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Optimize your dollar: The ABC of pro-budgeting

Millions in the country have celebrated the National Dollar Day. People have found one of the most novel ways to celebrate this day by making some smart financial decisions so as to derive the utmost return on investment (ROI) out of every dollar spent. In other words, they have made plans to reduce their living costs, boost their savings and stay debt free throughout.

So, are you eager to follow a fresh budget and save more money mid-way through the year? If yes, then read along.

What will land you in the league of super-savers?

First of all, you can skip gulping down those costly champagnes. Instead, you can enjoy moments like these by setting some practical and tangible financial goals for yourself. This could be anything related to budgeting, saving money or just simple frugal living. So, let this occasion of the National Dollar Day be your fresh source of motivation to get the most out of your each and every dollar.

Remember, these dollars are yours and you’ve earned them. Hence, make sure the ROI is the most that you can actually get.

When and how a budget calculator is helpful?

You could be planning a big-fat wedding, or buying your stationeries for college or you’re floating a business venture of your own. In that case, it is nothing but obvious to keep a good record of all your investments or transactions, otherwise it’ll become next-to-impossible to find out as to where your money is actually going.

Therefore, you can resolve your dilemma by using a free, online budgeting calculator. This is because it’ll not only streamline the process of money management for you, but it’ll also provide you with a window to look at the bigger picture and decide accordingly, as to where you’ve spent your dollars all this while.

What would you buy for the wedding?

You are deft in your planning to set up a perfect American wedding by having all that it would require – a classic dress, personalised invitations, flowers and of course the wedding cake.

However, before proceeding any further, are you really aware of your affordability to realize each and every detail of your wedding plan? During such scenarios, budgeting tools would come in handy for you by keeping a perfect track record of all your expenses so that you know where to draw the line in order to prevent breaking your bank.

As far as getting an estimate of the overall wedding expenses is concerned, then you can always take refuge with the specialized budgeting calculators namely, wedding budget calculator. Here, in these type of widgets, you can simply start off by putting in the figures for the wedding items you’ve planned to buy. Add to that, different other known figures like the total number of guests you’re expecting on the D-Day and the number of people you want to invite for your wedding party.

When you are done with entering with the above discussed numbers, then an efficiently built wedding budget planner can give you a clearer picture of the actual costs by breaking them down into suitable categories. Thus, it would permit you to track the exact amount you are likely to spend for the grand event.

What about your start-up venture?

As per MSN Money, a leading financial website on the Internet, when planning to float a business venture, an entrepreneur like you should work on two of the most important categories – the initial start-up expenses and the recurring cost of operating the same.

To make it easier for you to understand, here’s an example:
Initially, you’ve made a one time deposit for all sorts of public utilities and then you receive just one monthly electric bill after that. As a result, you get your total utility expenses in the both the categories. Taking advantage of a start-up business calculator will enable you to get an estimate of your overall startup costs and also help you to decide the amount of cash reserve you’d require before opening the doors to your clients, i.e., business.

Does it help to budget for back-to-school shopping?

Yes, its true that a lot of states are offering its parents with tax breaks for all the expenditures incurred by them to fulfill the need of their back-to-school children. This is to provide them with some financial relief and help them save some precious dollars. But, the expenses for every individual child of a family could increase anyway. Add to that the money needed to buy additional equipments like sport kits or any sort of computer-related supplies.

So, if you’re identifying yourself with the above scenario, then you can make good use of the back-to-school budget calculators that are available at scores of financial websites. Budgeting calculators such as these will not only allow you to find out the amount needed to pay for your child’s education but also, educate you and your child about the importance of budgeting and may even boost your money management knowledge.

What does the money experts ultimately say?

Lets talk about what our financial guru, Suze Orman has to say about saving money and budgeting. According to her, you should slash your family (read: fun) spending by at least 10 percent every month. So, if you’ve been spending around $100 on your lattes, movies and gaming every month, then cutting down that amount to $90 won’t make hell of a difference in your life or for that matter in your family member’s life. The difference here, this time would be that not only you or your family members are happy, but your wallet is too.

