Mobile payments are all the rage right now. Which begs the question should you trust apps that access your credit card information?
No, says Pat Carroll, founder and chairman of ValidSoft. “You should not give your credit card information through any app,” Carroll says. “You can’t trust apps, not even apps that are coming from legitimate sources. Information has been increasingly accessed by hackers, and the volume of [security fixes] that are delivered on a daily basis is astronomical.”
Other experts are more mixed on the topic.
“These apps are not created equal, so the answer is it really depends on what apps we’re talking about,” says Shaun Murphy, founder of the technology firm PrivateGiant and a former government security consultant. Despite a few hiccups when Apple Pay launched, Murphy says the mobile payment option is trustworthy.
If you do give mobile apps access to your financial information take a look at these tips. Read More »
Tagged as: credit cards > mobile
Before reaching for you credit card create a budget. Strip away anything unnecessary even small luxuries like the occasional coffee or your Netflix subscription.
Normally small expenses aren’t going to break your budget, but you need to watch them very carefully during unemployment.
With your budget in place, you need to set priorities. Start with the most important things and leave the less important things for last.
If you have money left over after all your expenses, then you can add in a few of the extras. You’ll want to start with food, utilities and shelter.
Then, be sure you have access to transportation so that you can search for and take a new job. After that, factor in things like minimum payments on your student loans and credit cards, necessary clothing, and other essentials. Spending in a prioritized order can be tough.
If your credit card or student loan bill is due at the beginning of the month? You may need to wait to pay it until you’ve taken care of items that take higher priority. However, creditors may also be willing to work with you. Read More »
Tagged as: budget > credit > priorities
1. Debit cards
Debit cards come with a lot of the same conveniences as credit cards, like online payments and shopping, fraud protection and the ability to shop without carrying cash. For consumers looking to improve their credit scores, debit cards won’t help. Responsible credit card use is the way to go, though debit cards have their advantages: There’s no bill to pay later and spending is limited to the amount of money in the account if you don’t opt for overdraft protection.
2. A drop in income
A pay cut may have negative implications for your budget or standard of living, but a pay cut alone will not hurt your credit score because income is not part of your credit report. However, it’s important to remember that your debt-to-income ratio is a factor lenders consider when approving you for certain types of credit, like a mortgage. So if you’re applying for credit soon after a drop in income, this may affect your ability to get approved for a loan, even if it doesn’t hurt your credit score itself. Read More »
Tagged as: credit scores > income > marriage > rejection
Here are four very easy things you can do to start improving your credit.
Let Your Accounts Get Older
The age of your credit history accounts for about 15% of your overall credit score. Like car insurance companies use age to predict how risky it is to insure a driver, credit bureaus use the credit age to determine your behaviors.
The older your credit history, the more information the bureaus have about your habits, and account age goes to predictability.
While most blots and blunders on your credit report fall off after seven years — they have their own credit score silo — the age of your credit continues to positively affect your score. The best part? You just have to keep doing what you’ve (hopefully) always done and keep using credit responsibly. Read More »
Tagged as: accounts > bank payments > credit > good credit > improve
1. You’re in denial
This may be one of the most prominent indicators that you are addicted to the magic plastic. If you have no idea how much the outstanding balances are and simply remit payments each month, there is a large chance that you’re in denial.
2. You can’t live without the magic plastic
If your credit card is lost and stolen, you find yourself in panic mode because your only source of disposable income is now out of reach. This clearly indicates that you may have a slight, if not obsessive, addiction to credit cards. Read More »
Tagged as: addiction > apply > credit > denial
In order to get a mortgage these days, home buyers are typically required to have three credit scores — one scoring model calculated three times based on each of your credit reports at the three major credit bureaus.
However, one problem that I see periodically when working with homebuyers is that they do not have three credit scores. While many lenders still operate under this requirement, it is not indicative of all 2014 mortgage lending. You actually can still get a mortgage if you don’t have all three credit scores. Here’s how, and what to be prepared for. Read More »
Tagged as: credit cards > credit scores > mortgage
If your credit card has no pre-determined spending limit, it might hurt your credit score.
Let’s get one thing straight — if your credit card requires payments in full every month and doesn’t have a credit limit or an interest rate, you’re not using a credit card: You’re using a charge card. A charge card does not keep your spending in check the way a credit card does.
There are certain limits the card issuer can enforce, however. For example, if the issuer sees a spike in your spending, they can deny your purchases based on your history and how much they think you can afford. Read More »
Tagged as: charge card > credit card > credit score
Exactly how much does a bad credit score cost you over your lifetime. While that question is hard to answer definitively for every person it is a fact that poor credit will make your life more expensive across a variety of services. Higher interest rates, larger deposits, more expensive premiums and the lack of access to quality financial services are all ways a poor credit score can cost you more. How much more does it cost though?
No two people have the same credit so it’s irresponsible to say that poor credit will cost you $200,000 over your credit life cycle. Someone who leans heavily on credit is clearly going to have a larger penalty than someone who chooses to pay cash for everything. However, if you were to compare apples to apples across similar loan products, it’s clear bad credit scores can be pricey. Read More »
Tagged as: costs > credit > mortgage
If someone were to take several pictures of you in one afternoon, would you look exactly the same in all of them? You’re going to look the same for the most part, but there will be some subtle differences in each of the photos. Whether you look at the way your hair, your posture or your clothes look, things are going to change slightly that might change your appearance in a photo.
Your credit score is a lot like an afternoon photo shoot. Your credit score is a snapshot, a single picture of your credit taken at one time. Read More »
Tagged as: appearance > credit > credit scores > photos > snapshot
Does credit scoring favor older, more mature people? No, it doesn’t.
Credit scores don’t take age into consideration. Now, the age of your credit file, that has a large impact on your credit score. The length of your credit history usually makes up 15% of your credit score. Typical credit-scoring models consider the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account, as well as the average age of all your credit accounts, when they calculate your score. The other area that they look at is how long specific credit accounts have been established and how long it’s been since you’ve used the accounts. Read More »
Tagged as: age > credit history > credit scores