Monthly Archives: June 2018

Tips For Credit Reports – How to Spot Mistakes

How often do you check your credit report for accuracy? If it’s not at least twice a year, you could be one of the 40 million Americans that have material errors on your credit report. There are some warning signs you might experience without checking your credit score that might tell you that you have errors.

Errors with your identity details
Occasionally one or all of the three major credit bureaus will have incorrect identifying information on your credit reports. It could be as something as simple as an incorrect address. That’s a relatively simple error that won’t be difficult to fix on your own. However, sometimes your name could be associated with someone else’s credit profile. Make sure when you check your credit report you go through it with a fine tooth comb to ensure everything on it is accurate and all accounts belong to you.

Incorrect or misleading account details
From time to time a creditor will provide incorrect or misleading information about your credit accounts to the credit bureaus. But more seriously, they could be reporting an incorrect credit limit which would affect your utilization rate or the wrong dates for your mortgage loan. Sometimes something could claim open when it’s closed or that you’ve missed payments when you haven’t.

Mysterious accounts
If there are items on your credit report that don’t belong to you, you might be a victim of identity theft. In 2015, an estimated 17.6 million American’s were victims of identity theft. Did you know that two-thirds of identity theft victims reported a direct financial loss? The Bureau of Justice recommends taking preventative action like checking your credit report regularly for accuracy. While some people were able to recover funds through their banks or credit card companies, other saw much more serious events like stolen social security numbers and new accounts opened under their names.

What do you do if you spot errors?
My best advice to you is to work with a credit repair agency. The hassle of getting your details updated or more serious, getting incorrect, misleading or unverifiable information off your credit report can be a total headache.

Catalogue the errors well and then bring them to the agencies attention. The more prepared you are the better a credit repair agency can help. Getting mistakes removed is a difficult process but thankfully credit repair agencies can do most of the heavy lifting for you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9485492

Online Payment Systems for Landlords – What Are the Advantages?

As a landlord, you most certainly are preoccupied to have your property rented at all times, in the best conditions, and receive your due rent for it. When you are a lessor, it is also essential to make sure that your tenants stick around. You can face major losses when your property remains vacant for a long period of time. Taking the aforementioned factors into consideration, the method of payment you require your tenants to follow is a deciding factor by which you can attract and retain them. Now that the whole wide world is gradually enjoying technological progress, the real estate niche should follow suit. If you are a property owner, it is about time to become technically savvy as well. A positive step towards this direction is to allow your tenants to pay their rentals online, in person, or by means of mail.

Through the years, residential property owners have been receiving rental payments in person, or through the mail. Since the Internet has transformed the entire way we communicate, many things have changed deeply. One of these changes is the fact that online transactions have become popular. Several property owners are now accepting the highly technological management tools. Some of these are, for example,property management software, as well as online rental payments. In doing so, they enjoy a succession of benefits offered by these tools.

As a proprietor, you will see a considerable impact in terms of operational efficiency, as well as bottom-line profits. When you accept rent payments online, monitoring is no longer necessary, and even if you live far from the state where your rental property is located, this payment method will be very advantageous for you. In addition, you will be able to keep record of your tenant’s payment history by means of your website, which provides you with an online rental payment management system. You don’t have to go through several mails, checks, as well as documents. This lets you save a lot of time. With a few clicks, you can retrieve the information you need in an organized manner. For instance, when you have to check those who have not paid their rent for a specific month, all you need to do is login to your account and access the information in a couple of clicks.

For companies that manage properties, online payment systems come as an advantage. When they implement an online payment system, this would reduce their administrative costs. They would have to cut down on personnel, since there is no need to process paper checks, create journal entries, fill out deposit slips or assist people who go to the bank to deposit them. These tiresome tasks will become fully automated, reduce fraud risks and lead to efficient management. Also, this lets you plan strategies for the future, while the company improves in forecasting the cash flow.

Aside from the benefits given by an online rent payment system to landlords, property management companies and apartment complex owners, it also offers considerable advantages to tenants. For them, this payment method is extremely convenient, since they can pay their rent online from wherever they are. This lets them pay on time to avoid the charges associated with late payments, if ever they forget to send the check payment on the deadline, as the amount is deducted from their bank account.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9455019

The Security Intelligence in The Financial Services

Security intelligence is the data related to safeguarding an organization from any outside and inside threats along with the processes, and policies developed to accumulate and evaluate the information.

It can also be referred to as the actual collection, standardization, and analysis of the data created by users, applications, and structures that influence the IT security and risk position of a business.

On a daily basis, information flows in organizations for the senior management to make smart decisions. The various stakeholders (employees, customers, contractors) are interfaced through various technologies.

However, the technological infrastructure can also result in serious security issues. The probable areas of intrusion are unlimited. Security experts and business leaders are trying to find an answer to the question – Is it feasible to have a robust security in an increasingly interfaced environment?

