Your credit history is very important. Identity Theft is the
fastest growing crime in America, affecting half a million new victims
each year. Stealing someone's identity can cost consumers thousands
of dollars, it can often go undetected for months or even years.
Things you can do to help prevent Identity Theft:
- Photocopy the contents of your wallet, copying both sides of
each credit card. Keep the copies, numbers, and phone numbers of
account contacts in a safe and secure place.
- Do not give personal information over the phone, mail, or the
internet unless you have initiated the call and you know the internet
is a secure site.
- Do not carry your social security card, passport, birth certificate
- Do not print your social security or driver's license on your
checks or other personal items, i.e. neighborhood watch engraved
- Shred documents and pre-approved credit card applications you
receive in your mail.
- Never use you mother's maiden name, your birth date or the last
four digits of your social security number as a password or pin
- Order your credit report at least twice a year and review them
for accuracy. Reports can be obtained from the three main credit
Your Credit Score
Consumers hear a lot about the importance of having and maintaining
a good credit score. A good credit score can mean lower rates on
mortgages, auto loans and credit card interest rates. A credit score
is a value assigned to several criteria used in making lending decisions.
Criteria include the amount you owe on non-mortgage-related accounts
such as credit cards, your payment history and your credit history.
Credit scorers take information from your credit report and use a
formula that calculates a value representing the amount of risk to
a lender. The score that scorers use to calculate generally use information
from one of the three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and
TransUnion. Lenders also take into account: late payments, your income
and earning potential, both indicators of your ability to repay the
It is a good idea to make sure the data the credit bureaus have
is consistent and current. Pay your bills on time, don't max
out your credit lines. By carefully managing your credit, it is possible
to improve your score.
Our professional Loan staff
will be glad to talk to you and answer any questions you may have
about Credit Scores and ways to build your score.