Your credit can affect your ability to secure a loan, get a mortgage or even rent an apartment. It can impact the interest rate you receive on a new credit card and even the price you pay for car insurance.
Building a strong financial history requires years of responsibility and careful planning. Unfortunately, an identity thief can jeopardize all of this hard work in a matter of only minutes.
ID theft protection is essential because it helps you protect the history you have worked so hard to build. It can also save you a whole lot of time and hassle down the road.
Credit protection services
Trying to protect your identity on your own is possible, but it can also be time-consuming and inconvenient. The process is much simpler and more effective with the assistance of ID theft protection services.
Certain credit protection tools are available only to customers of identity theft protection services. Here are some of the ways these services can help you protect your finances:
- Checking and savings account application alerts
- Bank account takeover alerts
- Monthly credit score tracking
- Internet scanning
- Address monitoring
- Unauthorized payday loan notifications
Protection steps to take on your own
- Order a free report. You are entitled to one free copy of your report every year from each of the three major bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You should order one copy from a different bureau every four months, so that you can keep a constant eye on your activity to make sure there are no unexpected changes.
- Place a freeze. Another way to protect your credit is by placing a freeze on it. A security freeze will prevent lenders from accessing your credit report without first requiring your consent. This can make it harder for an identity thief to open a new account in your name. However, it can also make it more difficult for you to apply for a loan, mortgage or credit card.
If you are interested in learning more about how to protect your identity, or even how consumers can increase credit score, check out the other resources available to you on IdentityTheftProtection.org. A little vigilance now can mean a great deal for your finances later.