Check Credit Report Regularly and Beware of Identity Theft
All of us know the importance of credit report in our lives. Our credit report show our personal information such as your legal name, alias names, addresses, current and previous employers, and date of birth.
We also have that credit report summary showing the following:
- Current and past credit status
- Total number of open and closed accounts
- If the balances of our accounts are current or delinquent
- Public record information such as federal bankruptcy records local government court records, liens, judgments, and child support records (information that can stay in your record for up to 10 years)
- Credit inquires that we use when applying for a credit card or loan
- Detailed account history - very up to date information about your loan payments
- Credit card debt and payment history
- Credit score.
Your credit score is a number ranging from 330 to 830. The higher the number assigned to you, the better your credit is. It increases the chance of you obtaining a loan or credit account.
The Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax are major credit bureaus collect, maintain, and distribute our credit information.
Our credit report does not also end with our financial matters. We also use our credit report for a variety of purposes not related with mortgage and other loan applications.
Auto insurance companies often request us for copies of our credit reports as part of the process in applying for auto insurance. Our employers may also request for our credit reports as basis in deciding whom to hire for a specific position. Our credit report may also be the important link for us to know if we have become victim of identity theft!
Identity theft is a criminal act wherein our personal financial information, supposed to be confidential, are obtained through illegal means and used for unauthorized purchases and transactions.
The most common forms of identity theft are the credit card fraud, bank fraud, communications services, and fraudulent loans.
The audacity of an identity thief is shown in his/her use your personal information, which could be result to a financial disaster and a damage of reputation on your part. Falling victim to this harmful activity could impugn your financial reputation for many years to come.
There are a lot of thing you can do to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. This article focuses on obtaining and reviewing your credit report, quite similar to what we do when we perform network security assessments.
The information from our credit report reflect our credit and consumer habits. Unless you make efforts to obtain necessary credit reports, you may never know how credit worthy you is or not. Obtaining credit reports is also a way to check if you have fallen into the insidious identity theft crime.
Verifying and frequently checking your credit report is a good means to make sure no one has obtained your identity. You may think that it may not happen to you, but there is nothing wrong by being doubly sure. If ever there are evidences pointing to the fact you are being robbed of your identity, then you can quickly act upon it. Avoid major damage to your personal and financial reputation that took you so many years to establish.
Here are ways to check your credit and see if there are evidences of your credit account being used by identity theft:
1. Carefully examine your credit report copy upon receipt. Look into the section dealing with inquiries against the report. If you do not know about this yet, well, every time you apply for a loan or credit card there is an inquiry initiated against your credit report.
You will recognize the inquiries against the report if you are the one who have applied for a loan using your credit account. However, if you notice certain entries you do not recognize, immediately notify the credit-reporting agency.
2. If you notice errors, such as a bill paid off but still show as outstanding on the report, then notify the agency and request for it to be removed. You must follow up personally on these corrections and make sure that your specific request has been acted upon.
Be alert always and take the issue of identity theft as a serious threat to our good name. Make sure that your personal and financial information never get into the wrong hands. It is for the good future of your family, too.
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