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Credit cards: Do you need a wallet full of credit cards?

Is it good to have multiple credit cards? This is probably the biggest question people ask. You may find numerous myths but the fact is there is no such ‘perfect’ number for credit cards. What actually matters is how you deal with credit cards. If you want to maintain a good credit score, then you need to pay all the bills on time. You need to evaluate your financial approach in order to know if you’re  handling too many credit cards. Here goes some financial stage which will help you to get the answer of your question more clearly.

Check if your debt to income ratio is too high

Mortgage lenders will surely calculate your debt to income and may deny your loan application if the ratio is too high. Check your debt to income ratio in  order to test whether or not you’re spending too much for your multiple credit cards. If you find your DTI ratio is above 37%, then you should close some of your  unused credit card accounts.

Higher credit utilization means lower credit score

More credit card means more credit card balance. And it will increase your credit utilization too. Remember, you credit utilization should always be less than 30% in order to get a better credit score. Once your credit card balances rise, your credit utilization will rise equally. So, keeping less number of credit cards will maintain credit utilization.

Managing too many cards are a troublesome work

You will find difficulties to manage your multiple payments. You should be very confident if you can successfully keep track of all your credit cards. Credit card company may close your accounts due to lack of use or inactivity. Once your accounts get closed by the credit card companies, your credit score will be highly affected as it will decrease the total amount of credit score. So, you need to use them on a regular basis. Moreover, you need to take care of payment due dates, interest rates and fees. Managing less card is much hassle free work even in this advanced technical life as its very hard to keep track of multiple accounts.

Some basic facts you must know

As per experts, one credit card is fine for a starter who wants to build credit. People need to gather experience in order to manage multiple credit cards as it requires responsibility and knowledge. Once you have experience with on single credit card and you’re quite confident about your ability to take care of other credit cards, then you can go for another. When you find yourself exhausted to manage your series of credit cards, then it means you’re too weak to control so many cards.

Lastly,  having few (2-3) credit cards is good if you can handle them. It becomes easier to meet different types of need. As example try to keep one reward credit card for common purpose to earn points. And another one for emergency need or backup (medical bills, stolen, lost). But, remember applying for too many credit cards at a time is not advisable.

By carol on December 10th, 2014

Credit repair – 5 Misconceptions that lead you to wrong direction

Your credit report is extremely important in generating your credit score. In spite of the importance of credit report, many people are unaware of how credit reports can be damaged or repaired. Myths and misconceptions about credit repair are quite prevalent. You should be aware of credit repair facts so that you don’t face trouble later on regarding your credit reports and scores.

Here are 5 common misconceptions about credit repair:

1. Credit can be repaired in no time

The companies which offer you provisions for repairing your credit instantly are mostly scam companies and can lead you to trouble. These companies usually obtain a new tax identification number for you, that is legally reserved only for businesses. But if you use this number instead of yours, you may fall into legal trouble and be charged for fraud. Moreover, your personal information can be stolen for identity theft.

2. You are unable to fix bad credit

Despite of all the advertisements about credit repair process and credit repair agencies, there are some who believe that bad credit can’t be truly repaired. This is an absolute misconception. All negative items can be dealt with though it may take a long time and regular repayment of due bills. In addition, you should pay off all your older debts and stay current on the new bills for your credit score to improve with time.

3. You cannot check your own credit report

Contrary to what many people believe, you can actually check your own credit report and that too free of cost from the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and Transunion. If you do it through a proper government agency, many places allow you to check your credit once or more annually.

4. Credit repair agencies have Government authority

It is a prevalent idea that credit repair agencies are empowered with governmental authority. In reality such empowerment does not exist. Credit repair agencies and credit bureaus are like any other private business that deal with buying and selling of products to generate profit. No special authority is bestowed on them.

5. Enquiries have negative impact on credit report

Inquiring about your credit score is generally known as soft enquiry. This does not affect your credit score negatively. However, if multiple creditors pull out your credit reports in order to approve your loan request, it will affect your credit score negatively.

You should know that you can repair your credit report by two ways. The first way is by disputing the inaccurate negative items on your credit report and the second way is by adding more positive information to your credit report in order to offset the negative ones.

