Let’s state up front that you don’t need a credit monitoring service to stay on top of your credit status. For people who are diligent and deliberate in monitoring their own credit, they can do so by accessing a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus once per year. And, for the credit monitoring critics who will tell you that these services do little to actually prevent identity theft or credit fraud, let’s concede that they are right. But then, nothing except the precautions you take up front can protect you from determined identity thieves. But, for the millions of people each year who fall victim to identity theft, credit card fraud, or mistaken scoring on their credit reports, a systematic and automatic approach to credit monitoring may have enabled them to react a little more quickly to the damage.