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Free Credit Report

Everyone in the United States is entitled to a free credit report every year from the three consumer credit reporting bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. You may request your report from all three at the same time or you can do it individually. If you live in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey or Vermont you are entitled an additional credit report.

Adverse Action Notice

I recently received an adverse action notice, because I was declined for an auto loan through my credit union. The reason being my income was too low even though my credit score was over 700.

What exactly is an adverse action notice? This form tells you why you were declined and what action the bank performed. The two parts in a notice are the banks actions, and the main reason for credit denial, account termination, or other action.

Placing a Fraud Alert on your Credit Report

You should only place a fraud alert on your credit report if you know someone is trying to open bank accounts or credit cards in your name. What a fraud alert does is force lenders to verify it is really you who is applying for a loan. They do this by calling your home or work home and verifying your information. A fraud alert prevents any credit account being opened without you proving you are opening it. Credit accounts include; credit cards, car loans, cell phone contracts, mortgages, charge cards, and more.

Credit vs Cash

Many people are unwilling to use credit cards because they are afraid of the interest. However, if you manage your credit wisely, there is no need to fear it. Using credit cards is more beneficial than cash not only because they are safer and much more secure, but it's less hassle. With credit cards you can earn rewards, build your credit, pay bills easier, and all without a trip to the bank!

What’s In Your Credit Score

A credit score is how lenders estimate how much risk a particular applicant has of not repaying loaned money. By examining a person’s credit score, a bank can determine how much money to loan and at what interest rate. The lower the credit score, the more "risk" a bank would take in loaning money, so the higher the interest rate. There are three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. These bureaus use the Fair Isaac method to determine your credit score.

Personal Finance Help for College Students

I know from personal experience that being a college student and balance finances can be very difficult. My memory is still fresh since I only graduated a year and a half ago. I am writing this article to help college students and recent graduates avoid the same financial problems I encountered. This article will not be discussing student loans or how to consolidate them; hopefully we will have a guide on that subject soon. Instead I will be talking about handling topics like paying for an apartment, grocery shopping, and buying and selling textbooks.

Balance Your Checkbook

Make sure you balance your checkbook. I know it can be tedious work, but it must be done. Every time you make a withdrawal or deposit make a note in your checkbook. Depending on how active your bank account is I would suggest setting aside time to balance your checkbook once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month.

How to Opt-Out of Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers

One thing I hate receiving in the mail are pre-approved credit card offers. They are annoying, take up my time, and are unwanted. Although sometimes I do like to peruse through some of them to see what kind of ridiculous offer they are proposing.

To stop receiving them in the mail you can call 1-888-5OPT-OUT, or you can write to:

Fix an Error on Your Credit Report

If you have recently checked your credit report from one of the three bureaus and noticed an error on it, you should really try and fix it. Having an error on your credit report can be very detrimental to your finances. It can mean higher interests rates for your mortgage or being denied for a credit card. Finding an error may indicate that there is a simple mistake; someone may have a similar name to yours and therefore some of your information may be mixed up, or you could be the victim of identity theft. You can find out how to check your credit report for free.

How to Write a Check

First I will explain the parts on the check. In the top left corner is the name on the account holder and their address. On the top right corner is the check number. There are four lines in the middle of the check. The top right line is for the date. You write the date that the check was written on. The next line you write to who the check is for, a person’s name or the name of the company. The box to the right is where you put the amount you wish to pay.