This post is sponsored by Lexington Law.
Did you know that since 2013 over 13.4 billion data records have been lost or stolen? According to a survey by Lexington Law, over 56 percent of respondents reported never checking to see if they have been impacted by a data breach. While you might not see anything happen on your credit report right now, the impacts could last for years to come.
All of this stolen information leads can lead to one thing: identity theft. Identity theft is “the deliberate act of assuming another person’s identity to perform a fraudulent act such as falsifying a credit application or framing them for a crime.”
When your sensitive data is stolen, the effects can be treacherous. Thieves can use identifying information such as your name and social security number to open credit cards or other lines of credit. And when the bill comes due, creditors turn to the person whose name is on the loan — AKA you — for payment.
Someone is impacted by identity theft every two minutes and the total consumer fraud loss in 2017 was $905 million. It can happen to anyone and having your identity stolen can leave you feeling very vulnerable.
When My Identity Was Stolen
I myself have had my identity stolen. I’ve previously shared the story but I will re-share it here for you now:
I can’t be sure of *exactly* how my identity was stolen. However, I do know that I noticed it when I was applying for student loans for college during my senior year of high school.
My mom and I uncovered that someone was using my social security number to work at a grocery store. They were reporting that I was earning the income but they were taking the money themselves. I had never applied to work at this store and hadn’t even ever been there!
While this person was working there under my name and social security number, they were trying to leave me responsible for the taxes. I was lucky that we caught it extremely early. Otherwise they could have opened multiple lines of credit in my name, leaving me massive payments and debt that wasn’t mine.
To resolve the issue, I had to file a police report and send letters to the credit bureaus. I was so lucky to catch it early so that was the only damage done. Even catching it early, though, I felt particularly vulnerable. I also felt uneducated when it came to my credit and how to protect myself in the future. It was because of that that I started taking steps to protect myself and improve my credit score.
I’ve also been personally impacted by several well-known data breaches. These large companies have reported that customers’ sensitive data was stolen and the thing about it is that we can never get that information back. It is out there, who knows where, and available for anyone who might want to use it for nefarious purposes.
Ever since I have been impacted by data breaches, I have monitored my identity. Having gone through an encounter with identity theft before, I want to make sure my bases are covered.
Especially because I have a child now, it’s more important to me than ever to keep my finances in order. Monitoring my identity has been a crucial part of making sure I have my finances under control. I’ve had other identity monitoring services in the past but I have been using Lex OnTrack exclusively for the past six months and have found the benefits (and pricing) to be an excellent value and a positive addition to my financial strategy.
Lex OnTrack Benefits
With your membership to Lex OnTrack, you’re notified of changes on your credit report. You can see your FICO score as well as a score analysis to see where you can improve. You also have access to credit repair as needed and $1,000,000 in identity insurance.
I also receive email updates when there are changes or I have alerts that I need to check in on.
Here are some other benefits and their descriptions from the Lex OnTrack website:
ID Theft Insurance ($1,000,000)
From the Lex OnTrack website:
Restoring your identity and credit standing after identity theft is time consuming and expensive. Our Identity Insurance coverage was created to help you with identity restoration costs, legal defense expenses, and lost wages. We’ll work to help you get your identity back and cover any damages due to fraud.
ID Theft Alerts
From the Lex OnTrack website:
Your identity is always vulnerable to threats—from using your information to apply for credit cards to taking out a loan. That’s why we provide you with Identity Theft Alerts 24/7 and in real-time, helping you discover any potential problems as soon as they hit your credit report, so you can contact your financial institution and resolve any issues fast.
Lost Wallet Protection
From the Lex OnTrack website:
They also have feature called Money Manager available that helps you manage your transactions, spending, budgets, trends, net worth, and goals.
I don’t currently have this set up, but it looks like an awesome addition to the lineup:
Lex OnTrack Dashboard
Here are a few screenshots from the Lex OnTrack dashboard with what you can expect to see when you sign up:
In the screenshot above you’ll see the ID Protection. This is where you will be notified of a changes and identity related alerts. If action steps are needed, you’ll be able to see what to do from here.
On the part of the dashboard shown above, you’ll see your FICO Credit Score as well as the five factors that make it up. With each of these, you’ll see a rating at how each of the factors are impacting your current score.
As you can see, mine ranges from exceptional to very good to fair. My Credit Mix (one of the lowest factors that impacts your score) is fair because I only have one type of credit at the moment. However, if my Amount of Debt (or credit utilization ratio) was a lower rating, I could improve it by improving the ratio of my used credit to my available credit.
Finally, on this piece of the dashboard, you can see in your Case Overview anything that the Lexington Law team is currently working on on your behalf. Updates will appear here as things happen.
Pricing and Sign Up
Lex OnTrack costs $24.95 per month at the lowest tier. Here are the additional pricing options available to you:
For my current needs, I find that the Lex OnTrack plan suits me just fine — but I wouldn’t hesitate to upgrade if I ever needed to.
You can get started with Lex OnTrack right here today.