How Credit Impacts Your Insurance

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There are a lot of misconceptions out there about how credit scores are used and in what scenarios they are used. Employment? Nope. College admission? Nope. Insurance? Actually, yes. Well, sort of.   When determining what rates to offer you, your auto and home insurance provider may pull a “credit-based insurance score” that is based on or considers a person’s credit history and may use that score along with other factors that are of interest to an insurance company when evaluating your request for an insurance policy. These scores are different than the FICO Scores you know and love because they are generated to predict insurance risk instead of credit risk. Because of this, the algorithm behind FICO credit-based insurance scores considers credit information factors … [Read more...]

FICO, President Obama and the future of consumer protection

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  Friday morning was a momentous day for FICO—and for American consumers. President Obama arrived at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday to sign an executive order to improve consumer protection and identity theft prevention. The initiative is called the BuySecure program.   FICO was an active participant in this event, and we are honored to be able to contribute to the program.   Millions of Americans have fallen victim to data breaches in the last year as a result of weak security systems. Because of this, the President has decided to take action. Before signing the executive order, President Obama explained, “we've all experienced the benefits of new technologies that let us buy and sell things faster and more efficiently than ever before. … [Read more...]

Money Talk Part 2: Talking About Money With Your Child

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Now that you and your spouse know where you stand with the money and have figured out who will lead the discussion (both of you or just one parent) about money, you can now start the conversation with your child.  There may be a lot of reservations such as “my child is too young,” but it truly is never too early to teach your child about finances and how money works. If your child can repeat the entire alphabet, what makes you think they shouldn’t know the difference between a dime and dollar?   You are the first line of influence to your child, so make it count. And don’t expect your child to learn about financial literacy at school, either. Only 5% of those surveyed in a Visa Inc survey (see source below) say they learned about money matters from a teacher. Until financial … [Read more...]

Money Talk Part 1: Before You Chat
About Money With Your Child

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Talking about money has always been somewhat of a taboo subject. It makes most people uncomfortable to disclose their assets and debts to peers for fear of being judged, either with envy or pity. It’s especially difficult to discuss these matters with family members. If you have too much money you may have jealous or resentful relatives or constantly have to deal with loan requests. On the contrary, if you live paycheck to paycheck you may not want to disclose your hardships for fear that your children or siblings will worry.   Many psychologists believe financial behavior is largely influenced by how one was conditioned to think and feel about money, a theory called Behaviorism (1). Thoughts and behaviors about different subject matter are often formed early on in life, which … [Read more...]

Word on the Web: September 2014

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You can’t fight it; the holidays are on their way. From October to January, temptations to your wallet, savings and budget will be hitting you at full force. It’s probably a good time to remind yourself about the importance of financial fitness and the path to reaching your financial goals. To help you with your cause, we’ve gathered the top personal finance blogs from September. Enjoy!     Defeating your debt for good Carrying a manageable amount of debt isn’t a bad thing, but many people overspend and over-borrow until they find themselves completely buried. Even when the debt finally gets paid off, they go back to their overspending habits. ModestMoney.com is here to help. Check out this post on how to defeat your debt for good by taking actionable steps towards … [Read more...]

Understanding how lenders
use credit scores

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You already know that most of the top lenders (90% of them) use FICO® Scores (the top name in credit scores) when making lending decisions (probably because we’re always telling you about it). But what does that actually mean? What really goes down when you apply for a loan? Whether it’s an automated approval process or a 60-day mortgage close, a lender is doing a lot to figure out if you’re going to pay them back on time or not. Here are a few things that might help you understand the approval process.   FICO Scores are designed to help evaluate your risk FICO® Scores aren’t just an arbitrary number provided on a whim. They are based on complex, mathematical algorithms that statistically evaluate a consumer’s credit risk with a point system. Points are assigned for … [Read more...]

The Home Depot Data Breach: 3 Things You Can Do Now to Protect Yourself

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As you have probably heard, Home Depot announced that their payment systems have been hacked, resulting in what might be one of the biggest data breaches yet. Between Target, Neiman Marcus, Goodwill and now this, it seems that hackers aren’t losing any speed nor audacity.   If the rise in breaches and identity theft hasn’t gotten your attention yet, it should. Every time you hear of a major data breach at a place where you shop, you should be taking steps to protect yourself. Here are three ways you can take action now.     1. Request a new credit card If you regularly use your credit card, it’s time to request another one. The service is usually free and this simple step can save you the pain of fraud resolution. Just make sure you have a backup payment method … [Read more...]

Strategically Researching + Planning
Your Next Car Purchase
Can Be the Ultimate Do Over

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Are you in the market for a new or pre-owned car within the next twelve months?  Maybe your need is a little more urgent than twelve months-sometimes we can’t always plan major purchases like chess moves especially when our wheels may be sitting on the back of a tow truck.  When we are able to slow down and take a calculated look at the entire car buying process from model selections to financing we tend to have bigger success stories as consumers.  Remember what your mother always said about making hasty decisions and turning in sloppy homework?  The same thing holds true when you are about to embark on any major purchase—you tend to get out of the process what you put into it and in this case it’s all about the research!   Car Buying Tips For Every Consumer   Identify … [Read more...]

Introducing industry-first technology from myFICO

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We have a huge announcement to make. Actually, make that four huge announcements. When we introduce new technology and features, we really like to make a splash.   We’ve listened to your requests, complaints, suggestions and praise and developed three new products that we think you’re going to love. In fact, we’re leveraging technology that’s never before been available to consumers. So without further ado, allow me to introduce three new products and more from myFICO.   FICO® 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring For the first time ever and exclusively at myFICO, you can now monitor three FICO® Score — one from each credit bureau — and monitor all three of your credit reports. This intelligent new product will help you get a better understanding of your full credit picture. … [Read more...]

Are you the ideal target for identity theft?

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  One of the biggest misconceptions about identity theft is that identity thieves only target rich people with high FICO® Scores who do careless things like lose a credit card. This mentality results in a lot of people thinking they would never be targeted by an identity thief. But the truth is, identity thieves have a variety of motives that ultimately result in a payout. What’s worse, they have a long list of ways they can steal your information.   In short, you don’t have to be rich and careless to be valuable to an identity thief. So who exactly is an identity thief targeting? Good question. Here are 5 types of identity theft victims.   The social butterfly How did we all survive before social media? You love logging in to your social channels, making … [Read more...]

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