credit reports – How To Occupy http://howtooccupy.org/ Mon, 14 Mar 2022 05:29:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://howtooccupy.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon.png credit reports – How To Occupy http://howtooccupy.org/ 32 32 Legal aid focuses on consumer protection | News, Sports, Jobs https://howtooccupy.org/legal-aid-focuses-on-consumer-protection-news-sports-jobs/ Mon, 14 Mar 2022 05:29:35 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/legal-aid-focuses-on-consumer-protection-news-sports-jobs/ A staff member at a nonprofit law firm is warning Ohio consumers to be savvy when it comes to sales pitches that sound too good to be true. In recognition of the recent National Consumer Protection Week, Rachel Nader, Advocacy Director for Community Legal Aid, recently shared some advice for residents, warning them […]]]>

A staff member at a nonprofit law firm is warning Ohio consumers to be savvy when it comes to sales pitches that sound too good to be true.

In recognition of the recent National Consumer Protection Week, Rachel Nader, Advocacy Director for Community Legal Aid, recently shared some advice for residents, warning them to monitor their bank account activity and any fluctuations in their credit reports.

“Often a person doesn’t know they are a victim of identity theft or fraud until they have trouble opening a credit account,” Nader said in a recent statement. Press. “By then, significant damage has already been done.”

Community Legal Aid is a 501(c)3 nonprofit law firm that serves the legal needs of low-income people living in eight counties in central and northeastern Ohio, including Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull .

Reviewing credit reports, Nader said, also helps consumers catch inaccurate information that may have landed on their file. Nader pointed out that it’s a consumer’s legal right to dispute items on credit reports. She noted that Ohioans can access these reports for free by visiting the website www.annualcreditreport.com.

Legal Aid staff also note that there has been an increase in fraudulent activity and scams. Most alarming is the growing number of “identity theft scams,” the press release says, where a caller says they are from a government agency, such as the IRS, Social Security or the Department of Work and Family of Ohio. Scammers may have concocted a fake website or phone number to legitimize their claims.

“Fraudsters prey on victims’ worst fears, threatening them with the worst possible scenario, such as jail, if they don’t comply with their demands,” Nader said.

In reality, she said, government agencies use regular mail and do not call, text or email to make these types of threats.

Therefore, she said consumers should not provide personal or account information. Instead, they are advised to hang up and, if in doubt, call the official agency number to verify the call.

In addition to “identity theft scams,” consumers can fall victim to “rescue scams” ​​that promise to help someone in trouble but offer no real service or value. This is especially common for people facing foreclosure, owing back taxes, or struggling with credit card debt.

“Ohioans should talk to an attorney before paying for services that promise to help them avoid foreclosure or get rid of debt,” Nader said, noting that Legal Aid attorneys offer this type of service.

Finally, Nader said consumers should know and enforce their legal debt rights. The nonprofit has seen an increase in credit card lawsuits in recent months, noting that creditors are stepping up collection efforts as the pandemic begins to wane, she said.

“If someone is being sued for consumer debt, it’s important to actively participate in the legal process,” Nader said, noting that there can be effective legal defenses and it’s unwise to ignore a lawsuit. in justice.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION …

• Ohioans struggling with debt can find information about legal solutions, such as bankruptcy, by visiting the organization’s website at www.communitylegalaid.org/debt. Further help may be available through their Financial Wellness Workshop, which gives qualified applicants the opportunity to speak to a lawyer for advice on their situation. To request assistance, call the helpline at 800-998-9454 or apply online at www.communitylegalaid.org/apply.

• Victims of impersonation or scams should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by calling toll-free 800-282-0515 or visiting them on the web at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov /.



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Medical debt is increasingly becoming a burden on Americans, says CFPB https://howtooccupy.org/medical-debt-is-increasingly-becoming-a-burden-on-americans-says-cfpb/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 17:22:25 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/medical-debt-is-increasingly-becoming-a-burden-on-americans-says-cfpb/ Photo (c) boonchai wedmakawand – Getty Images In a new study on consumer finances, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that medical debt hurts consumers’ credit scores and adds significant amounts to their personal debt. The agency suggests that some 43 million Americans have medical debt on their credit reports, and that debt amounts […]]]>

Photo (c) boonchai wedmakawand – Getty Images

In a new study on consumer finances, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that medical debt hurts consumers’ credit scores and adds significant amounts to their personal debt.

The agency suggests that some 43 million Americans have medical debt on their credit reports, and that debt amounts to about $88 billion nationwide.

Medical debt is not something the average person expects, as it often arises as a result of unforeseen and urgent events. But when it does, it can hit hard and put Americans in a catastrophic loop between their medical provider and their insurance company.

The CFPB says consumers often have to deal with aggressive debt collection and coercive credit reports that force them to pay medical bills they may not even owe. Once medical debt shows up on a credit report, the impact can be far-reaching and felt across all races and ethnicities, but especially in minority and low-income communities.

