Four Steps to Protecting Your Credit
From Monitoring Your Report to Controlling Your Cards
Using credit cards for shopping in person and online anywhere in the world can be convenient and financially savvy. But it’s important you monitor your cards to keep and improve your overall credit score and protect yourself from possible fraud. Here are four steps to get that done.
- Get your free credit report. To get a copy of your full report, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 877.322.8228. Because you have access to a copy of your report from each of the three reporting agencies every year, it’s smart to request one from each agency every four months.
- Examine your report carefully. Double-check your personal information, credit history, public records, and inquiries for errors, duplicates, and any omissions. Specific things to look for include accounts that you didn’t open or maybe belong to someone else in your family, errors in your address, possible identity theft, and incorrect account status. If you find anything that is incorrect, get it fixed.
- Fix any errors. If you find a mistake in a report, contact the agency. You’ll need to explain, in detail, why the information is incorrect and provide copies of any supporting documentation. Once your information is received, the bureau will investigate and respond in as little as five days in some cases. Most requests take between 30-45 days.
- Keep a close eye on your credit cards. Check on your available credit and recent purchases at least once per week. Additionally, if your card is ever lost or stolen, report it immediately. Another good way to watch your cards carefully is with the PAHOFCUCArds app*. The app lets you lock and unlock PAHO/WHO FCU credit and debit cards instantly, set geographic boundaries based on your location, report your cards lost or stolen, as well as dispute transactions, make payments, and see your current balance. The PAHOFCUCards app works with PAHO/WHO FCU credit and debit cards and is available for iPhone and Android devices.
*Data and other wireless provider charges may apply.