Should you lock your credit file?

Should I lock my credit file?

If you suspect that you have been or are likely to be the victim of fraud, you can request a ban on your credit file. This action will prevent credit grantors from accessing your credit report for a credit check.

While the ban is in place, your credit information cannot be disclosed by any credit reporting agency. Credit grantors will not be able to see credit information without your written permission.

If you are considering having your credit report banned, it is important to do so with every credit reporting agency in Australia, which are Equifax, Expirian and million.

It may be worth considering the implications of locking your credit report. While locking your report can potentially prevent someone from taking out credit on your behalf, it’s not a guaranteed solution.

Locking your score may prevent you from seeing unusual activity associated with your report.

You’ll need to remember to remove the lock if you want to apply for a loan, line of credit, or even a phone plan. Unlocking your credit file can take up to a few days and can be time consuming if you constantly have to lock and unlock your file.

Some experts advise blocking your credit only if you suspect fraud. Others suggest lockdown as a proactive measure.

What else can I do to prevent identity theft?

It’s more important than ever to be suspicious of who has access to your personal information and how secure it is.

Do not disclose any personal information to people you do not know or trust. Verify the validity and authenticity of any organization requesting your information. This includes social media platforms, banks, telecommunications networks, utility companies, mobile apps and more.

Regularly check your bank account and report any suspicious activity. The same goes for your credit score.

Performing regular credit score checks can be a sensible preventative measure to see if someone has been misusing your personal information to obtain a line of credit. If your details are used to obtain a loan, it can have a negative impact on your credit rating and your ability to borrow.

You can also sign up for email alerts to notify you of any changes to your score – which may be particularly useful for Optus customers affected by the data breach – by downloading RateCity’s iPhone Where android apps.

Knowing your credit score may be the easiest way to identify fraudulent activity and may also encourage you to improve your score to become a more viable candidate for financing.

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