Credit Card Fraud Up 107%. Monitor Your Credit For Free With This Simple Tip
Per the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Credit card fraud has increased a whopping 107% from January 2019 to December 2020. The growth in credit card fraud is astounding, jumping nearly five-fold over the previous 2-year period of 2017-2019.
Credit card fraud and other forms of identity theft cause thousands of unsuspecting borrowers to be denied loans each year through no fault of their own.
Southern Indiana mortgage broker, Brad Sea with Kentuckiana Mortgage Group, confirmed this saying, "We have seen an uptick not only in fraud, but also inaccurate negative items showing up on client credit reports. These items can take weeks even months to repair once they are on your report and could end up costing a homebuyer their dream home if not addressed."
There are lots of ways to minimize or prevent credit card fraud and I'll direct you to and article from our friends at The Balance for specifics (https://www.thebalance.com/ways-avoid-credit-card-fraud-960797).
The point here is that one of the best ways to monitor for credit card fraud on your accounts is by regular checking your credit report. The sooner you can catch fraud or other negative issues, the sooner you can correct them.
The U.S. government has made it possible for individuals to get a FREE copy of their report from each of the three major credit bureaus once every 12 months. By getting one copy from each agency each quarter, you can spread them out over time and keep a better eye on things.
Speaking of fraud, note that there are several copycat companies who try to masquerade as the free report site with names and website addresses that sound similar. The correct government-backed site is AnnualCreditReport.com .
Visit Annual Credit Report .com and they will walk you through the steps of getting a copy of your report. You can even pay a nominal fee to see what each bureau shows for your personal credit score.
If you happen to find an error or possible fraud on your report you can dispute it with the click of a button on the bureaus website.
They will attempt to sell you other services, like credit monitoring, etc, but you can simply decline any services you don't want and still get the free report.
Having good credit is critical in qualifying for a mortgage with a good rate. And being pre-qualified for a mortgage is an absolute must for today's homebuyer. Take time to make sure your credit is free of fraud and errors prior to applying for a loan and you'll save yourself time, headache, money, and possibly your dream home.
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