Debt expert, Dave Ramsey has a different take on matters related to money and debt. You know why? Because he knows why you always end up breaking your bank, even though you’ve tried your level best to budget and save money. The answer is, you forget to count in your food dollars when planning your monthly household budget. And even if you do, then like most others, you too severely under budget your monthly grocery bills.

Therefore, even if you’re contributing $100 toward your savings account, the fact is almost $80 of the same gets spent on trivial items. Therefore, he suggests people like you to add up all the grocery costs at the end of a month, including your Starbuck coffees or that occasional Burger King treat. Add to the final figure $50 approx.

The grocery budget that you’ll get now will be your real one. So, if you spend below the stipulated budget, then it’d be great, or else, there’s always room left for improvement.

By carol on August 28th, 2014

When should you monitor your credit limits to manage financial liability?

Your FICO score can have a great impact on various aspects of your life. Everything from having a chance of leading a decent retired life to the ability of grabbing the best job in the market is determined by your FICO credit score.
Few years back, there was not much information amongst people about this magical number but now there is loads of information as well as misinformation everywhere. If you’re in the market for taking out a loan, make sure you initially go for credit repair so that you can get the best loan with the most reasonable rate. Your credit score is determined by various factors and if you max out your credit limit, you may be unknowingly affecting your credit limit terribly.

Credit limit facts

Facts 1 – Credit limit is nothing but the highest amount of money that a financial company allows a credit card holder to use on a single credit card. The credit limit of a person is determined by considering his credit risk. Any new line of credit will be determined on the basis of the risk that you pose to the lender. If the credit card company sees that you’re a reckless shopper, he will set a low credit limit for you so that even if you cross the limit, you’ll be charged hefty over-the-limit fees. The most important factor that is taken into account while lending new lines of credit is the credit risk as this will let you know the credit limit and the interest rates. A person’s credit risk is determined by factors like income level, stability of his job and also his credit history.

Facts 2 – The people with significant and valuable assets, little amount of debt and an exceptionally good credit history, will get a loan with more money and lower rates than the people with huge debt amount and no assets. While some companies allow the cardholders to surpass their credit limit under some specific circumstances, others may not.

Facts 3 – Credit limits offer some benefits like protecting the borrower from crossing the limit while borrowing too much money. Apart from providing the borrower with the aforementioned advantage, the credit limit also protects the lending company from being over-exposed to the reckless spending habit of the card holder. On the other hand, credit limit may also impose some serious kind of restriction on the borrower, dropping the items that he may purchase with a card. It also restricts the income potential for a lender as the borrowers will have lesser chance to exceed the credit limit.

Facts 4 -If you want to increase or decrease the credit limit on your card, you can simply call the financial institution from where you have taken out the card and make a request. If you think that you’re a compulsive shopper, it’s better to reduce your credit limit. Despite trying to change your financial behavior, if you can’t make much difference, the first step that you must take is to reduce your credit limit so that you may not cause further damage to your finances. Though you may be able to manage your personal finances by reducing your credit limit, you must also remember that this will leave you with not much available credit during an emergency. Thus, you need to be more diligent while dealing with a card that has low credit limit.

Final thoughts

If you find that you need a reduced credit limit, get in touch with your credit card company and give them the required information. Use your cards responsibly so that you need not run to credit repair agencies for improving your credit score before going to get new lines of credit.

By carol on August 19th, 2014

Credit or debit cards – What you need to know about?

Do you often get confused as whether to use a credit card or a debit card for making a purchase? It is quite difficult to reply it by a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as it often depends upon the type of transaction that you’re making with a card. If you use a debit card, the amount gets directly debited from your back account whereas, you need to pay the bill later when you swipe your credit card for a financial transaction.

Credit or debit card – Which one to use

Read on to know when to use a credit card and when it is better to swipe a debit card for a financial transaction.

