It can be a big mistake to just check your credit score and not look deeper.
the main points
- Your credit score plays a very important role in your financial life.
- You should check your balance regularly so that you know your score.
- You should also go beyond just checking your credit score and delving into your credit report.
check your Balance level Regularly is important. Your credit score is a key financial metric that lenders look at when deciding if they should give you a loan. Other people use your credit score to determine if you’ll become reliable and responsible, too, including realtors, utility companies, and even your car insurance company.
But while you want to keep regular tabs of your score, doing so isn’t enough to fight identity theft. In addition to looking at your credit score, you’ll also want to take a close look at your credit report as well.
Why is checking your credit report so important?
Checking your credit report, along with your score, is very important because you can spot early signs of identity theft and take action before the big problems start.
When you check your credit report, you get a lot of information that isn’t necessarily ideally reflected in your credit score right away. For example, you will be able to see:
- If there are any unfamiliar headings in your report: This could be an indication that someone has obtained your personal information and used a different address to apply for credit or to forward billing to personal loan They took out your name unjustly.
- If there are any questions you didn’t recognize on your credit report: When you apply for credit, an inquiry is placed in your credit history and remains there for two years. If there are inquiries about your report that you don’t know about, this is a leading indicator of identity theft because it means someone is using your information to apply for credit.
- If there are unfamiliar names on your credit history: If someone used your Social Security number to apply for credit but didn’t spell your name correctly, this may also appear as an alternate name on your credit history. This is also a red flag that something is wrong.
- Are there judgments against you: If the credit is taken in your name and the bills are not paid, the creditors may have initiated a legal effort to collect it. This will appear on your credit history.
By spotting these major red flags, you can realize as quickly as possible that identity theft has occurred.
What to do if you notice signs of identity theft
If you identify information on your credit report that is a cause for concern, there are some key steps you’ll want to take to protect yourself.
First of all, it’s a good idea Freeze your balance. You can do this by contacting each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). By freezing your balance, you are making it impossible for anyone to open a balance in your name without a special PIN code available only to you.
If there are accounts in your credit history that you do not know, you will also need to dispute the information in your credit history and report identity theft to the police as well as to FTC.
By taking these steps, you can mitigate the harm that can accompany identity theft and avoid financial loss. Acting quickly makes responding to identity theft much easier, so check your credit report regularly at AnnualCreditReport.com To make sure you spot problems right away.
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