If you’ve recently been denied for a first-time credit card, you might be wondering what happened. With identity theft on the rise, it’s definitely possible that someone may have been using your data. Lenders sometimes deny new applicants due to a lack of credit history, however.
Figuring out what went wrong is key in ensuring that you can stop identity theft if it’s happening or find a workaround so you can use your credit. Thankfully, lenders make it easy to understand the cause of the denial, giving you insights on what went wrong. Here’s what you need to know.
Take a Peek at the Rejection Notice
Lenders are required by law to give you a reason for the denial of your credit card application. They will usually automatically send a letter or electronic statement after you apply. First-time borrowers often see limited credit history as the main reason for the denial when nothing is awry.
As you read through the notice, you will want to look for red flags like:
- Negative marks
- High debt balances
- Excessive credit applications
If you see any of these reasons listed, then someone has likely been maliciously using your data to open accounts and rack up charges. But how did they get your data in the first place?
How Kid's Data Ends Up in the Wrong Hands
Identity thieves often target children’s data since their crimes are unlikely to be discovered until the victim hits adulthood and starts trying to use their credit. That leaves them with plenty of time to wreak havoc and leave your credit in shambles.
They’ve gone beyond the usual methods in stealing that data, too. As the K-12 education system embraces more and more education technology, students’ data is increasingly at risk.
The FBI even recently released a report warning the public of this risk. They urged educators and parents to take cybersecurity seriously and keep a close eye on the children’s data.
The Impact of Malicious Data Use
By breaking into education technology systems, identity thieves are stealing tons of data from minors, such as:
- Names, birthdates, and addresses
- Social security numbers
- Academic stats
- Medical information
- Browsing history
Thieves then use this data to track and bully, run social engineering campaigns, and steal their identity for financial gain.
If they get your social security number, the identity thieves can open fraudulent accounts of all kinds. They might apply for a loan, open bank accounts, and even use it to rent an apartment. Since kids do not use or watch their credit, these crimes can fly under the radar for years.
As they abuse those accounts and wring as much money out of them as they can, your credit score is sure to plummet. Then, once you’re ready to open a credit card, you get a prompt denial and a big surprise on your rejection notice.
What to Do If Your Data Was Compromised
If your data was compromised before you reached 18 years of age, you can clear it up using your birth certificate. You’ll need to send a copy to the credit bureaus and let them know that you were too young to enter into contracts and did not open those accounts. You will also need to contact the companies directly to tell them the same thing.
To find out all the places your credit was fraudulently used, you’ll need to pull your credit report and review it closely. Write down the name and contact information for all the companies that allowed the thieves to open accounts and rack up debt. Then, start notifying them of the crimes and request that they remove the account from your credit report.
You will likely need to wait several weeks for the companies to take action. Some might even push back against your request, especially if you do not provide enough proof of your claims.
When to Reapply for a Credit Card
If you’re getting credit card denials, it’s important to sort everything out before reapplying. Otherwise, you will likely just get more denials and tank your credit score even more. Thankfully, you don’t have to go at it alone.
Need Help Reporting Credit Report Disputes From Identity Theft
You can get help looking into the matter by contacting our team at The Cardoza Law Corporation. Reach out to an experienced credit identity theft attorney as soon as possible. We’re available anytime you want to talk about your case. Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to get started figuring this all out.