“These practices can impose significant costs on people’s financial, physical and emotional health. Having a medical debt collection business line on someone’s credit report can make it harder to get credit, rent or buy a home, or find a job,” declared the CFPB in its report.

“Some people are pushed into bankruptcy by medical bills they can’t pay. Some avoid seeking health care for fear of medical debt. And some find the stress of having medical debt – and being contacted by medical debt collectors – worsens their mental health, contributing to conditions such as anxiety, depression and even suicide.

What the CFPB is doing about the situation

Armed with the data from the new study and states’ efforts to protect patients from staggering medical bills, the CFPB decided it needed to step up its efforts to ensure that consumer credit reports are not misused. excessive to force patients and their families to pay questionable medical costs. bills. More specifically, the agency intends to address the following factors:

Reasonable Practices: The agency wants to ensure that credit reporting companies have reasonable procedures in place to maintain the accuracy of medical debt information. It plans to take action against suppliers who report inaccurate information.

No surprises: The CFPB says it will support the work of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure patients aren’t forced to pay bills that exceed amounts owed. This is especially true in situations where the amount billed violates the law without surprise. This law protects consumers covered by group and individual health plans from receiving surprise medical bills from most emergency services and non-emergency services from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities.

Tell consumers what financial help is available: Regulators will consider how best to make it easier for patients to access financial assistance programs offered by medical providers, including at the point of collection and credit reporting.

Continue to investigate the situation: The CFPB says its latest study is just the start and it will conduct further research into medical bill collection practices and their impact on patients and families.

Look for ways to end the current problem: Finally, the agency said it will determine whether policies need to be implemented to completely eliminate unpaid medical billing data on credit reports.

Additional expert advice

ConsumerAffairs contacted Stephanie Genkin, an expert in medical debt, to obtain her opinion on the CFPB report. It assures consumers that medical debt carries less weight in credit reports than other types of delinquency. However, she said there are three things people can do when faced with medical cost issues:

  • Do not argue with the debt collector. Ask for written confirmation of the debt so that you can dispute it if it is inaccurate.

  • Negotiate a reduced payment. Debt collection agencies buy medical debt for pennies on the dollar, so consumers can often try to work with debt collectors to reduce their debt burden.

  • Try a “pay to delete” strategy. Genkin says consumers can get written confirmation that a debt collector will notify the three credit reporting agencies to remove the statement of their debt once it’s paid off.

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ScoreNavigator Announces New Product “Build Credit” with Addition of eCredable Lift® https://howtooccupy.org/scorenavigator-announces-new-product-build-credit-with-addition-of-ecredable-lift/ Fri, 25 Feb 2022 21:14:00 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/scorenavigator-announces-new-product-build-credit-with-addition-of-ecredable-lift/ The product will allow consumers to report an unlimited number of utility accounts to TransUnion. GRAY, GEORGIA, USA, February 25, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — ScoreNavigator is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exciting partnership with eCredable Elevator® – a move that adds a new “construction credit” product to its already popular platform. ScoreNavigator.com […]]]>

The product will allow consumers to report an unlimited number of utility accounts to TransUnion.

GRAY, GEORGIA, USA, February 25, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — ScoreNavigator is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exciting partnership with eCredable Elevator® – a move that adds a new “construction credit” product to its already popular platform.

ScoreNavigator.com is an online leader credit report provider with the aim of improving the quality of life of its customers by maximizing their solvency and solvency. The company’s mission is to ensure that credit reports accurately reflect financial responsibility and to educate the consumer about the impact of finance and credit on a wide range of decision makers today, be it lenders, employers, insurers or other sectors. ScoreNavigator seeks to provide financial freedom to its customers by providing the tools to understand and manage their finances and credit.

In the latest company news, ScoreNavigator.com is pleased to announce a new “Building Credit” product adding eCredable Lift® to its platform. Currently, more than 50 million adults have invisible or thin credit records that can impact the ability to achieve their financial goals. To solve this problem, eCredable Lift® allows consumers to report an unlimited number of utility accounts to TransUnion, such as electricity, water, gas, some mobile phone trash, Internet, cable TV, satellite TV, and telephone fixed. According to the company, admitting this information is very valuable to consumers and, because eCredable Lift® allows up to 24 months of payment history, consumer scores can be established or increased in just days.

“Being directly involved in the credit industry for over 40 years and finally finding a company like eCredable Lift® has been a blessing,” said Rusty Bresse, CEO of ScoreNavigator, “Now we can offer our members a quick and easy way to redeem their good payment history, which will also save them money and provide a financing at lower interest rates.

“Optimizing your credit score is never more important than when you’re applying for a large loan, like a car loan or a home loan,” said Steve Ely, CEO of eCredable. “Finding all available opportunities to improve your credit score can save you thousands of dollars in interest. ScoreNavigator® is the only product we’ve seen that can help every consumer understand how to navigate this complex process.

