Beware of 'Boost Your Credit Quickly' Claims
Improve your credit the right way
There are an increasing number of credit repair services or other companies that say they can improve your credit overnight. How do you know what claims are legitimate vs. false? Bottom line, when something appears too good to be true, it usually is. This article will discuss Credit Privacy Numbers, Authorized User Boosting, and how to improve your credit the right way.
Credit Privacy Numbers
You may have come across advertisements for Credit Privacy Numbers or Credit Profile Numbers (often referred to as CPNs). A CPN is a 9-digit number that some credit repair services are touting as a replacement to your Social Security Number. They claim that CPNs are completely legal to use and can be a great way to erase your prior credit history or “start over” with credit. While it may be tempting to purchase your way into a fresh start, you could be putting yourself at risk.
CPNs are sometimes random 9-digit numbers. However, it is also possible that the CPN sold to you belongs to an unknowing victim. For example, criminals sometimes steal and resell the Social Security Number of children since these numbers will appear “clean”. Victims often will not realize their identity has been compromised until they are adults and then have a difficult time obtaining credit as a result of their Social Security Number being compromised.
In addition, it is illegal to falsify information on a credit card application. If someone is entering a CPN when asked for a Social Security Number on a credit card application, that may be considered providing false information. There is no guarantee that using a CPN will result in being approved for credit and this type of misrepresentation is a crime that can be prosecuted. Additionally, if your lender discovers a CPN was used, they have the right to take action or close the account at any time.
Authorized User Boosting
When a primary cardholder adds someone else on their existing credit card account, giving them permission to make purchases on their account, that added person is called an Authorized User. If you have a close personal or financial relationship with someone else, adding them as an Authorized User or becoming an Authorized User on their credit card account can have many benefits. These include earning more rewards and making it easier to manage your joint finances.
If a primary cardholder has good credit, an Authorized User can help establish or build their own credit by being added to the primary cardholder’s account. Because of this potential benefit, some services claim to be able to quickly boost your credit by adding you as an Authorized User on a stranger’s account. Buyer beware!
You should be cautious for a few reasons. First, be careful when giving your Social Security Number and other personal information to others, even if they appear to be legitimate businesses. Criminals can use this information to commit identity theft or gain access to your other accounts. In addition, although being added as an Authorized User could boost your credit score, that is dependent on both the primary cardholder’s and your respective credit histories. The simple act of becoming an Authorized User does not guarantee an improvement to your score.
Improving Your Credit the Right Way
Improving your credit score will help you get the flexibility and freedom you want. While it may not happen overnight, check out these tips to help you start moving in the right direction: https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/blog/improve-credit-score/
Additionally, enrolling in a service like CreditWise from Capital One is a great way to get a better understanding of your credit score and getting tips on how to improve it. CreditWise also helps you detect fraud and will notify you if there are new inquires or meaningful changes on your credit report. And best of all, CreditWise is free for everyone, whether you are Capital One customer or not. You can learn more & enroll here: https://creditwise.capitalone.com/home
We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.