Identity theft is a scary experience. Most people don’t know that their identity is at risk until it’s too late. Then, after the fraud happens, the victim is left with the bag. Most victims have no recourse to recover what they lost because by the time they find out, the fraudster has already taken out sizable loans in their name. Read this blog to know improve credit score after identity theft.
It’s important to know that if you’ve been the victim of identity theft, you have options. You have legal and practical options that you can use in order to clear your good name and prevent more harm from being done.
So how do you improve your credit score after identity theft? Let’s discuss.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity fraud, or Identity theft, is a term that encompasses a wide variety of financial crimes. Identity theft happens whenever someone successfully uses your identity to pose as you for financial gain. Identity fraudsters use identity theft for a variety of purposes, however the most common thing they do is take out loans in your name without any intention of paying them back.
Fraudsters rely on the victim not knowing what happened for a long time. Most victims don’t understand what happened until months, or even years, after the crime took place.
How Does Identity Theft Work?
Identity theft is much more simple than it sounds. A fraudster will use whatever information they have on you in order to pass identity checks. Then, they’ll use your identity to do whatever they wish.
Fraudsters don’t need much information in order to commit identity theft. Usually, a name, social security number, date of birth, and proof of address is sufficient to commit most identity crimes. In many cases, they might not even need your social security number. Sometimes, just a name and a date of birth is all they need.
Many people find that their information has been leaked to the Internet. This happens as a result of data breaches that result in hackers being able to get large amounts of information from businesses who store said info on their servers. Afterward, this information is published on the Internet for criminals to use.
Despite all of these possibilities, none of these are the most common forms of identity theft. Most identity theft is done by family members who have access to a large amount of personal information and an incentive to steal the victim’s identity.
How Do You Improve Your Credit Score After Identity Theft?
Check Your Credit Report
The first step to improving your credit score after identity theft is to check your credit report! You can get a free one from each of the three bureaus once per year at https://annualcreditreport.com. This is a secure government website that encrypts your data so that hackers can’t get access to it.
Take a look at your credit report and make sure that you recognize each entry on your credit report. If there’s something you don’t recognize and that you can’t cross-reference with a lender, then it’s time to move onto step 2.
Dispute Any Fraudulent Items On Your Credit Report
Credit bureaus may remove items that they deem to be fraudulent or that were put on your report in error. However, they won’t do this unless you open a dispute with each of the credit bureaus that have that item on your credit report!
The dispute process usually starts with a phone call to the credit bureaus, and then it goes through several steps until it reaches a resolution. Learn more about the dispute process in our article here!
We at The Credit Pros assist people with the dispute process. With our legal expertise and our understanding of how credit works, we’re able to help expedite disputes and make sure that your concerns are taken seriously by the credit bureaus. Give us a call or schedule a free consultation with us today!