ScoreNavigator.com guarantees consumers comprehensive and useful benefits from its platform, including:

• Easy 24/7 access to credit reports and scores
• Point deduction technology
• Assistance and recovery in the event of identity theft
• Comprehensive advice on credit, laws, education and testing
• Alerts and notifications
• Target score, manual and money simulators
• And much more

For more information on ScoreNavigator, please visit www.ScoreNavigator.com. To learn more about eCredable, visit www.eCredable.com.

About ScoreNavigator

As one of the most sought after online credit report providers, ScoreNavigator’s goal is to improve the quality of life of its customers by not only improving, but also maximizing their creditworthiness and creditworthiness. Ultimately, this goal helps the public build trust, while protecting its members from the complexities of financial well-being and credit.

The Georgia-headquartered company was founded in 2007 and boasts an A+ rating as a Better Business Bureau Accredited Company.

About eCredable

eCredable focuses on financial inclusion for the 50 million adults and 15 million small businesses that are “credit invisible” in the United States.® 8 and VantageScore® 3.0. For small businesses, we allow them to report these types of accounts and many other business accounts to business credit bureaus, resulting in a stronger business financial profile. The company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Follow us on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scorenavigator/

Rusty Bresse
ScoreNavigator
+1 866-933-1656
info@scorenavigator.com
Visit us on social media:
Other

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Know the Score – Albuquerque Journal https://howtooccupy.org/know-the-score-albuquerque-journal/ Sun, 20 Feb 2022 07:05:58 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/know-the-score-albuquerque-journal/ Because interest rates are low, credit companies may make tempting offers to entice you into taking out a loan or getting a credit card. Take your time to make a decision that is right for you and your financial health before going ahead with such offers. What is a credit score? A credit score is […]]]>

Because interest rates are low, credit companies may make tempting offers to entice you into taking out a loan or getting a credit card. Take your time to make a decision that is right for you and your financial health before going ahead with such offers.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number that summarizes information on your credit report. The number changes depending on what is happening in your financial life.

There are two different names for credit score, FICO or VantageScore. The FICO score is named after the company that invented this three-digit scoring system in the mid-1980s, Fair Isaac Inc. The three major credit reporting agencies created their own scoring system, called VantageScore, designed to produce a more consistent score across all three credit reporting agencies. Each credit reporting agency collects different financial information about you and therefore reports a different credit score.

Credit scores are designed to estimate your likelihood of repaying a debt.

What are the ranges?

From NerdWallet:

• A score of 720 or higher is generally considered excellent credit.

• A score between 690 and 719 is considered good credit.

• Scores between 630 and 689 are fair credit.

• And scores of 629 or less are bad credit.

Other sites had different ranges and names with similar messages about the meanings.

What factors come into play?

• Pay bills on time. Any late payment can affect your score. Late payments of 30 days or more stay past due in your credit history for years.

• How much you owe. Just because you have a high credit limit on your credit card doesn’t mean you should use it. The sites I looked at recommended using 30% or less of the credit limit. Lower is better.

• Credit age. The longer you have credit, the better your score.

• Composition of credit. Having more than one type of credit such as a loan and a credit card.

• How long ago you applied for credit. When you apply for credit, an investigation is done on your credit file and may cause your score to drop temporarily. For example, applying for a new credit card that offers airline miles, cash rewards for signing up, or other incentives could negatively affect your credit score.

What does this really mean?

The score can affect your approval for a loan or credit and the interest rate you pay on the loan. People with high scores generally receive lower interest rates on mortgages, credit cards, and loans because they are considered to be at low risk of default. Average scores will likely qualify for new credit, but not ideal rates. Low scores mean a damaged credit history, such as defaults on different types of credit. It can also be the result of bankruptcy, which stays on a credit report for seven years.

Establish credit

Start small. Your bank, credit union, or other financial institution with which you have an account may offer you a credit card. When you are approved for a loan or credit card, make payments on time and in full. Credit is also established by paying your utility bills on time.

Watch your score

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there are four main ways to get a credit score. (See the government website below for additional links.)

1. Check your credit card or other loan statement. Many credit card companies and loan companies provide credit scores on monthly statements or by logging into your account.

2. Talk to a nonprofit advisor. Nonprofit credit counselors and HUD-licensed housing counselors can often provide you with a free credit report and score and help you review them. (I couldn’t find a New Mexico nonprofit credit counselor on the website, but I did find Housing Counselors for New Mexico.)

3. Use a credit score service. Many services and websites advertise a “free credit score”. Review them carefully, as you may be charged a fee for ongoing monitoring.

4. Buy sheet music. You can buy directly from credit reporting companies. Know what you are buying and acknowledge efforts to sell additional products or services.

Obtain and review your credit report:

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three national credit reporting companies. It is important to review your credit reports, which you can do free of charge at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. If there are errors in your credit reports, they can unnecessarily lower your scores. You can submit information to correct errors.

