Identity theft is a headache to deal with on its own, but it can negatively impact your credit score too.

Credit scores start at the bottom of the barrel at 350 and can get as high as 850. The higher your score, the better off you are. But, if someone steals your identity, your credit score can drop 100 points in the first month and every month to 45 days after that. It won’t be too long that 800 credit score drops to 400.

The lower your credit drops, the harder it is to get a job or buy a house or car. A negative mark on your credit report can stay there for seven years. Ouch. It’s easy to see how a credit score can affect every part of your life, so it needs to be protected.

Regularly check your credit reports.