The cost of living and the cost of borrowing are rising, as are fears of unaffordable debt.
If you have blemishes on your credit report, you could pay more to borrow or miss out altogether.
Plus, there are a lot of impersonations floating around.
Fair Go hears from people who have discovered that someone has opened accounts in their name with online finance companies like Laybuy or other Buy Now Pay Later programs, or with store cards like Q Mastercard.
So check carefully to make sure this hasn’t happened to you – your credit report may be the first you hear about.
What most people don’t know is that you can check your credit history for free with one of the major companies: Centrix or Illion.
If you can provide enough details to prove that you are you, your report might even arrive immediately by email. But, in most cases, it won’t take more than a day.
It should show you a score out of 1000 and list the major debts you currently have. It will also show how good – or worse – you are at keeping up with repayments.
It should also list your recent addresses and any other companies that have also checked your credit.
If anything looks suspicious, immediately contact the credit reporting agency that sent this report.
They will review this and may freeze your case so that no one uses this information to misjudge you, until you can figure it out.
Major credit-checking agencies also cooperate on this and will tell each other to freeze records, saving you the trouble.
Of course, there could also be debts and defaults that you know are legitimate, but they can be fixed.
The best way forward is to contact a financial mentor for free advice.
MoneyTalks has advisors across the country who can help you start repairing that damaged credit history and avoid falling into a spiral of unaffordable debt.
They can be contacted on 0800 345 123 for free help with debts and budgets.
Do you like this story? Follow Fair Continue Facebook, Twitter, instagram and ICT Tac.