Monday, June 29, 2009

Tips To Maintain A Good Credit Score

There are a number of factors that affect your credit score. It is important to have a good credit report in order to maintain a good credit score. Your credit score gives an idea about your trustworthiness to your future creditors. Here are a few major factors that affect your credit score.

Your credit score is affected by mainly your irregularity in payments. Regular payments are a must to maintain a good credit score. A single late payment goes down as a big negative in your credit report. Late payments hamper your financial life to the maximum.

Another important factor that affects your credit score is utilizing a lot of balance on your credit cards. This may prompt inquiries which further go down as a big stigma in your credit history. Make sure that you keep the balances on your credit cards low.

Experts recommend that balances on your credit cards should not be more than 30% of the credit limit. Similarly applying for too many credit cards in a short span of time may cause some problems. Do not close your old credit accounts even if they are not in use. Doing so reduces your credit history and a long credit history is some thing that the credit bureaus appreciate.

In the present era it is also very important to safeguard your financial life against identity thefts. If you end up with your identity stolen, you might ruin your financial life. To prevent ID theft you need to make sure that you check your credit report on a regular basis. You can get your credit report from one of the three major bureaus, Equifax, Transunion and Experian. Once a year you can get your annual credit report for free.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tips to improve your credit rating

There are a number of ways to improve your credit score. This involves being careful with your credit activities and managing your finances in an effective way. Your credit report is affected by a number of factors. Even a little carelessness goes down as a big negative in your credit report.

The first basic thing to take care of is regular payments. You need to make sure that you are regular with your payments and that you make all your payments before the given limit. Late payments go down as a big stigma in your credit report and dip your credit score substantially. Make sure that installments on loans, mortgages, etc are paid on time. On time payments help your credit score to the maximum.

Don’t apply for too many credit cards in a short span of time. This prompts inquiries and inquiries go down as a negative in your credit report. Similarly make sure that you do not use more than 30% of your limit on each credit card. This helps in the long run. Keeping low balances in your credit cards helps in cases of emergencies and adds to your credit score.

Safeguard yourself against ID theft. ID theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. In order to protect yourself against identity theft you need to be careful with your personal and financial details. Make sure that you do not give away your personal details to any body who asks for it. Make sure that the organization or the individual is genuine and requires your details for a valid reason. Avoid making transactions online and don’t give away your personal details over the phone.

Check your credit report on a regular basis. You can avail of a free annual credit report once a year from any of the three major credit bureaus. So you can check for mistakes in your credit report and inform the bureaus to correct them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Good Credit Score

Those with a good credit score have a great advantage over those with a bad credit score in the long run. There are a number of issues that come into existence for a person with a not so good credit score in the long run. It is of utmost importance to keep an eye on your credit report in order to manage your finances in an effective manner.

One you decide on buying a real estate property or wish to make loans, it is then that credit scores come handy. A person with a bad credit score might not be allowed to make loans. At times if he is allowed to make loans, the creditors charge an extravagant interest. On the other hand a good credit rating will help you make loans with the minimum possible interest rates.

Your credit score portrays your credit worthiness to the creditors. It gives them an idea about your regularity with payments. In fact a new trend is coming into existence these days: candidates with a good credit score are preferred over those with a bad credit score when selecting a candidate for a job. Similarly mortgages and simple purchasing is getting difficult for those who have failed to maintain a good credit score.

Credit score is a numerical value given to a person based on his credit activities in the past. These activities involve regularity with payments, tax liens, bankruptcies, inquiries etc. Every credit activity is taken into account by the credit bureaus when calculating your credit score.

In order to keep your credit score healthy, you need to be careful with your finances. It is important to be regular with your payments and manage your credit cards and accounts effectively. You also need to be aware of one of the fastest growing crimes in America, Identity Theft.

It is not all that difficult to maintain a good credit score. All you need to do is make payments regularly and pay debts off before the given limit. Keeping credit balances on the lower side is also a good thing to do. These steps help you avoid inquiries and stamp you as a person regular with his payments. The three basic steps mentioned above can help you get a fantastic credit score unless you fall a victim to ID theft.

In order to prevent ID theft it is important that you check your credit report on a regular basis. It helps you stay aware of any mistakes and any misuse of your credit cards. If you encounter any mistakes it is best to report it to the credit bureaus at once and have your accounts closed in order to avoid further damage to your credit.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Protect your Identity

The world is a witnessing a phenomenal increase in identity theft cases. People are worried about the statistics. However, it is not very tough to protect your identity. You need to keep in mind that giving away personal details can be hazardous for your financial life.

There are three major types of id thefts - phone fraud, bank fraud and credit card fraud. Using one of these methods these criminals gain access to your credit information, purchase items and open new credit cards in your name by pretending to be you, thus ruining your credit record. Here are a few ways that can protect you from these thieves.

• Avoid bringing all your credit cards wherever you go.

Limit the number of cards you carry, you won’t lose much in case you are robbed. Also make sure that you don’t bring with you records of PINs and passwords.

• Lock credit profiles at the credit bureaus.

The government gives you the right to call the credit bureaus and request them to freeze your accounts in case of ID thefts. Hence, no new credit activities can be done without your consent and no individual or company can gain access to your credit profile without your permission. This step is very crucial because it closes one of the avenues for thieves to get your personal details.

