Turning from a renter to a home owner is such an exciting moment in life. However, it could also be stressful at the same time. Aside from looking for the right neighborhood for your new home, your finances should be in near perfect condition for you to be able to take out a home loan. What doesn’t often cross the mind of home buyers, though is there’s a large risk of becoming an identity theft victim.
In most cases, the victim of identity theft doesn’t have any idea about it until the originator of the mortgage pulls his or her credit score to prepare for a home loan noted Paul Wylie, who was the former owner and founder of the Metrocities Mortgage. He said that he had seen potential borrowers get turned away from buying their dream homes or receiving a significantly higher interest rate. This interest rate increase happens because the borrowers usually aren’t able to take fast enough action to remedy damage cause by identity theft. Thus, they failed to secure a reasonable home loan, and that’s if they were able to qualify for one at all. This is reason is enough for you to make sure that you’re not and won’t be an identity theft victim before you even start looking for a new home.
Before you even purchase your home, you should first check out your credit report and review it closely. Look for suspicious items that might indicate someone is using your identity without your consent. In particular, look for unauthorized new credit requests. You should also spend your money wisely by investing on services to protect your identity which will monitor your personal information while you search for your new home.
Once you are sure that you’re eligible to take out a home loan, then the next step would be to protect your identity while going through the buying process. Here are the few tips regarding the matter:
- Ensure that the mortgage and real estate professionals you are transacting with make use of a secure system while communicating all of your sensitive information. In case you still doubt their network security or want to take caution, it would be best to hand over the documents personally.
- Ask your lenders about how they protect information given to them and what happens to it once the process of acquiring the loan is done.
- Make use of referrals in contacting realtors and mortgage professionals. Check if they have up-to-date licenses. Even then, you should trust your instincts on this one.
- Continue using the services mentioned before to ensure you know what’s happening to your data. Credit monitoring is also capable of alerting you with suspicious activity on your credit. That way, you would be able to take action to it fast.
- Evaluate if the offers seems to be too good to be true. It would be best to ensure that the offers are legitimate and you should never provide them with a down payment if you have not met him or her in person or without even seeing the home they are offering you.
- Be wary of loan providers and make sure that they are not con artists. Meet them personally, do your own research about the company they are working for and check out if they have a good reputation. As much as possible, do not apply for loans online if you are unsure about the validity of the website.
Purchasing a home is not an easy thing to do. However, the complicated process isn’t an excuse to stop doing everything you can to protect your identity.