Sources: www.nerdwallet.com, www.investopedia.com and www.consumerfinance.gov.

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Kreidler passes rule banning credit scoring for three years, proposes rule to increase transparency https://howtooccupy.org/kreidler-passes-rule-banning-credit-scoring-for-three-years-proposes-rule-to-increase-transparency/ Tue, 01 Feb 2022 18:05:08 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/kreidler-passes-rule-banning-credit-scoring-for-three-years-proposes-rule-to-increase-transparency/ February 1, 2022 OLYMPIA, Wash. — Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler passed his rule banning insurers from using credit information to set auto, home and renter’s insurance for three years, beginning March 4. In addition, it proposes a new transparency rule requiring insurers to provide policyholders with a written explanation of any premium change. “I take […]]]>

February 1, 2022

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler passed his rule banning insurers from using credit information to set auto, home and renter’s insurance for three years, beginning March 4. In addition, it proposes a new transparency rule requiring insurers to provide policyholders with a written explanation of any premium change.

“I take this action against insurers’ use of credit scoring in response to the economic harm that many people have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic – harm that has had a significant impact on people who are already financially vulnerable,” Kreidler said. “We know that now, more than ever, credit reports are unreliable. It’s unfair to base the amount someone pays for frequently required insurance on an unreliable and fluctuating factor like a credit score.”

The federal government recognized that many people are suffering financially and passed the CARES Act which allows lenders to provide relief to certain people in financial difficulty. However, the protections do not apply to everyone. And when the CARES Act ends, any default could then be reported or show up as a blackout period on someone’s credit report. This makes the credit history that insurers use unreliable and inaccurate. As it is unclear when the public health emergency will end, the rule requires insurers to temporarily remove the inaccurate credit score factor. The rule will be in effect for three years after federal or state emergency declarations end, whichever is later.

Kreidler’s rule is designed to be rate-neutral to insurers, meaning that any rate changes are spread across all policyholders. Some will see a one-time rate increase and others a rate decrease, depending on how much reliance their insurer has relied on the credit score. Based on consumer stories he heard during the public hearing on the rule, Kreidler asked insurers to provide additional information, including:

  • An illustration called a histogram that shows the range of premium changes due to removal of credit information as a rating factor. Some insurers have already provided these illustrations as part of their rate filings.
  • Copies of all communications used by insurers to describe the new credit rule to their policyholders.

He asked for copies of the communications because several investigations conducted by the ICO on behalf of consumers revealed that despite what their insurer had told them, the change in premium was not entirely due to the removal of the credit score. . In some of the responses they received, it was nearly impossible for the insured to determine what caused their premium to increase.

Only 12 companies representing 5.2% of the relevant market provided the information requested by Kreidler.

Based on the lack of transparency and answers, Kreidler is proposing a rule that requires insurers to provide policyholders with clear written explanations for any rate changes. This proposed rule will include stakeholder participation and a public hearing.

“If an insurer wants to change your coverage amount, you deserve to know why,” Kreidler said. “And it shouldn’t be difficult to understand the reasons that led to the change. If your insurance company wants your business, you deserve an honest and clear answer. We will help them give you one with this rule.

Below is a bar chart of the average premium change for the 12 companies that responded to Kreidler’s initial request for information on the impact of removing credit as a rating factor on their policyholders:















“I understand that some people will be upset that this rule is moving forward,” Kreidler said. “They think they deserve a discount because of their good credit rating, but I have to look at fairness for all consumers in our state. is not fair.

“During the three years that this rule is in effect, I intend to work with the Legislative Assembly, stakeholders and the insurance industry to see how we can permanently end the use of credit score in setting insurance premiums. It’s an outdated practice that relies on your creditworthiness instead of how you drive or treat your property. And if you think you’re more deserving of a good rate in because of your high credit scores what do you say to good drivers with low credit scores who pay an average of 80% more than you do We need to join other states that have done this and end this once and for all to this discriminatory practice.




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Improve your credit with a debit card https://howtooccupy.org/improve-your-credit-with-a-debit-card/ Sat, 29 Jan 2022 14:34:06 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/improve-your-credit-with-a-debit-card/ Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles that we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links to our affiliate partners’ products. For many, having a good credit rating is key to achieving many financial milestones in life, from getting a lower […]]]>

Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles that we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links to our affiliate partners’ products.

For many, having a good credit rating is key to achieving many financial milestones in life, from getting a lower interest rate on a loan to getting a higher credit limit. on your credit card. Credit cards are a way for people to increase their credit score with their daily purchases.

However, getting a credit card often requires a good credit score, so it can be difficult to start building your credit. However, fintech companies have been working on innovative solutions to help you build your credit score outside of traditional methods.

Extra Card created a debit card that allows people to build credit without a credit check or high credit score to qualify. Below, Select takes a look at how Extra Card works and the various features it offers.

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How can Extra be a debit card that improves your credit score?