While purchasing big items – It is better to use a credit card for buying big-ticket items, such as, a television, a laptop, etc. This will help you to dispute the charge if there’s any problem with the product you’ve purchased. If you purchase with a credit card, then you can withhold payment if there’s any problem with the purchase; usually, the credit card issuer also investigates the problem for you. You cannot withhold payment when you use a debit card as the amount gets deducted from your back account as soon as you swipe the card.

You want to control your overspending habit – If you’ve tendency to overspend and want to control it, then using a debit card is a better option over credit cards. Every time you swipe your debit card, your bank balance gets reduced. So, you are less likely to overspend as you know how much money you have in your bank account. Therefore, it can be said that using debit cards may help you to avoid falling into credit card debt.

Paying at hotels/gas stations by plastic money – Often, hotels, restaurants, car rental companies, gas stations and retailers put a hold on your credit/debit card until transaction is processed. So, it is better to use a credit card in these types of financial transactions. This is because the hold on your account can prevent you from accessing it. So, it may result into bounced checks and your other transactions may also get declined for the time being.

When safety is your primary concern – You should always use a credit card when safety is your primary concern while making a financial transaction by using plastic money. As per federal law, you’re much more liable for a fraudulent charge on a debit card as compared to a credit card. You may have to pay much more if you fail to report the theft or loss of your debit card/PIN within 2 business days from when you’ve discovered the problem. Moreover, a fraudster stealing your PIN may withdraw amount from your bank account.

If you often forget the due dates of your credit card bill payments, then it is better to swipe debit cards for making everyday purchases. However, as already mentioned, it is advisable to make big purchases by using credit cards only.

By carol on August 7th, 2014

5 Mistakes that you must evade to succeed in credit repair

It’s definitely not an easy task to build credit and prove your credibility. You need to work really hard for that. Perhaps, you do lots of things to repair your credit successfully. Not all the steps you take are right however. People often do some mistakes that damage the credit score even more. It’s obviously important to shun those catastrophic mistakes for the ultimate benefit.

Be aware of these mistakes when credit repair is in your mind

There are some general mistakes that most people commit during credit repair. Some of the most important ones have been described below. Just have a look at the mistakes and make it a point to avoid them:

1. Disputing the information too often – People feel, disputing the wrong information on credit report is essential. There is nothing wrong with disputing wrong information, but disputing every now and then may not be a good idea at all. In fact you must never try to dispute unless there are some significant misinformation to remove. If you’ll dispute too many times, then credit bureaus may dismiss it as baseless. This will ultimately harm your credit score.

2. Closing credit card accounts - Many people have this habit of closing their less used accounts. They don’t even realize that this actually reduces the overall credit score. Especially, if you’ve some balance in your account or the account is one amongst your earlier ones, then this will affect your credit score even more. Instead of closing your accounts try to maintain them frequently. Use the accounts moderately so that it doesn’t turn out to be burdensome for you. This will improve your credit score for sure.

3. Missing to check credit report regularly – It’s definitely essential to check the credit report regularly. Still, many people miss this vital formality. People don’t realize that only after checking the credit report they will be able to know about the wrong information reported there. Regular checking will make it easier to take the right step for removing those wrong information as soon as possible.

4. Transferring the balance too frequently – Balance transfer is good but you must control your urge of transferring the balance too often . This is actually a basic mistake that most people do. Don’t jump for lucrative offers always. Don’t forget that you’ll have to pay a certain amount as the transfer fees also. So, there is basically no point in transferring the balance too often. This may affect your credit repairing efforts in the long run.

5. Contacting credit bureaus without certified mail - People often miss to contact credit bureaus, lenders or collection agencies through certified mail. It’s equally important to request for the return receipt for the mail. This only certifies that you’ve contacted the credit bureau or the lenders in the legitimate way. That’s why it’s extremely important to send certified mail.