Though the answer is yes, it needs a radical transformation in processes and practices encompassing the financial services sector. The focus is not only on IT. Robust security facilitates a positive customer experience.

Cybercrime and Profitability

Financial institutions are at great risk since they are perceived to be an easy target for cybercriminals. According to a survey by IBM, “Financial markets, insurance, computer and professional services together account for over 40% of all security incidents worldwide.”

The losses, pertaining to cybercrime in other sectors could be due to industrial intelligence and fraud related to intellectual property, but in banking, online fraud is a possibility.

Any fraud related to the intellectual property and industrial intelligence could lead to reduced shareholder value, shut down of the business and net financial losses. These are the issues impacting the global financial sector, not only because the main reasons are not identified or the disruption to the customer is immediate, but also because they can result in a significant loss of money.

As per Andrew Haldane, Financial Stability Director at the Bank of England, “Cyber-risk has become a more pressing concern than economic depression and the Eurozone crisis, as it is a rapidly rising area of risk with potentially systemic implications”.

Comprehending the seriousness of the security risk is only a beginning. Financial institutions must establish an in-depth security intelligence strategy that would enable the financial institutions to have an insight into the perceived threats.

Financial institutions leverage top-notch analytics to get an understanding of:

  • The types of attacks that are occurring.
  • The probable source of the attacks.
  • The technology used by the cyber criminals.
  • Weak spots that could be exploited in the future.

Michael Davison, Banking and Financial Markets, IBM, stated,” There’s not another single issue that unites the interests of so many people at senior levels of banks. It unites technology, the CFO, security and compliance functions. But cybersecurity is also mission critical for people running lines of business and who are running P&Ls. So quite rightly it sits on the Board agenda. But there’s still work to do to educate Boards about the urgency of an effective response to the rapidly changing environment.”

Financial institutions must implement the following practices to get the balance between the required innovation and the related risk:

Establish a risk-conscious culture

  • An organizational transformation with an emphasis on zero tolerance towards a security failure must be established.
  • An initiative encompassing the organizational hierarchy to execute smart analytics and automated response competencies is needed to identify and resolve issues.

Safeguard the Working Environment

The functions in distinct devices must be examined by a centralized authority and the wide array of information in an institution must be categorized, tagged with its risk profile and circulated to the concerned personnel.

Security Design

The greatest problem with the IT systems and the unnecessary costs is from executing services initially and looking at security afterwards. Security has to be a part of the application from the first phase of design.

Ensure A Safe Environment

If the system is secure, security personnel can monitor every program that’s functioning; ensure it is ongoing and operating at optimal level.

Manage the Network

Organizations that route approved data through controlled entry points will be in a better position to identify and separate the malware.

Cloud Based Security

To prosper in a cloud scenario, organizations should possess the technology to operate in a secluded environment and track probable issues.

Involve Vendors

An organization’s security strategy must also involve its vendors and efforts must be made to establish the best practices among the vendors.

Financial firms have been a major target for malware attacks. Several aspects are impacting the financial sector. The direct connection between the breach of several personally identifiable information (PII) to the profitability has not been lost on the global financial stakeholders. This has led to the implementation of several global security projects.

A hazardous type of malware for online financial transactions is “Man-in-the-Browser” intrusions. It happens when a malicious program affects an internet browser. The program adjusts activities conducted by the user and in some instances, can initiate actions independently. It could lead to online stealing.

Financial institutions that can transform radically at a fundamental level, the way they function would be safeguarded.

The aim of enterprise security could initially emphasis on IT structures, it must be extended from the technology personnel & their systems to each individual within the organization, and all the stakeholders conducting business with it.

Financial firms must comprehend the data that they have, which must be made available to the system, where they can compare and develop a real understanding of the actual threats and contingencies that may compromise the business.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9456919

Dating Tricks To Find Your Credit Score Match

This could be a result of many factors. For instance, people with similar credit scores are likely to be in similar income brackets and as a result have similar tastes and habits. And, people who have similar credit scores (whether low or high) are also likely to have similar attitudes to life. Think about it. If your partner is scrupulously obsessed with keeping their credit score perfect and you on the other hand are a little more relaxed on the subject, having missed a few payments here and there – you’re likely to have pretty different personalities.

Bearing all this in mind, we have created 7 handy first date tricks to help you to find your credit score match. Read on to take advantage of these handy romantic (and financial!) hints.

Talk about mortgages.
OK, now mortgages may not be the most romantic topic on the face of it, however they are linked to several deeper aspects of our lives. For instance: do we want to settle down? Are we a homeowner? Do we want to share a home with someone we love, or would we rather travel the world with them? A negative credit score can affect your chances of getting a mortgage, and so why not approach the issue by talking about deeper topics such as whether you and your date see yourselves settling down in a love nest in a couple of years’ time. Now that can be a highly romantic topic of conversation!

