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Archive for November, 2006

This Bears Repeating

November 29th, 2006 at 07:49 pm

I know, you've heard this a hundred times. But with recent news stories about credit card fraud (I'm assuming the number of fraud cases goes up during the holidays, thus the number of news stories on credit card fraud goes up - good assumption?).

Anyway... SHRED those credit card offers!!! Many fraud cases begin with a credit card offer that you received in the mail and discarded. Your best protection against this type of fraud is to shred the offer and application so no-one can use it to commit fraud in the first place.

An even better strategy would be to quit getting credit card offers (unless you want them of course). You can opt out by going to www.optout-prescreen.com or by calling 1-888-567-8688.

May you have a safe and fraud-free holiday!

Blog Carnivals?

November 26th, 2006 at 08:44 pm

Does anyone here participate in blog carnivals?

I participated in my first blog carnival (Carnival of Personal Finance) today. It's located at Carnival of Personal Finance #76.

Just curious what others think about blog carnivals?

Thanks!

Missing Credit Card Statement

November 25th, 2006 at 08:15 pm

Would you remember to pay your credit card bill if you didn't receive your monthly statement?

I noticed this morning that I hadn't received my most recent credit card statement, but that it was time to pay the bill.

I logged into my account, and sure enough my due date is just two days away!

Good thing I checked, since most credit card companies slap $30-40 late fees on if you're even the tiniest bit late paying.

Hopefully, you won't have any missing credit card statements, but if you did, would you remember to pay your bill on time, or would you get slapped with a late fee?

Here are some tips to help you avoid paying bills (and credit cards!) late:

* Schedule time each week or twice a month to pay bills

* Put important due dates (rent, credit card payments) on your calendar

* Use a spreadsheet to track bills and credit card payments

Implementing some type of system to make sure you pay your bills on time can be a huge time and money saver.

If you do miss a credit card (or other bill) payment, call the company and ask them to refund the late fee. If you have a good reason, and you haven't missed any payments previously, they should honor your request.

Tips for Controlling Holiday Spending

November 15th, 2006 at 07:27 am

I was thinking about ways to keep holiday spending in check this morning. Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. Set spending limits, including a total limit for all holiday gifts, and limits for individuals you will be buying for

2. Make a list of each person you want to buy for and gift ideas. Carry list with you as early as Fall to take advantage of any sales, etc.

3. Start a Christmas fund in January for next year. Many banks offer these. A CD (if interest rates are good) might be another good idea.

4. Make your own gifts (if you have creative talents). I like to cook, so I will sometimes bake goodies and give as gifts.

5. Pay cash. Or, if you are disciplined enough, use your credit cards, but pay the balance in full as soon as you get the bill.

Any other suggestions?

Free annual credit report

November 8th, 2006 at 05:39 am

There is only one legitimate website to do this and it is www.annualcreditreport.com. Beware of ads or other websites that offer a free annual credit report. Many of these are scams or they are trying to sell you something.

At www.annualcreditreport.com, you can request a free credit report once every 12 months. This credit report does not include your credit score, but you can purchase your credit score by contacting one of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion).

Another great resource for credit reports is www.myfico.com, where you can purchase your credit report from all three agencies, including your credit score. myFICO also has an education section where you can learn more about your credit reports and score.

You should check your credit report annually for errors and/or fraud.