Checking Your Credit Score and Report: Credit Smart Saves Money!
When is the last time you took a few minutes to check your credit report? Two minute or so that you spend to check your credit report could be the best two minutes that you spend. It is important to check your credit report on a regular basis for two very important reasons:
- Check credit report to make sure your credit is accurate and you are getting the credit you deserve. Even one or two incorrect "negative items" on your credit report can lower your credit score significantly. Lower credit scores typically mean that you will pay a lot more for home loans, auto loans, credit cards, and possibly even insurance.
- Check credit report to help provide you with a "first line of defense" against identity theft. Identity theft has been the subject of much discussion over the past few years and many people feel it has been blown out of proportion. But the facts speak for themselves: Identity theft hits more than 10 million citizens per year.
A shocking statistic regarding identity theft is the fact that one in five citizens reported in a recent survey that they have already been victimized by identity theft. This number is so high to be alarming, but it is not meant to cause undue concern, but instead to remind consumers that personal information like social security numbers, address, birthday, drivers license, and other critical info is readily accessible to identity thieves who know how to capture your vital information.
Once they have this information, they are, for all practical purposes, you. They can open up credit card accounts in your name, take out loans or mortgages, and even help themselves to your 401K. If you think these are extreme examples and far-fetched, they are not. There are even numerous examples of individuals filing for bankruptcy in another persons name. That's why it is so important to check your credit report
for any suspicious information. Check your credit report
on a regular basis to protect yourself.
Know the Common Warning Signs of Identity Theft