Your credit score is an important part of getting a mortgage, as your mortgage lender wants to see your history of using and repaying credit to assess your viability as a borrower beforehand. Some extremely unfortunate souls in the mortgage world have run into a worrisome issue in recent years, however: They’ve gone to complete a mortgage deal, only to find that their credit score was torpedoed by identity theft.
Identity theft is on the rise, with hackers looking for your personal information and using it to empty your accounts and impact your credit information severely. At Altius Mortgage and our partners at Mortgage Ogden, we’re here to help – here are several tips to avoid identity theft so you don’t run into this kind of an unpleasant surprise when looking to finalize your mortgage.
Public WiFi and Sensitive Information
Mobile and online banking is a necessity in today’s day and age, but you should avoid making secure transactions of any kind while on public WiFi networks. These can easily be hacked, allowing perpetrators to see your personal information and also steal your passwords.
In addition, be careful about the sort of sensitive information you send via email – by any WiFi network. Try to avoid sending things like Social Security numbers, credit cards or account numbers.
Account Statements and Credit Report
Regularly check your account statements and your credit score. You’re looking for any suspicious activity that might signal your accounts have been compromised.
Phishing and Scams
No legitimate financial organization will ask for personal information via email – never provide this, and never click random links that you aren’t 100 percent sure of. If you ever see these kinds of requests from what appears to be your financial institution, contact them separately to confirm it was them.
Make sure you use complex passwords that contain uppercase and lowercase letters, plus at least one number or symbol. Passwords should be at least eight characters long, and you should not use the same passwords for everything.
Fraud Alerts and Freezes
If you’ve had any breaches in the past, or if you just want to take extra care, you can add a fraud alert or a freeze to your credit account. Fraud alerts are generally free, while a freeze will come with a fee.
For more on avoiding identity theft, or to learn about how to get the best mortgage rates possible for your situation, contact the pros at Altius Mortgage today.