Talk about marriage.
Did you know that if you are married, your partner’s negative credit score can affect your own? Discussing your respective attitudes to marriage on a first date is a good way of establishing whether your potential partner values stability – both financially and romantically. After all, these two types of stability often go hand in hand.

Check in with them about their past regrets.
Asking someone what their biggest regrets are is actually quite a common first date question! It’s away of getting to know someone. Sometimes, those regrets will be financial ones – debts got into, loans taken out for projects that headed off track. Or, maybe your future lover regrets being too careful with their money! Whatever answer you get to this question, you will be able to move on to ask them about their credit score if you like, or simply use the discussion to gauge their attitudes to risk and reward more generally.

Talk about careers.
Are you both members of the precariat? You can bond over that! Or, maybe you both work in the same financially stable profession. Either way, talking about your career prospects, hopes, and pasts is a brilliant way to get to know each other – and each other’s credit scores.

Ask what they would do with a large sum of money.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do? This is such a common first date question. If your date says ‘use the money to pay off all of my considerable credit card debts’ or ‘haul myself out of bankruptcy’, then you may get a fair idea of their credit score! Of course, if someone has a poor credit report repair, that does not mean that you should not date them at all – all this indicates is what their attitudes to life are like, and whether they match yours.

Ask them how organized they are.
Another great question which helps you to get to know both your partner’s personality and their credit score. If someone is very disorganized, they may find it hard to keep on making payments on time to their various creditors. A super organized person will usually be on top of their credit and their finances.

Just ask them about their credit score.
If you want to be honest with your date, why not just cut to the chase. Ask them what their credit score is like, and divulge yours too if you feel like it. You could open this conversation by saying ‘I just read a fascinating little article about how to find your credit score match on a first date… ‘

In conclusion, asking someone about their credit score on a first date is a great way to find out if you guys will be a good match in the longer term. And, you do not need to do so in a blunt way if you don’t want to: ease into the conversation with a discussion of general topics such as life plans and attitudes to money.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9663453

Reasons Why Online Bill Payment Is a Must

There was a time when people did not feel at ease with paying their bills online. Most of them find it hard to trust the security of transacting on the web, and thought they have no control over their money with online bill payment. When you submit your checking account details to your insurance company or utilities provider, there is a risk that you could be overbilled or that your identity could get stolen. It seemed safer to write checks and stamp envelopes, which is why many people stick to that practice.

However, this is no longer the case. More individuals are paying almost all bills you can imagine online – like credit cards, loans, mortgages, rent, tuition and utilities, to name a few.

Why then should you choose to pay your bills over the Internet? As a start, you will be able to save on time as well as costs of postage and late payment charges. Also, paying online is safer than through snail-mail. Your personal details are more prone to risks like theft when on print and in motion via the postal system. When you pay your bills with your credit card, it is easier to monitor your finances and, furthermore, you can save airline travel miles as well as win cash-based rewards.

There are three simple ways to make an online bill payment: via your bank, on the website of the biller or through a third-party. Each comes with pros and cons so the method you decide on depends on your personal choice. There are good reasons why you should move forward and pay your bills online.

Whenever online bill payment comes to mind, you might think it involves setting up automated drafts from your bank account to pay your bills. However, more and more people are choosing to pay their bills online using their credit cards. More merchants, as well, accept credit card payments online, so if you prefer to pay your bills – including mortgage or rent – using your plastic money, you can do it.

Without a doubt, online bill payment is easier and quicker than check and snail-mail method. Essentially, it gets rid of issues involving procrastination. You do not need to worry about forgetting that your bills are way past their due date. You can arrange a monthly payment schedule via your bank or billing company and therefore, always pay on time. Even if you pay your bill online every month rather than do automatic payments, you can still save on time, stamps and disappointment. Granting you are paying online at the last minute, you still save precious time because online transactions are faster than processing mailed payments.

Once you are online, you could possibly face the risk of hacking, viruses and spyware (automated payments reduce these risks), but there is a considerable risk when it comes to mail theft. It is better to avoid mailing paper statements, personal information and checks. Moreover, when you make an online bill payment, you always have an option if ever there is a dispute because you can track records of paid amounts and pay dates.

Therefore, in contrast to the former belief of other people, online bill payment is a lot safer than snail mail, coming with additional protection whenever you pay your bills with a credit card.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9544660

Best Tips to Avoid Squandering Your Inheritance

When you receive an inheritance, it is important to figure out what will you do with that money. If you do not plan properly on how to spend that money, it will slip out of your hand within no time. If you have already got the cash, or you are about to inherit the money, here are some five tips for using it properly.