These 5 mistakes are really harmful for your credit rating. You won’t face the damage instantly but the mistakes will harm your credit score in the long run. So, you must avoid these mistakes at any cost. Apart from avoiding these mistakes, you must also make it a point to manage your credit card accounts carefully. Don’t spend beyond your affordability. Stay away from the mistake of using your accounts recklessly. Your reckless attitude will only make it difficult for you to repair your credit effectively.

By carol on August 6th, 2014

Specialty Reports: What consumer need to know about the consumer reporting agency

Most consumers are familiar with 3 credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Have you ever heard about specialty consumer report? Your next probable question would be what is speciality credit report? How nationwide consumer reporting agency affects you? In most cases, consumer care about the facts after they disqualify for jobs,insurance policies, or an apartment rental. It is very unfortunate though. This article is going to reveal some useful information related to your credit reports.

What is a Specialty Consumer Reporting Agency?

According to FCRA, companies that are compose and maintain consumer’s files on a nationwide basis are called consumer reporting agency. Specialty consumer reports come under FCRA Act. Specialty consumer reporting agencies are not there to maintain your general credit card, consumer’s finance or mortgage related files. The reports give a free annual disclosure of the consumer’s file.

Types of Specialty Reports

Specialty Consumer Reporting Agency will provide some specific types of information about consumers nationwide. Specialty reports mainly focus on some specific types of records such as check-writing history, medical payment records, residential or tenant history, insurance claims, employment history.

What kind of information is there on speciality report?

Specialty consumer reporting agencies are working quite similarly as credit bureaus. Nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies (NSCRAs) will keep the following information using wide sources such as:

  • Checking Account use – Information about fraudulent use of an account, closed bank accounts due to no funds, bounced checks for last 5 to 7 years, consumer’s credit history.
    Insurance related claims – Past 3 years to 7 year’s information of auto and homeowners insurance claim.
  • Income and employment information – Information on consumer’s marital status, public or nonpublic records, criminal or civil cases.
  • Rental information – Information related to consumer’s payment record, evictions, other information collected from past landlords. Information related to home ownership.
  • Personal health care related information – Any risky activities or participation such as skydiving , driving records, medical details indicated on your own insurance application coverage, test results from medical underwriting exams.
  • Your medical information ( prescription drug history) – Information about physician visits, medicines used over the past five years, medicine dosages.

The specialty reporting agency provides report to insurance companies, employers, and landlords depending on these information. FCRA imposes some responsibilities on the speciality reporting agencies like credit reporting agencies. Moreover, like credit bureaus, specialty reporting agencies have no right to make decision related to (giving a job, renting house, writing an insurance policy). The landlord, employer or insurance company will decide on this matter.

What are your rights as a consumer?

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) supervise Specialty Consumer Reporting Agency and allocate some rights for consumers.

  1. Consumer have the right to dispute a biased and inappropriate information. The reporting agency should finish up all the investigation related to consumer’s dispute subject within 30 days.
  2. The reporting agency should send the result of the dispute subject to the concerned consumer/person after making certain changes. If the information is seen incorrect, it should removed or corrected by the agency.
  3. Similarly, if the information is seen correct, the report should remain unchanged. In that case consumer should write a short statement. Consumer have another option as he/she can contact concerned company or person (source) directly regarding the matter.
  4. Unemployed consumers who are planning to enter in their job within 60 days or incase of receiving public benefits have right to get free report in every 12 months. If they demand to get a copy of their credit report after that duration, then they have to pay a small fee of around $10.
  5. Consumer have the right to get free report from consumer reporting agency. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are also included in the list and bound to give you the report at a time in every 12 month as per the request.
  6. Creditors, insurers, employers, banks, etc. may check you report before giving you a credit card, insurance policy, job and mortgage. They may refuse to give you the facilities if they find any mess in the report. In that case, you have the right to get a free annual report when someone takes negative action in respect of your application on basis of your credit history. But before doing so, you should specify your name to get a copy to the free report. Moreover, the company or the concerned person should send you letter mentioning the “source of the report” and “notice of adverse action”. Consumer should request his/her free report within 60 days after receiving the notice letter.

