My mailbox was broken into and I’m worried that someone could have important identifying information. What can I do?
You are right to be concerned. Let’s hope that nothing comes of it, but it would be a mistake to ignore the risk of identity theft. It is easy enough to protect yourself. Here are two great defensive credit repair strategies you can use right away to avert the risk of the illicit use of your identity.
An Inexpensive Option
Sign up for credit monitoring with one of the credit bureaus. These programs monitor activity on all three bureaus and cost about 15 dollars per month and will alert you via email if there are any material changes to your credit reports. If someone tries to use your identity they will cause an inquiry and you will be immediately informed so you can stop the problem before at the outset.
Fraud Alerts do Not Always Work
You can also have a fraud alert inserted on your credit report. This is a short notice asking prospective lenders to contact you prior to extending credit. This is a useful credit repair tool, but is not foolproof. Many lenders do not take the time to read your full credit report when approving a loan, so be sure to combine this with credit monitoring.