Identity is a funny thing. I used to think I knew exactly what it was made of—Social Security number, date of birth, and first and last name. Period. But then came the Internet and the notion of identity began to change and evolve along with the latest technology.
Last time we met, I explained why your email account is valuable to hackers—what value it has and how it could be used to gain access to more of your coveted personally identifiable information (PII) than you might think. But it’s not just your email that hackers want; they want your phone number, too.
The first thing to know about a HELOC is that it’s not the same as a Home Equity Loan. This is important because many people confuse the two and, in certain aspects, they’re at opposite ends of the lending spectrum.
A Home Equity Loan is similar to your primary mortgage in the sense that it’s set for a specific loan amount to be repaid with fixed monthly payments. (This type of loan is sometimes called a “second mortgage”.) Typically, Home Equity Loan interest rates are fixed and fully amortized.
Before talking about the pros, cons and potential money savings a home warranty can offer, it’s a good idea to know what a home warranty actually is.
A home warranty is a contract (usually a one-year term) that helps cover the cost for the repair or replacement of many home systems and appliances. There’s quite a variety of home warranties available today, which is why researching different companies and learning about what they offer is an important part of the home warranty selection process.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a complex piece of legislation designed to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained within the files of credit reporting agencies. You can see the FCRA in totality on the Federal Trade Commission’s website, however, there are a lot of terms, definitions, and rules that can confuse those of us who are not experts in the field.
So let’s make the Fair Credit Reporting Act a little bit easier to understand…
In the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Matthew, you may be struggling to get your life back to normal. Among the many concerns you may be wondering:
- How do I get access to money?
- What will happen if I miss payments on my credit cards and loans?
- And how might the decisions I make affect my credit rating and access to credit in the future?
Certificates of deposits (CDs) are investments, sold by banks that are typically bought with cash an investor won’t need for a long period of time. Why? The money must remain invested for the full investment period (referred to as the “term” of the CD) in order for the bank to pay a slightly higher interest rate than what would have been earned if the money was kept in a money market or checking account. This is the “higher yield” feature of a CD.
HARP – Home Affordable Refinance Program.
The acronym helps us remember what the letters stand for, but what is HARP and why was it created? HARP was developed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in an effort to help homeowners, with little or no equity in their homes, refinance their mortgage. That means, if you owe as much – or more – than your home is worth, you may be eligible for a HARP refinance.
Is one better than the other?
Free Credit Report… you’ve seen the commercials, the banner ads, the social media push and lots more. However, do you know what’s missing from that free credit report? Your FICO® Score – the credit score used by 90% of top lenders to decide whether or not to give you a loan and what interest rate they’ll charge.
DID YOU KNOW… “IRA” stands for “Individual Retirement Account”?
That might appear to be a nonsensical question, but many of us have become so used to saying the word “IRA” that we don’t often remember it’s an acronym made up of three words – “Retirement” being the most important.