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Blogs and article by Adam K Levin about credit, identity theft, data security, and consumer protection.


  • What is a credit report?Financial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    You’ve heard of credit reports but do you really know what they are – or where they come from? I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. Your credit report is a record of your financial behavior that’s kept by credit reporting agencies which provide that information to businesses when they’re considering potential borrowers. There are 3 national credit bureaus that maintain credit reports on consumers – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. […]

  • Shred, White & Blue: Freedom From Identity Theft?Column, Blog, Identity Theft

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    It’s finally here. You’ve been saving up for months. This is your day. You are the Master of the Data Security Universe, Ms. Never-Gonna-Happen-To-Me, Captain Try-Personally-Identifying-This. And you’re going to… a Shred-a-Thon! Yes, it’s that time of the year when friends and neighbors gather in the haze of grilling hot dogs and burgers as they feed their old papers to a municipality-owned, or financial institutionally-leased shred-mobile, while talking about data security and sharing a horror […]

  • TransUnion Launches Instant Alert to Prevent Identity TheftPress, Blog

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    Adam Levin appeared on “The Willis Report” to talk with Gerri Willis about Transunion new instant alert feature designed to help prevent identity theft.   For an additional $17.99 a month, the feature is available to Transunion members as a complement to credit monitoring. Members will be alerted via email if someone attempts to apply for credit in their name.  If fraudulent activity is taking place, they can report the fraud to the lender and […]

  • 3 Really Bad Ways to Use Your Credit CardFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    Your credit card can be a wonderful enabler or a weapon of financial destruction. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Of all the things you can charge with a credit card, here are three really bad ideas: Taxes. Many people find credit cards a tempting way to pay taxes if they discover they’re faced with a larger bill than expected. But beware: processors collect an average fee of 2% […]

  • Could an Adopt-a-Loan Program Take a Bite Out of Student Debt?Column, Blog

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    The private sector adopts all sorts of things — highways, parks, medians, pets, pet projects — so why not student loans? With the right tax incentives, an Adopt-a-Loan program could help ease the current financial quagmire of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. Earlier this week, Starbucks announced a plan that will let any of its 135,000 employees go to college for free — as long as they meet the criteria outlined in the new […]

  • 7 Reasons to Get Your Credit ScoreLifehacking

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    In a recent Credit.com survey, 36% of people said that the last time they saw their credit score, they were applying for a loan. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s also not the ideal time to find out what’s going on with your credit… especially if you discover there’s a problem. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. You should be checking your credit scores before you need them, […]

  • Why You Need To Know Your Credit Before A Job SearchFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance

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    If you’re looking for work, you need to know what’s on your credit reports. Why? Because there’s a decent chance your future employer will be looking too. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. While some states limit which type of employers can check your credit, the practice is fairly common. Here are four things you need to know: 1. Employers must get your written permission to pull your credit […]

  • The Laziest Ways to Improve Your Credit ScoreFinancial Literacy, Lifehacking, Money

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    You can be pretty lazy and still help your credit. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Credit can be confusing, overwhelming, and sometimes, downright depressing. Many people with credit problems never get help because they don’t know where to start, or they think it’s all just too difficult and they figure, why bother. But the reality is that there are some pretty simple rules you can live by to […]

  • Credit Score

    What is a Good Credit Score?Financial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. So a good credit score means you pay less for the money you borrow. But “good” or “good enough” can mean different things to different lenders I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Most credit scores – including the FICO score and the latest version of VantageScore – are on a scale of 301 to 850. Within that range there […]

  • Mastercard Zero Liability Policy Extended to PIN TransactionsConsumer Protection

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    If you are worried about identity theft and you have a Mastercard, get ready for some good news. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Visa and Mastercard have had zero liability policies for consumers using credit cards for a while. That means if someone goes on a spending spree with your credit card, you’re protected. But they never extended that protection for fraudulent ATM withdrawals or PIN-based purchases. For […]

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