Borrowing

Holiday Debt On the Increase Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn’t be surprising. Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,325 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2018’s $1,230, 2017’s $1,054 average and 2016’s $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer
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The convenience of modern digital commerce comes with an unfortunate side effect: it makes identity theft more convenient as well. The 2019 Identity Fraud study from Javelin Strategy and Research found that 14.4 million consumers in the U.S. were victims of identity theft during 2018, to the tune of $14.7 billion. “It may seem time-consuming
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MoneyTips 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
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Do you have a rewards credit card? If not, now is the perfect time to consider one. The holiday season provides two motivating factors – special rewards offers from credit card issuers and the increased spending necessary to take advantage of those offers. Many cards offer signup bonuses of hundreds of dollars, or the equivalent
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Credit freezes are one of the most valuable tools in your identity theft protection toolbox. When a credit freeze is placed on your account, lenders can’t access your credit history to assess your risk and are unlikely to approve loans or other forms of credit. You’re in control. Unfreeze (thaw) your accounts whenever you want
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What brightens up your holiday shopping season? You may prefer a quiet Christmas season at home, large family gatherings at the home of the relative who drew the short straw, or hand-to-hand combat on Black Friday at the mall. However, everyone agrees that saving money on Christmas shopping gives the holiday an extra layer of
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Have you ever had a credit or debit card transaction declined for insufficient funds when you thought you had money in your account? You may have a credit or debit card “hold,” reserving funds that you haven’t spent. Merchants and service providers set a credit or debit hold on a purchase when the total isn’t
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Hackers are like any other type of thief. They look for easy targets and take advantage of them. Are you an easy target in the eyes of identity thieves? Let’s assume that you’ve taken basic prevention steps, like using anti-virus software and securing your router to prevent hackers from getting directly into your system. Have
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What happened to your credit score? It’s dropped considerably since the last time you checked, and you have no idea why. Maybe one or more of these events is behind the decrease. 1. Missing Payments – On-time payments is one of the biggest factors that make up your credit score. Make all credit card and
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By Andrea Woroch The upcoming holiday season may have you feeling joyous and anxious at the same time thanks to all the seasonal expenses, gift purchases and travel costs you will take on in several short weeks. Those who don’t prepare ahead may find themselves relying heavily on credit cards and, ultimately, be in debt
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Do you have a love-hate relationship with your credit card? After all, it brings you both pleasurable purchases and painful bills. Credit cards are valuable financial assets – but cards and the companies that issue them aren’t necessarily your friends. Consider these seven things you may not know about your credit card as you reassess
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Experian Boost? Is that a new energy drink? No, it’s not designed to boost your energy – Experian Boost is designed to boost your credit score. This new program from the credit reporting agency Experian was launched in March 2019. In its first six months of activity, Experian Boost has instantly increased a total of
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We all go through major life changes, both positive and negative. All have the potential to affect your credit, in either a positive or negative way. The outcome depends on how you handle these life events and the corresponding changes. Consider the following examples. 1. Going to College – College is more than four years
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You shopped around to find the credit card with the best annual percentage rate (APR) for your qualifications. Maybe you’ve got a lower rate than the average – around 17%. The last thing you want to do is incur a penalty APR that ruins your hard work. If you’ve missed a credit card payment for
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Bills are due, and you’re out of money. You’re considering a payday loan to plug the gap in your cash flow. You think you can use the payday loan responsibly and use it to build up your credit score. Think again. Payday loans, along with almost all no-credit-check loans, do not report payment information to
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After years of spotless credit, let’s say you’ve harmed your excellent credit score by missing a payment. Perhaps you’ve had an unexpected accident or medical expense that disrupted your payment schedule, or maybe you simply had a brain cramp and forgot to submit your payment on time. You’ve made good on the missed payment, along
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No matter how hard you try, you can’t improve your credit score. Who’s to blame? Identity thieves? President Trump? Space aliens? It’s time to find out. Start by reviewing your credit report, which is a compilation of your credit history. Creditors report activity on all of your loans and credit accounts, such as history of
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Your credit score is one of the most important factors that lenders review when deciding whether to extend credit to you – but it’s not the only factor. It’s possible to get a loan with a poor credit score and be denied a loan with a good credit score based on other considerations. Your credit
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Your marital status doesn’t play any role in calculating your credit score – so why could a divorce harm your credit score? Joint accounts are the reason. Most couples have joint debt like mortgages, credit cards, and loans. A divorce decree may assign responsibility for a joint debt, but the decree doesn’t affect the lender’s
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Can your checking account affect your credit score? It’s possible, but only in certain circumstances that you should avoid. Your credit score is calculated using information from your credit report, which is a history of all of your credit-based transactions. Checking accounts are funded by your deposits – there’s no borrowing of money involved. Normal
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It’s always best to pay off a loan as soon as you can, isn’t it? Not necessarily. There are several reasons you may not want to pay off your loan early, including the effects on your credit score. The obvious reason for early payoff is interest savings. By paying your loans off early (especially large
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After a long search you’ve finally found out who’s dragging down your credit score. Surprise! It’s you. Your credit score reflects your entire credit history as recorded on your credit report. Lenders and creditors report your account activity to each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) – whether that activity
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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 credit score is a valuable asset that must be maintained and protected. Unfortunately, there are ways that other people can negatively affect your credit score – either inadvertently or with bad intent. Protect your credit information by carefully monitoring these five potential paths to a reduced credit score. 1. Joint Accounts – Joint checking
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