What should you do if you lose your wallet? What precautions should you take if you think that someone may try to apply for credit in your name? Here are the credit repair strategies you can utilize if you feel that your identity is in jeopardy.
Basic Damage Control
If you lose your wallet there are a few things to do prior to implementing any credit repair techniques designed to avert identity theft. The first order of business is to contact all banks and credit card issuers of credit and debit cards that were in your wallet. You should also prepare a list of other documents like your driver’s license, insurance card, etc. that you may have lost and will need to replace. Once you have taken care of the basics, it’s time to focus on preventative credit repair measures.
A fraud alert is an excellent precautionary measure if you feel that your identity is at risk. A fraud alert is a simple notice on your credit report addressed to prospective lenders asking them to contact you by telephone prior to extending credit. If someone applies for credit in your name, you will receive a phone call and have the chance to stop the fraud before it happens. Posting this notice is free and can be easily done by submitting a request to just one credit bureau. Once the credit bureau receives your request they are required to notify the other two bureaus. The alert lasts for 90 days and can be extended if you feel the need. A fraud alert is a nice preventative credit repair tool, but you should know that it is not foolproof. Lenders do not always notice the alert, so you should take other steps to protect yourself as well.
Credit monitoring is another excellent credit repair tool, and a perfect companion to a fraud alert. Credit monitoring is offered by the credit bureaus and designed to monitor all of your credit activity, including credit inquiries. If someone were to apply for credit in your name you would be notified of the inquiry and have a chance to contact the creditor before the damage is done. These services typically run less than twenty dollars per month, a small price to pay for peace of mind.