Identity Theft And What You Can Do About It

The stats of I. D. theft have become so high that the majority either know someone who has had his identity stolen or have experienced it themselves. It’s a appalling thing to go through and a big mess to try and get cleaned up. It can mean hours of work, telephone calls, court cases, and a lot of hassle that nobody wants to handle. It can be something that may haunt you for years every time you try to purchase anything on credit. There are paths to protect yourself, and indeed all means of protection should be exhausted to keep your identity safe.

First, it is now against the law for firms to print your ATM card number on your receipt. This contains the receipt they keep. They no longer need your number. When they process it, they’re given a transaction code which will reference the transaction with your Visa card number. It does not need to be on either copy of the bill. Often folks will look at you funny, but I make a practice of checking for the number before signing the slip. Then, if they’ve got it released I scribble it out and then sign and hand it back to them. This is for your protection. It doesn’t mean that you are expecting the clerk to try and rob you, and they shouldn’t take it personally. What if somebody were to break into their store and nick credit card receipts? That person would have tons of information wanted to steal identities. So, cross that number out and make it illegible!

An alternative way to protect yourself is by checking your Mastercard statements. Check them to your invoices and confirm everything adds up. This is the simplest way to discover if someone is using your card-you’ll be in a position to find it out faster this way and reduce the amount of damage done.

Next, keep your ATM card with you at every point. Don’t let folks take it. If you hand it over to make a payment, keep your eye on it. Make sure they don’t take it to a back room or somewhere out of view. Keep your wallet open and ready to remind you to get the card back right away after the transaction is complete. Don’t allow yourself to feel rushed and end up leaving your card behind.

Last, don’t reply to e-mail phishing tricks. Nobody should be asking you for your ATM card, social security number, or other info by email. Companies should not operate this way, and it’s sometimes an elaborate con by someone that isn’t affiliated with your bank at all . They’re just trying to trick folks into giving out private information so they can steal identities.

These are only a few ideas to bear in mind to keep your identity safe. ID theft is becoming so common that it is important to take each measure to keep your information safe. Do everything you can to avoid having this happen to you and if it does, attempt to catch it early to avoid a large amount of damage.

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Erase Bad Credit Legally – Can It Be Done?

A common query usually asked concerning repairing your credit rating is the way to erase unpleasant credit, is it indeed possible?

There are lots of adverts from firms all over the web who claim they can remove bad credit legally however don’t be scammed. If the adverse things on your credit file are indeed correct and truthful, then there is no legal way to repair them and therefore remove the bad credit. If there are errors or expired things on your file then YES, these CAN legally be erased.

So what can you actually do? The first step in credit repair is to obtain your credit history showing the present info that the various credit bureaus hold on you. Then sit down with a piece of paper and go through the credit report with a fine tooth comb, looking for errors and mistakes, taking notes where applicable.

Next, write a letter to the creditor if an error exists, detailing the error in as much depth as doable and providing evidence. You want to follow this up with a letter to the credit agency from whom you obtained your credit file. Once more detail any errors in full and give evidence. When sending documentation be certain to send COPIES of the required evidence and not the original paperwork

The credit agency is obligated to complete an investigation of your grievance within 30 days and report back with any findings. It will liaise with the creditor to determine the accuracy of your information and whether or not your evidence verifies the claim. The creditor in question should reply inside fourteen days, again with information supporting their claim.

If you’re correct and there is an error, the creditor must report back to the credit bureau with amended information. If the creditor fails to reply or report any amendments inside fourteen days the disputed data can be erased from your credit file.

Using this simple methodology, you can get old or adverse issues removed from your report. If the reply from the creditor is that the data is correct but that you are feeling that it’s still wrong another avenue is to add a statement of dispute to your file. Create a written request to the credit bureau or agency who must oblige. It will appear as a written statement alongside any disputed item on your file. While not erasing the bad credit it will have a constructive impact on your credit report.

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See How Credit Reports And Scores Can Distress Your Finances

The initial action to take when trying to repair your credit is to obtain a copy of all three credit reports from the foremost credit reporting companies. By law, you are allowed to a free copy from each of the credit reporting companies one time each year and it is also viable to get a credit report that contains all three for a fee.

Credit reports are a history of your financial life. They show how you have handled credit and your finances in the past. Lenders utilize them to settle on if you are able to meet the standards they have set for lending money. While credit reports are broadly used, the fact is that it has been reported that as many as 75% of all reports include errors and incorrect information.

Credit bureaus are only in the business of gathering and consolidating information. They do not make any efforts to resolve if the information is truthful and accurate because that is irrelevant to them. They can sell your credit report whether the information on it is correct or not. The only person who is worried about erroneous information appearing on a credit report is the consumer.

Credit reporting has a extended history of inaccuracies, so much so that back in’70 Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This law governs the equity, truthfulness and fairness of credit reporting. Under this law, consumers have the right to dispute any discrepancies contained on their credit reports.

Within a credit report is a statistical representation called a credit score. This is a evaluation of a variety of components such as the length of the credit history, the debt to credit ratio, the sort of credit that is held, how frequently one shops for credit and of course, the history of how bills are paid on time.

