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Identity theft can do major damage to consumer credit scores

Jul 23, 2013 Dave King

Identity theft is a crime that impacts Americans nearly every day, and it has a major impact on consumer credit scores.

Short term lenders need to be the first line of defense against this type of crime, as thieves often attempt to obtain loans using false identities, which is why ID verification solutions are essential at these financial institutions.

According to a new survey by FindLaw, around 22 percent of Americans have never checked their credit scores, which can make it difficult to determine if they have been a victim of identity theft. Nearly one in four Americans who had checked the records found a problem with their report, and identity theft was one of the most common issues.

"A negative credit report can have an enormous influence on a person's ability to obtain a mortgage, credit card, auto loan or other credit, and can also be used in making hiring decision," said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney with

Barry Paperno, community manager for said identity theft can lower a credit score by more than 100 points.

For consumers who have seen scores fall, short term lending can be of assistance. Financial institutions that offer this type of financing use alternative credit solutions to approve applications, so individuals who have damaged credit scores can receive loans.