Given COVID-19’s impact on the economy and with approximately 12.6 million Americans unemployed, it may feel overwhelming to think about protecting your identity and overall financial health.
How can identity theft impact your credit history?
If an identity thief steals your Social Security number (SSN) and opens new accounts in your name and never pays, you will likely see a negative impact in your credit history. According to Experian, identify theft not only impacts your ability to get credit, but it can also hurt your ability to get a job, and increase your auto and homeowner insurance premiums as well.
Although you can recover from the effects of identity theft by working with creditors and credit reporting agencies, it can take time, which is why it’s important for you to take the proper affirmative steps and precautions to protect your identity and credit.
What steps can you take to help prevent credit fraud?
- Avoid giving out personal information.
While this may seem obvious, there are plenty of scammers out there posing as debt collectors or other legitimate companies in an attempt to collect your personal information. Be wary of sharing this information with people you do not know or cannot verify.
- Shred documents that contain your personal information.
Believe it or not, there are identity thieves who will actually search through your garbage for your personal information, which is why you should shred all documents containing your personal information (i.e. SSN, address, bank account info, etc.) before tossing it in the trash.
- Check your accounts frequently.
Checking your bank accounts and credit card transactions regularly is a good way to pick up on any suspicious activity.
- Monitor your credit reports.
Staying on top of your credit reports is another effective way to keep a good handle on your financial activity.
- Create strong online passwords.
If someone can guess your password, that means it’s too easy. Creating strong passwords that don’t include obvious information (i.e. your birthday, name, etc.) and include a combination of letters, numbers and special characters is a good way to prevent potential hackers from stealing your information.
If you’re having trouble getting approved for financing, Credit Acceptance can help. Simply fill out the form on our website and we’ll connect you with a car dealership near you that can help you start your credit approval today!
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