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  • Credit Cards

    What’s a ‘Good’ Debt?

    Financial Literacy credit Personal Finance 

    Thanks to the economic downturn and its lingering effects, the word “debt” predominantly carries a negative connotation. But you may have heard in the midst of balancing your budget or planning for retirement, that not all financing is created equal. In fact, some debts, experts suggest, may be good for you. But what exactly does this mean? What Is Good Debt? Simply put, good debt “is any debt that offers a return on the investment,” […]

  • Mistake

    5 Credit Mistakes You’ll Regret Immediately

    credit Personal Finance 

    We all make mistakes and have regrets — those extra pieces of pie over Thanksgiving come to mind! — however, some regrets last longer than others. Credit mistakes can make you regret the error of your ways for years to come. Avoid these common credit mistakes and you’ll have one less area of regret in your life. Plus, you can start 2016 with a fresh start for your finances. 1. Opening a New Account Before Closing on Your Mortgage One […]

  • Homeowners

    Freelancers: Here’s What You Need to Know About Buying a Home

    Financial Literacy Personal Finance 

    One of the main things you need in order to qualify for a mortgage is an income to support the payments—you’ll need documents showing this income when you try to get pre-approved. But self-employed and freelance workers don’t always have that option. Without work stubs, what can they do? “In general, the qualifying criteria are the same for a self-employed borrower as it would be for a wage earner,” says Jesse Gonzalez, a mortgage broker with North Bay Capital in Santa Rosa, Calif. “The only real […]

  • The Simple Way to Keep Your Tax Refund Safe

    Column Blog 

    The holiday season is just getting underway, a time dedicated to finding the perfect gift for loved ones and a steady procession of festive events that ends when we ring in the New Year. Unfortunately, it’s also a busy time for people dedicated to the commission of identity-related tax fraud. I’ve written more extensively about this issue in my book Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves, […]

  • Home ownership

    The Loophole That Could Help You Buy a Home Even If You Have a Lot of Debt

    Financial Literacy Mortgages 

    It’s not impossible to buy a home when you have existing debts. Homebuyers do it every day, in fact. But you have to know how your existing debts are affecting your standing with the lender and the ways you may be able to exclude some debts from your loan approval process. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender takes into consideration your credit score, the cash you plan to use on a home, your […]

  • Credit Cards

    The Hidden Bonus of Paying Off Credit Card Debt

    Lifehacking credit Personal Finance 

    In theory, nobody wants to be in debt. But when credit card bills arrive, we don’t exactly rush to pay them. And when we do, we may not pay the full balance. Understandably, we don’t want to be separated from our money. We earned that money, it’s hard to see it come into your bank account and exit just as quickly. But racking up high balances on your credit cards, even if you continue to […]

  • Cyber thief

    Should You Be Worried About Identity Theft on Cyber Monday?

    Identity Theft Technology 

    Two years ago, hackers planted malware in Target’s point-of-sale system and stole 40 million credit card and debit card numbers, in addition to 70 million names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of Target shoppers. Worse data breaches have occurred since then, but because the Target breach happened during the Black Friday weekend and early December, it will long be associated with the security risks of holiday shopping. Those risks are present when you shop in […]

  • Adam Levin discusses Swiped, identity theft protection on Fox & Friends

    Identity Theft 

    Adam Levin discussed some tips to help consumers minimize their risk of fraud and identity theft this holiday season on Fox & Friends, as well as his new book Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves. To find out more about Swiped, click here.

  • Facebook “Most Used Words” App as Privacy Lesson

    Column Data Security Blog 

    If you have an account on Facebook, you may have noticed posts featuring a nicely designed cloud comprised of the words that your Facebook friends use most often. It’s powered by an app from a company called Vonvon, and it’s been getting a lot of attention this week from consumer privacy experts. The reason this app has privacy hawks screeching is simple. It grabs an enormous amount of personally identifiable information and private details about […]

  • Credit Card

    Why Gift Cards Aren’t As Secure As Your Credit Cards

    Consumer Protection credit Technology 

    It’s holiday season, which means you are almost certainly going to receive (and give) a plastic gift card during the next few weeks. When you (or they) try to spend it, a familiar process will occur: You will swipe the card’s magnetic stripe, even if you are shopping at a major retailer like Target or Walmart. This action might give you pause to ask a question: “Where’s the chip?” The past several months have been dominated by talk […]

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