1. If you find errors on your credit report, what steps would you take to correct them?
In my personal experience, I had an error on my credit report when I was applying for a loan with my bank. I did not get approved for my loan even though one month prior I was approved and I had a low interest rate due to my high score. A few days later I received a letter in the mail explaining why along with my current credit report which dropped almost 100 points. I emailed one of the bureaus, explaining that there was an error with my report. I had to mail in a copy of 2 forms of ID, my letter stating my “current” credit report and the letter I received a month prior. Within a short time, they corrected my credit score.
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?
Based on my readings and personal experience, people should not use credit repair services because the ratio of scams out there online are very high. In the technology age we are in, it is very easy to fall victim to identity theft, even from a simply online purchase. With that same concept, “free” credit reports and repair services are not excluded just because it claims to help. Only one website is authorized under law to disclose such personal information to you via internet that is certified; annualcreditreport.com. Any other type of website that offers free reports are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program. If yu receive any emails, asking you to disclose personal information, it is a scam and should be reported.
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 Master Sergeant I worked for while in the Marine Corps was a victim of identity theft while temporarily overseas. He used his government credit card in Europe to pay for his hotel room. 2 weeks later, when he was back in the states, the bank called him to confirm that he had been in Asia and the Middle East within 24 hours. He put a freeze on all his accounts and had to file a report of the incident. After the claim was routed, he was reimbursed and had to reopen a new account for his government credit card.
4. Using the FTC site, what can you do to minimize the chance of your identity getting stolen?
To minimize the chance of my identity getting stolen, per off the FTC site, I should have a safety lockbox to store all my personal information in. I should minimize what I carry with me while I’m not home to the essentials so I may reduce the risk at having an identity theft. I should also shred receipts, bank statements, credit applications, checks, and any other forms of sensitive information when I’m through with the document and I no longer need it. I should be aware of the lock icon in the URL when giving out personal information on the web to ensure the transmission is secure. Finally, I should not over share on social media websites.