Hopefully you will never have to go through the nightmare of identity theft. Identity theft can destroy your credit and ruin your good name. There are some good strategies if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your identity stolen or possibly stolen. We are going to discuss them here. Damage control is the first thing you must do. If you lose your wallet or purse, the very first thing to do is contact all banks or credit card companies. They will cancel all cards and reissue new ones. This might be a pain, but it’s much better than the pain of identity theft. Also you should document all other things like driver’s license and insurance cards. Once these important first steps are taken, it’s time to do more intensive damage control.
Two things to focus on are fraud alert and credit monitoring. A fraud alert is a notice put on your credit that lets perspective lenders know there could be a problem. The lenders with then contact you before issuing credit. It is not infallible, but it’s a very good tool to use. That way you can be informed if somebody else is trying to get loans or credit in your name. It is free and an excellent preventative measure that can save you from a lot of problems. All you need to do is contact one credit bureau and they required to notify the others. The original alert lasts 90 days but can be extended as needed.
Credit monitoring is the other tool we will discuss here. If you believe there is a chance of identity theft, this is a good idea. It is not free but peace of mind and your good credit will be worth it, especially if there is a good chance your identity has been stolen.
This is how it works, all credit inquiries and activity will be monitored. Then if anyone tries to use your credit, you will be immediately contacted where you will then be able to stop the credit fraud.