Your credit report provides a consolidated summary of your financial history, which allows future lenders and employers to assess your reliability. However, your report could go downhill fast if identity thieves get a hold of your personal information, open new lines of credit in your name, drain your bank account and drive down your score.

Compromised security of your credit can be much more invasive than losing money. Falling victim to identity theft can disturb virtually every aspect of your life, from your career to retirement plans — sometimes beyond the point of repair. It is vital to take proactive steps now to protect yourself, your finances and your opportunities from malicious attempts, no matter when they may strike. To get started, you can:

  • Freeze or lock your report: Take control of your finances and restrict access to your credit report in an instant. Stop identity thieves in their tracks by securing your credit score and reports with all three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you are applying for a loan and need the freeze temporarily lifted, simply contact the reporting agency online or by phone to specify the length of time the freeze is to be inactive.
  • Check in frequently: Monitoring your credit report and score is a great way to ensure your information is staying safe. While checking your information through certain institutions may hurt your score, many will not. You are allowed one copy of your credit report from each of the three prominent U.S. credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — every 12 months at no cost. Plus, you can now improve visibility into your financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic by checking your credit report every week for free! The three national credit reporting agencies are permitting everyone weekly access to their reports at no cost through December 2022.
  • Make sure every item on your report is in line and accurate regularly. Pay close attention to signs of identity theft, such as listed accounts that do not belong to you. If there is an error, contact the agency that provided the report, as well as the reporting creditor, to correct the discrepancy as soon as possible.

  • Sign up for fraud alerts: Know the moment your information is compromised, so you can take necessary action. APGFCU offers advanced fraud monitoring, detection and notifications to keep your credit score and report out of harm’s way.
  • Open an APGFCU® Member Protect Checking account: Protect your personal information and credit with this unique checking account. It pays competitive rates on your balance, gives you cash back on debit card purchases and offers credit monitoring and identity theft protection.*
  • APGFCU’s Member Protect Checking prioritizes the safety and security of your personal information and offers simplified credit freezing and locking with TransUnion — learn more.

Having a satisfactory credit report is crucial to your personal and professional life. With the right tools, you can optimize your score, while achieving your financial goals. Learn more about how Member Protect Checking can help you grow while keeping your information safe.

*Click for full account offerings and disclosures. Federally insured by NCUA.

This article has been provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a loan representative or financial advisor. The examples provided within the article are for example only and may not apply to your situation. Since every situation is different, we recommend speaking to a loan representative or financial advisor regarding your specific needs. You may also want to contact your tax advisor for additional tax information.