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Credit Reports

Types of Credit Reports:
 -Credit Monitoring System
 -Free Credit Report

Credit Report Basics:
 -Ordering a Report Yearly
 -Common Questions
 -Determining Scores
 -Interpreting Reports
 -Disputing Errors
     --more basics

Credit Achieving Tips: 
 -Improving Credit Scores
 -Building Credit
 -Re-building Credit

Credit Scoring Blunders:
 -Late Payments
     --more mistakes

Identity Theft:
Identity Theft Basics
 -Credit Card Theft
 -Kids & Identity Theft
 -Seniors & Identity Theft
 -Internet Phishing
 -Privacy Questions to Ask

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If you think that you are a victim of identity theft, you need to do several things:

Contact the Police
First, you must contact  the police where the crime occurred. Meaning, if you live in New York, but the identity thieve committed their crime in Florida, you must contact the Florida police from the specific city where the crime occurred.

Contact Your Bank
Let them know about the crime and immediately request cancellation of all of your credit/debit cards associated with your bank accounts. You should also request new checks. Also, ask the bank is their is anything else you can do to protect yourself from the identity theft.

You can contest all checks that have been forged in your name and/or any withdrawals that were not initiated by you.

Contact Your Credit Card Company/s
Cancel your cards and request new ones. Verify all spending activity as yours. Did you know that you are not responsible for more than $50 if an thieve uses your credit card for identity theft.

Dealing with Debt Collectors
When you are a victim of identity theft, there is a strong possibility that you will eventually receive contact from debt collectors looking for payments for debts that occurred by means of the identity thief. You need to respond quickly and document all correspondence. Explain that you have been a victim of identity theft. You are entitled to the name of the business seeking payment as well as copies of any credit applications that were illegally submitted in your name. Learn more about dealing with creditors.


Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report
This will require creditors to take added safety measures to verify that any credit applied in your name is valid. You can put an “initial fraud alert” on your report. This will last for 90 days. This is good if you lose your wallet or credit cards.  An “extended fraud alert” should be placed when you are a victim of identity theft. This type of alert will stay on your report for seven years. However, you will need to provide an 'identity theft report' in order to receive this type of alert.

To have either one of these fraud alerts place on your credit file, just contact any one of the three major credit reporting agencies, your request will be shared with the other agencies. Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.

Stay On Top of Your Credit!
We suggest that you enroll in the credit monitoring system. Doing so will allow you to regularly monitor your credit report from all three major credit reporting companies. This will allow you to easily spot any accounts and/or spending that is not yours. Learn more about the credit monitoring system.

Dispute Any Errors!
Follow the instructions on this page to learn how to remove any misinformation listed as a result of identity theft.

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