The most frequently identified and utilized credit scoring system in the United States is the FICO score from the Fair Isaac Corporation. All three of the main credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion utilize this credit score. Sometimes you will see it referred to as the Beacon or Emperica score but it is the same.

Credit scores take into consideration many balanced factors such as credit history and debt ratios, but it never takes current income or employment history into account. These two things will probably be a large part of any credit application and a big concern for the lenders but they are never a part of the credit score.

Credit scores fall within a broad range of about 400 to 800. A score of 720 or above is deemed excellent while a score that falls below 600 is thought to be to be a high credit risk.

Repairing your credit might become necessary at some point. If you need further information about credit repair debt visit and don’t forget to sign up for a free credit repair course.

Store Credit Cards and You

If you can comfortably clear the outstanding amount on your store card when the bill arrives and are a regular customer of that particular retailer, it may be worth using a store card, as there could be plenty of benefits in doing so. Not only do you get a discount on your first purchase, there are usually other perks, such as bonus reward schemes, free catalogs or magazines, and special shopping days, where you can avoid the crowds and shop in peace. Jim Black gives customers 1% of what they spend in store back in the form of vouchers, for example, so if you are a regular customer this could be worth having.

Some retailers have launched credit cards alongside their store cards so you get the usual rewards of a store card for spending on the retailer-branded credit card. The danger is that while the APR tends to be lower than on a store card, it isnt as cheap as some of the best credit cards. And as you arent restricted to one store but can use it in whatever outlets you like, you could run up more debt on it than you were able to before. Check the APR before spending ” and if it isnt that competitive (and you dont clear your balance every month) dont use it at all.

Set up a direct debit to pay the full amount due on your store card each month. Then, if you forget to pay one month ” perhaps because youre on holiday ” it will be paid regardless so you wont run up any interest.

As well as persuading you to take out a store card, many retailers will try to force you to buy card protection and, just for good measure, card payment protection as well:

Card protection: Covers you if your card is lost or stolen. A single call from you can cancel all your plastic and usually costs around $7 a month.

Card payment protection covers your store card repayments if you lose your job or become ill and cant work.

You would want to avoid both types of cover, as they are expensive and usually a waste of money. Dont be talked into signing up, no matter how persuasive the salesperson is. If you really want some card or payment protection, shop around for a good deal rather than automatically taking out the policy the store card provider offers: There is no obligation to do so and you will find a better deal elsewhere. Make sure you read the small print before signing anything.

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Why is Customer Loyalty Important to Your Business?

Whether you own a mom and pop corner shop or a worldwide software consultancy, customer loyalty is very valuable to you. Customer loyalty can be loosely defined as the predisposition of any given customer to purchase your goods or services over comparable ones available in the marketplace. When speaking of products (rather than services or the broader classification which includes both) it is often referred to as “brand loyalty.” Investing time and energy in promoting customer loyalty should be an integral component of any business’ marketing strategy.

When business people think of “marketing” in general, they tend to focus on activities targeted at attracting new customers. While expanding your business’ customer base is a crucial undertaking which you must work towards with clearly defined goals, the importance of retaining existing customers mustn’t be overlooked. Working toward promoting customer loyalty (or brand loyalty) is critical to your goal for many reasons. A few of the most important reasons why customer loyalty is important to your business are outlined below.

Repeat Business

Loyal customers, almost by definition, will purchase your goods or services again and again over time. Depending on what type of business you have and what the sales cycle is like, you may end up selling more to one loyal customer in a year than you might to even 10 first time customers.

Greater Volume

As you build relationships with your loyalty customers, it will become increasingly easy to sell to them in higher volumes. This may happen naturally, or you may choose to incentivize the process for your customers. In any case, higher volumes mean greater sales, which translates to higher overall profits.

Cross-selling Opportunities

Customers who exhibit brand loyalty have a relationship with your business. They trust you to provide quality products and customer service. This creates a great opportunity to fulfill more of your customers’ needs than the traditional ones you currently meet. What does this mean? You can make sales to loyal customers across product lines and thus increase your overall sales volume without needing to focus so much on attracting new customers.

Protects You From the Competition

The more loyal your customers tend to be, the safer you will be from the draw of the competition. Establishing strong brand loyalty can make you practically immune to competitive forces. This is especially important in places where new players enter the marketplace often.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Loyal customers can also bring you new customers. Customers that have great relationships with businesses tend to talk about it. Happy and satisfied customers who keep coming back to you are very likely to refer others who may need your product and/or services.

Benefit of the Doubt

Let’s face it; things go awry sometimes – even in the best businesses. Sometimes we get an order wrong, don’t meet a deadline, or aren’t able to deliver on promises made to customers. In today’s economy, it’s even easier for little hiccups such as these an others to take place in business. These types of mistakes can damage your business’ reputation in the eyes of a new customer. A scheduling error can make your firm seem disorganized and unreliable. This is a very easy way to lose customers. The good news is, loyal customers are much more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and/or overlook errors. If you maintain the level of customer service and quality that it takes to achieve brand loyalty in the first place, your customers will be willing to forgive you when bad things happen.

Looking to build brand loyalty for your customers? We help developing customer reward program based on your company’s unique needs.

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