4 Ways to Protect Your Credit
Your credit score can determine the types of loans you qualify for, the interest rate on your credit card, and future financing terms. Protecting your credit by taking proactive steps to ensure its safety is vital for your financial well-being. We’ve got a few tips listed below to help you safeguard your credit.
Check up on your accounts
It’s important to monitor your online accounts regularly by setting weekly or monthly reminders in your calendar. Keep an eye on your bank accounts, credit reports, and credit statements. If you notice a charge that seems fraudulent, contact your bank or creditor immediately.
Remember to review your credit report and look for errors at least once per year. If you find any mistakes in your credit summary, you may dispute them. Once resolved, you could notice an increase in your credit score. Consumer Reports recently found that nearly a third of consumers had errors in their credit history but in 2012, the Federal Trade Commission found that only 5% of consumers reported errors on their credit reports.
Consumers can check their credit reports for free by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
Protect your passwords
Set up multi-layered passwords like multi-factor authentication for all your online accounts. Most online banking apps and email providers give you the option to opt-in for multi-factor authentication.
Multi-factor authentication is an electronic verification process. As an authorized user, you’re granted access to a website or application after successfully confirming two or more types of proof to an authentication tool. For example, after you enter your password, you may receive a text message with a verification code to enter into the app or website you wish to access. Once the code and password are verified, you’ll be able to access your online account. This extra step may take more time to set up at first, but it’s worth the effort long-term.
Third-party identity protection plans like LifeLock offer layers of added security for consumers. They can detect threats, notify you of suspicious activity, and reimburse you for funds lost due to identity theft.
Plus, LifeLock also offers a free VPN for your electronic devices as part of your membership. A VPN is a virtual private network that can disguise your IP address and encrypts internet data. Overall, it offers you a safer internet experience ideal for shared networks and public Wi-Fi connections.
This multi-layer protection plan will help keep your credit, online activity, and electronic devices safe from threats.
Freeze your credit
If you think you’ve become a victim of credit fraud, you can freeze your credit. To do so, you’ll need to contact all three major credit bureaus. You can start by calling Equifax at 1-800-349-9960, TransUnion at 1-888-909-8872, and Experian at 1-888-397-3742.
A credit freeze prevents new credit inquires, which means bad actors won’t be allowed to open a new account using your information because lenders can’t check your credit while it’s frozen.
Just remember to unfreeze your credit when you’re ready to open a new account or apply for a credit card.
If you become a victim of identity fraud, it’s critical to act as soon as possible. Doing a little research and contacting your creditors will benefit your credit score and your financial health. If you have questions about your account at Yoakum National Bank, please visit our contact page to get in touch.