Remember to protect your identity in a relationship

As one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country, identity theft is an increasingly important concern. And it's not just the crime of strangers; identity theft committed by family, friends, and acquaintances happens more often then you would think.

Keep your identity and your personal finances where they belong: in your control. Whether newly dating, about to say "I do," or even after years of marriage, not everything needs to be shared. Candid conversations about your financial and credit history can help couples get on the same page, but compromising one person's identity for the benefit of the other can doom the relationship. Here are steps you can follow to protect your identity within your personal relationships. 

Password-protect everything, and never share your password

Some people profess to sharing passwords as a symbol of mutual trust. Others allow friends or significant others to use their accounts because it makes things easier. Keep in mind, there’s nothing easy about getting out from under mountains of debt racked up by another person.

Keep personal files private

Keep important personal documents out of eyesight and easy access. There’s little reason your significant other needs easy access to your Social Security card, retirement account balances, pay stubs, personal insurance information, etc. This kind of information can be tempting when someone is in financial trouble.

Shred pre-approved credit card offers

If you have halfway decent credit, your mailbox is probably stuffed with opportunities to get more credit or access to cash. This is one of the easiest ways for someone to get a free ride on your good name. Be diligent about shredding all pre-approved card offers and credit card convenience checks.

Stay on top of your credit

Being diligent about protecting yourself is an important first step, but it isn’t a guarantee of a clean credit profile. Check your credit regularly to be certain that all the accounts in your name are truly yours.

Get identity theft protection

Get the tools you need to help safeguard your identity and resolve potential issues by enrolling in an identity theft protection plan for AAA members.


This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.


Published by permission from, Inc., an Experian company. © 2017, Inc. All rights reserved.