It’s important to know how many credit cards are in your name. It seems that these days you cannot get by without a credit card. Sometimes you need one to help you to get by in a month where the bills last longer than the money. Other times it could be for big purchases that you don’t have enough up front cash for (like a washer and dryer).
Some people even use a credit card for keeping a written tab of all of their monthly spending (many people use this method to see how much they spend on lunches each month, for example, and then pay the total due so they don’t pay finance charges). Also, it is important not to forget one of the biggest benefits to use a credit card: cash back and reward points.
Regardless of your reason for having and using a credit card, it is always important to know how many credit cards are issued in your name.
Why You Need to Keep Track of Your Issued Credit Cards
The biggest reason for keeping track of how many credit cards are being issued in your name is that you will want to watch out for identity theft. If you aren’t aware of how many credit cards have been issued in your name, then you may not even realize that someone has opened a credit card account in your name because you aren’t keeping track. It is very important that you always know what is going on with your credit.
How to Keep Track of Credit Card Issues
The easiest way to see what credit cards have been issued in your name is to check your credit report. This can be done once a year for free by going to annualcreditreport.com. This is the only government sanctioned site for getting your free annual report; however it is not the only method for getting your report as other services on our recommended credit reporting services page will also monitor your credit report 24/7 and alert you to changes for a small monthly fee.
With your free credit report you will be able to view and print your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. This is a good time to compare the reports to each other and see if they are all reporting accurately. If you see something out of place, you should report it immediately. If you have old accounts that you don’t use any more but they are in good standing, consider keeping them on your report, as they will continue to be a positive towards your final credit score.
If you find that there are discrepancies between reports or if there are credit cards that you don’t recognize, then you should dispute them on your report. All three agencies allow you to do this online, which makes it fast and easy to do. Once the results of the disputes are in, you will receive a notice via email that will let you know the results of the dispute. If the credit agencies will not remove the information that you deem erroneous then you are going to have to take steps to report your identity as stolen, this will likely be the only way to resolve this issue.
Five Steps to Reporting a Stolen Identity
Step One: The first step that you will want to take is to report to the three credit reporting agencies that your identity is stolen. This is important because this will prevent any new credit accounts from being opened and will stop any new loans, unless you personally verify that the new cards or loans belong to you.
Step Two: The next thing that you will need to do is to report the theft to the police. The reason that you need to do this is because you are going to have to report the theft of your identity to the credit card companies that issued the fraudulent cards. They will require proof that you have filed a police report. You will want to write a letter to the fraud department for each credit card company and you will also want to put it in writing and send them a letter with the theft information. Additionally you will want to keep copies of the letters for yourself and for the police department that is helping you.
Step Three: You will also want to file an identity theft report with the FTC. While the FTC will not likely be investigating your case, it is important that you file anyway. The credit card companies and the police department may require it and it is always good to have a federal filing regardless. You can file your report online at ftc.gov, which will save you some time and effort.
Step Four: Some other things to think about that are often overlooked are changing your driver’s license number, change your account numbers with your utility companies, change your passwords on existing accounts and so on. These are vital to prevent any further violation of your information and your identity.
Step Five: Lastly, sign up for a paid credit reporting service. These services will cost about ten dollars a month and you will receive an alert if any new cards are opened with your name and social security number. This is a valuable asset that allows you to immediately see if there is something going on with your credit.
It Might be Time to Get a New Credit Card
If your identity has been stolen, it might be time to get a new card and transfer the debt you owe to this card. This will help you to easily see what debt is yours and what belongs to the thieves. If a thief has stolen information from your old credit cards a new card will help prevent them from stealing any more money from you.
Many people do not realize that some credit card companies allow you to set per purchase spending limits to your card to prevent unauthorized use. These cards require a phone conversation with you to exceed a certain amount of money. While this can be a hassle at the register, it can prevent someone from stealing your information and maxing out your credit card. You can set the maximum purchase amount to any number that you would like. This kind of protection is very important if someone has access to your social security number and your credit reporting information.
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