Building a Better Credit Report on the Federal Trade Commission’s site: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre03.shtm
Identity Theft resource center on the Federal Trade Commission’s site: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/deter.html.
Provide answers to three of the following questions based on your readings and your personal experiences. Answers should be 100-to 150-words each.
1. If you find errors on your credit report, what steps would you take to correct them?
One very important thing is to document everything you do (dates and times of phone calls, people you spoke with, what they said, what your action was, etc.), and keep copies of everything you send them. Don’t send original documents, just send copies. Remember to be aggressive and persistent. This process may take a while usually three to six months. Re-reviewing your credit report when you get a written response from the credit agency, you’ll also get a new copy of your credit report. If any information is changed on the report, the CRA cannot change it back unless the creditor provides proof that it was accurate. You’ll receive the contact information for the creditor or merchant so you can begin your battle (if you know you’re right).
2. There are many organizations that claim they will repair your credit for a fee. From your readings, should someone use a credit repair service? Why or why not? What are some actions these organizations can take that should be a red flag?
Some credit repair clinics use practices that are fraudulent, deceptive, and even illegal stealing the credit files or Social Security numbers of people who are under 18 or have died, and substituting these for the files of people with poor credit histories, and advising clients to create a new identity by applying for an IRS Employer Identification number (EIN), a nine-digit number that resembles a Social Security number, and using it instead of their Social Security number to apply for credit.
3. Have you, a family member, or a friend been a victim of identity theft? How did it happen? Describe the resolution process- ex. how much time did it take, what credit damage was corrected?
My friend Erica was a victim of identity theft, she accidently droped her tax papers and somebody picked them up and started ordering cell phones she had a 1,000 dollar bill from Verizon. She contacted Experian and started the dispute process, it took 6 months to get the Verizon cell phones off her credit report
4. Using the FTC site, what can you do to minimize the chance of your identity getting stolen?
You can place a security freeze on your credit. When businesses request a credit check a fraud alert goes out by requiring a PIN or password before a business can check your credit report. Monitor Your accounts online, keep your login information safe by not writing it down and not telling it to anyone. Keep your Social Security number safe, pay attention to who’s around when you give your number to customer service representatives. When you order new checks, pick them up from the bank rather than having them mailed to your home. There’s many ways to protect your credit, you have to stay on it.
Post the Credit Protection and Identity Theft worksheet as a Microsoft® Word attachment.