Entrepreneurs & Identity Theft

Being an entrepreneur is not like being a normal employee. Not only do you occasionally get to work in your shorts, you also have many responsibilities that most don't have at their normal nine-to-five job.

For example, you would be shocked if you work for a company and they wanted you to guarantee a corporate loan or to sign a lease or to get a corporate credit card for the corporation. You would most likely be calling your friends to see if they had another position for you because your company was about to go out of business.

But you don't work for a normal company, you're an entrepreneur. You work for yourself.

And that means as an entrepreneur you will be doing things that most people never have to do. And because of that your credit score and your credit report is more important to you during the working days than it is to most Americans.

As entrepreneurs we are constantly purchasing services and products from businesses in person and online. Sometimes we attempt to save money by using other startups. Sometimes we are using companies that very few people have ever heard of. And to be honest, if you think about it, we really have no idea what they're doing with our information and how much information they actually need from us to successfully open additional accounts in her name or somehow benefit additionally from having that information.

                          Negative Item

                                      Missed Payment

                                      Bankruptcy

  Damage to Credit Score

   +100 points off your score

   +240 points off your score

That means that as entrepreneurs, we have a higher rate of identity theft occurrences because of the additional times we are required to put our information out there with other businesses.

So, without further ado, let me show you as a consumer protection attorney how to ignore 99% of the junk online, and show you how to get this over with and potentially use it to your advantage.

Since you're an entrepreneur I'm going to assume that you are pretty smart and Savvy to begin with so I'm not going to buy you down with boring stuff. But, with that said, you first have to start off by getting your credit report which you can get in several places and it wasn't your choice.

Annualcreditreport.com is the gold standard because you were getting it directly from the sources which are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. However, many people like the utility and ease of creditkarma.com and it's similar service of freecreditreport.com.

Using both of those online services you can get each of your three credit reports.

Now that we're done with that let me tell you what you want to look for. In just one minute just scan through your name variations your address variations and circle anything is wrong. Do the same thing for any other personal information that's incorrect. Move down the credit report and make sure that you yourself have authorized and opened each of the accounts that are listed on your credit report.

If you do not recognize it put a flag beside it and circle it because that is something you will need to dispute. Do that for your entire credit report and then for each of the other credit reports. Some credit reports may have different information than others.

Now I want you to repeat after me colon I will dispute with the credit reporting agencies first. I will send a copy to the Creditor second. This is where everyone goes wrong and that's why I made that perfectly clear do not attempt to contact the credit or first. That is a Fool's errand. Nothing starts in this world until you send a dispute to the credit reporting agencies. They will then contact the creditors and notify them. So would you include with your dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies because I know as an entrepreneur you have very little time.

The first thing I would do is jump online to identitytheft.gov and complete an identity theft affidavit.

Second thing I would do would be to see if your city or county has an online method of filing an identity theft police report. If they do, I would do so at that time. If they do not, I would say get your identity theft affidavit and swing by a local police station to ask for an identity theft affidavit for police report. They should give you a form to complete and sign.

When your police report is ready you will mail that into the credit reporting agencies. Within 30 days and generally within the week you should have a response back from the credit reporting agencies deleting the information. If they do not delete the information after you sent them an identity theft affidavit and police report, it is most likely that they will never delete the information since you're not for newer I'm going to assume that you are pretty smart in savvy to begin with so I'm not going to buy you down with boring stuff.

But, with that said, you first have to start off by getting your credit report which you can get in several places and in the dance your choice. Annual credit report. Com is the gold standard because you were getting it directly from the sources which are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

However, many people like the utility and ease of creditkarma.com and it's similar service of freecreditreport.com.

Using both of those online services you can get each of your three-current report.

Now that we're done with that let me tell you what you want to look for.

In just one minute just scan through your name variations, your address variations, and circle anything is wrong. Do the same thing for any other personal information that's incorrect. Move down their credit report and make sure that you yourself have authorized and opened each of the accounts.

If you do not recognize it put a flag beside and because that is something you want to dispute. Do that for your entire report and then for the other credit reports.

Some credit reports may have different information than others. I want you to repeat out after me: I will dispute with the credit reporting agency first. Only after that, will I send a curtesy copy of the dispute to the creditor on your report.

Of course, having credit issues or an identity theft account on your credit report will also hurt you personally. You, as an individual, still exist even though you so heavily associate yourself as an entrepreneur with what you do during the day.

But as an individual, you still need to rent an apartment or buy a house. You still may need to borrow money for a car or want a credit card. Or will have your credit looked at for variety of purposes. Therefore, consider this as personal self-care and business care and do it.

I don't want to waste a good entrepreneurs time, so here is a brief template of what you could use to dispute your identity theft accounts to the credit reporting agencies below. I have also included each of their addresses to mail them to, also note at the bottom I have included a cc which indicates these are the additional documents you want to include in each of your letters.

Best wishes from one entrepreneur to another.

Did You Know?

Did you know that one bank alone can make well over $50,000 more in profit off of your mortgage if you have an error on your credit report AND at the exact same time, they are the ones paying the credit reporting agencies tons of money? 


Can you now see why the system is broken? 

Reminders:

don't pay for your credit report

always send you the scoop letter to the credit reporting agency first

do not pay for credit reporting monitoring or credit repair agencies.

Everything you need to do is within your power or the companies and reporting agencies are violating the law which will require a consumer protection attorney to force them to correct the errors, pay you for your damages, and pay for their attorney’s fees. These cases can often be very valuable to the victims of identity theft.

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a compiled list of your accounts and credit obligations over the last 7 to 10 years. It is relied on by banks and lenders, to approve you for credit. It is also used by employers to determine whether they want to hire you.

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About the Author

Consumer Attorney that fights big businesses on your behalf. Started his career in international human rights before eventually finding his true calling in consumer protection law. He is a husband and trial lawyer. Most of his work involves credit reporting errors, robocalls, and identity theft. His law practice is in the Atlanta/Decatur area.