PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY - PROTECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE
Posted on: Nov. 20, 2016 in Credit, Credit Score, Debt, Identity Theft

If someone steals your identity, you can bet that your credit score is going to suffer as a result. Loans or credit cards opened in your name and left unpaid will not only tarnish your history, but will also become a hassle for you to straighten out. Protecting your identity from thieves can reduce the risk of your credit score being jeopardized.

Regularly checking your credit score means that if your identity is stolen, you’re more likely to see the damage sooner rather than later. You can obtain one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus, and you can stagger those requests so you get one every 4 months. Doing so means you’ll have eyes on your score three times per year. Any fraudulent activity won’t have too long to fester before you can take care of it.

Here are some other things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Review bank and credit card statements monthly or as received. Look for charges that aren’t yours or any unusual account activity. Report anything suspicious immediately.
  • Review any Explanations of Benefits you receive from your health insurance company. You’d be surprised how often identity thieves target your health data to get care for themselves!
  • If you receive credit card offers, balance transfer checks or other such documents, shred them when you’re ready to discard them. Thieves will go through your garbage to look for these items.
  • If you’re going to be out of town, have someone pick up your mail. Personal information sent through the mail can easily be stolen.
  • Don’t leave your wallet or purse unattended. Granting thieves easy access to your cards is just asking for trouble.
  • Use a secure internet connection for online banking and credit card account maintenance. Be sure your passwords are strong for any personal accounts to avoid giving access to an intruder.

Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to identity theft. The time it will take to sort out the mess and the potential damage to your credit score and reputation are certainly not worth the risks!

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