Chips Cutting Counterfeit Credit Card Fraud By 75%

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EMV cards, otherwise known as “chip” cards for the embedded information chips they contain, were touted as the next great advancement in credit card security. According to a new study from Visa, EMV cards have lived up to their promise.

Visa discovered that as of March 2018, counterfeit credit card fraud is down 46% for all U.S. merchants compared to September 2015 – but for merchants who have completed the upgrade to EMV chip readers, counterfeit credit card fraud is down 75%. That’s a significant improvement over 2017’s 50% decrease from 2015 fraud levels.

Decreasing fraud correlates with the greater acceptance of EMV cards. As of June 2018, 3.1 million merchant locations – approximately two-thirds of U.S. storefronts – accepted chip cards for payment. Fewer than 400,000 merchants accepted chip cards in September 2015.

Visa claims tha…

Why A Credit Freeze Won’t Prevent Identity Theft

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We all like getting things for free, especially when the free items or services are valuable. Thanks to legislation that was signed in May 2018, Americans have another free service that they can use as often as they like – applying for a credit freeze. As of September 21, 2018, it no longer costs money to freeze or thaw your credit.

A credit freeze stops any potential lenders from accessing your credit report. If a lender can’t assess your risk, they won’t lend money to you – or to an identity thief pretending to be you. When you want to make a legitimate credit request, you “thaw” your account for as long as you need to get your credit source approved, and then re-apply the freeze.

Simply place a credit freeze with each of the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and you’re all set … right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Identity thieves have man…

Video: 5 Things You Need To Know If You Have A Debt In Collections

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What should you do if contacted by a collection agency? Watch MoneyTips Consumer Advocate Kristin Malia share five essential pieces of information that will empower you to deal with debt collectors. Knowledge is power!

If you want to reduce your interest payments and lower your debt, join MoneyTips and use our free Debt Optimizer tool.

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Credit Scores Hit All-Time High

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Credit Scores Trending Upward

Congratulations, America! Your average FICO credit score reached 704, continuing the upward trend of the last eight years.

According to a recent FICO blog, the 704 average score is the best average ever recorded on the 300-850 standard FICO scoring scale. America’s average score sank to 686 in October 2009 thanks to the housing crisis and subsequent recession, but credit scores recovered slowly along with the economy.

How did we reach these new heights? Mostly through hard work and better attention to credit scores, with a little help from policy changes.

Widespread Improvements

The FICO data shows that credit score increases aren’t isolated to a population segment. Average scores are improving in almost all demographic categories.

Perhaps the most encouraging news involves the lower end of the credit scale. The recent data shows far fewe…

Racking Up Debt? Blame Your Parents!

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Parents, be careful how you act around your children. Children may listen to what you say, but they’ll be more influenced by what you do.

This maxim also appears to apply to attitudes toward debt. According to a study recently released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), children have a strong tendency to follow their parents’ attitudes about debt.

The study, which took place in Sweden, found a strong correlation between the attitudes of children and parents regarding debt – although the study also found attitudes to be changing over time. While 56% of respondents claimed to be uncomfortable with debt, 62% said their parents feel uncomfortable with debt.

Women were more uncomfortable with debt than men in both generations, yet both men and women were more likely to discuss their financial situation with their mothers instead of their fathers. Consequently, the correlation for transmitting debt philosophies to children was greater for wom…

Average Age Of Child Identity Theft Victim: 12

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How did your toddler rack up thousands of dollars in charges on an unfamiliar credit card?It’s not Junior’s fault if identity thieves have stolen your child’s identity and used it for fraudulent purchases.

According to Javelin Strategy and Research, over one million children were identity theft victims in 2017, racking up over $540 million in direct cost burdens to affected families.

Your child’s identity is a desirable target for identity thieves because the theft is often undetected for years. Why would you expect an underage child to have credit activity? A new Experian survey finds that the average age of a child identity theft victim is twelve – implying that many years may pass before you find out about the crime. Even worse, your child may find out later in adult life when they try to open an account and discover their credit has already been abused and ruined.

When parents discover the fraud, how do they usually find out? Typically, either a bil…

Credit Reports Too Complex

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Do you know how to read your credit report? If not, it’s time to learn.

Your credit score is one of the primary items that lenders check when approving your credit request, and the information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. If you never check your credit report, you can’t catch any errors that might be dragging down your credit score unnecessarily – or you may not understand why your score rises and falls.

A new survey by WalletHub suggests that people are intimidated by the format of credit reports. Two out of every five respondents considered credit reports hard to read. Three-quarters (76%) of respondents thought credit reports should be simpler, and 68% said they would check their credit more often if it was presented in a simpler way.

Are you confused by credit reports? MoneyTips presents a very

Households With Lowest Net Worth Have Highest Credit Card Debt

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America’s total outstanding balance on revolving credit, primarily credit card debt, is over $1.03 trillion. How much of that $1.03 trillion balance is yours? According to recent data from ValuePenguin, you’re more likely to have a greater share of that balance if you’re in one of two groups – the poorest or the wealthiest Americans.

The average credit card debt for households with zero or negative net worth is $10,307 – not surprising since if you have a negative net worth, you need credit just to get by. On the other end of the economic spectrum, households with net worth above $500,000 carry the second-highest average credit card debt at $8,139.

Why would high-net-worth households carry so much credit card debt? Perhaps for one simple reason – because they can. Wealthier households are more likely to make more purchases and to pay off balances whenever they choose to do so.They may run purchases through their credit cards to get rewards or other perks even whe…

5 Tips For Saving Money In College

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By Roshni Chowdhry, head of customer experience at SafetyNet

Of the 17 million Americans currently enrolled in college, 74 percent qualify as what we used to call “nontraditional” students:

  • One in five is 30 years or older.
  • About half don’t rely on their parents for money.
  • One quarter are caring for a child.
  • 47 percent attend college part time at some point.
  • 25 percent took a year off between high school and college.
  • 44 percent have parents without a bachelor’s degree.

In other words, if you’re a college student today, there’s a good chance you’re not the Hollywood stereotype of an 18-year-old on your own for the first time. Still, whether it’s your first year of indepe…