With so much in the news about identity theft and personal data being hacked, it can be scary to think of what could happen with our sensitive information.
Since the huge data breach at one of the major reporting bureaus Equifax, many have recommended that consumers should freeze their credit reports to help protect themselves from identity theft.
However, most experts only recommend the three major credit bureaus –– Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian –– and neglect to mention a fourth one called Innovis.
Even though it’s relatively unknown to everyday consumers, more places are starting to use them for credit checks. In other words, you need to care about what is in your Innovis credit report.
What is Innovis?
Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Columbus, OH, Innovis provides businesses with services such as authentication, credit reports, identity verification, and fraud prevention services.
While the three major credit bureaus get the most attention, there are many places like Innovis that report consumer behavior. For example, some will track payments with utility companies and others may keep records when there is fraudulent activity in your checking accounts.
On the consumer reporting side, Innovis provides security freezes, dispute resolutions, fraud alerts alongside credit reports.
What Is In an Innovis Credit Report?
An Innovis credit report will include your personal and account information. It’ll provide details about each account, your payment history, and its source.
There may be information from as far as 10 years back, such as mortgages, credit cards (and their limit), balances, and any late payments. However, not all of your information will be on there
Similar to what you could find with your credit reports from the big three bureaus, your Innovis credit report may have a list of your credit accounts with details about each one, payment history, and personal identification information, such as your name and date of birth.
Creditors don’t need to report your information to the credit bureaus, so you may find that some of your accounts are on one credit report but not on others.
For example, some credit card accounts were present on the reports from the major credit bureaus, but not from Innovis. Other information that may not be present include past due payments or even employment information.
Innovis credit report will have similar information as the big three bureaus but doesn’t offer a credit score. Companies may use your Innovis report for identity verification or fraud prevention. The report bases a lending decision on the information in the report and an associated credit score.
How Can I get My Innovis Report?
Getting your Innovis credit report is simple. Just like with the big three bureaus, federal laws require other CRCs to give you access to a free copy of your report once every 12 months.
You can request a copy by mail or by calling 1-800-540-2505. If requesting it by mail, contact them at:
P.O. Box 1689
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-1689
Should I Freeze My Innovis Report?
If you’re concerned about security breaches, you may want to first order a report to see if there are any discrepancies. Federal laws mandate that consumers have the right to dispute any inaccurate information on your reports.
While it wouldn’t hurt, it’s not as essential as the ones from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. That’s because the report from Innovis is primarily for pre-screened offers.
You may want to opt out of those because thieves can steal the offers from your mailbox. It’s easy to do so at OptOutPrescreen.com.
That being said, freezing your credit reports won’t protect you from existing accounts. If you want to protect those, you’ll need to be vigilant about monitoring your accounts.
The Bottom Line
Even if you’re not intending on taking out a loan or are concerned about data breaches, it pays to be aware of your credit history.
You don’t want to find out too late that someone stole personal information and used it for fraudulent activity. If that happens, it could take years to restore your account back to normal.
Monitoring your credit doesn’t have to be hard either, as there are many online credit monitoring tools out there. Some are free and even help you with improving your credit score.
Compare top credit monitoring tools today to stay on top of your credit and avoid fraudulent activity from ruining it.
Sarah Li Cain is a finance writer based in Jacksonville, Florida. She’s written on topics such as real estate, banking and FinTech and has appeared in publications such as KeyBank, Vistaprint and Quicken Loans.