Did you know that as many as 10% of Americans become victims of identity theft each year?
Identity theft can create lots of trouble for your finances, and one of the most significant impacts is on your credit score. When someone steals your identity, they can open new credit lines in your name, run up bills, and never pay them. You’re left with a damaged credit report and lots of stress.
With some effort and patience, you can fix your credit score after identity theft. Read on to learn about the most meaningful steps you can take so you can get your finances back on track.
Spring Into Action to Repair Credit Score
The first step you should take to repair your credit score is to spring into action right away. As soon as you discover that someone has stolen your identity, you should file a police report and contact your bank and credit card companies. Notify them of the fraudulent charges and request that they close the affected accounts.
Contact Credit Reporting Companies
The next step is to order a copy of your credit report from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Look for any fraudulent accounts or charges and dispute them with the credit reporting companies. The faster you act, the less damage the identity thief can do.
Get Support From an Expert
Trying to pick up the pieces of your finances by yourself is intimidating. If your head is spinning after an identity theft, there are professional services you can invest in to make this process less stressful. An expert will be on your side to advocate for you during these interactions with credit reporting businesses.
Consider Becoming an Authorized User
Once you’re ready to rebuild credit, you might feel discouraged if you have a long way to go. While many tips for rebuilding credit take some time, one quick fix you may want to try is becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. If a loved one you trust has great credit, then your score will get a hefty boost when you’re listed as an authorized user.
Practice Other Good Credit Habits
Oftentimes the hardest part of rebuilding your credit is having the patience to get the desired results. While you wait, you can be diligent about practicing common habits that people with good credit adopt. Paying your statements on time, keeping your credit utilization low, and not opening new accounts can all lead to an impressive credit score increase over time.
Are You Ready to Fix Your Credit Score After Identity Theft?
Figuring out how to fix your credit score after identity theft is a long process, but you can trust that these steps will keep your finances safe. Taking immediate action and being mindful of your credit habits moving forward will allow you to regain control.
The good news is that you don’t need to dig your way out of this mess by yourself. If you’d like professional help, schedule a free consultation to develop a game plan.