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Credit Monitoring for Baby Boomers

Posted on 2016-07-16 02:07:54

Senior couple on cycle ride in countryside Baby Boomers are retiring at the astounding rate of 10,000 per day. That far exceeds the retirement rate of any previous generation. Baby Boomers are also far exceeding previous generations with the amount of debt they are strapped with as they enter retirement. Let’s take a look at Baby Boomers entering retirement today.

  • Nearly half of today’s retirees retire with debt.
  • About two thirds of those near retirement age expect to have a mortgage when they retire.
  • About 40% of those near retirement age expect to be paying on credit card debt during their retirement years.
  • Nearly 60% of Baby Boomers are providing financial support to their adult children. Many co-signed on student loans, auto loans or even mortgages, and are finding they are responsible for these debts.

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Keeping a Health Credit Score in Retirement As far as credit scores, Baby Boomers have done okay as a group—not quite as well as the Greatest Generation, but significantly better than younger generations. Hopefully Baby Boomers know that retirement is not the time to neglect your credit score! Your credit score will continue to drive the terms of any credit you may need—whether that is refinancing a mortgage at a lower interest rate, consolidating debt or paying for unexpected medical bills. Credit tips that are good for other ages continue to apply during retirement years:
  • Pay bills on time every time.
  • Keep credit card closing balances below 25% of their account limit—even if you pay them in full each month.
  • Maintain an accurate credit report. No one knows better than you if the information on your credit report is accurate.
Baby Boomers also need to be aware that seniors are often targeted for identity theft because they often have established a good credit history. It makes good sense to keep an eye on your credit report during your retirement years because that is often the first place where signs of identity theft show up. MyFreeScoreNow’s credit monitoring service checks your credit report daily for significant changes that should be verified by you including:
  • New credit accounts opened.
  • Change in credit accounts such as late payments
  • Address and employment changes
  • New inquires to your credit file
  • Public records such as liens and bankruptcies
Retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy life a little. Treat yourself to credit monitoring so there is one less thing to worry about.

Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation.

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Credit Scores for the Graduate

Posted on 2016-07-07 09:00:48

Three young graduates pump their fists in the air outdoors and celebrate their achievement If you are a 2016 graduate, you probably know your GPA. You may have seen it fluctuate during your school years, and there may have even been times when it was of concern to you. Was it too low to get you into a certain school? Was it going to limit scholarship opportunities? Could it affect you in ways you don’t even know? With graduation behind you, thoughts of your GPA may be behind you also. But when you enter the post-graduate world, you have a new sort of GPA—your credit score. Like your GPA, it’s a number you should track and be aware of as it changes. Information in your school transcript was used to calculate your GPA. The information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. Let’s take a look at both credit reports and credit scores.

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Credit Reports Credit reports are maintained by credit bureaus (also known as credit reporting agencies). The three major national credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Credit bureaus are private, for-profit companies that collect information from creditors about how you pay your bills. They also gather information from public records, so things like bankruptcies and liens can show up on your credit report. Creditors are not obligated to report to the credit bureaus, but most are happy to do so because they also benefit from the information others provide. Simply put, your credit report is a collection of information that tells the story of how you handle credit over time. It lists your accounts and how much credit is available to you, your outstanding balances and tracks whether or not you pay on time. Negative information can stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years, though the impact of negative information should diminish over time. Credit Scores Your credit score is a three-digit number that sums up the information in your credit report. It provides lenders and others with a quick way to analyze your credit history and your predicted credit risk. As the information in your credit report changes, your credit score changes.   Why Credit Scores Matters Credit scores give lenders a quick and unbiased way to make credit decisions. Your credit score can determine the credit terms you are offered including interest rate. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your credit score. It can affect your life long after you’ve forgotten your GPA.  

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6 Tips To Protect Your Identity When You’re on Vacation

Posted on 2016-06-23 13:52:49

While you are on vacation relaxing and forgetting the cares of the world, identity thieves are hard at work watching for you to let your guard down. One study reported that 20 percent of consumers have had a document with personal information lost or stolen while they were traveling. Think driver’s license, passport, credit cards. Keep your guard up while on vacation to minimize your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Here are 6 tips to help safeguard your identity.

  1. Beware of WiFi hotspots. Your hotel or the coffee shop down the street may offer free WiFi, but the connection may not be secure. Be especially cautious about downloading software updates from a WiFi hotspot; these may secretly download malicious software to your computer. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers a safer way to do business by encrypting information that passes between your computer and a wireless network.
  1. Avoid public computers. The public computer in a hotel may be convenient for a checking out local restaurant ratings, but don’t conduct private business from it. It is impossible to know what software has been installed, and the risks far outweigh the convenience.

