“Identity theft is not a joke, Jim! Millions of families suffer every year!” said Dwight Shrute in the mockumentary sitcom television series, “The Office.”

He said this memorable line way back in 2007 when his colleague pranked him, and—unfortunately—the situation hasn’t changed for the better.

In fact, it’s getting worse. According to a 2018 online survey, nearly 60 million Americans have become victims of identity theft.

If you’ve been at the receiving end of an identity theft crime, it probably took an emotional and financial toll, and—most likely—ruined your credit history.

In this blog, we’ll tell you about some important steps that go into fixing your credit after identity theft, so you can regain your standing. Let’s get started!

Steps for Fixing Your Credit After Identity Theft

Notify the credit bureaus

The first and most obvious step is that you should notify the credit bureaus about fraudulent activities and ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit report.

This will require creditors to verify your identity before issuing a card or approving financing, preventing identity thieves from carrying out fraud in your name.

Close the compromised accounts or loans

You should contact the card issuer or lender that issued the credit to the fraudster to close the account to prevent further financial damage immediately.

The financial institution won’t hold you responsible for deceitful transactions. Also, request to change your account number, credit card number, and PIN.

Freeze your credit

Freezing your credit will restrict the lender from accessing your account, which will shield you from fraudulent transactions.

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Meanwhile, if you want to apply for credit, you can lift the freeze for a temporary period and levy it back once the process is complete.

READ: Credit Report Errors to Look Out For

Follow good practices

Once you believe that the issue is resolved and the threat of identity theft is no longer looming, it’s time to follow good practices that build your credit score.

Make sure you make timely payments of your balance for one. Also, keep a tab on your credit utilization ratio and keep it to a minimum.

Most importantly, keep a constant tab on your credit reports to ensure there’s no error or fraudulent charges in your name.

The entire process can be overwhelming, especially if you live a busy lifestyle. However, hiring a credit repair specialist means you don’t have to worry about it.

Using their expertise, they’ll dispute any charges that are wrongful and will take measures to repair your credit score.

READ: 3 Signs of a Reliable Credit Repair Company

Hire a credit repair specialist and restore your credit score. Masters Credit Consultants offers professional credit restoration services to individuals who become victims of identity thefts to help them improve their credit score. To learn more, call us at 1-844-620-8796 or email at info@masterscredit.com.