How to Find Out If You Are Affected By Equifax Hack

Have you been affected by the Equifax hack?

On Thursday, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies announced that hackers had obtained access to company data potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. After the companies recent investigation, Equifax stated that the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The cybersecurity incident was discovered on July 29, 2017, in which they immediately took measures to stop the intrusion by engaging with a leading independent cybersecurity firm. The company also reported the incident to law enforcement and will continue to work with the authorities until the investigation completes in the coming weeks.

The information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some instances, drivers license numbers. Equifax also stated credit card numbers of approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and personal identifying information for 182,000 consumers involved with credit disputes.

How to tell if you been affected by the hack?

Equifax will not be contacting everyone that may have been affected, but the company will be sending out direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute information were accessed. Richard F. Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Equifax, stated: “We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident.” The company has established a dedicated website,, to help customers determine if the hack potentially affected them. The site will be available as early as Monday, September 11, and will also offer U.S. consumers to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection, and the offer will last for one year. TrustedId Premier will handle the monitoring and protection and will include 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and Transunion; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and internet scanning for Social Security numbers. However, the credit monitoring and identity protection may require you to accept TrusteId’s terms and conditions, including it’s “Attribution” Section.

Equifax has also set up a dedicated call center, 1-866-447-7559, to assist customers seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. Eastern time.


Protecting your Identity Theft

Identity theft continues to increase each year, in 2016 victims of identity theft were robbed of $16,000.00. An important factor in protecting yourself from identity theft is regularly checking your credit report and monitoring your account statements. As a consumer, you are allowed a free copy of your credit report once a year from all three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. You can request your free copy of your credit reports online at If you have noticed unauthorized activity on your credit report or accounts, immediately report the activity to your bank or credit card companies, and then contact law enforcement.

For Additional information on how to protect yourself against identity theft, you may access The Federal Trade Commission’s website.

5 Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a Home – Credit Law Center

Buying a home can be one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Once you have decided to take the plunge and buy a home, there are some things you may want to avoid during the process.

We have created a list of the 5 Do’s and Don’t of buying a home.

5 Do’s of Buying a Home

1. Review and Monitor your credit report: Credit Reports contain errors, approximately 79% of all credit reports contain errors. To get the best interest rates you will need the highest credit score. Make sure you review your report and determine if all information is reporting accurate, timely and verifiable.

2. Manage your debt: Your revolving debt ratio makes up 30% of your credit score. Keeping your debt ratio as close to 1% will have the best positive impact on your credit score. Debt ratios about 50% will have a negative impact on your score, while anything under 30% will increase the positive impact.

3. Identify any negative items: Attempting to correct inaccurate information on your credit report during the home buying process may affect your credit scores and put an account in dispute.

4. Understand your credit scores: Over 90% of lenders nationwide use the FICO scoring model. Currently, FICO does not allow credit monitoring sites to use their scores. The scores you see online may be dramatically different than the ones your lender will use.

5. Seek Professional Help: If there are issues that arise in your credit before you can purchase a home, reach out to a professional.



5 Don’ts of Buying a Home

1. Don’t add any new debt: Buying a new home can be exciting. You can’t wait to decorate your home and furnish it, however, don’t let that tempt you in to opening a new credit card. Adding new credit and more debt can significantly impact your FICO scores. Try and refrain from using credit cards until after the loan is funded.

2. Don’t pay off old collections: Old collections may harm your credit scores if you pay them off. Paying off debts can affect the date of last activity on the account, and this could damage your credit scores.

3. Don’t shop around too much: It is true that you can pull your credit within 30 days, and it only counts as one credit pull, BUT inquiries over 30 days old may have an adverse effect on your credit score.

4. Don’t pay off your credit cards: A zero balance on your credit cards shows up in the FICO scoring model as “no data” which can lower your credit score. Keeping a balance of 1% of the available balance is the key number.

5. Don’t MISS ANY PAYMENTS: This is the most important thing to remember! Payment history accounts for the largest portion(35%) of what makes up your credit scores. A 30-day late payment can lower a score by 100 points and potentially cause you to lose the loan.

How to Avoid a Rental Scam – Credit Law Center

Trying to find a place to rent when you have less than stellar credit can leave you feeling hopeless. Finding a landlord that is willing to work with your situation may be a hefty task, but an important piece to this puzzle is knowing the red flags when it comes to rental scams. Scam artists are always looking for ways to prey on individuals, and rental scams are on the rise.

Craigslist and other online community sites are an easy way for these slimy scammers to prey on desperate individuals looking for a place to move. In doing my research I was disgusted at the numerous ways the rip off artists used to target individuals. Below I have listed a few of the ways they will target.

Common ways Scammers are Targeting Renters

Stealing an Existing Rental Ad

Some scammers will copy and steal images and location of a current rental home that is listed one another site. They will then post it on another site, with the same images, but change the price and phone number. They are slick and like to post a higher deposit, but a lower monthly amount. Scammers are looking for the fastest and less recognizable way to obtain the largest amount of money before you catch on to their scam. Occasionally, these scammers will hijack the listing agent’s email address.

Missing Landlord

These scammers look for vacant, bank owned homes and may even use their own home to show possible renters. They will take them to the vacant homes tell them the landlord is currently out of the country or sick, they will then request a deposit to hold the property and skip out. They will then take the down payment and never contact them again. Scammers often use their own house if they want to pull the scam more than once.


Red Flags

1. If they ask you to wire money. It is never a good reason to wire money, even if you already signed a contract.
2. If the landlord or agent asks for the first month’s rent and deposit before you have ever seen the property in person or signed an agreement.
3.They tell you the owner is out of the country and they are representing them.
4. Requesting you to fill out an application before you have ever seen the property.
5. If the price is too good to be true.
6.Sloppy ads misspelled words and not having pictures.


1. Do not rent sight unseen.
2. Meet the landlord in person.
3. Speak with current tenants, if possible.
4.Look up the current deed of trust in County records.
5. You may want to consider using a licensed agent or a reputable leasing company.
6. Do the basic research, google search the phone number and email address. Lots of times people use the internet to notify others of these individuals.

What to do if this happens to you

If you find yourself interacting with an individual who is trying to scam you, it is important that you report them to the local authorities and you may also report to the local utility company, so they can notify the proper owner of the circumstances. You may also want to report to the FTC.