When first starting out in adulthood, there are common mistakes that people make that can have a huge impact on the rest of their life. It’s important to make sure that you take steps to protect yourself from the very start so that you can have the best future possible. The following guide walks you through a few tips and tricks you can use to protect yourself so your credit doesn’t get ruined accidentally.
The IRS Doesn’t Contact You Through Email or Phone Calls
It’s important to know that there are people who will call and pretend to be from the IRS in an attempt to get your personal information. Once they have your social security number and a few crucial personal details, they could completely steal your identity. It’s important to know that the IRS will never attempt to contact you over the phone or by email.
The IRS will send you a letter in the mail if there’s anything wrong that they need to talk to you about. You will have a direct contact number to call and a number assigned to your account to give to the agent who answers your call. If someone does call you claiming to be from the IRS do not give them any information and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration right away. This allows professionals to look into the call to try to stop the person from attempting to scam someone else.
You Should be Careful When Providing Your Social Security Number to Someone
It’s important to realize that someone can steal your social security number in other ways, as well. You should never enter your social security number into any website that isn’t a trusted site. If you fill out paperwork at an establishment that requires you to give your social security number, be sure to ask what it’s being used for and how the information is stored to ensure that it doesn’t get into the wrong hands. You have a right to protect your identity in every way that you can and you should never give your social security number to someone that you don’t trust.
Monitor Your Credit Frequently to Discover Potential Issues
If someone does steal your identity, they can completely ruin your credit and make your life very difficult in the future. It’s important to monitor your credit on a regular basis so that you can find and correct any discrepancies quickly.
If you notice that someone has stolen your identity, you need to make a report to the local police department right away. Provide the police with any evidence that you have and contact all of your credit card companies and bank accounts to fight any charges that have been made illegally. If you provide them with a police report showing that your identity has been stolen, many creditors will go after the person who made the charges to repay the debt rather than making you repay them. It’s best to stop the problem as soon as you can, because the more the person charges to your name, the more difficult it will be to have the issue resolved.
File Your Taxes on Time and Properly
Filing your taxes on time and properly is important. If you have never filed your taxes before, it’s best to go to a tax professional with all of your tax information to make sure that it’s filed the right way. Provide them with your W-2, information on charitable donations you made, and any information you have regarding deductions you plan to file for. When you talk to the tax professional, he or she may be able to help you find deductions you didn’t know were available to you.
If you find out that you owe more money than you can afford to pay, you can work with a tax relief professional to see if there are any programs available to help you to settle for a lesser amount than you owe so that you can avoid any issues with the IRS. There are many different forms of tax relief available so working with a professional provides you with the opportunity to ensure that you are able to get all of the relief available to you.
Report Lost or Stolen Cards Immediately
When you lose a credit card or bankcard or have one stolen, you need to report it immediately. Many people report stolen cards right away, but wait to report missing cards until later because they assume that they’ll be found. It’s best to call your credit card company or bank and put a temporary hold on the card so that it can’t be used until you find it. If you don’t put a hold on it, someone who finds the card could use it without your knowledge.
Keep Most of Your Money in a Savings Account
It’s best to keep a majority of your money in a savings account rather than checking account. Many banks limit how much money can be taken from a savings account and this can protect you from losing a lot of money if someone is able to gain access to your account.
Taking the time to protect yourself is important when you are first starting out. If you have any questions about any financial decision that you’re considering, take the time to do research before agreeing to anything. Doing research allows you to make an informed decision, which ensures that you don’t expose yourself to potential issues in the future. Most financial decisions come with some form of contractual obligations so be sure that you protect your credit and make wise decisions; this increases your chances for a great financial future.