To do list:

Below are some guidelines offered by The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse for consumers who want to check their reports.

  1. Consumers can check his/her speciality report any time when they want to verify the information.
  2. It is advisable that, verify the report before knows that their credit report might be used.
  3. Make sure you have much time to find out the report and take action such as making correction, giving explanation.
  4. Consumer should order all available credit reports (regular) incase of identity theft.
  5. Consumer should order their tenant history report before planning for a rental apartment.
  6. Consumer should order their MIB report if they are applying for long-term care, fatal illness,disability insurance, health care.
  7. Consumer should request companies to share information (including name and contact information) when employer wants to check their credit report.
  8. Consumer should order their ChexSystems report if they want to open a new account or after a fraudulent use of their account.
  9. Consumer should order their Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) or A-PLUS claims reports if they are going to obtain automobile insurance after verification of proper past claims.

Name of the major speciality consumer reporting agencies

Below are some big speciality reporting agencies for consumers assistance. These mentioned agencies are governed by FCRA.

Insurance claims history

  • A-PLUS
  • CLUE report

Checking account history

  • TeleCheck
  • ChexSystems

Tenant history

  • RentBureau
  • Tenant Data


  • Medical Information Bureau
  • IntelliScript

Prescription history

  • Ingenix (MedPoint report)

Employment history/ Screening

  • The National Association of Professional Background Screeners
  • LexisNexis Screening Solutions

Sometimes, laws can vary from one state to another. States have own laws regarding consumer report. Contact your local consumer protection agency to get more information. Remember, consumers have full rights to accuse the concerned reporting agency who provides incorrect information and delay to correct the flaws. Learn more from on topics like (a) how to file a complaint? (b) how to improve credit? (c) how to avoid fraud? State law may offer some more rights to consumer. Try to stay connected with your local consumer protection agency for more details.Information are available at state attorney general’s office too for consumer’s help.

By carol on July 23rd, 2014

Cartoon characters are not safe from identity theft – Mickey Mouse the first victim in Washington !

An unbelievable news has been covered by (KIRO 7) on July 10. Mickey Mouse is a victim of identity theft in Washington ! This is certainly a most heartbreaking news for all mickey lovers. Bellevue police identified hundreds of fake ID cards, driver’s licenses, fake social security, fake credit cards, forged checks of an identity theft operation. Police noticed a fake ID with a photo of Mickey mouse and personal information amongst a dozen of driver’s licenses.
The driver’s license belonging to Mickey Mouse (spelled Mick E Mouse) says, he was born in 1928, and lives in Disneyland Drive in Anaheim. His height is 5 feet 2 inches and weigh 110 pounds. Above all he is also an organ donor.

The police department said, that a neighbor at the Hidden Creek Condominiums in 800 block of 126th place Northeast contacted the construction company when he/she noticed the stolen signs on 3rd July. And after the incident the construction company contacted the Bellevue cops.

After an investigation on this matter the police arrested three frauders with the fake IDs. The fourth suspect was arrested too and he admitted about the stealing the signs.

According to the Bellevues Police the recovered items are as follows.

  1. 67 Fake credit cards,
  2. 28 Fake Govt. ID cards,
  3. 38 False Washington IDs
  4. 7 Phony social security cards
  5. 100 Forged checks

The police informed the victims of this fraud case. This incident is an alarming event for all of us. This type of identity theft can damage our financial security. Credit card companies alerts their consumers about the security of their accounts. Consumer should check their credit record and score very carefully and in regular basis.

How to quickly identify fraudulent use of your account

  • An unexpected changes (high charge) on your credit cards.
  • Sudden fall and rise in your credit scores.

According to the Lt. Lisa Patricelli. “This is a good reminder for people to consider buying locked mailboxes, and to never leave valuables in our vehicles. “It appears that most of the victims in this case had their identities stolen after their mail was stolen or their cars were broken into by these suspects” . Not even a cartoon character are spared from identity theft so it is high time to take the matter in count.