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  1. Use caution at ATMs. You may need cash while on vacation, and identity thieves know that. Their tactic? Install a skimmer to an ATM to capture account numbers and PINs. ATMs inside a bank branch tend to be more secure and are usually monitored by camera
  1. Travel with a light wallet. Old-fashioned pickpocketing is still used by identity thieves. Don’t carry unnecessary cards in your wallet that make a thief’s work easier. Leave your Social Security number at home.
  1. Wait until you return to share your vacation on social media. You may think you are sharing with trusted friends, but the truth is it is hard to know where your privacy stops and starts on social media sites. Wait until you are home to broadcast that your home was vacant.
  1. Monitor your accounts while you are away. If possible, use a secure connection to check your bank and credit card accounts while you are away. But if your only option is an unsecured Wifi, it is not worth the risk. This could be a perfect time to try a credit monitoring service that will alert you by email to any significant changes to your credit report.

Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation.

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Protect Your Identity Footprint

Posted on 2016-04-06 09:00:39

Identity theft statistics are alarming! With many cases never being report, the real number of identity theft victims is probably much higher than the 12 to 15 million a year you often hear quoted. Is your identity footprint leaving you vulnerable to identity theft? Legs of woman on the beach in summer Your identity footprint is anything someone could steal and use to create a piece of a new identity. It could be personal or financial. Really, it doesn’t take much for someone to make you the next identity theft victim. Be conscious of your identity footprint to minimize your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Don’t give identity theft criminals easy access to your identity! Instead of fretting about the things that are out of your control, concentrate on the things you can control.

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Shred, shred, shred. Shred anything with personal information. Identity thieves still scour dumpsters and trashcans for information that can help them create a new identity. Lighten your load. The less you carry, the less an identity theft criminal will have access to if your wallet or purse is stolen. And yes, old-fashioned pickpocketing is still a common tactic thieves use. Pay attention to your bills. Keep an eye on your credit card and bank accounts in between statements. A lot of damage can be done in thirty days. If your statements don’t arrive on time, call the bank or card issuer. Guard your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is like gold to identity theft criminals. Don’t carry your card. Leave the Social Security number field blank on forms you fill out until you know why it is needed. Beware of phone and email scams. A little common sense can help you avoid becoming an identity theft victim through a phone or email scam. Unless you made the phone call and are sure of the number you are calling, don’t give personal information on the phone. Be careful about clicking on links in an email. Anyone can create a website that looks official . . . but isn’t. Don’t conduct personal business in public. Guard your privacy with identity theft in the back of your mind. . You never know who is looking over your shoulder or capable of grabbing your information from an unprotected WiFi connection at a coffee shop. Never sacrifice privacy for convenience.
Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

5-Minute Guide to Credit Monitoring

Posted on 2016-03-31 09:00:39

Happy smiling woman pointing to somethingBack in the old days credit decisions were based on a relationship or a creditor’s feelings. Now, it’s your credit report. Creditors may look at your actual credit report or at the credit score calculated based on the information in your credit report. Either way, credit decisions are more black and white than they used to be. That makes an accurate credit report—one that is telling the right story—so important. A credit monitoring service can handle the challenging task of keeping tabs on that important financial document – your credit report. Credit monitoring helps you maintain an accurate credit report. The worst mistake on your credit report is the one you don’t know about. With credit monitoring you will know about important changes as they happen, putting you in a position to take swift action. Some of the activity a credit monitoring service looks for includes: • New accounts opened • New public records • Changes to public records • Changes to account information • Inquiries to your credit file • Address changes Credit monitoring alerts you to signs of identity theft. While credit monitoring cannot prevent identity theft (nor can anything else!), the kind of changes a credit monitoring service looks for on your credit report are the very things that could signal identity theft in progress. Credit monitoring puts time on your side when signs of identity theft show up on your credit report.

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Credit monitoring alerts you to who has viewed your report. Creditors, employers, landlords and other business entities may have a legal and legitimate right to view your credit report. And you have a right to know when they do. Those looks, called inquiries, can have a negative impact on your credit and credit score. Credit monitoring alerts you whenever a hard inquiry that could impact your credit score is added to your credit report. Credit monitoring is convenient. Credit monitoring helps you keep a watchful eye on your credit. While ordering credit reports throughout the year is better than nothing, it offers limited protection because your credit report is a snapshot of your credit at a particular moment in time. A credit monitoring service is on call every day. It frees you up to go about your life without neglecting your credit report. Credit monitoring can save you money. Sure, there’s a cost to credit monitoring. But when that is weighed against the benefit of having an accurate credit report, it could save you money. Even minor credit report errors can be enough to bump you into a higher interest rate tier that could affect your payments for years. An accurate credit report is important to ensure you aren’t paying for someone else’s mistake.
Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256