A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned -
Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Credit Safeguard - Freezing Credit Reports

Credit bureaus’ little secret: A cheap way to foil ID theftAfter the whole Equifax debacle many companies have jumped on the bandwagon and offer safeguards for your credit and identity theft protection from hackers using your information to obtain loans in your name. Over 143 million people may be affected by the breach. Of course all this comes at a cost. But beware of credit monitoring services who offer (for a fee) to provide alerts if credit is opened in your name. Look at the Money Magazine report here.
Instead of trying to fix the problem after it has happened, freeze your credit report with all three credit reporting bureaus. It will prevent lenders from accessing your file to approve new credit cards or loans. Make sure you periodically check your reports for any inaccuracies. You can request these free annually at annualcreditreport.com. I recommend checking one every four months rather than all three of them at the same time (put it on your calendar as a reminder).
Also, some credit card companies offer free alerts. Discover card is one that will alert you if credit has been opened in your name and not only with Discover but for any credit.

Note: There may be a small fee to either freeze or unfreeze your credit report but it is well worth it for peace of mind.

More information about freezing your account at the Federal Trade Commission site

If you are a victim of identity theft read how you can get help here

Filing Taxes -
Another form of fraud is filing income tax returns so make sure you file your tax return promptly (if you don't have all the information, file anyway - you can always file a corrected return at a later date).

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