Features and Benefits
LifeLock automatically orders your three free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com each year. This is helpful, especially since I always have trouble ordering my annual TransUnion report through annualcreditreport.com.
Automatic opt-out from pre-approved credit card offers prevents mail thieves and dumpster divers from getting credit cards in your name. It also reduces the amount of mail that you have to deal with.
LifeLock places fraud alerts on your credit report as long as you are enrolled. Though fraud alerts expire after 90 days, LifeLock continues to renew the fraud alerts. (Background: A judge recently ruled that LifeLock is not allowed to send fraud alert requests to Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, after Experian claimed the automatic requests cost the company money. LifeLock is still able to indirectly place a fraud alert on your Experian credit report since law requires any of the three credit bureaus to alert the other two bureaus of a consumer fraud alert.)LifeLock’s other services include:
- Help retrieving the contents of a lost or stolen wallet.
- Change of address alerts to prevent mail identity theft.
- Online patrolling to catch the sale of your personal information.
- $1 million to offset the cost of identity theft if you become a victim while you’re enrolled in Lifelock and the theft is due to a defect or failure in their service.
- Fraud alerts complicate the credit approval process. Banks must go through an additional verification process to make sure you’re the one applying for credit, so instant approval becomes difficult. Using your cell phone number as the contact number will allow you to be contacted quicker.
- You may be unable to access some online credit management services due to the fraud alert. For example, I couldn’t get my free credit score from CreditKarma.com because of the fraud alert.
- LifeLock’s services are things you can do for free, with the exception of the $1 million guarantee. Ordering your annual credit reports, opting-out of pre-approved credit card offers, and placing a fraud alert on your credit report can all be for free. (See 10 Ways to Prevent, Detect, and Fight Identity Theft.)
- You can’t monitor your credit throughout the year. LifeLock orders all three credit reports at once and you must go the remaining 11 months clueless about the state of your credit - or pay for a credit report.
Cost, Signup, and Cancellation
LifeLock is either $10 per month or $110 per year, payable via credit card.
Enrolling in LifeLock is fairly simple. You can enroll online by submitting your personal information (name, address, social security number, etc.) and payment information. You also have the option of enrolling over the phone by calling 1-800-LIFELOCK (1-800-543-3562).
I believe any service that allows you to enroll online should also allow you to cancel online, but this isn’t true of LifeLock. Still, cancelling is a fairly simply process that involves calling customer service and letting them know you want to cancel your account.