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Identity Theft

Is it possible to physically steal personal information without obtaining legal powers? The answer is no, although the legal options are not as accessible as the less accessible alternatives.

First, it is important to understand who is accessing your information. These include corporate or government employees and business associates: whoever they may be, as well as anyone else that may be logging on to the internet or using their personal data to do business with companies, such as rent a car, book an appointment or enter into an agreement to purchase a service, all count as well.

Secondly, if you are the one denied access to the personal information, the legal system will turn on you: if you consistently follow the law – even if this means using your personal information to buy a product or service from a company that you do not know or do not want to give a service to. There is no legal mandate – as long as you follow the law – to turn on the Personal Information Keeper.

Third, and perhaps most important, the legal system will turn on you if you have any problems that are illegal, like paying bills on time – or investigating new charges. You are far more likely to turn it on if you have been issued a complaint.

Lastly, there is the moral: if you cannot exercise due control: in some situations you may be denied legal access to your information. This can happen if you are not completely informed about any of the legal options available to you – or if you are told that you have absolute immunity against liability for unlawful actions. In such situations, you should carefully read the fine print – what you are allowed out of the document – before applying to have personal data stolen by anyone else.

It all depends on how and where you can find your legal remedies for identity theft. If you need a guide on which to go in using the law to your advantage, then you might be a better bet than waiting until you have had enough to feed the legal system. There is no perfect remedy for identity theft, but there is a better solution than waiting until a corporate body or government agency has turned up in your place of abode – and asks you to sign a document that states that you do not represent them – and then calling the police. (In other words, you say you will not sign – the person responding: “No, you are not authorized to be the designated user” – ends the conversation).

Copyright 2006 Ed Vegliante.

A Good Credit Report

Have you ever wondered if your credit report is a big deal? Reading past the title gives you an idea of what every major credit reporting agency will report about you. This article focuses on what ‘big deal’ your credit score may be and also looks at what type of reporting agencies will consider you as one of their customers.

Keep in mind that not all credit reports are the same. Some have different use-cases for your individual information and as always, you need to check the individual reports in order to learn exactly what information might be present in your credit report.

Outstanding Reports Generally The more outstanding work your agencies do on your credit report, the greater chance of that information being correctly assessed. To find which cards and accounts you have increased interest or interest rate, you need to look at your outstanding credit report. If you’ve found yourself late with payments or a balance transfer, these may show up on your credit report and not be on your credit report at all.

Late Payments and Balance Transfers Some lenders request that your information be removed from your credit report so that they can use against the monthly payments used to pay off your other accounts for collections. The amount that will be needed is the total amount of money you have missed on a monthly basis by just a few thousand dollars. At the general cash advances and balance transfers, however, the types of information under review are the same (annual fees, interest rates, balance transfers) that you would want to look at if you were considering applying for a loan or credit card together.

New Purchases and Balance Transfers One of the most common ways that lenders try to keep your credit report from being misused is to push your credit card balances up into the sky. This is a common way that many lenders set up shop to make payments easy for you, unless you are financially aware enough to appreciate this maneuver and use it judiciously. Some cards and accounts are simply added on to your credit report at the request of your current lender, while others are placed on loan or credit card or balance transfer at the request of someone else. Such aggressive moves may actually lead you to higher balances, make you lose your future savings and be in a harder financial bind that you otherwise would be in.