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
- 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
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,