Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Credit Score in 2014 - Quicken Loans Zing BlogWith reports of credit/debit and bank account information thefts coming out almost weekly, it’s easy to see that the potential for credit fraud is high. One might be tempted to go back to the “cash under the mattress” savings and credit plan.

However, this is no longer practical. Too much of our society has gone electronic. With that in mind, here’s how you can protect yourself from fraud and check your credit report if you have concerns.

Taking Precautions

Katie Bushor, director of client relations at Quizzle, a site that provides credit information for consumers, outlined a few ways you can protect yourself from fraud:

  • Verify that someone is who they say they are before giving out personal information.
  • Don’t carry personal information such as your Social Security card with you.
  • Keep receipts.
  • Check your credit report with all three bureaus often.
  • Look out for any unusual charges on your billing statement.

Checking Your Credit Report

There are a couple of ways you can get access to your credit report for free.

The first is mandated by the federal government. “www.annualcreditreport.com is the government mandated site where you can get a free report once a year from each of the three bureaus,” Bushor said.

Another way is to sign up for Quizzle. “You can also use www.quizzle.com to get a free score and an Equifax credit report every 6 months,” said Bushor. “Check the credit report to make sure you recognize all the information, and check it often. Sometimes information doesn’t always show up right away.”

If the Worst Happens

If your credit report comes through with errors, or if you’ve looked at your bank statement and believe there is a problem, you can reach out to the credit bureaus.

“Call at least one of the three bureaus to put an initial fraud alert on your credit report,” Bushor said. “Placing the alert on your file is free. This fraud alert will make it harder for thieves to use your information.”

You can also file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This will help you create a record when it comes time to get things removed.

If someone did use your information for a nefarious purpose, you have to set up a dispute case with the credit bureaus. If you’re a Quizzle member, Quizzle can help you start the process of disputing your case with Equifax.

“You will just need to enter some information, answer a few questions and then you will be able to dispute,” Bushor said. “You may need to provide some information to back up your claim as proof.”

Want to check your credit report? Go take a look at Quizzle right now.

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