New Equifax app lets you check your credit on your phone


You're constantly monitoring your email and social media networks with your smartphone. Now, monitoring your credit might be just as easy.

Credit reporting agency Equifax just launched the first mobile app that enables consumers to access their credit data via smartphone.

App provides full access to credit report
The Equifax mobile app not only allows users to access their credit reports and credit ratings on their smartphones, but also alerts them if any information on the report changes through a notification. Users can then use the app to access the details. credit-check

"More and more consumers are using smartphones to access a variety of products and services so it makes complete sense for them to be able access their credit data that way too," said Neil Munroe, Equifax's external affairs director, in a news release.

The app is free for the iPhone and iPad, as well as for Android phones. Yet to benefit from all its features, customers need to sign up with Equifax and purchase the necessary subscription-based services.

The importance of credit checks
The app, according to Equifax, could encourage consumers to check their credit reports on a more regular basis - and that's a good thing. Credit reports often provide the first indication to victims that they've been hit by identify fraud. If users see a new account on their credit report that they did not apply for, or if the amount of outstanding credit has soared without their knowledge, chances are they have fallen foul of fraudsters.

"We believe [the app] gives consumers a real head-start versus ID fraudsters because as soon as they receive an SMS alert from us that information on their credit report has changed, they can use the app to check the details," Munroe said.

Victims can then report the fraud sooner rather than later.

Credit reports can also be useful when applying for new credit. Lenders look at credit history to assess whether a borrower is creditworthy and can handle additional credit. Knowing what the lender will see during its credit checks can help consumers know when to apply for new credit.

"Whenever they're considering taking on new credit they can quickly check their credit data on the app so they know how lenders will view them," Munroe said.

See related: Debit and credit card fraud hits 11-year low, How to get your credit report, score

Published: 26 April 2012