The Equifax Breach Can Impact your Business & Personal Credit
Nearly 50% of the population had their information compromised by the Equifax credit data breach that occurred over the summer and was recently publicized. There have been many hacks in the past, but the most recent has the potential to impact consumers and businesses by epic proportions.
Businesses can be hit from both sides, business and personal:
- Many small companies in the US are fully or partially dependent on the owner’s personal credit for financing, the possibility of the owner’s credit being vulnerable to identity theft, has owners concerned that their vehicle to credit will be hurt and impact the very livelihood of their business.
- Business credit data was stolen in addition to the 145.5 million consumers who were compromised by this most recent hack, this makes them vulnerable to business identity theft and personal identity theft.
The government stepping in.
Many US agencies and representatives have spoken out and publicly addressed the executives of Equifax, demanding answers for small businesses and consumers. There are investigations and lawsuits being filed.
Representatives are now requesting that Equifax wave their $99 fee for business credit reports so that companies can know where their business credit stands without Equifax earning a profit on their security breach. Two members of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, wrote Equifax a letter last week requesting they take more initiative to help small business owners monitor and secure their credit/identity.
Knowing how the bureaus work, it’s unlikely that even the mounting pressure will make them wave small business credit report fees. But nevertheless, business owners should take steps to review and protect their credit. They need to make sure their credit is accurate and nothing has happened that could become more of a potential problem in the future.
Moving forward with your business credit:
Experian and Equifax business credit bureaus will only give you the option to place a fraud alert on your business credit profiles (D&B does not offer this service) if a police report has been filed claiming your business has been the victim of identity theft. Even with a business credit fraud alert, you’re not protected in the same way as a personal credit fraud alert. Your best option is to monitor business credit scores/reports for potential fraud. If the owner is relying on their personal credit as well for business financing, they should consider following consumer credit protection steps as well.
Moving forward with your personal credit:
- Find out if your information was compromised.
- Initiate credit monitoring for your personal credit scores/reports.
- Place a credit freeze or fraud alert on personal credit as an extra safeguard.
The most reliable option is monitoring each credit report for negative or fraudulent information that may interfere with business or personal financial goals. If you do not have the time or inclination to monitor your credit we have boutique style programs and one of our FICO Certified credit experts will monitor your credit for you.
We offer a boutique style credit monitoring service. This is an annual credit monitoring service. Our credit experts will monitor all three of your credit profiles daily looking for any suspicious changes like new credit card activity, new addresses posted, credit reviews, or telephone numbers which could be an indication of fraud. In addition, we will set up continuous fraud alerts on all three bureaus throughout the year. The service also includes.
- Quarterly email updates to the client.
- Daily credit profile monitoring.
- Choice of either a fraud alert active on each profile or a security freeze.
Our clients trust in this program because it takes the job of daily credit monitoring off their hands and into the hands of professional credit experts.
Many consumers have also chosen to place security freezes on their children’s credit reports – young children do not always have credit profiles, but their information can still be stolen and fraudulent accounts can be opened. Since children don’t use their credit it makes their information more vulnerable.
Contact us today for instructions on how to purchase your business credit reports, personal credit reports, and details on the vast services we offer.