you were not?
Now, again, paying for a service like this may not be your cup of tea. I can only tell you that I have found it to be an essential part of rebuilding my score. If you are facing some similar challenges, then it will probably benefit you to take a look at it.
Free Trial: True Credit is offering a 30 day free trial that will let you try out the service and see your TransUnion credit report and score for no charge. Click here to get the free trial.
I also found an excellent walkthrough on YouTube. It’s about eight minutes, so if you’re at work, you may want to wait until you get home to watch it. It gives you screenshots, guides you through the process of looking at your reports, and even covers some additional features that I didn’t mention here.
How about you? Have you ever used a credit monitoring service?
Do you think it’s worth the money?
Leave us a comment below and give us your opinion!
All posts by Connie Brooks