Help to Get Out of Debt – Things You Can Do For a Debt Free Life

Do you need help to get out of debt? It is a common thing for people to look for help with their debt problems even for countries with a good economy. Today, with the current financial crisis and the economic recession, even more people are looking for ways on how to clear their debt. So if you are looking for a solution to this problem, do not be embarrassed since you are not alone. Thousands of people are faced with the same problem in the United States alone. So what can you do to save yourself from debt?

The first help to get out of debt should come from you. You have to take the initiative. Tell yourself that you want to get out of this problem and stick with it. Be determined and be willing to do what it takes in order to get out of your current debt problem. Now, it’s time to stop incurring debt. To do this, cut your   credit   cards  in half. This is you committing to start of a new life, financially. Although it will be hard at first especially for those who have become so used to using this “plastic money”, it is a necessary step to discourage you from incurring additional debt.

The next step for you to do is to call your creditors and tell them of your current situation and how you are planning to resolve it. Ask them for alternate payment methods that would satisfy both parties. Because of everything that is happening in the economy, most banks and creditors are willing to negotiate with their clients because this would be better for them instead of getting no money at all. However, if you don’t know exactly what to say, there are professionals out there who can help to get out of debt.

Services to help get out of debt are also becoming very common nowadays. There are companies that offer debt consolidation which basically means they will pay for all of your debts from  credit   cards , banks, etc. This helps you because the interest rates become lower since all you have to pay is the single company.

If you are desperate enough though, one way to get out of debt is to file for bankruptcy. This however, should only be used as a last ditch effort to save yourself from your creditors. Once you have filed for bankruptcy, you will entail a bad credit standing for the next ten years or so. But, it does help get out of debt in a fast way if you are very desperate already.

Getting out of debt can be a tricky business. It is easier to bury yourself than to climb back out of it. But the satisfaction and the breath of fresh air that follows after you’ve paid off all your debt is worth all the trouble. Once you are able to do this, take it as a life lesson. In the future, watch your spending habits and try to manage your money better. If not, you may fall in the pit of debt again and again.

Using a Credit Card Processing Terminal to Accept Cards in Your Physical Business

If you are operating a business in today’s modern world, you absolutely must have the capability of accepting  credit   cards . The old methods of payment are still alive, but many people are so used to using their card that they don’t bother to carry their checkbook, or even much cash. So if you can’t take their card, you will lose a sale.

In a physical business, in order to accept  cards , you will need to have a  credit   card  processing terminal, aka – a  credit   card  swipe machine. This terminal is used to read the information on the card, and to send it to your merchant bank, or third party processor, so they can check on the validity of the card and transfer the money from the sale to your account.

There are many options available for your POS processing terminal, and the cost of the machine varies from zero to several thousand dollars, depending on the features you need. ( The zero cost is deceptive, since some processors will give you a simple terminal, but then charge enough for their service to defray the cost. )

One feature that you will almost certainly want is the ability to print a receipt for both you and your customer to keep as a record of the transaction. Another useful option is a PIN pad, which will let you take debit cards by allowing the customer to enter their PIN code after swiping the card.

A recent innovation is the ability to use any touch tone phone, including a cell phone, to transmit information about a purchase to the processor. It obviates the need for you to buy any equipment at all.

If you want to accept  cards  when you’re not at your physical store, another method would be to use a wireless  credit   card  processing terminal. This comes in handy for making sales at trade shows.

And finally, you could buy a complete POS system that includes a computer, cash drawer,  credit   card  processing terminal, barcode scanner, and printer for as little as $1600.

For more useful information on what you need to accept  credit   cards  in a physical business, see the author’s website, as shown in the paragraph below.

European Car Rental – Top Ten Tips for Europe Travel – Tip #3: Insurance

Car rental insurance has to be one of the most widely misunderstood phenomena of the 21st century. In the 3+ years I have worked in this industry, close to 25% of all the issues that arise have to do with deductibles, authorizations, refunds and the geocentric validity of insurance. These situations tend to come about once a client has dropped off their vehicle and are presented with a bill that makes their eyes pop out of their head. Today we will discuss methods of avoiding this type of ocular discharge.

Let us first go over the types of insurance you will most likely be presented with when deciding what to rent for a car. There are five major types and a million different minor types, and new ones are being invented everyday. The ones you will have to keep an eye out for are:

1. Collision Insurance – Also known as CDW or LDW, collision insurance covers the body of the vehicle in the event of an accident. Please keep in mind that the last sentence is an exact measure of what it covers and when. In no case does CDW cover damage to windows / windshields, tires, roof, mirrors, interior, headlights, blinkers or undercarriage. On top of that, it only covers for an accident, not vandalism, and sometimes not for single party accidents (i.e.- running into something that isn’t another vehicle). Make sure you ask about these things when booking you reservation.

