One particular area that is important to note is that
often, negative credit is the product of identity theft.
Your personal information could be easily used to call a
credit card company to change the billing address on
your account and then use all your credit on that
account, open new accounts in your name, open services
in your name, take out other loans in your name, and
more. If you are a victim of identity theft, you have to
take action. If your identity is stolen, you need to do
the following, immediately:
1. Call the credit reporting agencies and report that
your identity has been stolen. Contact Experian with a
credit fraud alert at: 1-888-397-3742. Contact Equifax
at 1-800-525-6285. Contact TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289.
You can place either an initial credit fraud alert, or,
if you are truly a victim of identity theft that has
negatively affected your credit, then you can request
that a 7-year extended credit fraud alert be placed on
your credit report. That way, when a company is looking
into extending credit to John Doe, SS No. 12547899, the
company is required to confirm the identity of Mr. John
Doe before extending credit.
In addition to making fraud alerts on your credit
report, you need to report that your identity has been
stolen to the local police in your area and make an
identity theft report to the Federal Trade Commission.
There is a website the Federal Trade Commission
specifically designated for identity theft reporting.
Log on to www.ftc.com to report identity theft to the
FTC. Once you have a police report that your identity is
stolen, you can also write the credit reporting agencies
to include your report. A sample form to do so is:
Protecting yourself and your credit, consistent
monitoring of your credit history, and careful review of
your credit report will enable you to not only know what
your credit history is, but increase your chances of
being given the credit you need.
If you don’t report errors or attempt to keep your
credit rating higher, then negative entries can stay on
your credit report for many years. A bankruptcy can stay
on your credit for ten (10) years. Other negative credit
entries can stay on your credit report for seven (7)
years. And even after seven years, if the company sends
the note or debt to collection and that debts is “sold
off” or “transferred” to another collection agency, you
could see that negative credit history reappear for yet
another seven years. The only way to attempt to have
that entry taken off of your credit report is to monitor
your credit report. When you request credit from
someone, such as apply for a loan – then all the
creditors who have requested to review your credit
history are listed. Creditors might look at these
requests when determining whether or not to provide
credit to you. These requests stay on your credit report
for up to two (2) years. What about those requests that
are initiated without your approval ( such as a credit
card company seeking out credit reports to offer credit
cards, employers checking your credit history, or your
current creditors monitoring your credit accounts ?
Well, those are reported only on the credit report that
you, yourself, see, not to any of the credit reports
requested by others.