John Buzzard is a product manager for FICO® and a financial writer with expertise in fraud prevention and consumer safety.

About John Buzzard

John Buzzard is a product manager for FICO® and a financial writer with expertise in fraud prevention and consumer safety.

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...]

Paying Cash May Cost You More in the Long Run

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The NY Times recently featured an article that talked about Americans who are trying to make a conscious effort to use cash instead of plastic.  The catalyst for this paradigm shift isn’t driven by a need to conserve funds or to avoid finance charges as you might immediately suspect.  Some consumers are choosing cash over credit to insulate themselves from the risk of being a cyber-crook’s next victim.  It seems like a sensible solution on paper until you realize that misguided precautions along these lines are eventually going to hurt your credit score if you are too stringent in your new “cash only “payment habits.   Credit scoring is really a “use it or lose it” situation.  It’s important to remember to use your credit frequently even if you fully intend to pay off the … [Read more...]

Breached, Bothered and Bewildered?

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The LA Times recently published an article featuring mortgage credit experts who warned “that the recent massive data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers could have significant effects on some real estate transactions in the coming months as damaged credit files depress scores and jeopardize loan applications and home sales”.   Is it possible that your innocent purchase of toothpaste and a few groceries could indeed jeopardize your ability to achieve a significant milestone like purchasing your first home? It could be more than a distant dilemma for consumers to ponder if they discover too late that routine purchases made at recently compromised merchants resulted in fraudulent charges to their payment cards. Erroneous fraud charges that remain undetected or … [Read more...]

How the Grinch Stole my Credit Card Number

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Beware of Fraudsters this Holiday Season!   The frenzy of the holiday shopping season creates an inviting environment for fraudsters and identity thieves who aim to take advantage of distracted shoppers.   FICO manages the worldwide FICO® Falcon® Fraud Manager consortium, which provides fraud protection for approximately 85% of U.S. credit cards. Our experts suggest a proactive approach to protection with the following tips:   Lock your phone with a password Use extreme caution when downloading applications from unknown sources. Only download your bank’s mobile app from the official bank website or a trusted source. Enable “Find my phone” functionality when possible to locate missing devices or to remotely clear the device of all sensitive data in the … [Read more...]

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by a credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of a credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a credit card issuer. This site may be compensated by credit card issuers mentioned on the site by such companies.