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...]

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