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4 Ways To Protect Yourself From Checking Account Fraud

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

Checking account fraud happens more often than people think. In fact, over 500 million checks are forged each year in the US. If you are not careful you can easily become a victim to this crime. Luckily, there are a couple things that you can do to protect yourself from checking account fraud. Here are some things you should do.

1. Protect Your Checks

You should never leave your checkbook lying around the house, or in your car. You should protect your checkbook like you would cash or your credit card. Someone could easily take you checkbook and write checks under your name, or get your bank account information and use it for their benefit. This is why you should keep your checks in a safe place, and only use them when you have to.

2. Use Online Bill Pay

Many banks have started using a process called online bill pay. This allows you to send bills from your checking account. The great thing about this option is that the bank can verify the check so that you are sure that the check came from you. This allows you to set your checkbook aside and just have the bank do the work for you.

3. Use Online Banking

With online banking you can see everything that is going on in your bank account. No longer do you have to keep track of every penny, you can see the activity of your account as often as you want. The bank may not always catch problems since they don’t know what purchases you did and didn’t make. Instead, you should be checking frequently to make sure that you authorized every transaction and if there are any problems, call the bank immediately.

4. Never Print Your SSN On Your Checks

You should use the bare minimum information on your checks. Some people think it is best if they print their SSN on their checks, but this can get you into a world of trouble. All the seller needs for your check is a way to contact you, your bank number and the amount you wrote the check for. Don’t give anyone more information that is necessary. In addition, never give out this information to anyone unless your bank tells you to.

By doing these simple things you can protect yourself from bank fraud. If you ever have any concerns or are worried that you might have been victimized, talk to a place like Visterra Credit Union right away. They have precautions set in place to protect you. 

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DIY Credit Repair: Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

If you have poor credit, then you may find it difficult to get approved for loans–especially those with reasonable interest rates. If you’re tired of your less-than-perfect credit score looming over your financial life, then you might be wondering what steps you can take to gradually increase your credit score over time. Aside from working with a professional credit repair service, there are some specific credit mistakes you can avoid making over the next few years to help salvage your credit.

Cancelling Credit Card Accounts

Misuse of credit cards is often what gets people into problems with their credit scores in the first place. As such, it makes sense that many people turn to cutting up their credit cards and cancelling their lines of credit in an effort to increase their scores. However, not using your lines and closing accounts can actually make things worse. Instead, the best thing you can do is scale down your use of credit cards to the point that you can pay off at least the minimum balance (if not the entire balance) with each bill.

Not Monitoring Your Credit Report

Believe it or not, credit reporting bureaus make mistakes on credit reports from time to time. As such, it’s up to you to monitor your credit and be on the lookout for mistakes. The best way to do this is to utilize a free credit monitoring service, which will alert you to any changes on your report as they happen. If you do run into any mistakes on your report, you can then file an official dispute with the reporting bureau to have them corrected.

Turning to Bankruptcy

Finally, don’t make the assumption that filing for bankruptcy will take care of all of your financial woes. In many cases, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Filing for chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy should only be seen as a last resort–and you should never file without first consulting with a financial advisor. After all, a bankruptcy isn’t going to help your credit. It will actually have the opposite effect and result in a significant drop in your credit score.

As you can see, there are many mistakes that you’ll want to be careful to avoid as you work to increase your credit score. By doing so and by working with a professional credit repair company, you’ll be well on your way to a better score in no time. Talk to experts like Nationwide Credit Repairs for more information.

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Three Ways A Payday Loan Can Save You Money

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

Emergencies can happen that affect your personal finances in temporary ways, and this unforeseen expense can create a shortage of money during the month. When you take care of an emergency expense, you will likely take funds from another area of your budget. This will likely make you short of cash for a monthly bill. This problem can be solved with a payday loan, and you will save money at the same time. There are three situations in which a short-term loan will do this.

Avoid a late fee on your rent or mortgage

If you will be short of money in paying your mortgage, you will incur a late fee. The chances are that a short-term loan will cost less than a late fee on your mortgage, so you will save money. The same will hold true on paying your rent; however, in the case of a mortgage payment, a late payment will also affect your credit rating.

Avoid a late fee on a car loan

A late fee on your car loan will likely be high enough to justify getting a short-term loan. It may be tempting to call your lender and let them know you will be late. In some cases, they may let you make two payments the following month. But this type of strategy will cost you a late fee and additional interest. A smarter choice is to get short-term loan. You will likely save money, and your credit will be unaffected.

Prevent your car insurance from lapsing

This is huge. If the one bill you come up short on is your car insurance payment, you can easily have your policy cancelled. Many insurance companies now report cancelled auto insurance policies to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Upon receiving this information, they can cancel your vehicle registration. This will result in a fine that must be paid in order to have the registration reinstated. This fine is usually several times greater than the flat fee charged for a payday loan. Of course, if you get caught driving without insurance, you will face additional fines and penalties.  

Always remember to first look at the amount of money it will cost you by not paying a bill on time, and then look at how much the loan will cost you. If this is less than the late fees and other charges you incur for not paying on time, then a payday loan will likely be a smart choice for your personal finances. For more information, contact a local payday loan company like #1 Cash Stop.

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Collecting Coins As A Hobby

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

Are you a history enthusiast? Do you wish that you had a time machine so that you could visit important historical events? While you may never have your own time machine, you can certainly pretend by purchasing ancient coins for sale. Here are some tips on how to set up your collection:

Pick an era and country: There are thousands of ancient coins for sale, in hundreds and hundreds of designs. Although it may be tempting to try to purchase as much as you can, you should try to avoid giving in to that temptation. By focusing on just one or two eras, you can be better educated on exactly what you’re buying.

For example, if you normally purchase ancient Roman coins, you may have a hard time telling if an ancient Greek coin is worth the sale price. By focusing on a particular era and country, you’ll better be able to spot fakes. For example, if you know that a particular coin was only minted in gold or silver, you won’t be taken in by a coin that is made of copper or bronze. 

Decide on quality: If you want to imagine that you’re a Roman centurion who is buying bread at the market, you probably won’t care if your coins are in mint condition. By purchasing coins that show signs of everyday wear, you’ll be able to stay within a low budget and possibly be able to purchase more coins for your collection. On the other hand, if you are buying ancient coins for sale in the hope that their value will go up, you’ll probably want to focus on a higher grade of coin. 

Have storage set aside: Some people who buy ancient coins for sale may simply put them in a shoebox or a jewelry box. If you do this, your coin collection could end up being accidentally spent by an unsuspecting relative. Although not legal tender, some ancient coins may be of similar size and weight to modern coins, allowing them to pass unnoticed in a handful of other change.

If your coins are of high quality, you should consider keeping your coin collection in a bank safe deposit box. If your collection is just for fun, you can keep your coins at home in a coin collecting book. Make sure to carefully label your collection and to keep it out of the hands of young children.

To learn more, contact a company like Harlan J. Berk, LTD with any questions you have.

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