Credit Repair Services 101

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By Steven Millstein, Credit Repair Consultant at CreditRepairExpert.org

Credit repair companies may all offer similar services, but they are not all created equally. The outcome of your credit counseling efforts depends on a combination of factors, including your willingness to cooperate and become more financially savvy. Regardless of your intentions, however, even the best credit repair agents are limited to what they can achieve. Every credit repair company in business is subject to strict market regulations that are set forth by the Federal government and the state in which that company operates.

Usually, the process of repairing your credit requires little to no effort on the client’s part. Most of the time, a consumer’s credit rating will increase significantly within several months. Still, the condition of the client’s credit upon enteri…

7 Ways To Holiday Savings Using Credit Cards

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Do credit cards and the holidays spell trouble for you? Credit cards and holiday spending can be a dangerous combination – but it doesn’t have to be. Look at your credit cards as financial tools that can help you save money as well as spend it.

Here are seven ways to use credit cards to increase your holiday savings.

1. Lay Out Your Holiday Credit Budget – A budget is the key to prevent overspending – and it’s also the way to avoid approaching your credit card limit. Maxing out a card will not only harm your credit score, it also increases the chances you’ll carry a balance. Save on interest charges by keeping balances low – or eliminating them entirely. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by

5 Steps To Be Your Own Mogul – Part 2

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Our prior article, 5 Steps To Be Your Own Mogul – Part 1, covers the first three steps to manage your finances like a business. Below we present the final two steps.

4. Forecasting

If you have performed the budget exercise and broken your expenses out into categories, you can start to highlight areas where you can improve. The idea here is to shift the negative spending into a comfortable routine that focuses more on building savings and trimming expenses for the long haul. You can do it quite easily without weekly envelopes of rationed money or other personal finance gimmicks that rarely work in the long term.Here are some suggestions for improving your financial forecast in painless and satisfying ways:

  • Calculate…

5 Steps To Be Your Own Mogul – Part 1

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Why not take some financial pointers from the business world and apply them to your personal finances? Whether you are a party of one or a family of four, it pays to be fiscally agile. Some of the longest financial plays in the business world today are small businesses that perennially stay afloat and drive their successes through careful planning and conservative financial forecasting. Why can’t these principles be applied to your personal financial life too?

1. Determine who your trusted advisors are

Major corporations rely on the skills and experience of a board of directors and you may be asking yourself, “Well, where am I going to round up 10 people to form my own personal board of directors”? Don’t worry – you don’t have to. It doesn’t matter if you are managing the budget of one or a much larger family unit. The real value in making an appraisal like the services rendered by a corporate board of directors is to shed light on where you …

5 New Year’s Resolutions To Raise Your Credit Score

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You’re determined to make 2019 the year you raise your credit score. Why not get off to a good start with these five New Year’s resolutions to send your credit score in the right direction?

1. Resolve to Check Your Credit Report – All your efforts will go to waste if identity thieves have already ruined your credit by opening accounts in your name and racking up unpaid bills.

Check your credit report and look for any errors, rogue accounts, or fraudulent charges on your existing accounts. Address any problems as quickly as possible with the credit reporting agencies to limit the damage. Monitor your credit score regularly to gauge your progress and follow up with at least one more credit report check during the year. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by

11 Tips To Avoid A New Year’s Credit Hangover

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Can you avoid a New Year’s Day hangover? We’re not referring to the traditional hangover that comes from too much alcohol, but the financial hangover that comes from too many charges on your credit card.

Of course, you can avoid a New Year’s credit hangover – especially with some help. Consider these eleven ways to keep holiday purchases under control.

1. Set a Holiday Budget – Review your overall budget, and then decide how much you can afford to spend for holiday gifts given your other expenses (including end-of-year expenses like property taxes and annual subscriptions). Don’t let gift expectations drive your budget – let your budget set gift choices.

2. Make a Gift List – Divide up your gift budget among all your recipients and find gifts that fit within the desired budget. Start early, so you have time to look for the best pri…

Yet Another Large Data Breach – Are You Protected?

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This Time It’s Starwood

These days, data breaches are so common that they must be large and meaningful to capture your attention. The recent hack against Marriott International qualifies. As many as half a billion customers may be affected, making the Marriott hack the second largest ever in terms of exposed records.

The breach began in 2014, affecting the Starwood guest reservation database. Starwood properties include the Sheraton, Westin, W, St. Regis, and Le Meridien chains – many of which cater to the high-end market. Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016 but didn’t detect the breach until November 2018.

Exposed personal information for up to 327 million guests includes their name, address, e-mail address, phone number, passport number, birthdate, and other hotel-specific information like arrival/departure/reservation times and preferred guest account information. Payment card information may also be compromised with an undetermined number of gu…

7 Tips For Selling Your Home During The Holidays

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Are the holidays not hectic enough for you? Put aside your gift list for a moment; how about adding a home sale to your to-do list?

Most people avoid selling their homes during the holidays, but you may not have any choice in the matter. If you need to sell your home around the end of the year, here are seven tips to help your sale go smoothly.

  1. Minimize Holiday Decorations – Not everyone has the same love of holiday decorations, and poorly maintained, tacky, or overly religious displays can be a turnoff for potential buyers. Keep the seasonal decorations simple and easy to maintain.

    That applies to the outside as well as the inside of your home – avoid browning out the neighborhood with your awesome light display.

  2. Keep It Clean – Keeping the home free of tracked-in mud, snow, and other debris is even tougher in the winter months, and arguably even more important. Vacuum well and vacuum often.

Don’t Answer That Text From Your “Bank”

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Does your bank have a cardless ATM? Cardless ATMs interact with your smartphone to let you withdraw cash from your bank’s enabled ATMs without inserting a card into a card reader.

With some ATMs, your smartphone app generates a QR code for your withdrawal, and the ATM scanner reads the QR code off your phone. Other ATMs use near-field communications (NFC), the same technology that allows you to avoid slot readers by tapping your card or phone against a receiving sensor (think Apple Pay and digital wallet apps).

In either case, your smartphone substitutes for your card. However, that adds another avenue for fraudsters to trick you out of personal information and drain your bank account.

From a technology standpoint, cardless ATMs are relatively safe. They use tokenization to provide a random number for each transaction, avoiding transmission of the card number. The…