Don’t Rush Your Decision

People generally do not allow the money for a cooling-off period, after receiving the cash. This is one of the worst mistakes that people usually do. They are always in a hurry of spending the money without thinking twice. You can save the money either in a money market account or savings for at least two months in order to plan your options. You can also put the money into a short-term deposit for saving it, because you have to pay penalty if you withdraw it before time.

Assess Where You Are

If you analyse your present financial situation, you can get an idea about your future move. You can plan to start a college fund for your children, add the money to your retirement savings or keep it as an emergency fund. Make a goal in life, so that you can achieve it with the help of your inheritance.

Be Realistic About Your Inheritance

A sudden chunk of money will you lead to towards a changed lifestyle. The things like a new car or a luxury vacation that you could not afford before will now seem to be very tempting. You have to be careful to control your temptation and save your money for future needs.

Establish Boundaries

It is evident that when you receive an inheritance, many people come with a try to have a share in the money. Bank or financial sales people may call you so that you invest your money in their products. You may also be asked to make a huge donation by any charitable organisation. So, it is very important to set boundaries and prepare yourself for saying no to the people.

Be Proactive

You may need some professional help to figure out how to save your inheritance. It is absolutely fine to hire a financial advisor, but do not make your decision solely as per his guidance. In the end, it will be you who will take the final decision. Do some research and set your goals before taking professional’s help.

Thus, though an inheritance is like a blessing to you, but along with it comes responsibility. Plan properly to make sure that your money lasts for a longer time.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9604707

Money Mistakes & Their Easy Fixes

Sometime during our lifetime we spend more than we planned, saved less than we should have or just made some horrible financial decisions. A few financial misfortunes here and there can add up to a lot of lost cash. Check out these common money mistakes and follow the advice to help put you on the path to a brighter financial future.

Money Mistake #1: No idea where your money is going.

What’s The fix? Making a budget is the best thing you can do to find out all the ways you are throwing away your money. At the end of the month you see you have spent $250 on fast food and $0 on paying down your high interest credit card then you need to make some spending adjustments.

Money Mistake #2: Not having an emergency fund.

What’s The Fix? Try and save a chunk of money in case something unexpected happens. It’s a good rule of thumb to have 3-6 months of expenses saved in case of an emergency. Set a goal and don’t stop saving until you hit your goal. If you’re not sure how much to save look at your monthly budget and figure out where you can cut to start saving for a rainy day.

Money Mistake #3: Waiting to save

What’s The Fix? Start saving NOW. Opening a retirement account in your 20s can potentially give you twice as much money as someone who starts one in there 30s.

My recommendation is to follow the Ten Cent Law. Take ten cents of every dollar you earn and put it in your savings account. It won’t be hard to Live on 90% of your income, and you’ll soon have a very nice nest egg.

Money Mistake #4: Using High-Interest Debt

What’s The Fix? If you are regularly overdrawing your checking account, using credit card advances or payday loans, you are essentially throwing your money away. Borrowing is OK, but those forms of debt are way to expensive. These forms of debt most always come when you have exhausted all other options.

Money Mistake #5: Paying off debts in the wrong order

Bigger balances on things like student loans and mortgages can seem overwhelming, but it’s the smaller credit card bills that can really hurt you.

What’s The Fix? Pay off the card whose balance is closest to its limit (having balances close to your limit lowers your credit score), and then start chipping away on the card with the highest interest rate. Also, refinance big-ticket balances (mortgage, etc.) to make payments a little more manageable.

Money Mistake #6: Spending money on items you could get for absolutely FREE

What’s The Fix? Did you know you can get music, books, magazines educational classes, book clubs, and even printing services at the local library? Just access their website and see what they have available. Also, get involved in a clothing swap, borrow from a friend instead of buying, and maybe talk a walk in the park or hike a national park instead of going to the mall. There are plenty of free options. You just need to find them.

Money Mistake #7: Buying NOW

If you MUST have things BEFORE you have money to cover them, you’ve fallen prey to the great American debt trap. Just look at interest charges – debt isn’t cheap.

What’s The Fix? Are you buying things before you have the money to pay for them? Remember, debt isn’t cheap. I believe in good things come to those who wait. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. If you can wait until later to buy that all important item and put money away to save for it, you won’t have to use high interest credit cards. That’s how you become debt free.

Money Mistake #8: Spending too much on housing

What’s The Fix? As we all know, it’s easy to spend way too much on housing. The rule of thumb is, you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on housing. If that doesn’t work for you, living with parents or roommates is a perfect strategy. And, when you decide to move out on your own make sure your mortgage or rent do not put your long-term financial goals in jeopardy.

Financial mishaps are certainly a part of life but it is easy to recognize your mistakes and learn from them. Make it your goal to stop making these common money mistakes. In the end, your piggy bank will thank you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9629676