How Does Identity Theft Affect My Credit Score?

By: The Schlanger Law Group Legal Team 

identity theft lawyer

Understanding the Damaging Effects of Identity Theft

If a thief gets their hands on your sensitive personal info, they suddenly have a key to your financial world, including your accounts. If you’ve had your social security number, bank account login, or credit card info stolen, new credit cards might start to appear in your name. You might even see loans are being taken out under you identity as well. Identity theft can lead to serious financial & credit-related complications.

If you have been a victim of identity theft and it’s damaged your credit score, we may be able to help you recover. Contact us at Schlanger Law Group LLP for a private consultation.  We represent victims of identity theft and unauthorized charges in  New York, New Jersey and nationwide. Call us now at (212) 500-6114.

The Damage to Your Credit Score

Once your personal information lands in the hands of an identity thief, fraudulent activity on your account becomes much more likely. New credit card accounts, loans, and other accounts may start to appear under your name. Left undetected or unaddressed, unpaid debts and high credit utilization can quickly ruin your credit score.

The Lingering Effects of a Damaged Credit Score

Having a tarnished credit score can be a serious issue for you and your family. Securing loans becomes harder, or you might be slapped with high-interest rates. Renting a home, buying insurance, or landing a job could all become more challenging.  Most adverse information will remain on your credit report for seven years unless you take steps to have it removed.

The Long Road to Damage Control: Fixing Identity Theft Issues 

We’ve worked with countless identity theft clients who have had credit cards opened in their names or had money taken out of their bank accounts.  Many of our clients come to us after having their had their savings wiped out. It is usually possible to recover from these terrible situations. This is where an identity theft attorney becomes a valuable partner in recovering and getting justice. An attorney with experience in credit reporting and identity theft litigation can, if necessary, bring suit against the  credit agencies, banks, lenders and other large institutions that have refused to fix disputed accounts to make sure they accurately fix your information and accounts and pay you for the damage they have caused

Know Your Legal Rights & Protections

Many consumers do not realize that they are protected by several powerful consumer protection laws.    The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) contains a number of protections for identity theft victims, including requiring creditors to turn over information regarding the opening of the account, and – most importantly– allowing consumer to sue creditors and credit reporting agencies that fail to reasonably investigate the consumer’s dispute.  The FCRA provides for several different classes of damages, as well as attorneys fees and costs for the prevailing consumer.  This allows firms like Schlanger Law Group to represent consumers on a contingency basis.  

Preventing Identity Theft: Your Best Defense Against These Cyber Criminals

Preventing identity theft beats having to solve it. (1) Regular checks on credit reports, (2) safekeeping personal information , and (3) online transaction security are your best bets. After all, prevention is better than cure.

Stolen Identity & Credit Score FAQs

What should you do if you suspect your identity’s been stolen?

Act fast. Reach out to your bank, credit card companies, credit reporting agencies, and local law enforcement.

Can identity theft permanently hurt my credit score?

Unless you take steps to have incorrect information removed, inaccurate account information will generally stay on your credit report for seven years.  The right steps and possibly an identity theft attorney’s help can restore your credit health.  

How can you prevent identity theft?

Regularly checking credit reports, secure personal information, strong passwords, and avoiding phishing scams are some ways.

What role does an attorney play in identity theft cases?

Schlanger Law Group, LLP typically gets involved when a consumer has asked the credit reporting agency to fix the error, and the credit  reporting agency denies the dispute and continues reporting the incorrect information.    Unfortunately, many defendants only take your dispute seriously once you hire an attorney and file suit, seeking compensation.  

What’s the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

It’s a federal law regulating credit reporting in the United States.  . You can dispute inaccurate information on credit reports under this law, and companies are obliged to investigate.  If they fail to conduct a reasonable investigation, companies can be liable for damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

If you have been a victim of identity theft and it’s damaged your credit score, we may be able to help you recover. Contact us at Schlanger Law Group for a private consultation, We  regularly represent victims of identity theft in   New York, New Jersey and nationwide. Call us now at (212) 500-6114.

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