Protect my ID

I’ve Been Hacked and My Identity Stolen. Now What?

Somewhere in the world, some hacker – who I hope is living a lonely existence – is pretty proud of himself.  Not to be sexist here because girls can code too, but I envision a twenty-something basement dweller with little to no social life except the persona he has created online and the constant reminders from his mom to take out the garbage.  Some moron, maybe government sponsored, with no conscience and what I hope is a face full of pimples sits in his mom’s basement and bangs out code designed to steal people’s identity and peace of mind.

Earlier this month, Anthem Blue Cross, one of the largest providers of health insurance on the East Coast, confirmed that hackers had gained access to sensitive data belonging to up to 80 million people in what has been called “a sophisticated intrusion”.  I call bullshit.  Rather, some security administrator somewhere clicked on a link that they were not supposed to click on and gave hackers back door access to the encrypted information of millions of people. […]

fix credit lies

Credit Repair Services Can Be Scams

You’ve seen and heard the advertisements just about everywhere:

“We can fix your credit – guaranteed!”

“We erase bad debt, liens, judgement from your report forever.”

Ads for credit repair services appear frequently online, in print and on television.  They are designed to lure you into thinking that these credit repair companies have the magic formula for fixing what ails your credit.  If you’re desperate enough to believe these ads, you just might be setting yourself up for an expensive scam that could cost you more than your fee.

Before I go further, let me say that all credit repair companies are not scam artists designed to separate you from your money.  Credit repair services can work on your behalf to remove erroneous or non-timely information that appears on your credit report which could also adversely affect your credit.  But, there is nothing that a credit report service can do that you can’t do yourself.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), it is illegal for credit reporting agencies to lie about what they can do for you and to charge you before they have performed any services on your behalf.  The FTC states that credit reporting agencies must notify you of the following: […]

credit score

Your Credit Score: What Is It and How Can You Improve it?

According to The Big Picture, as of 2010, 25% of Americans had bad credit scores which could be extremely harmful if you’re trying to stay debt-free in this difficult time.  So what is a credit score?  And how can you improve it to ensure you never declined for credit reasons?

What is your Credit Score?
If you want to take out a bank loan, mortgage, a mobile phone contract or even if you want to finance an expensive item, the provider will check your credit score to see whether you’re an acceptable financial candidate for their product. […]

credit errors

Woman Sues Equifax For Credit Errors and Wins $18.6M

By now you should know that your credit is used for everything from determining whether you can get a job to getting an apartment or buying a house. Major errors on your credit report can cause adverse actions in any of those instances.

Now, imagine that you keep getting denied for credit and you have no idea why. You finally check your credit report and find numerous errors with everything from your birth date to cards that you never had listed. You try and try for two years to get the errors corrected, but they still persisted. Finally, the credit bureau tells you that your credit file had become mixed with someone else, so, some was able to see all of your information including your Social Security number. Because of this error the credit bureau was having a difficult time separating the files.

What would you do? […]

DIY - Mortgage

Fixing Your House with a Second Mortgage: A Good Idea?

As you pay off your house, you build up equity. Your equity is measured by how much money you would get to keep if you were to sell off your house and pay off your mortgage loan. You want to build up as much of that as possible.

But what if you need to fix a huge problem in your house? What if you need to renovate or remodel? Can you use your equity to fund the cost of those projects? According to Bankrate, if you still owe most of your mortgage, you would probably be better off going after different types of financing. […]

credit score

Rectify Your Credit Score Through These Proactive Tips

One of the important things to learn about personal finance is how to avoid harmful credit. A good credit score can allow you to save more money and receive better offers on certain assets and items like homes. Bad credit can arise owing to a number of scenarios ranging from unemployment to health issues. In such a situation, repairing of credit should be your topmost priority.

An initial way to start is with an authority in credit fix. In many cases, it may happen that there might be some incorrect entries or duplications. You would be amazed that this fix has worked for a number of people and gave their FICO score a significant boost. […]

credit score- Use Credit Karma To Track Your Credit Score For Free

The Worst Credit Score I Have Ever Seen

I’m in the market for a new set of tenants these days.  On Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting two young ladies and their entire family as they came to look at what will be their first apartment.  I sent both girls a link to an electronic background and credit check service that I am now using on all tenants since the last one decided to become a drug dealer.

Once they agreed to the terms and paid the application fee, I was given access to their criminal history and credit check.  While I learned that they were not on the terror watch list, I also learned that they are young, cute, sweet, and broke.  In fact, one of them has the worst credit score that I have ever seen in my life.  I knew that a score under 500 was possible, but I had just never actually seen a score beginning with a 4, especially since it’s attached to a 21 year old.  Let’s refer to her as Ms. Holy-Crap-That’s-A-Horrible-Score. […]