By carol on September 18th, 2014

How can you prove credit reporting agencies that you are alive?

Usually, consumers check their credit reports to ensure that credit reporting agencies are reporting tradelines and payment records correctly. But what can a consumer do when credit reporting agencies believe that he is dead and buried?

Denise, a regular reader of a popular financial blog is finding it hard to convince credit bureaus that she is very much alive. Everything was fine on her credit report until she closed one of her credit card accounts few months back. The customer care representative marked her ‘deceased’ instead of “customer closed account” by mistake. After she solved the matter with the credit card company, she sent a letter and her birth certificate to the credit bureau. Denise has clearly explained in the letter about the mistake made by the credit card company and the fact that she is alive. Three months have passed since then but she is still marked as deceased.

When the credit bureau was approached, the representatives said that they were trying to contact Danise. On the other hand, the public relation manager raised an important question – How did Danise come to know about the mistake? From the credit card company or from the credit report itself?

If Danise found the error from the credit card company, then there is only one solution. She should obtain an updated copy of her credit report as soon as possible. She would get the instructions on how to file a dispute with credit bureaus from there.

Have patience for at least 30 days

Danise need to wait for at least 30 days after sending the dispute letter. Usually, the dispute process is completed within 30 days. Sometimes, the process is completed even more quickly. The credit bureaus can’t change the facts on Danise’s credit report without having any idea about what she actually did. The credit bureaus need to investigate and come to a conclusion.

Once the 30 day period is over, Danise has to follow up with the credit bureau. For instance, she can send all the documents (that help to prove she is not dead) via certified mail with return receipt request. It is also important to keep all records of correspondence. For instance, she must note down the name of the representative with whom she had a conversation.

There is yet another solution too, and that is she can ask the credit card company representative to submit corrected information. Here too, she needs to retain all the records properly. Other than that, Danise should not forget to use certified mail.

If all her attempts to update her credit report with correct information fails, then the last weapon would be to register a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She can also get in touch with an attorney for proper advice and help.

By carol on September 11th, 2014

4 Popular credit card tricks that make you look dumb

Before buying a credit card you must be very particular about certain things. All credit card companies are there to make profit. Your personal well being is not their primary concern. Hence, they use all kinds of tricks to cheat you so that they can maximize their profit.

Some of the tricks you should keep yourself aware of are as follows.

Trick 1 – Going for uninformed change of address

Many a times, the credit card company changes its address and doesn’t bother to inform you about it. In this case, you’ll send the payment to the previous address and by the time it will reach them, it would be considered a late payment. You will have to end up paying late fees for no fault of yours. To avoid such a situation, you may find out the address in advance, by checking the mailing address of the company in your monthly statement. You may even call the company to verify the address.

Trick 2 -Tempting you to take cash advance

It is advisable to consider thoughtfully whether you need to take out cash or not. This is because the interest rate for cash advances is very high. The amount you will have to pay will also include cash advance fee and there will be no grace period in which you can pay off the interest.

Trick 3 – Charging late fees

One of the most important sources of income of a credit card company is late fees. Some companies often charge you late fees if you are late by a few minutes. You must understand that payments are due on a certain time, not a certain date. So do not consider the date to be the due date. You must make sure you know the time on that particular day, before which you must make the payment. This is because if you are past the time, then you will be subject to late fees and also an increase in interest rate. Thus, you must be very careful to make your payments before that particular time so that the credit card company can not charge you unnecessarily.

Trick 4 – Charging balance transfer fee

You may consider balance transfer if you have a very high interest credit card and are having difficulty in paying it off. Under the balance transfer method, you can transfer balance from a high interest credit card to a low interest credit card. However, you must check before you do this to find out if your credit card company charges a fee for balance transfer. If so, you must be aware of how much is the charge. Balance transfer fee is now about 3% to 4%. If you’re asked to pay more, then you should not pay.

Lastly, think twice before swapping credit card for a big purchase. They are useful when you properly use for a right purpose and also maintain a good credit report.

By carol on September 4th, 2014

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

  • 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 FTC.gov 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 kirotv.com (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