Protecting Your Credit in 2015 #credit With the start of the new year, let’s review a few simple tips to keep your credit safe! Check your credit often – at least once a year. Visit here to check out a few options on how to monitor and check your credit report. Watch your bank and credit card statements. This is a great way to spot problems or errors right away! Shred any paperwork with any personal information you no longer need - instead of just throwing in the trash. Don’t give just anyone access to your private information that can make it easier to steal your identity! Don’t give your account information over the phone – unless you know the company and you’re the one that initiated the call. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your bank, hang up and call either your local branch or the number found on the back of your card. Keep a record of your card numbers, expiration dates, and phone numbers in a secure place. If your card gets stolen, this information will simplify the process of cancelling or reporting the card that was stolen or misplaced. Following these tips can help keep your credit and personal information safe this year, but sometimes you will find that even if you do everything right, someone can manage to get ahold of your information. If you do suspect someone has used your name, Social Security Number, or driver's license to obtain credit, do not wait. Follow the steps below to make sure that your credit is still undamaged. Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax 1-800-685-1111, Experian 1-800-301-7195, and Trans Union 1-281-874-0169. Report identity theft crimes to the local police or law enforcement agency in your area. Put a fraud alert on your credit file. Also, report the possible theft to all credit card issuers. In addition, make sure to cancel all your current cards. Notify your bank of the theft. Request new account numbers and a new ATM number and PIN. Have a happy and (credit!) safe start to your new year!