Protecting Your Credit History From Identity Thieves
If you're not careful, identity thieves can destroy your credit history.
Sure, if someone steals your identity and subsequently wrecks your credit history, then you may be able to repair the damage.
However, this is a long and painful process that can take (literally) years to rectify.
A single enterprising identity thief can easily destroy your credit record over the course of just a couple of months.
The question that you may be asking is - how can I best protect against these people?
One of the best ways to protect yourself is through a credit monitoring service.
These services will constantly monitor your credit report, and immediately notify you if there have been any "key changes" to your report.
They'll let you know who is checking your credit.
Let's say that a major credit card company who you DON'T have an account with checks your credit history, and you haven't recently applied for credit with them. This would almost certainly mean that someone is trying to apply for credit in your name, and you could immediately head off the attempt.
Credit monitoring services will also tell you if your scores are making any meaningful changes.
If your score begins to plummet, then a credit monitoring service will immediately notify you via email.
There are a number of different reasons why this could happen (including many legit reasons) - however, it could also mean that somebody has applied for credit in your name, and that payments aren't being made on the account.
Lastly, a credit monitoring service will tell you if someone has recently applied for credit under your name.
This is obviously valuable information when it comes to heading off identity theft.
Sure, you could definitely apply for your free annual report every year and scan any unusual signs.
However, you could also employ the services of an identity theft prevention / credit monitoring service, which will immediately notify you if anything strange is going on with your credit.
Experian offers something called the Triple Advantage Credit Monitoring Service.
Experian, as you may already know, is one of the "big three" credit score agencies.
This service will continuously monitor your credit, letting you know if there have been any recent changes with your account.
This service costs $14.95 per month, and can be signed up for here.
The more careful you are, the less chance there will be of you falling victim to identity theft.
As they say - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Filed under: General Knowledge