2. Theft Insurance – Simply put, it covers the car in the event that it is stolen. In order for this insurance to be valid you have to fill out a police report and alert the rental company (and   credit   card  company if you are under their policy) within 24 hours or you will be liable for the price of an entire car.

3. Liability Insurance – Also known as Third Party or TPL, liability is almost always included in a European rental. This will cover any damages incurred to things outside of the vehicle, such as people, buildings, property, etc. So when you happen to crash it through the front window of a crowded shopping mall, you can at least be thankful you don’t have to pay for it (unless your liability insurance has a ridiculously low limit, most have unlimited coverage).

4. Personal Accident Insurance – Or PAI, this covers medical expenses for people in your vehicle in the event of an accident. Typically this type of insurance can be circumvented with a good health plan here stateside and will almost always only cover you up to a few thousand dollars, up to 20 or 50 thousand dollars in the case of death or dismemberment, but we’re all hoping that doesn’t happen anyway.

5. Personal Effects Coverage – Covers your belongings up to a predetermined amount. Usually is not valid unless you can prove the items were in the car (so take pictures of your stuff while you are there if you want this insurance).

Keep in mind that if you are cited for negligence or drunk driving, most of these insurances will be null and void. So if you are going out for a night or several of partying, it’s best to leave the rental at the hotel and take alternate transportation.

Rental companies will always try to convince you that you need to take their insurance, but this isn’t always true. In fact, if you have a US or Canadian issued  credit   card , it very may well have collision and theft insurance already covered for you. Most gold and platinum cards have decent coverage policies, with little to no deductible. The cards that may cover abroad are American Express & Visa (up to 30 days continuous), Mastercard (15 days continuous) and Diners Club (usually 30 days but varies). Under no circumstances should you try to use a Discover card overseas. Though you may be told by your representative that they cover the insurance, you can bet that it will not be accepted at the rental counter.

Also, don’t expect to use your stateside car insurance policy in Europe. It won’t work. Even policies that you purchase stateside with the sole intention of covering you for car rental overseas will generally not be accepted at the counter. Sometimes you can get a policy that will reimburse you for expenses related to car rental accidents, but these are treated separately since they do not directly involve the rental company.

There are exceptions to this rule, particularly in Ireland, where currently the only coverage accepted is Mastercard Platinum. It can be assumed that in the future there may be more than one country that accepts only a certain type of  card  so make sure you mention to your  credit   card  company where you are picking up the car before taking their policy at face value. Get a copy of the policy in writing. Not only is this a good safety measure but it will speed up the process at the counter if the agent argues the validity of your coverage. Also, make sure to inquire into the claims procedures that your  credit   card  company uses to enact coverage and recoup deductibles in the event of an accident. Usually there is a lot of red tape involved, but in the end if you decide to use your  credit   card  coverage you can save anywhere from 50 to 500 dollars for a single week’s rental!

As there is an upside (saving money) and a downside (filing extensive paperwork) to using your  credit   card  coverage, the same is true of taking the insurance from the rental company. The downsides are that you have to pay the premium to begin with, and then if you get into an accident, there is usually a deductible between $200 to $2000 or more depending on the type of car that you will be liable for. In theory you are only supposed to pay for the amount of damage done but somehow the rental companies can make a dented bumper work out to cost $2000. The unfortunate thing is that you can’t really stay to contest it. Normally you have to jump on a plane to your next destination! The upside of this is that you can walk away without having to do anything else. That block on your  credit   card  will become a charge and that’s the end of it, until the bill gets to your house of course.

Understanding the insurance limitations and capabilities can be a mind-numbing practice. However it is one of the most important parts of the car rental experience, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Considering that the rental companies make a good portion of their profits on unused insurance, you can see why they would intentionally make it time-consuming and confusing to approach it any other way. God forbid you ever have to really apply this information to your car rental. The more prepared you are, the less you have a chance to lose during your experience. In the next chapter we will talk about how to prepare for the fun part: the actual driving.

Credit Repair Guide to Mending Your Credit Score

Is your goal to mend your credit standing?

Then you need to reflect on many variables before getting started on building your credit. Credit is good in many ways, and bad in a handful of ways. credit puts stress on us because we’ve to keep a rating in order to get the respect we deserve.

Most of us have our very own struggles in life and some of us more so than others do. There are numerous reasons a person’s credit Is flawed. we often require to maintain an increased degree of accuracy or else. Since, we don’t like ‘or else’ Then we have to perpetually look for a solution to keep our credit standing at a good rate. The good qualities about credit are it will give you a resolution when times are hard, and when you want to build credit.

