By Kevin Mercadante
Being one of the three main credit reporting agencies gives Equifax.com a lot of credibility. They also offer a number of very helpful services that can allow anyone to take control over their credit situation. They even offer programs that range from daily 3-in-1 credit monitoring to identity theft plans. There is also a wide range of helpful advice and information on various financial topics. There are also a number of one-time reports along with the possibility of obtaining your full three-bureau credit report once per year.
The basic plan or service offered through the website is called the Equifax Complete Advantage plan. This provides a full three Bureau credit report (provided you have not received one within the prior twelve months) along with credit monitor service and unlimited access to your Equifax credit score and more. The monitoring is a full 24/7 with alerts sent whenever key changes occur to your Equifax credit file. Establish your own customized alerts to be sent to your phone or email address. Another nice aspect of this service is the ability to establish financial alerts on other accounts as well (for example, a credit card and/or bank account). Identity theft assistance is provided in the case of this happening to your accounts; simply contact an identity theft specialist via a toll-free number.
There are a number of different educational products and information as well. The blog attached to the Equifax site includes a number of helpful articles and advice on topics ranging from your home to credit to getting out of debt faster. There are also options for purchasing single reports and other one-time services. There is also a Premier plan which offers additional benefits, along with a Score Watch service that actually monitors your FICO score.
Once again, the process of signing up for any of these services is rather fast and very direct. You will not need much information beyond your basic personal details and social security number. This used to look up your correct credit information. The entire process to sign up only takes about 2 minutes and you may pay with any major credit/debit or bank card. Additionally, the site itself goes to great lengths in order to ensure the safety and security of all personal information. This includes use of the industry standard 128-bit SSL security which actually encrypts all the data stored within their computer systems.
The Equifax Advantage Plan is the best option to consider as far as the number of services offered and value. With a price tag of just $17.95 per month this is lower than many of their competitors who offer only a simply monitoring service. Here, you also receive customized alerts (for two additional accounts), the ability to share elements of your credit report to prove worthiness to others (whoever you choose), and identity theft assistance along with up to $25,000 in insurance. Of course, there are a number of one-time reports and services which can be purchased like the 3-in-1 credit report or the complete report.
All customers also have access to 24/7 customer support through a toll-free phone number. If you prefer other methods of assistance feel free to send an email. The link is located at the bottom of every page on the site. Support members do normally respond to these inquiries very fast and with helpful answers and solutions. You may also connect with the company via Facebook or send postal mail. There is also information on how to dispute an item on your credit report, what to do if denied credit, and much more.
Using the Equifax site is very straightforward. The customer back office or interface is fairly intuitive, with links and buttons clearly indicating what everything does along with directions. Accessing your credit report is simple. So is actually customizing your alerts (pick whether to send via text or email message). You can even download the credit report and score directly onto your computer or print it out right from the user interface.
Equifax has been a trusted name in the credit reporting industry for years. Their services and features are clear, straightforward and incredibly useful. Definitely worth consideration.
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About Kevin Mercadante
Kevin Mercadante is a freelance professional personal finance blogger,