What Is an Extended Consumer Alert Credit File?

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An extended consumer alert may help prevent identity theft.
An extended consumer alert may help prevent identity theft. (Image: bank statement and cut credit card image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com)

Identity theft can ruin your credit and cause you immense stress. If you have suffered from identity theft, you may be eligible to request that an extended consumer alert be placed in your credit file to prevent future occurrences.

Facts

An extended consumer alert is a form of fraud alert that can be placed on a consumer’s credit report to alert future lenders to the fact that the individual has been a victim of identity theft.

Features

An extended consumer alert contains an individual’s telephone number and a notice to potential creditors that the individual must be contacted to give his approval before credit is extended in his name.

Time Frame

An extended consumer alert remains in your credit file for seven years and can be renewed.

Considerations

In order to qualify for an extended consumer alert, you must have a police report documenting an incident of identity theft.

Process

To get an extended consumer alert placed on your credit report, notify one of the credit bureaus in writing that you have been a victim of identity theft and include a copy of your police report. The credit bureau will then alert the other two credit bureaus, and alerts will be placed on all three of your files.

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