By carol on July 17th, 2014

What if you can prevent card fraud with simply one touch on your mobile

Are your confident enough about the security of your credit cards? Do you think that your cards are safe from hackers and identity thieves because they are in your wallet? They can be still used to shop and empty your account because your debit and credit cards are always on. A hacker can easily steal your identity. Once you become a victim of identity theft or credit card fraud, your credit score can be damaged. It will take a long time to fix your credit after facing a fraud.

You often think if you can turn off and shut down access your account when you don’t want it for certain time. Recently, new technology has introduced a mobile application where you can find your solution to this serious problem.

How technology will help you to prevent fraud

Ondot system, a software company based in San Jose, Ca, has introduced a mobile application that gives you “turn off” and “turn on” facility on your smartphone. You can lock the card when you don’t want to use it with the help of “cardcontrol app”. It can be easily used when you want to purchase and withdraw cash from ATM . It works with a single touch on your mobile and instantly activates when you want to use the card.

Vaduvur Bharghavan, Ondot’s CEO and founder said “We created a way to let people use their mobile phone as a remote control for their existing credit and debit cards”. The owner of a card can put a limit on his/her cards. Cardcontrol app is not just a “off” and “on” option. With this app, a cardholder can customize the usage of their cards. This limit may vary with the actual limit on the card issued by the credit card company. An owner also gets additional choices in this app. As for example, you can give the card out to your child confidently as well as you can set a financial goal for a certain time by using this app.

The rollout begins in 2014

Cardcontrol app is not public. At present, Ondot has not opened its product to individual customers. They are offering the product to their client. Ondot will sell the application to financial institution. After that the concerned institution will offer the app as a feature to their customers(cardholders). Ondot has announced an agreement to begin to roll out this application in 2014 during summer. The company has an agreement with BECU (Boeing Engineers Credit Union), based in the state of Washington, the 4th largest credit union.

Features Available

  1. User can block a specific type of transaction (online purchase, ATM withdrawal, cash transfer).
  2. User can limit the amount (dollar) of a transaction.
  3. User can stop a specific type of merchant (retail, gas or lodgings) and inform that his/her card couldn’t be used there.
  4. User can mention a region map (city, country, state) and limit the geographic area, where he wants the card to be active. The user should go for “active around me” option to relate the area on his/her phone with the merchants. The location and the merchants’ address should match. Otherwise the transaction will not be authorized.

Pros of this application

  • This application is also available for your secondary card. It will give you the same control as a primary user of another card.
  • One can (particularly helpful to parents and businessman) put a limit on his card (where can be used, how much can be used) . This will help the user to ensure about the purchase location and time . The user can also ensure that his children will not spend much.
  • You can prevent fraud and manage your own spending needs.
  • You can have a control over impulsive buying.
  • You can turn off the card when you discover your card has been stolen or lost. This will help you to minimize the chances of losing data or money.
  • You are able to control over your cards through your cell phone. It doesnt matter if you left a card at your home.
  • This application is also worthy for banks as they can reduce fraud and get more customer to sell credit cards.

Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education at said “I think this is a brilliant way for people to help protect themselves against card fraud”. Even though the customer isn’t typically responsible for fraudulent charges, it’s a huge hassle when you’re dealing with fraud.”

Cons of this application

  • This application is accessible on smart phone only.
  • No options are there when your cards are locked and the battery of your phone is extremely low.

Apart from this, mobile devices are functioning as a remote control in our daily lives. Now it has started controlling our account as well as payment cards! Tom Tyson, BECU’s digital channel manager stated that, “People know how they use their card and how they want it to be managed, this gives them a way to take action without contacting us.” He said that, this application is a simple solution to a big problem. This new technology will help people to manage their cards easily without any worry about the chances of fraud.

