Credit monitoring is probably one of the most important things that an adult can do once they have credit. Without monitoring your credit on a regular basis you are setting yourself up for all sorts of hassles later on when you actually need to use your credit to purchase a car, a house, or to get a nose job after being attacked by that escaped zoo monkey. Whatever the reason you need the money, you’ll need your credit to get you the loan and a quality interest rate. But if you aren’t on top of your credit at all times, you could be disappointed at what you might found out.
Over the last decade, identity theft has been on the rise. This is where criminals through a variety of methods steal all of your personal information and pretend to be you in order to obtain credit cards, loans, and make purchases in your name. Unfortunately, by the time they have already racked up your credit cards and destroyed your credit, they have already moved onto the next victim. But if you are careful and you monitor your credit report on a regular basis you can catch the problem at the very first sign of an issue, possibility limited the damage and making it much easier to fix the problem before it becomes a deal breaker when you need to actually use your credit.
If you check your report and notice something that you didn’t do, you need to immediately challenge it. In order to do this, you can go to any of the websites for the three major credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and either file a claim online or contact them directly and speak to someone that can help you through the process. By challenging it and marking it as a fraudulent account, it will immediately trigger an investigation into the debt, which will determine if you were the one that actually created the debt or not. This process can takes 3-4 works on average. Once they are done they will generally send you an email with their findings.
If they turn it down, make sure that you call them back and work with them until they are able to figure it out. I always found that the more that I call and annoy them, the more willing they are to help me so that I stop calling.
The next thing you are going to want to do is find out the contact information for all of the credit card and loan companies and make them aware of the problem. You should cancel these accounts at that point in time so that no more money can be spent without your approval.
Now, you just wait to see the overall results of the research that the company is doing on your behalf. Hopefully they will come back with a positive response and the files will be removed from your credit and your life can go back to normal again. Sometimes it takes upwards of 12 weeks to finalize this entire process and to do the research into the accounts, especially if there are multiple accounts. You have to have patience and work with the companies, they aren’t your enemies, but they have to look out for their best interests at the same time.