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Improving a credit score after identity theft or other incident

Jul 30, 2013 Quinn Thomas

Improving a credit score after identity theft or other incident

A consumer credit score can be damaged in any number of events, such as identity theft. When something like this happens, short term lenders need to be one of the first lines of defense, as thieves typically attempt to use stolen identities to open lines of credit.

Whether a consumer has missed a payment or had their identity stolen, there are numerous ways to improve a credit score.

However, Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian, told Fox Business that the actual number may not be the most important factor.

"The most important thing a person can do is focus on their credit history, not on a number," Griffin said. "Every credit score is calculated using the information in a person's credit report. If you take care of your credit report, credit scores will take care of themselves."

To improve their credit history, consumers should focus on practicing the best credit behavior, such as paying off debt, making on time payments and not creating too many hard inquiries.

It is also important to check for any errors on a credit report. According to the Federal Trade Commission, around 26 percent of people had at least one error on their report, which amounts to around 52 million Americans.

No matter how a credit score was damaged, attempting to repair that number can be a struggle, especially if a consumer needs to obtain some sort of financing or is struggling to cover other bills. That said, short term lending could be a good, one-time option for relief during these trying times, as this type of loan can provide assistance for consumers having difficulty paying down their credit cards and keeping up with other essential expenses.