It’s no secret, everywhere you look you are told of the dangers and increasing volume of identity theft. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to improve credit score after falling victim to this horrific crime.
Unfortunately, this crime happens far too often. Perhaps when you’re waiter swiped your credit card he also kept the number for his own personal use. Or maybe the thieves lifted your information when you used your credit card at the gas pump, or they simply intercepted your mail and are now living the high-life on your good name. The scenarios are too numerous to count, but the devastation can have an impact for years to come. If you have been victimized you must take action to not only limit the immediate financial impact, but you must also take measures to improve your credit score as well, as it has likely taken a beating through no fault of your own.
The credit bureaus and creditors are not going to know that you were a victim, and they will report all of the activities of the thieves on your credit report unless you are proactive and take action to improve credit score calculations by eliminating this negative information. While the time and effort involved in this process can be overwhelming for most, you, fortunately have the option of enlisting professionals to assist you in working with the bureaus to fix the problem and improve credit score.
We will now outline some of the steps that you must take immediately upon recognizing that you have been a victim of identity theft.
1. Order a copy of your credit report from all 3 bureaus.
The first thing you must do is figure out how much damage has been done. In most cases, the item that tipped you off to the problem is not the only instance of the problem. The thieves have likely used your identity to secure credit from multiple creditors, running up the balances, and leaving you to suffer the impact. After obtaining a copy of your 3-in-1 report, go through each account making note of which are your legitimate accounts and which are fraudulent. These fraudulent accounts will have a negative impact on your credit score and knowing will guide you as you fight to improve your credit score going forward.
2. File a police report.
The next thing you need to do is file a police report. This will become very important as you work to improve credit score. Because the problem has become so prevalent, today you can likely just phone your local police department and file the report over the phone. Make sure to get the report number from them as you will need this when dealing with the different creditors and credit bureaus.
3. Contact the financial institutions that you uncovered in step 1.
Now that you have the list of creditors from step 1, you need to begin contacting them so that they do not start trying to collect this fraudulent debt from you. While you may want to call the creditors directly, you also want to follow everything up in writing via certified mail. In your letter you only need be short and sweet, indicating that you were a victim of identity theft, that you have filed a police report on the matter, that you believe based on your review of your credit report (or their contacting you directly) and that you are not liable for the debt in question. Remember to also send in a copy of the police report along with this letter.
4. Improve credit score with the bureaus.
The next and most time consuming and challenging part of the process is contacting the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian and working to have the damaging information caused by the identity theft removed from your credit report. Because the bureaus deal with billions of entries on a monthly basis, it is important to ensure that you follow all the best and most effective practices in working to have this information removed. Unfortunately, while this should be an open and shut issue, this is not often the case and it takes genuine research and knowledge to ensure that these errors are removed rapidly. In many instances enlisting a professional may be the easiest and most effective way to get this information removed.
The unfortunate truth is that identity theft is likely to affect either us individually or someone close to us. Knowing what steps to take following this devastating crime however, will allow you to quickly recover and improve your credit score back to where it belongs.
The Attorney’s and Professional Advocate’s of YourCreditAttorney.com stand ready to assist you improve credit score after identity theft. To learn more about our credit repair services and how we have assisted more than 25,000 clients improve credit score in the shortest amount of time for a very reasonable and affordable rate click here.