• Get a Post Office box

This is a locked mailbox that keeps your mails safe, especially from thieves. Once you have this secure mailbox, make sure that your cheques, bills, and other important mails are sent to this box.

• Be careful while giving away your personal information.

At times giving away personal details on the internet is necessary and unavoidable. Make sure that the person or company you’re dealing with is genuinely legitimate. Before typing in your credit card number, make sure that the site’s URL starts with “http”. Check for the closed padlock symbol at the bottom right hand corner of your browser. If this symbol appears, then your browser is strongly connected to that website.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Tips to Keep Your Finances Safe

Identity theft has become one of the major threats because of the growing use of internet, modern technology, and tech savvy cyber criminals. Unethical elements in our society are always looking for ways to steal our hard-earned money. Hence you should be careful with all your credit dealings and transactions in order to successfully avoid identity theft and credit misuse. Here are a few tips to keep your credit card safe.

• Don’t leave your credit or debit cards unattended whether in your wallet or briefcase.
• Never carry around a many credit cards at a time when you don’t intend to use them.
• Make sure that you get your credit receipt where ever you use it; there is a great possibility that your credit card details are included there.
• Do not discard credit card receipts as trash and make sure you keep it at a safe place.
• Shredding documents containing sensitive and important data before disposing them is a good idea.
• Make sure that you do not give away your credit card information to someone you don’t know. If you commenced the call, it might be safe but it is still good to not give a person access to your personal details.
• Don’t reply to emails that ask for your credit related information. Phishing and fake emails are the major sources of online fraud.
• Review your credit report on a regular basis and check your credit card statement as soon as you get it. Make complaint if any inaccuracies are encountered with.
• Ask for your credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus. There is a possibility of an unauthorized application under your name.

Personal information like your name, address, credit card number, phone number, Social Security number can be used against you. It is important to only reveal these sensitive data to someone you fully trust. Internauts and people who make purchases online are vulnerable to identity theft. Not all websites out there are legitimate; many websites use cookies to hold on to information on your hard disk.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reasons for ID theft

Identity theft continues to be the most common crimes that are being committed in the United States of America. The dismal reality is that the number of identity thefts is increasing at a steady pace. A lot of people of all ages are falling victims to identity theft every year. There are many reasons defining the rise identity theft in today’s era. Here are a number of reasons for the increase of ID theft

The Current Economy

Experts affirm to the fact that one of the major reasons for the increase in this kind of crime is the current recession hit economy. Unemployment is one of the major problems people all over the world are confronting with today. It is becoming tough for people to make ends meet. Grievously, some of the people are electing to resort to illegal means of making money.

Increase in Drug Abuse

Another reason why identity theft is on the increase across the country is the augmenting number of youths who are using illegal drugs. Drugs and identity theft seem to go hand in hand. Many people end up using drugs and hence they seem involving themselves in different types of theft crimes, especially ID theft. In fact, statistics have revealed that majority of people who use are involved in theft crimes of different kinds, especially identity theft.

The Internet

Internet is a part of almost every home these days and the number of netizens is increasing with every passing day. Transactions are being made online, and an increasing number of people are being exposed to predatory identity thieves. The internet is a haven for unethical people who intend to steal identities. Even when a user is very vigilant and careful with his online credit dealings, it is still likely that the person falls victim to an identity theft.

Lax Security

Lamentably, many businesses are not fully secure and safe when it comes to protecting the credit related information of their customers. Lax security is yet another reason that contributes to the rise in ID theft. Identity thieves are able to gain access to personal and financial information from the businesses easily.

Consumer Carelessness

Another reason why ID theft is becoming a major crime lies in the fact that many consumers are a bit too careless when in managing their finances and personal information. Such people can have their identities stolen without even having a clue about what happened.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tips to safeguard your identity

In order to protect your finances and credit report, it is required to take certain important steps. Many people fall victims to identity theft every year. Starting anew is a difficult and time-consuming process. Credit cards are popular tools that invite thieves to get their hands on your credit related information. Here are a few tips to curb the risk of identity theft.

Tip #1: Don’t Carry Too Many Credit Cards

Don’t carry all of your credit cards and debit cards with you everywhere you go. If your wallet or purse gets stolen or lost then you are a dead duck. It is better to carry only one or two credit cards at a time. Even debit cards should be left at home, as they provide thieves with instant access to your credit details.

Tip #2: Keep an eye on your credit and debit cards all the time

Identity thieves make use of skimmers to swipe or scan your cards thus stealing your account information. This may happen in hotels and restaurants where waiters ask for your credit card to pay your bill. Once your credit card information is stolen, the thief can use it for online shopping or make a counterfeit credit card using your information.

Tip #3: Photocopy All of Your Credit and Debit Cards

As soon as you get a new credit or debit card, make sure you get it photocopied and put them in a secure place. Make sure to photocopy the customer service telephone number, account numbers and the expiration dates. This way, even if you lose your cards you can find the information easily.

Tip #4: Keep Credit Card Receipts

After paying for items with a card, never throw the receipt in the trash. A lot of your credit related information is contained on the card. You should rather put the receipts in a safe place and then check that the receipts match up with your monthly statement.

Tip #5: Don’t Give Out Information Over the Phone

Make sure that you never give out your credit card information over the phone or the internet. Only give away information if the source is a trusted one and you are sure that no mishaps will occur.

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