Credit Keeper
the review

Credit Keeper is from HSBC bank. I came upon it while paying my credit card balance. The advertisement was one month free. This is a much longer trial period than other monitoring services offer.

The price per month was an enticement also as it is less costly than many services.

What you get at Credit Keeper

* Your credit report

First, you will start the process by receiving your credit report. Once initiated it takes data from the 3 bureaus lining the data up in three columns making comparisons and error finding easy.

Once you enter the credit center you will be taken to the My Credit page. Here you will find an overview page with a graph on it. Above that graph is a tab to access your credit report whenever you would like to view it. The report is refreshed monthly.

Below the credit report you will find a break down of positive and negative aspects of your information.

* Your credit scores

The first set of scores you receive are from Credit Xperts. You will receive one from each of the credit bureaus every month you are in the program. This information will show on that overview page with the graph. As each month goes by the score are charted and color coded by for each of the bureaus.

Each month after the first month that you continue with this credit monitoring service, Credit Keeper, will additionally add a score tracker score from Experian. There was quite a difference in these two score models for me.

A little box explained that the range for the CreditXpert scores is 350-850 and the Score tracker is 300-900.

* Credit Monitoring

Just above the graph on the overview page at My Credit is an area where any new alerts will be posted. There is also a tab next to the credit report tab to access a listing of any alerts.

* Calculators and Worksheets

Next to the alert tab for credit monitoring is a tool button. This will take you to a page that has a simulator from CreditXperts. Here you can choose from a list of possible actions or there is an option to create a custom scenario.

This page also has several calculators to help with debt management and debt payoff, mortgages, auto loans and setting up a personal budget. This same page also includes a credit dispute form to download and a neighborhood report if you are contemplating a move to a new area and want some good information on that area first.

There are worksheets which are accessed in the My benefits page. The manage tab deals with evaluating your credit report and fixing mistakes and inaccuracies. There is a worksheet to help you evaluate your information.

The maximize tab on the My benefits page is an area to help you after the credit report clean up. Learn to improve your credit with a worksheet to help find sources of extra cash (to help pay down debt), another to help track minimum payments over 6 months, and a debt reduction plan worksheet.

Each of these areas add pointers and help in using the different calculators offered.

The calculators, worksheets and forms make this a true credit repair help center

* Learning Center

The learning center is worth a read. Some basic credit info, some about your credit report and some about your credit score. Most you have probably read if you have spent any time here at Credit Repair Resources. Usually though, we all need to read information over many times before it sticks in our head so it's not a bad idea to review.

The news and articles here are also a good read. Much thoughtful information about identity theft topics and areas to protect.

Navigation at Credit Keeper

One thing different at credit keeper is the way you gain access to the site. Most credit monitoring services want you to put in the last 4 of your social security number. Credit Keeper asks you to set a security word after they have determined your identity. I like this as too many are asking for those last 4 numbers for identification. Each time you log in you are asked for the numerical equivalent to each letter.

A confusing problem I found at Credit Keeper is at the My Benefits page. There is what looks to be folders. Each are named Monitor, Manage, and Maximize. Under Monitor every link on that folder takes you to that same overview page with the graph on the My Credit tab???

This makes the website seem lean. Though it does seem like the information listed on top of that folder is an introduction to the benefits at the My Credit page and what kind of information you will find there. The other two folder at My benefits (Manage and Maximize) are fine.

Don't know if this is a new website still building or most likely a website building snafu. The topics are

    your credit report (the link should take you to the page where that is located) instead it takes you to the score graph page and you are left to figure out where the tab is for your report.

    The next topic your personal credit score that link is correct as it takes you to that graph yet more in depth information about the scores are located at the bottom of your credit report. I think it would be more orderly for that information to be on the same page as the graph.

    The last topic credit report monitoring again takes you to that graph but really should link to the alerts page above that tab.

This was all confusing when I first used the service at Credit Keeper, but in time I found my way around and it wasn't a problem.

Customer service is like most. A page with many ways to contact them. An address, email, toll free number, the hotline number if you have questions about your credit. There is a tab with FAQ's and a tab called feedback to send any messages. Though if you are looking for a response it asks for you to use the contact page. There is a summary page of FCRA and their privacy policy and terms of use page.

The bottom line at Credit Keeper

The credit monitoring here is a bit slower than if you were at one of the credit reporting agencies' own service sites but as soon as the information hits your report officially you are alerted. Certainly in good enough time to act on anything amiss.

The 9.99 price tag makes this an attractive option. There is none of that extended I.D protection, (though there is a link to HSBC's identity theft protection called Elite Identity Protection Plan) but if you are looking for basic credit monitoring, a ball park range of where your credit score is and some good info and help with repairing your credit, this is a good option.

I like all the worksheets this website has to offer and I especially like the idea of the hotline to help with credit disputing. Haven't used it yet, so I'm wondering just how much help they will offer. Picking the brain of someone in the industry should have it's advantages.

When I do decide to use it I will have a written list of questions. Stay tuned for that review!!

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