Using an additional card may also impact your credit utilization rate. The credit utilization rate is the ratio between the credit you use and the total amount of credit granted to you. Your credit utilization ratio impacts the “amount owed” category of your FICO score. The “amount owing” category includes 30% of your credit score. Experts recommend keeping your credit utilization rate below 30%, or even 10% if you can.

Because the card is redeemed daily, your credit utilization rate will reset each day, Wimberly explains. When your credit utilization ratio resets frequently, you are more likely to have a low utilization ratio. Having a low usage rate also has a positive impact on your credit score.

The Extra card does not charge any APR or interest as you have to pay your balance daily. And unlike a credit card, Extra won’t let you spend more than you have in your bank account, so you won’t have to worry about overspending and potential debt.

To qualify for an Extra Card, you don’t need a credit score either. Extra does not perform credit checks, but potential cardholders must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older
  • You must have an SSN or ITIN number
  • Applicants must have an address in the United States where you can receive your supplemental card (PO boxes are not valid)
  • Have a checking account at one of the 10,000 selected US banks
  • Have an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) or Android device running version 10 or later

According to Wimberly, 99% of applicants are approved for the card because all transactions on the card are guaranteed in cash. When cardholders sign up for Extra, they receive a spending limit based on the real-time balance of the bank account they choose to connect, Wimberly explains.

Fees and Rewards

Alternatives to the Extra Card

The extra fees can be quite a steep price to pay in trying to boost your credit score. You might consider alternatives like a secured credit card, which requires you to pay a deposit that serves as security if you do not pay your bills. Generally, your line of credit is equal to the amount of your deposit. Secured cards are much easier to approve if you have bad credit or no credit.

When Select analyzed various secure cards to determine which cards were best for people with no or bad credit who wanted to improve their scores, it ranked the Discover it® Secure Credit Card as the winner.

With the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, cardholders only need to put down a minimum deposit of $200 for a line of credit equal to that amount. Seven months after account opening, Discover will assess your credit card account to determine if you can upgrade to an unsecured line of credit.

If you don’t want to make a down payment, you might consider the “no annual fee” Visa® Petal® 1 credit card, which is aimed at people with non-prime credit who are looking to improve their scores.

The Petal 1 card has no annual fee, no welcome bonus, and earns 2-10% cash back at select merchants. With the Petal 1 card, you’ll have to make your monthly payments in full or risk having to pay interest. Unlike the Extra card, the Petal 1 card falls under the three credit bureaus, has no annual fees or foreign transaction fees (unlike Extra, the Petal 1 can be used abroad).

Plus, unlike the Extra Card, the Petal 1 Card is a credit card, so you’ll have a whole month to pay your bill.

At the end of the line

the Extra Card can be a useful tool for people who don’t qualify for most credit cards, but are looking to improve their credit scores. However, the card has a monthly fee of $8 or an annual fee of $84, so you might be better off getting a secured credit card with no annual fee in order to build your credit.

Secured cards will require a security deposit, but you’ll usually receive the deposit and qualify for an unsecured card after you’ve made your payments on time and in full for a few months. Extra Card also has drawbacks: your card history is not shared with the three credit bureaus and cannot be used abroad.

Check out Select’s in-depth coverage at personal finance, technology and tools, The well-being and more, and follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Visa Petal 1 credit card is issued by WebBank, Member FDIC.

For Discover it® secure credit card rates and fees, click here.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff only and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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10 of the most hyped credit card features https://howtooccupy.org/10-of-the-most-hyped-credit-card-features/ Fri, 28 Jan 2022 00:29:39 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/10-of-the-most-hyped-credit-card-features/ JTo stand out in the highly competitive credit card market, issuers often load their advertising with features and benefits that sound impressive. But the truth is, some just aren’t. Take “zero fraud liability,” for example. It’s not so much a feature as US federal law. Essentially all cards have it. Free credit score? If it […]]]>

JTo stand out in the highly competitive credit card market, issuers often load their advertising with features and benefits that sound impressive. But the truth is, some just aren’t.

Take “zero fraud liability,” for example. It’s not so much a feature as US federal law. Essentially all cards have it.

Free credit score? If it was 2010, it could be special. No more.

When choosing a card, it can be useful to know which features are snow work, added only to inflate marketing points. You can safely ignore them and focus on the attributes that really help you make a good decision, like annual fees, rewards, interest rate, and sign-up bonus.

The market is full of good credit cards right now, whether you’re looking for cash back, travel points, or a break on interest payments. When deciding on your next credit card, don’t be afraid to gloss over these marketing braggings.

1. Zero Fraud Liability

No one wants to be held responsible for unauthorized or fraudulent charges to their credit card when it’s so common. The number of “data breaches” in 2021 has reached an all-time high, many involving payment card information, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center.

But American consumers have been protected from fraudulent charges for decades by the federal Fair Credit Billing Act. Technically, you could be owed $50 in some cases, but banks and credit card networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, generally waive liability. The fact is that it is not a special characteristic on which to base a decision.

