Consumer Credit

Detect Identity Fraud Early

We all know we should inspect our credit card statements every month  for mysterious charges. But that only catches the thief who uses an  account you know you have. In the past few years identity fraud has risen dramatically. In this form of credit fraud, a thief steals your good credit by taking control of or opening new accounts in your name, running up large balances, and making you pay the collectors for what you never bought. New accounts opened with your identity will appear on your credit report, revealing identity fraud to you.

If you don't check over your credit report, it could be months before the credit grantor, tired of not getting paid, turns the account over to a collector who tracks you down and demands payment for a loan you've never even heard of. As with much less problematic inaccuracies, identity fraud is something you can detect and fix most effectively simply by checking your credit history thoroughly and on a routine basis.

Become an Informed Consumer of Credit Services Your credit report can impact your financial stability dramatically. With good credit, you can obtain many types of benefits--a home mortgage or lease on an apartment, an auto loan, low-interest credit cards, and more-with ease. But if your credit history is bad, many of these financial options will not be unavailable to you. Either way, you should know what to expect when a lender runs a credit check on you. Besides paying your bills regularly and on time, the single most important thing you can do to ensure that when others check into your credit they'll find you to be a good risk is to be aware of what is in your credit report.

Studies have shown that many credit files contain inaccuracies that can harm your credit rating, leading to rejections when you apply for loans, insurance, even a job. Often, this can be attributed to simple human error. The causes range from a clerical error to a computer glitch in which your file is mixed with that of someone with a similar name. That's why it's important that you check all of your credit files-and monitor your credit regularly--to protect your good credit standing, even if you always pay all your bills on time. And if your credit is less than perfect now, checking your report will aid you in identifying lingering problems so you can deal with them effectively and move on toward an improved credit standing. Whatever your situation, though, reviewing your report on a regular basis is the only way to be sure that you will go into any credit conversations