Credit Rating

Identity thieves have many ways to steal your money – including fraudulent tax returns. They file a return in your name as early as possible to beat your legitimate return, with fake financial data designed to claim a large refund. You won’t realize this until your tax return is denied because there’s already been a
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Do you take mobile device security as seriously as you should? You probably connect to the Internet more on mobile devices than you do on desktops – especially on smartphones, since you’re likely never far away from yours. According to the 2018 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, newly discovered malware for mobile devices increased by
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Times aren’t great in the mortgage refinancing market. According to the October 2018 Origination Insights Report from mortgage application software provider Ellie Mae, refinancing homes make up 32% of October’s closed mortgages – continuing a drop in refis that began five to six months prior. It’s likely that mortgage rate increases are to blame for
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Our prior article, 5 Steps To Be Your Own Mogul – Part 1, covers the first three steps to manage your finances like a business. Below we present the final two steps. 4. Forecasting If you have performed the budget exercise and broken your expenses out into categories, you can start to highlight areas
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Why not take some financial pointers from the business world and apply them to your personal finances? Whether you are a party of one or a family of four, it pays to be fiscally agile. Some of the longest financial plays in the business world today are small businesses that perennially stay afloat and drive
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Can you avoid a New Year’s Day hangover? We’re not referring to the traditional hangover that comes from too much alcohol, but the financial hangover that comes from too many charges on your credit card. Of course, you can avoid a New Year’s credit hangover – especially with some help. Consider these eleven ways to
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It may seem like you have been paying credit card interest since 3500 BC – but you might be surprised to learn that credit actually dates back to those ancient times. Historians believe that the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia (in modern-day Iraq) extended credit to farmers in the rough equivalent of a consumer loan. The
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Your checking account is a tempting target for thieves. You must stay alert for the many varieties of checking account scams – but first, you must be able to recognize a scam when you see one. Have you ever been targeted by any of the scams below? Free Prizes – This scam usually starts with
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You’re never too old to learn new things – including better money management practices. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) agrees. To address financial literacy concerns, the FDIC created the Money Smart teaching program in 2001 to help educators and financial institutions increase consumer understanding of basic financial systems work and how to use them
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In September 2017, America learned about the massive data breach at the credit reporting agency Equifax that affected approximately 148 million consumers – one of the largest breaches ever. Identity thieves suddenly acquired a new batch of Social Security numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information. Consumers were advised to take steps immediately
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Finding a job can be a stressful and difficult task – and if you have poor credit, you may have an even harder time finding a job. A 2016 CareerBuilder study found that almost one-third of employers run credit checks on their potential hires, on the assumption that people with good credit are more likely
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The Crushing Effects Of Medical Debt How pervasive is America’s medical debt problem? According to 2017 data from the credit bureau Experian, unpaid medical debt in America topped $127 billion. New data from Consumer Reports shows that almost 30% of insured Americans had unpaid medical debt turned over to collection agencies in the past two
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Thanks to large data breaches in recent years, both credit freezes and credit locks are gaining in popularity. What’s the difference between these two important identity protection tools, and which one is the best for you? Both tools stop lenders from accessing your credit information – and lenders won’t extend credit if they can’t assess
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Do you know how to read your credit report? If not, it’s time to learn. Your credit score is one of the primary items that lenders check when approving your credit request, and the information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. If you never check your credit report, you can’t
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By Eric Olsen, Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm I just got off the phone with a senior couple who have a timeshare they can’t afford and don’t use any longer. They had called a company who advertised that they help people get out of timeshares. (I hear such advertisements on the radio and television
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Credit Scores Trending Upward Congratulations, America! Your average FICO credit score reached 704, continuing the upward trend of the last eight years. According to a recent FICO blog, the 704 average score is the best average ever recorded on the 300-850 standard FICO scoring scale. America’s average score sank to 686 in October 2009 thanks
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Further Rewards for Good Credit You’ve worked hard to keep your credit score high. Why shouldn’t you be rewarded for your effort? Banks agree and are looking for innovative ways to urge you to keep your credit score as high as possible. Financial institutions have always used negative reinforcement for poor credit scores – higher
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Clerks at most department stores or retailers often ask if you’d like to apply for a store credit card, pleasantly pitching special deals and perks that the credit card provides. Why not accept? How can you go wrong opening another account? When you’re tempted to accept a store card offer, think of two things –
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By Stephanie Braun, Director of Auto Product Management at Esurance Companies have collected data on their customers for decades. It allows them to offer more tailored services and products, and provide more relevant messaging. The reason data collection has gotten so much press lately is because it’s reached unprecedented levels. Already, we create 2.5 quintillion
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Are you looking for a mortgage that features a low down payment but can’t find a suitable conventional loan because of various restrictions?The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loan products with down payments of just 3.5% for borrowers with FICO credit scores as low as 580 – an attractive combination for potential homebuyers with lesser
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Small Changes, Big Impact Sometimes a seemingly small difference can have a large effect, like the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. According to a recent study by the credit bureau Experian, that same principle applies to millennials and their borrowing behaviors. With a small change in financial habits, more millennials could significantly shift
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Have you checked your credit report lately? If not, what’s keeping you from doing so? A recent survey by WalletHub found several reasons, ranging from complexity to fear. Your credit report is a history of all your loans and credit transactions as reported to the credit bureaus. The information in your credit report is used
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