Pull out your credit report
This is a relatively easy task, because you can either order online at annualcreditreport.com or request directly from the three major credit reporting companies. Reviewing of credit report can be done thrice a year or once every four months. You can also order all three reports from the credit reporting companies at once, but this isn’t helpful. You need to have at least several months interval in order to ensure that all of your credit reports are properly checked. This way, you can easily spot a fraud on its way even before it lays a hand on your identity. Aside from this, you can also check any errors that can negatively affect on your credit status.
Credit safety: lock down with credit freeze or place a fraud alert
If you consider identity theft as a serious threat to your finances and you want to ensure that no shady activities are going on without your knowledge, you can opt for a credit freeze or fraud alerts. Credit freeze works by freezing your credit reports, which means that creditors cannot extend credit to you unless you “unfreeze” your account. Fraud alerts, on the other hand, are automated notifications that alert you when someone is using your credit or is making inquiries about you. It can be requested from your financial institutions or the major credit companies. So, if you don’t want to have a tarnished record and be vigilant with your credit, fraud alerts and credit freezes are a good choice.
Consider credit monitoring
A credit monitoring service is a more advanced way of checking your credit files. It’s like an early warning signal that alerts consumers whenever there are changes in their accounts. The most common reasons that trigger an alert include changes in address, opening a new account or updates in major loan interests. Whether the inquiry is done by you or a criminal, credit monitoring can help you spot it immediately. This service comes at a cost, but it’s affordable since most companies that offer credit monitoring also provides insurance coverage, which is very beneficial in the event of a theft.