Credit reports provide a detailed glimpse into the debt that has been taken out in your name. Whenever you make a request for new credit, lenders puts an inquiry on your credit reports. Once an account has been established, the payment history on that account will be displayed on your report. Together, these two things can help you to fight identity theft.
Credit Reports Reveal When Someone’s Applied for Credit In Your Name
When you take a look at your credit reports, you can see the list of inquiries. You should recognize any hard inquiries, which are the inquiries that go onto your credit report when someone has applied for credit (as opposed to soft inquiries which may occur when you check your own credit or when your credit is checked for promotional materials).
If there is an inquiry for credit, and you weren’t the one who applied for it, this can be a strong indicator that your personal information has fallen into the wrong hands and is being misused.
Credit Reports Reveal When You Have Debts Not Being Paid
The payment history section of your report can also be a good indicator that someone has misused your personal identifying information. If an identity thief opens up credit in your name, the debt, of course, is not going to be paid. You will see the credit account listed among your accounts, along with the nonpayment of the debt. If the account is not one that you opened, or that you recognize, this means you need to take action and alert the creditors about the problem.
Check Your Credit Reports Regularly
In some cases, an account or inquiry will be placed on your report by mistake and you can clear this up by contacting the credit reporting agencies and letting them know they have incorrect data. When the account is on your report, not because of an error, but because of identity theft, you’ll need to take further action like alerting the creditors and getting the police involved. The more frequently you check your credit reports, the earlier you can identify identity theft, and the more easily you should be able to stop the thief before damage is done to your credit.
This is why using a service like IDENTITY GUARD® Platinum is helpful since you can check your credit frequently. To learn more, visit Credit Report 123.