Identity theft can make a huge negative impact on your credit score. It’s a big problem too – identity theft totaled 43% of the consumer fraud complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission in 2002. A low credit score can keep you from getting credit cards, loans, an apartment, or even a job.
One of the easiest ways to guard against identity theft is by regularly checking your credit report to make sure no one has stolen you personal information and used it to get credit cards, loans, or even rent an apartment. While federal laws and industry practices can limit your liability if you become a victim of identity theft, it can take a very long time, even years, to repair the damage if you don’t catch it in time.
Identity theft is very real and it is important to check your credit report regularly to make sure you’re not a victim. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the 3 major credit bureaus.