By carol on July 14th, 2014

5 C’s of credit repair process

Need to pull up your credit score? Worried about how to increase it and be eligible for loans at low interest rate? Check out the 5 C’s of credit repair process in this infographic.

5 C's of credit repair
By carol on July 8th, 2014

Credit report facts and myths – A synopsis on what matters most in your life

Credit report is not a trivial thing. It is actually a reflection of how much you’re creditworthy. In short, your credit report will determine how much you are eligible for renting a home, getting a job, home loans, student loans, credit cards. Credit report is all about information of your credit history (debts,loans,personal information). Most importantly it is an overview of your every financial transaction.

What kind of information is there on credit report?

Credit report format will depend on credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies. But basic categories are same.

  • Information of personal identification: Name, date of birth, social security number are needed for identification.
  • Past credit report inquiries: You should allow your lender to ask for documents of your credit report at the time of applying for loans. These inquiries are compiled in your credit report.
  • Public records: Liens, bankruptcies, overdue child support are included as public record on your credit report.
  • Accounts details: Credit report contains all your account details (type of account, date, credit limit, amount of loan, payment history, balance).

2 Fact of credit reports that matters

Credit report play a leading role in your life.The three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) maintain the details of your personal finance. Credit card companies, lenders, landlords, mortgage brokers, bank can get your credit report from credit bureau whenever they need.They buy your credit report to decide if you are eligible for a loan, a service at a particular rate.
  1. To get a job: Your credit report will be checked  by employers when making job decisions. They will consider you as a responsible and potential employee after checking your credit report. Incase, your credit report is bad, and you make any financial mistake or you don’t pay the bills regularly, they may not offer you the job.
  2. To obtain a loan: Lenders will check your credit report before giving you loan. They will check the total amount of credit you have and you used on specific types of accounts (credit cards, auto loans, mortgage). Try to owe less money because lender will check if you’re able to pay back the money .Try to maintain your credit responsibly for a good credit score.

How bad credit affect your personal life

You will face many hurdles if you have a bad credit history. If  you’ll not pay all the due bills or rebuild your credit, you’ll never reach your goal.

  • Risk of an expensive service: You may face expensive offers to get services (cell phone, electric). The service provider can give you pressure for enrolling your name on monthly basis contract,  whereas if you have good credit, you can go for yearly basis contract.
  • Chances of loan problems: If you apply for a car loan with bad credit history, you’ll be charged high interest rates. Moreover, it’ll be impossible to obtain a business loan with bad credit.
  • Rental problems: You should pay several month’s rent in advance as high security deposit at the time of renting a house with bad credit history.

4 Items that are not included in credit report:

A credit report will not contain any information about your

  1. Savings account.
  2. Political affiliation.
  3. Medical history.
  4. Criminal records.

6 Myths and facts regarding credit report

Myth 1# The credit item will be removed after paying off the delinquent loan

Facts: Some negative records (bankruptcy, collection accounts,late payments) will stay on your credit reports for 7 years to 10 years for some bankruptcies. The credit item will be marked and updated as paid in report after paying off delinquent loan.

Myth 2# Bad credit does not affect a candidate in job search.

Facts: An employer has the right to check a candidate’s credit report at the time of hiring and promoting according to the Federal Law.

Myth 3# It is harmful to check your own credit report.

Facts: Credit score will not be affected if a consumer access his/her own credit report.

Myth 4# Credit bureaus are controlled and monitored by the Government

Facts: Credit bureaus are not controlled by the Government. But the agency must follow the laws.

Myth 5# Credit is main reason to get into a financial trouble.

Facts: Spending too much is the main reason to get into a financial mess. Set a proper budget and maintain your credit wisely to get a secure financial life.

Myth 6# Education is the key to maintain a good credit score.

Facts: Credit report contains only debt related information, not your educational qualification. Credit card payment history, loans, foreclosure, bankruptcy, etc. are included in credit reports. On the other hand, socks, bonds, investment will not be in your credit report.

