Blog Posts by Kelsey Havens

Kelsey Havens is a writer, financial health enthusiast, consumer protection advocate and Content Manager at myFICO. Connect with her on Google Plus: +KelseyHavens

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...]

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...]

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...]

4 Tips for a budget-friendly work week

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Saving a healthy budget is a lot different than actually sticking to a healthy budget. It’s a lot like dieting in that way. I know I shouldn’t eat that cookie, but it looks SO GOOD.  If you really want to stick to that 300-line spreadsheet you spent hours perfecting (or maybe you simply opted to spend 10 minutes in a budgeting app… still counts!), you’ve got to break unhealthy habits, make changes and start disciplining yourself. The cushy savings account you accumulate will be worth the hard work. I promise.     Although a challenging work week can often distract your from overspending, the stress can backfire and result in splurge decisions and breaking budget.  Don’t cave in. Take these three tips to make sure you stick to your budget—at least from Monday to … [Read more...]

Identity theft protection vs. credit monitoring: Which one is best?

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You have one noble goal: don’t become a victim of fraud. But what’s the best way to protect yourself? The most popular forms of protection fall into two categories: credit monitoring and identity theft protection. There’s a lot of debate about which type of service can protect you best. Here’s what you need to know about both.   Credit Monitoring One of your biggest concerns is probably how fraud and identity theft could impact your credit and thus ability to get a good loan. Credit monitoring is a great protection option, as you’ll be able to stay on top of suspicious changes to your credit reports—changes that could signify fraud.   PROS:   Most credit monitoring services scan your credit reports for changes at least weekly (FICO monitoring products … [Read more...]

5 Personal Finance Tips for Millennials

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So people keep calling you a millennial (some say it with a nicer tone than others). Amongst a variety of other defining characteristics, you have the unique (albeit unwelcomed) experience of graduating into a recession. Cons? Lower starting salaries and a lack of options. Pros? You’ve seen what irresponsible money management can do and you don’t want to make the same mistakes.     You’re also a victim of the tuition bubble, burdened with hefty student loan payments and a 30-year payoff plan that might as well be a mortgage. Now before you get out the violin, keep in mind that your generation is also relentlessly optimistic, savvy and smart, making you a force to be reckoned with in the workplace (conceal your ego though, please). If nothing else, we can assume your … [Read more...]

Word on the Web: June 2014

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  Ah, June. Home of the summer solstice, last days of school and the beginning of summer fun. It was also a great month for summer savings tips and budget planning. We scoured our favorite personal finance blogs looking for the best blog posts of June. Here’s what we found.       10 Simple all natural bug and mosquito repellents Maybe the worst part of summer is those relentless, blood-sucking bugs. But bug repellents can get expensive, especially if you’re constantly restocking. Plus, putting all those chemicals on your skin is more than a little disconcerting. Luckily, Wisebread has you covered. Check out these 10 natural bug and mosquito repellents for a budget-friendly and pest-free summer. Payment showdown: Race to a $0 balance Managing your … [Read more...]

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