Credit protection can be a useful tool for many consumers who want more peace of mind about the health and status of their credit accounts. With a recent Javelin Strategy and Research survey finding that there were more than 8 million incidents of identity theft in 2010, Americans may want to add another layer of awareness to their finances.
Signing up for a credit protection service can help you stay abreast of recent activity on your credit accounts and receive alerts to certain changes to your credit reports and scores* and certain risks for credit fraud.
What Is Credit Protection?
Credit protection describes a wide array of services and programs that are designed to help you stay alert to certain changes in your credit information. In addition, these services may provide you with assistance after an identity theft has occurred. If you become a victim and are worried about the state of your credit reports and scores, you'll be able to work with a credit protection service to help guide you through the recovery process, which may include replacing important documents or providing one-on-one help.
Some credit protection companies will pay for certain expenses, such as a legal team or expert researchers, after an identity theft or fraud incident to ensure that you have the assistance you need to get back on your feet.
What Credit Protection Is Not
Credit protection is not a type of insurance; if an identity theft occurs, a credit protection-only service will not pay back any losses you suffered. Rather, it will help you rebound by helping you take the appropriate steps to get your credit re-organized and protected.
Consumers who have suffered from identity theft or have a mistaken negative mark on their records that is unfairly harming their credit reports and scores may benefit from credit protection; however, also it is important to take steps to better educate yourself about your situation. Learning the ins and outs of the following credit protection laws may help you understand what safeguards are in place to keep your credit accounts safe:
- The Credit Card, Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009
- The Consumer Credit Protection Act
- The Equal Credit Opportunity Act
- The Fair Credit Billing Act (1974)
- The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act (1988)
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970)
- The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (1977)
- The Truth in Lending Act (1968)