RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

5 Things to Know about Credit

October 6, 2015 1:51 am

Though most of us have basic knowledge about credit, major gaps still exist. According to the nonprofit organization American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC), more than half of Americans are unaware that credit scores measure the risk of not repaying a loan on time, rather than their ability to pay based on their annual salary.

“Credit has a major impact on so many aspects of an individual’s life, from the ability to rent an apartment to buying a car or securing a mortgage,” says Steve Trumble, president and CEO of ACCC. “Despite its importance, many Americans not only have trouble managing their credit, but they don’t fully grasp how it works and what it means – particularly when it comes to understanding their credit scores.”

The ACCC shares five things to know about credit:

1. A good credit score secures financial wellness. Credit is more than just a plastic card you use to buy things—it is your financial trustworthiness. Good credit means that your history of payments, employment and salary make you a good candidate for a loan, and creditors—those who lend money or services—will be more willing to work with you.

2. All credit scores are not the same. There are three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion), and they each have their own model for calculating your score. They also may not all be using the same information. Each score matters, and different lenders may be using different scores to evaluate you.

3. Bad credit scores are fixable.
A bad credit history can haunt you for a long time—seven years or more. Make sure you correct any errors on your report. Asking for help from your creditors can go a long way in terms of fixing bad credit. If you have a poor credit score, take the necessary steps to start fixing it by paying down debt where possible and making payments on time.

4. Make the right choice.
Consider fees, limits, interest rates, and benefits, which can vary substantially among credit card issuers, when opening a new card. Some credit cards that look like a great deal at first glance may lose their appeal once you read the terms and conditions of use and calculate how the fees could affect your available credit.

5. Discipline goes a long way.
Try to pay your bills on time and in full as much as possible. This will help you avoid late fees, and build a positive credit history.

Source: ACCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Are You a Cyber Slacker?

October 5, 2015 1:48 am

There’s no question about it: those who fail to protect themselves online are vulnerable to identity theft. Are you a cyber slacker?

If you’re a millennial, you might be. According to a recent TransUnion survey, most millennials are not taking action to safeguard their personal information online, despite being the most concerned about cyber crime. In fact, almost 90 percent of millennials store bank account information on their phones, and about 85 percent check financial accounts while connected to public Wi-Fi – actions that put them at risk of identity theft.

In contrast, only a third of baby boomers report being concerned about identity theft, but at least half take basic precautions to protect themselves. Just half of boomer respondents said they store important information on mobile devices and just over half check financial accounts while connected to public Wi-Fi.

“Cybercriminals don’t care about your age; they just want access to your identity and credit,” says Ken Chaplin, senior vice president at TransUnion. “It is important for people of all ages to be aware of the behaviors that make them vulnerable to identity theft and to not sacrifice security for convenience.”

TransUnion advises all Internet users, millennial or otherwise, to heed the following best practices for cyber security.

• Activate password protection on your phone. Cyber criminals can install applications on stolen phones that give them access to the device’s personal information, like photos, personal calls and banking applications. Set a unique password on your phone to create a barrier that makes it difficult for anyone to access the information.

• Approach near field communication (NFC) applications with caution.
Criminals have traded spam and antivirus hacking methods in favor of third-party applications. NFC applications, which allow data to be transferred between two local devices, such as through tap-to-pay methods at checkouts, and other third-party payment applications should be approached with caution.

• Avoid accessing sensitive information on public Wi-Fi networks. Businesses that offer public Wi-Fi are required to share a liability notice, but many may not read it. By using Wi-Fi sniffing, when criminals intercept information while it travels from the access point to the device, your personal data can be at risk.

Source: TransUnion

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: