Modern payment gateways, online selling and re-selling, and even digital currencies such as Bitcoin make for a more complicated relationship with credit and personal security; doing business digitally exposes consumers to more risk every day and from a variety of angles.
Your account can be hacked individually, it can be compromised as part of a larger “harvest” of personal data and account numbers from a target company, etc.
You may have had a credit card “skimmed” by a third-party device secretly installed in a gas pump payment swiper, or you could have been “shoulder surfed” at the ATM while entering your account information.
Whatever the approach taken to this sort of crime, the threat to consumers is very real.
Today’s news headlines tell us there are too many ways accounts can be compromised. Some feel it’s almost a requirement these days to monitor your credit to more fully protect accounts, investments, and assets.
There are many subscription-based credit monitoring options to help consumers better protect themselves. You can set up a credit monitoring account to notify you with alerts and reminders, as well as notifications when your FICO score changes.
This kind of automation helps you keep track of the changes on your credit reports without requiring you to personally review a large volume of monitoring data.
What should you look for in a credit monitoring service? Prices and options vary depending on the company; try looking for a subscription plan featuring daily monitoring, alerts, and a specific procedure for reporting and correcting errors on your credit report.
There should also be a process for you to respond to credit alerts that may have evidence of identity theft on your account.
How long will it take to successfully dispute an entry to a credit report? There are too many variables to predict what might happen between complaint and resolution; remember that this process can be time consuming, may require you to file police reports (where identity theft issues are specifically concerned) and you will need to submit the challenge to all three credit reporting agencies.
We say that to encourage you to start as early as possible. Furthermore, it is a bad idea to apply for a major line of credit like a home loan, construction mortgage, or even a cash-out refinance loan when you have an unresolved dispute on your credit report.
Take as much time as you need to settle the matter before you begin the mortgage application process.