- Identity theft is costing Americans hundreds of billions of dollars annually
- Credit report monitoring could help you see if your personal documents are being misused
- Your credit score affects your chances of securing credit, jobs, a rented house, and opening a new business
Ever wondered why your loan application was rejected or your insurance premiums are too high? You might have a low credit score.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a summary of how responsible you have been with your loans and credit cards thus far. It is based on several factors, including your loan repayment history, late fee charges, and frequency of loan applications. A low credit score portrays you as a high-risk borrower to lenders.
Even if you do everything right to improve your credit score, there are some cases where people might illegally use your personal information to impersonate you. These people might open loan and credit card accounts in your name, which could be detrimental to your financial life if you don’t deal with it right away.
Identity theft is on the rise.
A 2021 report from the Aite Group estimated that financial losses pertaining to identity theft increased from $502.5 billion in 2019 to $721 billion in 2021. At the same time, the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network revealed that identity theft complaints rose from 3.3 million in 2019 to 4.7 million in 2020 following a steady upward trend.
Because of this, it would be important for you to check your credit report at any of the credit bureaus on a monthly basis at the very least. This way, you can stay aware of any suspicious activity, if any, and report it as quickly as possible to get to the root of the problem. Erroneous entries or serious cases of identity theft may have to be reported to the cybercrime division.
Incorrect entries made by lenders are common, too.
A recent Consumer Reports survey estimated that 34 percent of the online respondents found an incorrect entry in their credit reports. These entries could stay on your credit report for years, and lenders will be able to see them whenever you apply for credit. As such, it would be vital to spot and rectify them as early as possible.
How a Credit Monitoring Platform Can Help
Credit Sesame can help you stay on top of your credit score and credit report with financial insights on how to improve your score, as well as real-time alerts on any changes to your financial report.
– fetches your credit report from TransUnion for free every month
– offers identity theft protection features
– allows you to dispute unrecognizable loan accounts or credit entries directly through your Credit Sesame account
– alerts you of any changes to your personal information, new loan inquiries or accounts, and credit limits or late payment charges in real-time
In case you suspect credit entries that don’t belong to you, you’ll have time on your side to raise a dispute to the credit bureaus, check their response, and escalate issues to the concerned authorities if required.