Think you’re too young to worry about your credit history? Think again! Credit history can open doors. One day you’ll need a loan to buy something big like a car or a house. To do this, you’ll need a positive credit history. The earlier you learn good credit habits, the better.
Did you know there were 14.4 million victims of identity theft in 2018? According to Javelin Strategy, each case cost the victim an average of $1,050 - and that's only the cost in dollars. When an individual's identity is stolen, the thief wreaks major havoc on the victim's financial health, which can take months, or even years, to recover from.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming the next victim. Here is your complete guide to identity theft protection.
- Monitor your credit
One of the best preventative measures you can take against identity theft is monitoring your credit. You can check your credit score for free on sites like CreditKarma.com and order an annual report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies at AnnualCreditreport.com. Check your score for any sudden hits and look through your reports for suspicious activity. It's also a good idea to review your monthly credit card bills for any charges you don't remember making.
The beginning of the year is a time of resolutions and renewal. Even if you're not the kind of person who hits the gym with renewed vigor come January, getting those post-holiday credit card statements can get your heart racing. That's why the beginning of the year is a great time to check in on your financial standing and make sure you weren't the victim of holiday fraud and that your credit is in good shape.