Identity Guard® offers a range of features. Many of these focus on protecting a consumer’s identity to prevent others from accessing your financial information. One of the most important features, though, is the credit-focused offerings. Identity Guard aims to provide credit protection, monitoring service, and reporting tools to ensure no one damages your credit in the long term.
How Does Identity Guard Protect Your Credit?
The most basic way of providing protection is by monitoring what’s happening with your personal information across the internet. Thanks to Identity Guard’s new product with IBM® Watson™ advanced artificial intelligence, Identity Guard is able to monitor for any accounts being opened in your name or any use of your Social Security number on the dark web. In this way, it is protecting your financial and personal information. Should someone open an account in your name, that would lead to a new account added to your credit file, which potentially could be abused.
However, the company does more than this with a specific focus on your credit report. Here’s a look at some of the features available.
Credit Score Monitoring
If you select the Total or Premier plan from Identity Guard, your service will include receiving a monthly credit score. Your credit score is a number that represents how well you manage credit. If you notice a drop in your credit score, this could indicate a new account or too much use of your available credit limits. In some cases, this could indicate someone has stolen your information and is using your credit.
Identity Guard’s credit score is provided to you each month. It is meant to be seen as an educational tool, though, rather than any promise of credit. The company gathers the information about your score from accessing your TransUnion credit file. This does not, in any way, damage your credit report. It’s important to remember that this score is not necessarily the same as what lenders may use to determine if you qualify for a loan.
Three Credit Bureau Credit Changes
Another way that Identity Guard works to help you is by providing you with an alert if there are significant changes to your credit reports. It does this across all three of the credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. This service is only available to those who purchase the Premier plan from Identity Guard.
This can be a very valuable tool. Imagine receiving an alert that there is a new account on your credit file. This alert is sent to you as soon as the new account is reported. This allows you to immediately find out what is on the report, and if necessary, to file a claim against it. It is always important to monitor your credit report on your own, but having access to information as soon as it happens can prove to be even more important.
Other types of alerts that prove to be important include changes to your address, changes to your name, information about your accounts, such as adding a new user to an account, or even accounts being closed. Any type of scenario that could create a significant change in your credit score is something you want to know about right away.
Three Credit Bureau Report
Receiving an alert about an actual change in your credit report is a good thing, but with the Premier plan, you also get access to the full copy of your credit bureau report. This allows you to actually see the changes occurring on your report. It also allows you to verify that other information is accurate, such as your identity or your account balances.
Providing You with Ongoing Protection
When you choose one of the more advanced Identity Guard plans, you gain more information and access to your personal information on your credit report. Remember, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus just one time a year. That is too much time to really know what’s happening there. It also means that if there is a problem, it is possible for it to worsen significantly long before you even learn about it. With Identity Guard, you can react faster:
- If a high-risk transaction occurs, such as a purchase in a foreign country or one that is very expensive and unlike your previous purchases, Identity Guard lets you know. That way, if it is not authentic, you can stop it right away. It never reaches your credit report as a result.
- If your information is being sold on the dark web, IBM® Watson™ artificial intelligence can help find it and work to prevent any threats from occurring. That means your credit is protected from risk.
- You also get a risk management score, which provides you with specific information about where your highest risks are. This way, you can address them and, potentially, avoid credit-related problems.
And, of course, if identity theft does occur, Identity Guard works with you to reverse it. This can help you to restore your identity and credit.
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