A new tactic of identity thieves is to take your good credit, run up a balance on an account, and leave you to clean up the mess. Most victims are unaware that anything like this has happened until they receive a call from a collection agency. Avoid that phone call and get your credit report rolled regularly.
When you get a credit report there is a lot of information in it. It includes every single credit account you have open. Your mortgage, credit cards, department store cards, and car loans are included. They even include judgments, bankruptcies, and more negative data. With all that data in front of you scanning it for problems can be a daunting task. A credit report is relatively simple when broken down into digestible pieces. Each of these steps will guide you through the most important parts of your credit report. If you do see any problems or concerns act quickly.
To simplify the information in your credit report use each of these steps:
One: Inquiries not performed by yourself.
Look for strange dates or companies pulling your credit report without your knowledge.
Two: Unfounded address and employment changes.
Having a typo here and there is not uncommon but any changes to your address and employment needs careful investigation.
Three: Inactive accounts with recent activity.
Your report will show whether an account is open or closed. Look for recent address changes or activity on older open accounts. Your credit report will show every account you have. It would be wise to close accounts you no longer use.
Four: Unfamiliar Public Records.
Foreclosures, evictions, liens, judgments, and other public records will appear on you credit report. Watch for any new records that are not yours.
Five: Any past due notices.
Its typical for credit thieves to run up a balance and leave it. Watch for any unexpected past due notifications.
Final Step: Correct any problems
If you notice any alarming information in your credit report use the Identity Theft Affidavit to report it to the companies and bureaus that need to be informed. This form will formalize and simplify the whole process.