Don’t Panic! Five Steps That Can Help You Solve Your Credit Dilemma
All right, so we gave you the first tip: don’t panic! Now we’re going to give you five more steps to follow when you suspect your identity has been lifted.
1. Subscribe to a credit checking service. Why wait a year to get your free credit report when you can get your credit report any time of day throughout the year as many times as you want? The fact of the matter is that one report a year is not enough to properly monitor your credit rating. A credit reporting service not only gives you full access to your credit file, but also lets you scan other databases like banks.
2. Review your credit report and compare each bureau’s report. Check for any discrepancies or any unknown charges or credit inquiries. You should be the only one authorized to order a credit check; you can give others permission, however. In order to stop companies from running pre-approval application checks, you must request to be removed from a mailing list.
3. When you find a mistake, use the program’s “write disputes letter” feature to address the credit bureau. You can create letters for bureaus, agencies and creditors simultaneously and within minutes.
4. Allow the credit bureau some time to investigate the matter. The creditor has 30 days to respond and then 45 days to investigate the case. If the item cannot be verified, then the charge must be stricken from the record. Remember that while your case is in disputes, your credit score could still be affected. This should emphasize to you the importance of monitoring your credit on a regular basis.
5. If the item is not taken off, then write a consumer statement. You can use credit repair software to format and write a statement that will be included with your credit report for the benefit of future creditors. Though this is a last resort to consider, remember also that you do have the right to request a new investigation, especially if new information becomes available.