How Long Does it Take to Fix Credit After Identity Theft?

Recovery after identity theft can be a tedious and time-consuming task. The process can also take a toll on your finances before the claim is resolved and you are compensated. It’s possible to fix an identity theft issue within the course of a single day or over a whole year, depending on the seriousness of the problem.

To determine how long it takes to fix credit after identity theft, you have to consider the following factors;

  1. Time and Effort Required

If resolved fast, identity theft might not affect your credit in a big way. To achieve this though, you have to be ready to put in the effort and act fast. Start by sorting through your accounts, filing necessary claims and tracking the progress.

  1. Type of Identity Theft

There are different types of ID theft with each affecting your credit differently and requiring varying duration to fix. Common identity thefts include scammers opening new credit cards, cloning or using existing credit accounts, opening new utility accounts, and obtaining loans in your name.

  1. Your Creditworthiness Before the Theft

Fixing your credit is not easy- identity theft only makes the process much harder. When the information was only used to open an account that has not yet been used, then your credit can stay intact.

However, if the fraud has resulted in debt already, you could be looking at a longer recovery period. On the other hand, if your credit was badly off, say below 600 FICO scores, it may take you years to recover, even after resolving the theft.

  1. Time Taken Before Learning about the Theft

If the theft is noticed immediately, it might just take a short time to have the item removed from your credit report. If, however, the theft goes unabated for long, it might take the relevant authority longer to determine your fate. Note: fraud might involve several agencies and can take longer to close.

Whether or not the culprits are apprehended can also have a bearing on how fast your credit can recover. Once the thieves are caught, it becomes much easier to clear your records. Up until then, the affected creditors and lenders might continue holding you responsible for the debts- as they wait for their insurance to clear the loss.

How Long Does It Take to Fix your Credit After ID Theft?

As noted, there is no direct answer to the question. Going by statistics though, you could be looking at several hours to over a year.

For minor issues, whereby not much damage was done, it could take at least a month to get your credit fixed.

In extreme cases, it is estimated that up to 1200 hours might be spent before the issues are ironed out. This could mean over 12 months of intense investigations and communication between the FTC, reporting agencies, police and the affected financial service providers.

Bottom Line

How fast or slow your credit recovers after identity theft is subject to several factors, as outlined above. You can, however, speed up the process by following the procedures laid out by the Federal Trade Commission.

You should also keep the investigators on their toes by calling, following up and where necessary, engaging an advocate to guard your interests.

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