Six tips for domestic violence victims and survivors that are seeking to secure their financial future:
- Plan for your safety by contacting Camden House to discuss your options and learn about the community resources you can access for support (i.e., emergency assistance funds, shelter, utility and/or rent assistance, public benefits and affordable housing).
- Obtain a copy of your credit report and monitor your credit regularly. Most financial institutions provide credit monitoring services such as Privacy Guard at a low cost. You can get a copy of your credit report by contacting one of the three credit bureaus: Equifax (1-800-685-1111), Experian (1-866-966-1067) or TransUnion (1-877-680-7275), or from FREE Annual Credit Report (1-877-322-8228).
- Open a post office box for mail and any financial information you may receive before you leave or immediately after you leave an abusive situation. You can obtain a post office box from the United States Postal Service or vendors such as Parcel Plus, Mail Boxes Etc. or The UPS Store.
- Call your utility companies, wireless telephone service and financial institutions to secure your private financial information with special PIN codes and passwords. Be sure to do the same on all new credit, wireless and/or utility accounts. Ask these companies to use identifiers other than your Social Security Number, date of birth or mother's maiden name to authenticate your identity.
- Change all ATM and debit card PIN codes, online banking passwords and online investing passwords. Also be sure to change the password on your email account(s).
- Be sure to make necessary changes to your insurance plans, will or trust beneficiaries to appoint a new person if your partner is your current designee. For more information check out Nerdwallet http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/advice/finance-tips/domestic-violence/