2. Free Credit Score

Periodically checking credit scores is a good idea. And while you had to pay to get them, you usually don’t anymore. You can get them not only from your credit card company or bank, but also from various other third-party sources.

If you need access to your credit reports, on which the scores are based, you can get them at annualcreditreport.com. The three major credit bureaus announced in January that you can access reports weekly, instead of once a year, through 2022.

3. No overlimit fees

Credit cards used to charge penalty fees if you charge more than your credit limit. They usually don’t anymore, thanks to federal protections, namely the Cards Act of 2009.

“Overlimit fees that were common before the card law was implemented remained almost non-existent in 2019 and 2020,” says the latest market analysis from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Again, “no over-limit fees” is a nice-sounding marketing pitch, but it’s not a factor.

4. No foreign transaction fees (on travel cards)

Some overhyped marketing points depend on the type of card. For example, some cash back credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee – usually around 3% extra on anything you buy abroad. So if you’re trying to choose between two cashback cards and one of them doesn’t charge this fee, it may be a legitimate advantage.

But no self-respecting travel card should charge for them, and the vast majority don’t. Still, you can bet it’s going to be an important feature listed for some point- and mile-generating cards anyway.

5. Metal Cards

Choose a credit card based on the quality of the card itself, not its composition – or whether it clinks when you drop it on the table. Your wallet will thank you.

PS: It’s a headache to get rid of old metal cards.

6. Early Warning/Fraud Monitoring

Sounds good, right? “Get a warning of suspicious activity on your account.” But remember, this is for the sender, not you. You are not responsible anyway.

Additionally, if the issuer’s fraud algorithms are too much sensitive, you might end up with a bunch of declined or flagged transactions on legitimate expenses.

7. Card lock

Called various names – such as a freeze or a quick lock – this service essentially allows you to “disable” a credit card you’ve lost or misplaced, to thwart thieves. It’s a cool and potentially very useful feature, but it’s not unique, at least not anymore. Most major card issuers offer a card lock version.

And again, this is ultimately a feature to protect the transmitter, not you. You are not responsible.

8. Contactless payment

Also called “tap to pay”, this is often touted. But that’s not a differentiator because it’s almost standard now, at least among newly issued and replacement cards.

Visa said last year that 300 million Visa cards in the United States were contactless-enabled, representing a significant share of active credit and debit cards nationwide.

9. Mobile app

We are in 2022, when smartphones are ubiquitous. If your credit card account doesn’t have a mobile app, that should be a red flag.

Other common technical features that shouldn’t influence your card decision: EMV chip technology, compatibility with digital wallets, paperless statements, SMS/email notifications or the ability to automatically pay from a bank account or choose your payment date. That’s all standard fare now.

10. 24/7 customer service

Again, pretty much expected these days. (24-hour customer service doesn’t speak for the quality of that service, of course.)

It’s not outright deception when broadcasters make these fluffy claims; they really do offer those features. But the same goes for almost all of their competitors, and it would be a shame if those claims tip your decision towards the wrong card.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Data Breach Alert: LendUs, LLC | Console and Associates, PC https://howtooccupy.org/data-breach-alert-lendus-llc-console-and-associates-pc/ Fri, 21 Jan 2022 01:35:50 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/data-breach-alert-lendus-llc-console-and-associates-pc/ In recent news, the mortgage company, LendUS, LLC announced that it has experienced a data security event affecting the personal information of more than 12,000 people. Last year, LendUS, LLC learned that several company employee email accounts had been compromised. Although the details of how an unauthorized party gained access to the employees’ email accounts […]]]>

In recent news, the mortgage company, LendUS, LLC announced that it has experienced a data security event affecting the personal information of more than 12,000 people. Last year, LendUS, LLC learned that several company employee email accounts had been compromised. Although the details of how an unauthorized party gained access to the employees’ email accounts have not yet been released, thanks to a subsequent investigation, the company determined that the names and social security numbers of thousands of customers were contained in various emails and attachments.

A data breach occurs when a hacker or other criminal actor secretly gains access to sensitive consumer information stored on a company’s servers. Often, hackers target organizations that they know rely on outdated or inadequate data security measures. Hackers will often personally use the information obtained through a cyberattack to commit identity theft. However, it is also common for a hacker to sell the data to the highest bidder.

Victims of a data breach are at increased risk of identity theft, although they may not immediately notice suspicious activity. However, given the risks, it is imperative that the parties involved take all necessary steps to protect themselves against identity theft and other potentially significant financial loss.

Anyone receiving a data breach letter from LendUS, LLC has good reason to be concerned. Recently, the number of identity theft crimes has increased dramatically. In many cases, the information needed to steal another’s identity has been obtained through a data breach like this.

Businesses have an obligation to protect consumer data, and if it appears that LendUS, LLC mishandled your data prior to the data breach, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a breach lawsuit. of data.

