Turning 18 can be a fun and exciting time in someone's life. You can start to be more independent and purchase things in your own name. If you have recently tried to get a credit card to start building your credit and were denied because the credit card company claimed you already had a bad credit history, it is important to start doing some research right away. The following guide walks you through a few things to do if you find out that you have bad credit, even though you have never opened any lines of credit before.
Do Some Investigating
The first thing you want to do is determine who has been using your information without your permission. There are times when parents put phone, water, or even electric bills in their children's names simply because their credit is too poor to put it into their own names. Other times, people can simply have stolen your identity and used your information to open up credit cards in your name to buy things they want to buy. Get a copy of your credit report from one of the major credit reporting agencies and look at it closely. If the delinquent accounts are for utilities, someone you know more than likely opened the accounts. You can call those companies to find out the address for the accounts so that you will know exactly who opened them. If there are simply credit cards listed, contact the companies and cancel them right away.
Take Legal Action
If you discover that multiple credit cards and accounts were opened without your knowledge, contact your local police department and report the problems. They will write up a full report for you that you can then turn into the credit card companies, which may allow you to have the debt and issues removed from your credit history.
If a loved one was the person that caused the problems with your credit, but you do not want to turn them into the police because you know they will suffer legal action against them, you will have two options. You can either pay off the delinquent accounts or file bankruptcy. When you file bankruptcy, it will impact your credit negatively, but at least you may not have to pay for the accounts that you did not even create. It is important to know that only the accounts you list on the bankruptcy will count on it. You cannot add other accounts that show up later on down the road so you need to take the time to be sure that you monitor your credit closely in the future.
A bankruptcy lawyer can help you with the steps you need to take to file bankruptcy when your identity has been stolen. The lawyer may give you a free consultation to allow you to learn everything you need to know about bankruptcy so that you can make an informed decision as to if it is the right option for you. Visit a site like http://timgeorgelaw.com for more information.