The huge Equifax credit hack could hit many New Yorkers hard at home. Here’s what to watch out for, and what to do about it…
The Equifax Hack
It was recently discovered that credit bureau Equifax had been hacked; putting hundreds of millions of personal data accounts at risk. Hackers took vital information including social security numbers, dates of birth, driver license numbers, and other sensitive identifying info which could be used to take out credit in other people’s names and steal their identities.
This could have serious consequences for virtually all Americans, as well as Canadians and those in the UK who are also reported on by Equifax. Millions more may be indirectly impacted by the implications for business, financial markets, and the property market.
The Equifax Hack for Homeowners and Buyers
With impending credit damage likely for a huge number of US homeowners and hopeful home buyers, there isn’t much time to waste in getting attractive financing. Buy that home or refinance while interest rates are still low, and you still qualify for the best rates and loan deals. Then freeze your credit if you feel it is the smartest move.
Living costs are likely to rise in the months and years ahead. They will naturally rise with inflation. This will now likely be compounded by new regulations, companies and credit bureaus hiking costs due to losses and new regulations, and how much more everything costs when you have bad credit. Applying for loans can be more costly, auto and homeowners insurance rates can be higher, and getting emergency credit for medical care or financing new home appliances will be more expensive, if you can get it. If your credit score sinks, existing credit card companies and lenders may hike your interest rates and cut or reduce credit lines as well. Look to offset this early by reducing the expenses you can control, like challenging your property tax assessments and bills.
Trying to Sell a Home
Attempting to sell a home in New York may also become a lot harder soon. Credit damaged buyers may not be able to get loans. Banks could tighten up as they take losses too. With far fewer qualified buyers out there, it may be far harder to sell. Those who can get loans may see buying power diminished. This could hurt home values too. Beat this by selling sooner and reducing your property tax assessment to make the property more affordable and attractive to the next buyer.
The Equifax credit hack has massive implications for New Yorkers. Make the necessary moves now to optimize your living costs. Secure your housing situation. Then be sure you have the right credit monitoring and ID protection measures in place.