Can consumers affected by the violation hold LendUS, LLC financially liable?

When you applied for a loan through LendUS, LLC, you provided the company with your personal information. By doing so, you trusted that the company would take your privacy seriously. Surely you assumed that they would take all necessary measures to prevent your sensitive financial and personal identifying information from ending up in the hands of a criminal. However, the LendUS, LLC data breach raises serious questions about the company’s data security measures in place at the time of the breach.

All companies, including LendUS, LLC, have an ethical and legal duty to protect the personal, identifying, financial, and health information of consumers in their possession. Although developing a robust and up-to-date data security system entails additional expense, it is only a cost of doing business in an environment where cyberattacks are common. If a company fails to protect sensitive consumer information, it can be held liable through a data breach class action lawsuit. Of course, data breach laws are complex, news of this data breach is very recent and, unsurprisingly, there is no evidence yet that LendUS, LLC has been negligent in the way it has processed consumer data. However, our data breach lawyers are actively investigating the breach to determine what legal remedies, if any, the affected parties have against LendUS, LLC

If you have questions about your ability to bring a class action lawsuit against LendUS, LLC, it is important that you contact a data breach attorney as soon as possible.

What to do if LendUS, LLC sent you a data breach notification

If you receive a data breach notification from LendUS, LLC in the mail, it means that an unauthorized person may have accessed, viewed, and retained your sensitive personal information. While it’s impossible to say why someone sought your information and what they might do with it, given the risks involved, it’s important that you give the situation the attention it deserves.

Below are some steps you can take to protect yourself against identity theft and other possible financial risks that such a data breach presents:

  • Read the LendUS, LLC data breach letter carefully to determine what information about you was accessible;
  • Make a copy of the letter for your records;
  • Sign up for the free credit monitoring service provided by LendUS, LLC;
  • Change all your passwords and security questions for all online accounts;
  • Enable two-factor authentication, where available;
  • Regularly review your credit card and bank account statements for any signs of suspicious activity;
  • Monitor your credit report for any unexpected changes that could be a sign of identity theft;
  • Contact one of the major credit bureaus to ask them to add a fraud alert to your profile; and
  • Notify your banks and credit card companies of the data breach.

About LendUS, LLC

LendUS, LLC is a mortgage company based in Alamo, California. The company is the result of a merger between two other mortgage companies, RPM Mortgage and American Eagle Mortgage. LendUS, LLC markets itself as an “ultra-attentive” manager and offers a range of residential mortgage products.

According to the most recent data available, LendUS, LLC has approximately 720 employees and generates approximately $80 million in sales.

LendUS, LLC Consumer Data Breach Details

According to the latest press release issued by LendUS, LLC, in early 2021 the company became aware of unusual activity on the email accounts of several employees. In response, LendUS, LLC secured the affected email accounts and initiated an investigation. The investigation revealed that an unauthorized party accessed certain email accounts at various times between February 2, 2021 and March 22, 2021. Although LendUS, LLC was unable to determine which emails or attachments had been viewed, the company determined that the email accounts contained the names and social security numbers of 12,205 people.

LendUS, LLC notes that there is no indication that the unauthorized party has used or intends to use any of the data obtained. On January 19, the company began sending data breach notifications to all affected parties, informing them of the breach and what they can do to protect themselves.

Below is a copy of the original data breach letter issued by LendUS, LLC (the actual notice sent to consumers can be found here):

Dear [Consumer],

LendUS, LLC (“LendUS”) understands the importance of protecting the personal information we maintain. I am writing to inform you of an incident involving some of your personal information. This notice explains the incident, the actions we have taken, and some actions you may consider taking in response.

We have investigated unauthorized access to certain LendUS employee email accounts. Upon learning of the activity, we immediately took action to secure the email accounts and launched an investigation with the assistance of a cybersecurity firm. The investigation determined that an unauthorized person accessed certain accounts at various times between February 2, 2021 and March 22, 2021. The investigation was unable to determine whether emails or exhibits attached accounts had been viewed or downloaded by the unauthorized person; however, we were unable to rule out this possibility. Out of an abundance of caution, we reviewed emails and attachments that could have been viewed or downloaded, and on December 21, 2021, we determined that an email or attachment contained your <>.

We wanted to let you know about this incident and assure you that we are taking it very seriously. We encourage you to remain vigilant by reviewing your account statements and credit reports for any unauthorized activity. If you see any charges or activities that you did not authorize, please contact the financial institution or credit bureau immediately. As an added precaution, we’re giving you a free one-year membership to Equifax CompleteTM Premier, including credit monitoring and fraud alerts. For more information on Identity Theft Prevention and Equifax CompleteTM Premier, including instructions on how to activate your free one-year subscription, please see the pages that follow this letter.

