Because of the nature of information reportedly stolen – Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers, credit card numbers, etc. – the ripple effects of this Equifax breach are likely to be felt for years to come. If you are concerned your personal information may have been compromised, it is critical that you do your due diligence to monitor your credit so that future purchases – such as buying a home – are not affected. Here are a few tips from Jeff Brand & Associates on what to do to protect your credit after the Equifax breach:
Sign-Up for a Credit Freeze
While this step may seem like a pain – because it is! – it is a valuable shield against hackers. A credit freeze stops anyone from opening an account under your name, including yourself. This means that anytime you want to open a new line of credit – home, auto, new credit card, etc. – you will need to call the credit reporting agencies and remove the hold. Equifax is offering a free credit freeze; TransUnion and Experian offer a credit freeze for a small fee.
Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report
In order to place a fraud alert on your account, simply contact one of the major credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax, and sign-up for a fraud alert on your account. This does not freeze your credit, but it does alert anyone who is pulling your credit that there could be suspicious activity and they need to do due diligence to verify the person’s identify before proceeding. This service is generally free.
Monitor all Accounts
Make it a point to monitor all of your accounts on a regular basis, going through statements to make sure no charges seem amiss. Even a suspicious small charge may be a hacker trying to test the waters before making larger purchases.
If you are looking for homes for sale in Flower Mound, Texas and plan to make a purchase in the next year, give us a call at Jeff Brand & Associates today. Our team can answer any questions you have about protecting your credit after the Equifax breach, buying and selling homes in Flower Mound, and so much more.