Stay on Top of Your Credit History

Updated: January 21, 2019

If you're worried about becoming a victim to identity theft, now is the time to protect yourself. This is a problem that continues to change and evolve with technology, so there is no reason to expect hackers to give up on stealing identities in 2020.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 18% of adults had some form of personal data stolen in 2014 - up from 11% in 2013. In 2015, health-insurance giant Anthem suffered a data breach attack that impacted over 80 million patient and employee records, potentially exposing vital information like names, birthdates, and even Social Security numbers. This data breach could cost Anthem well over $100 million dollars in damages and litigation.

The Bureau of Justice says losses from identity theft in 2012 added up to more than $24.7 billion. That's $10 billion more than all other types of property theft combined. These numbers show that, even though technology is improving our lives, it is also making us more susceptible to online theft.

Improve Your Credit Rating for a Major Purchase

According to the the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can request all three reports at once, or space them out throughout the year.

However, your free reports don't include your credit score. If you're planning to purchase a home or vehicle in the near future, you may need to take steps to improve your credit score. Tracking your credit rating month to month is essential in understanding your credit rating.

Monitor Your FICO Credit Score

In general, higher credit scores equate to lower interest rates, meaning less cash you'll have to fork over during the life of a loan. Signing up for credit monitoring can help you maintain your FICO score and assist you in getting approval for all types of loans. if you can't figure out what to do on your own, after viewing your free credit report consulting with an expert may be your best choice.

Deal with High Risk of Identify Theft

Homebuyers are nearly three times as likely to be a victim of identity theft as the average person, according to statistics collected by Lifelock, and sellers are almost four times as likely. Credit monitoring can inform you when your Social Security number has been compromised. While it may not prevent further problems, a monitoring service may provide you some peace of mind during troubling times.

It may be worth paying for credit monitoring when:

  • You need help to improve your credit score for a major purchase (auto loan, mortgage).
  • You need to learn how your FICO score works and how to improve it.
  • You want some peace of mind in the event or high probability of identity theft.

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