Your trust is important to us, and we regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause. To prevent such a situation from happening again, we have implemented additional technical protection and security measures to further improve the security of our IT systems and offer additional security awareness training for our staff. If you have any questions, please call 855-604-1753, Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

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Liz Weston: Sorry. Social Security doesn’t care about the details of your divorce decree https://howtooccupy.org/liz-weston-sorry-social-security-doesnt-care-about-the-details-of-your-divorce-decree/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/liz-weston-sorry-social-security-doesnt-care-about-the-details-of-your-divorce-decree/ [ad_1] Dear Liz: I am in my third marriage. My first two marriages lasted 10 years each. My spouses have worked in jobs requiring them to contribute to social security. I am currently retired (since 1999) and have worked for a municipal administration my entire career. I am currently receiving a city pension. Am I […]]]>


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Dear Liz: I am in my third marriage. My first two marriages lasted 10 years each. My spouses have worked in jobs requiring them to contribute to social security. I am currently retired (since 1999) and have worked for a municipal administration my entire career. I am currently receiving a city pension. Am I entitled to receive anything from Social Security during the time I was married to my previous spouses? It seems fair since I had to pay each of them spousal support.

Responnse: This is a new argument! Sadly, the Social Security system doesn’t care about the details of your divorce judgments.

You can call Social Security and ask if you are entitled to a benefit, but don’t be hopeful if your pension comes from a job that did not contribute to Social Security. A provision known as government pension compensation would likely eliminate any divorced spouse or divorced survivor benefit you might receive.

Dear Liz: Our 23 year old daughter has a low limit credit card from her bank, mainly to establish her credit history. For the same purpose, we have also added it as an authorized user on one of our credit cards (yes, we can trust it). When she recently checked her credit reports at annualcreditreport.com, one of the agencies produced a report but another said they could not find it. Is this normal for a relatively new credit user? Could it be because she has a middle name made up of a hyphen? Should we be worried?

Responnse: It may take 30 days or more for the information to update at the credit bureaus, so she should try again and check the third credit bureau as well. If two offices cannot find it after 30 days, then it is possible that both credit cards fall under one office. In this case, she should consider obtaining a credit loan from a credit union that reports to the three bureaus.

If not, the problem is most likely with the credit bureau, and she should try ordering the missing credit report through the US Mail. The office that could not find it will have instructions for requesting a report this way on its site.

Liz Weston, Certified Financial Planner, is a personal finance columnist for NerdWallet. Questions can be directed to him at 3940 Laurel Canyon, No. 238, Studio City, CA 91604, or by using the “Contact” form at asklizweston.com.

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Equifax Adds Buy Now, Pay Later Payments to Credit Reports https://howtooccupy.org/equifax-adds-buy-now-pay-later-payments-to-credit-reports/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 15:46:51 +0000 https://howtooccupy.org/equifax-adds-buy-now-pay-later-payments-to-credit-reports/ [ad_1] Payments on Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) loans will be added to credit reports over the coming year. This is good news for some good consumers, but others should be careful. Loans, which typically allow customers to pay for their purchases in four equal installments rather than all at once, have exploded in popularity […]]]>


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Payments on Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) loans will be added to credit reports over the coming year. This is good news for some good consumers, but others should be careful.

Loans, which typically allow customers to pay for their purchases in four equal installments rather than all at once, have exploded in popularity in recent years and are expected to continue to grow. Equifax, one of the top three credit bureaus in the United States, announced earlier this month that it will begin recording those installment plans on reports in early 2022.

Currently, some BNPL companies report certain loan information to certain credit bureaus. Affirm, for example, reports some loans to Experian. But Equifax will be adding BNPL information for the first time.

The bureau says this will give lenders “a more complete picture of people’s financial commitments, such as how much they owe on those plans,” and notes that the inclusion of on-time BNPL loan payments on a credit report could potentially increase consumer credit scores.

But in the same way, missing those payments would also potentially lower a consumer’s credit rating, just like missing a credit card payment now.

BNPL loans, also known as point-of-sale loans because they are usually offered over the counter, are relatively easy to obtain and generally do not require hard credit. This makes them especially popular among younger consumers, who do not have a credit history or who are wary of the credit industry.

This is one of the reasons Equifax says that including on-time payments in credit reports could help young consumers, who have easier access to BNPL loans than other types of credit, to build. their credit history.

But there are a few issues that credit bureaus and BNPL companies like Affirm and Afterpay will need to resolve. These types of loans are generally short term (paid off in a matter of weeks) and consumers can open and close multiple BNPL loans at the same time. This could be a potential problem, since the average age of accounts and the time since opening a new account is part of calculating a credit score.

Plus, there is often a time lag between when people open an account and when it shows up on their credit report, so consumers can pay something off before it shows up.

That said, if paid on time, BNPL payments added to credit reports could boost scores for those with slim credit histories.

If you take out a BNPL loan, make sure you can repay it.

“Just because you’re eligible for BNPL, or any other credit product, doesn’t mean you should use it,” says the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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