By carol on July 7th, 2014

10 Startling facts about credit card scams and how to avoid them in 2014

Facts about credit card scams

In the past 5 years, nearly 41% of US people faced credit card scams and 50% consumers were involved in risky behavior. Some people discarded papers containing vital banking information, whereas others were found writing down their credit card PIN numbers. As per a recent study, these people have greater chances of getting victimized by credit card scammers.

As per the reports of ACI Worldwide and Aite Group . The top 3 countries with highest credit card fraud rate are – (a) United Arab Emirates, (b) China (c) United States and India.

Amongst the 4 countries, US is the last one to adopt microchip technology for credit card data storage. It has set a goal to replace magnetic stripe with microchip and migrate to the new system within October 2015.

Consumers are frustrated with the ever increasing identity-thefts, credit card frauds and data breaches. Their risky behaviors are partially blamed for that. As per a recent study, 50% of consumers who engaged in risky behaviors were victims of credit card fraud.

Consumers with risky behaviors are not the only ones who face credit card frauds. As per the study, 38% of consumers were duped by imposters even after handling credit cards responsibly.

7 Steps you can take to protect yourself against credit card fraud

Here are some steps you can take to lessen the chances of being a victim of credit card fraud.

1. Check the security of website while buying something online.

Before you buy something online, make sure you check the security of the website. Lots of websites don’t have good internal control. Give your credit card number to a merchant who is credible.

2. Keep your smartphone locked when you’re busy in some other work.

You’re not using your smartphone 24*7. Keep your smartphone locked since it contains your vital information. Nearly 11% of US people keep smartphones unlocked and are vulnerable to identity-theft risks.

3. Don’t keep your credit card in your wallet while traveling.

Most people have the habit of keeping credit cards in their wallet. This is risky since wallets can be tempered or stolen at any moment. Carry your credit cards in a business card holder. If you lose your wallet by any chance, you would at least save yourself from a severe financial damage.

Don’t carry too many credit cards. Save the phone numbers of credit card companies so that you can contact them when your cards are stolen.

4. Never reveal your bank account details in emails or through phone.

Around 5% of the US people reveal vital bank information over phone and emails. This figure is only 2% less than that of Brazil. Avoid giving your bank account information over phone as the chances of getting scammed is very high.

Avoid giving your credit card number over phone unless you made the call. The financial institution will not ask your credit card number since they already have it.

5. Don’t put your signature on a blank receipt as it is too risky.

No matter how much you love a person, don’t put your signature on a blank paper. It would be too risky. Your loved one can write anything and transfer all your assets into his/her name. In case of a blank receipt, make sure you draw a line above the total amount.

6. Break your old credit cards properly after getting new ones.

Cut up your earlier cards through the magnetic strip and the numbers when you activate your new ones. Make sure you have damaged your old credit cards completely before throwing them into trash.

7. Scan the transactions you made and didn’t make carefully.

Once you receive credit card statements, check out the transactions you made and didn’t make. The faster you discover the transactions you didn’t make, the sooner you can save yourself from a big loss. Contact the Account Manager of your credit card company and investigate the matter.

10 Startling facts about credit card fraud and identity-theft

  1. Thief can steal your identity from your non financial information shared in social networks.
  2. Thief can steal information from only a single piece of information about you.
  3. Your credit card information can be stolen from an ATM with odd look.
  4. Tourists are the easiest victims of identity thieves.
  5. It takes around 21 hours to resolve credit card fraud issues
  6. There were 13.1 million cases of identity-thefts in 2013
  7. Data breaches is one of main reasons behind identity-thefts
  8. Scammers are more tech-savvy than police.
  9. New account frauds are spreading like wildfire.
  10. It is getting touch to spot credit card scams.

Final impressions

Stats are scary. Who knows, scammers may fall in love with you anytime. You can be their target without having any knowledge about it. What you need to do is be pro-active and use credit monitoring services to get data breach notification. Once you receive such notification, take prompt action to get quick results.

By carol on July 3rd, 2014