If identity theft has left you with damaged credit, it’s up to you to get fraudulent activity removed from your credit reports. In order to make the process go as fast and smoothly as possible, it’s important to take the right steps in the correct order. It will also be in your best interest to act quickly.
Being the victim of identity theft is a big inconvenience. However, you can minimize the damage when you know what to do and whom to contact.
The Right Steps to take after being the Victim of Identity Theft
As soon as you realize that your identity has been stolen and used to commit fraud, you should implement the following action plan.
1) Review Both of Your Credit Reports
You will need to request a copy of your credit report from both of the primary reporting bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax. There are simple instructions on both of their websites for how to gain access to your reports. Next, study these documents carefully and circle anything that looks suspicious.
2) Contact the Necessary Creditors
You’ll need to do this if a credit account that you didn’t authorize appears on your reports. In order to dispute the account, you should call the credit grantor and explain the situation. At this point, you will most likely be required to fill out an “Affidavit of Fraud” and send it in with additional documentation.
If you have filed a police report, you will probably need to send a copy of this, along with a copy of your driver’s licence. And once the creditor acknowledges that the account is fraudulent, the company should send you a letter of confirmation. This letter should also be sent to TransUnion and/or Equifax.
Make sure to follow up frequently with the credit grantor(s) and reporting agencies until the fraudulent items are removed from your reports.
3) Request Protective Statements on Your Credit Reports
Contact Equifax and TransUnion, and request them to place a protective statement on your credit file. You should also ask how long these statements will stay on your reports.
4) Call Your Financial Institutions
Contact your bank, credit union, or anywhere you have money to discuss your concerns over the identity theft. Ask reps from these institutions if additional protection is available for your accounts.
5) Get in Contact with Service Canada
If you have reason to believe that your Social Insurance Number was compromised, your local Service Canada office can advise you on what to do next. You may need to visit the office in person and bring along documents that are relevant to the situation. For information on which Service Canada office is nearest you, visit ServiceCanada.gc.ca.
6) Revisit Your Credit Reports
Even after you’ve completed the necessary steps, never just assume that your credit reports are once again correct. Instead, you should request additional copies of your reports and review them. If there are still fraudulent items present, you will need to press the matter until they are removed.
Once you’ve fully recovered from the damaged caused by identity theft, you should take measures to guard yourself against future incidents. One good way to keep track of the information on your credit reports is to enlist a credit monitoring service. Or, you can inquire with your bank, credit union or credit card issuer. Many of these institutions offer access to credit reports and scores as a courtesy to their customers.
Getting Auto Loan Approval with Damaged Credit
No matter how your credit came to be damaged, Canada Auto Approval can help you get approved for an auto loan so you can buy the car you need. Even if you’re a newcomer to the country, we can still get you financed and back on the road.
We have a full inventory of affordable cars and a quick and easy process. Just fill out our simple and secure online application to get started today.