To get started mending your credit then you must discover various methods that may help re-establish your credit ratings. One thing you are going to do Is get copies of your   credit  reports. the disadvantage Is you will have to pay for the reports unless you apply for a charge  card  or loan. Be sure to avoid applying for  cards  and loans as the more you apply the greater it affects your  credit  ratings.

when you make an application for a lending product or credit, the creditors will ask for copies of the credit report, which adds points to your credit score and it stays on your report for around 3 years. the more points you possess, it will take away from your score, that is certainly more important than your credit. As soon as you make an application for a  credit   card  or loan, then you definitely have one advantage of getting all 3- credit  reports free.

Today everyone is checking credit, so your score is always affected in one way or another. At the moment nearly, every business will check your credit history, so for anybody who is buying an automobile avoid allowing the sales reps to check your credit until you know this is certainly what you want.

it really Is helpful to have an updated credit report, which most lenders will inform you “oh we can not use that.”This Is ok; tell the reps” you aren’t checking my credit until I’m sure this is exactly what I want to do.” the credit report offers them an sketch of what they will be using.

Understanding The Fact

As soon as you have made application for your credit reports, it is possible to move onto phase 2. When you have had any charges on your credit report, that seem to be suspect You’ll want to speak to the 3 credit bureaus immediately, petitioning the charges.

the claims against your report have an impact on you, this means you have the right to file a claim with the Fair Crediting Reporting Act (FCRA). in 1971, the us Congress passed a law to protect us against claims filed on our credit report that don’t belong to us.

Reap the benefits of this law. Geting a grasp on the steps to credit repair Is vital so you can get on the road to building credit. After you have disputed your  credit  history errors, you should next plan to wait a minimum of half a year before trying to get a loan or a  credit   card . After about six months, virtually all credit bureaus take off the errors completely.

Be careful that sometimes its possible you have to argue with the bureaus, Since in some cases they neglect to remove the errors. If you have any delinquencies against your credit file Be sure to look after them right away if possible. While you wait, the six months be sure that you carry on paying your bills on time. If you do not have the money to pay the bill entirely, Make sure you make acceptable payments on the bill to avoid a bad credit score reports.

Those that intend to apply for a lending product later, it is important to meet all payments necessary of you. In addition, it’s wise to maintain an updated copy of your respective credit reports always ready if possible. we are advised to monitor our credit reports regularly so that we know where we stand with our credit. In the event that your goal is to heal your credit, taking the initial step would be the beginning of building an ideal credit score and rating.

Comprehending credit Files

should you be in debt and nagged daily by creditors you need to understand your credit Files to mend your credit. for anybody who is delinquent in payments your credit score Is affected, and often you can’t apply for a loan. There can be exceptions But if you can obtain a loan or bank  card  you’ll be paying high interest rates. your  credit  file determines your fate in life.

If your credit history has a low score most landlords, bankers, or providers will turn you down when you apply for a loan. But if your  credit  file indicates you happen to be the lowest risk then you most certainly will Benefit from getting a loan, apartment,  credit   card , or whatever you make an application for.

credit ratings are a ‘numerical’ system that determines an individual’s credit rate and score. credit ratings generally rate from ‘300 to 850’ the scores are higher If you have an outstanding credit rate. For those who make an application for a lending product and the loan companies are unable to find your credit report you are often viewed as being a mishap. what this means Is you, have not established a credit history and no one can definitely tell if you’re a good or a bad risk.

This is the reason why you have to establish  credit  at an early age. when you make an application for variety store  cards ,  credit   cards , electricity  cards  or other items that give you  credit , then you definitely are on your path to establishing a  credit  history and your file Is on record. the challenge with applying for  credit   cards  or loans, or any type of credit, Is that Whenever we commence our parents in many cases are co-signers. therefore If we cannot make payments our mum and dad are obligated to repay the debts.

The Fact remains that If we make an application for employment, make an application for an condominium, or take out an insurance policy we’re creating credit. your credit Files tend to be stored in computers at TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. the law protects us to some degree when it comes to credit repair. To understand all the legalities, along with how our credit file affects us is a central feature to repairing our rating.

credit bureaus are coordinated and watched by the Federal Trade Commission under the requirements of the Federal Fair credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and follows up with the State Laws. when you experience credit Files with inconsistencies the Fair credit Reporting Act covers you in the sense that it necessitates the credit bureaus to delete or make the info obsolete on your credit report.

this guards you if you are a victim of Identity Theft, or almost every fictitious accusations made against you. the credit bureaus are needed by the Laws to list accurate information on credit Files by gathering the acceptable information against you or for you.

The law protects you in the sense that it regulates the credit bureaus by only permitting them to list negative reports against you for a limited time. The law Also regulates who can see your credit file. if you’re trying to find mortgage finance, license, public assistance, insurance, landlords, and courts can request your credit file without your permission.

However, if you are seeking a job under certain circumstances the employers will require a written authorization form from you. Utilities are under The law and these companies cannot deny you services despite the fact that you have a bad credit score.

as we discussed There is certainly many services able to check your credit report. the drawback Is Whenever your credit Is checked, points are added to your file. the more points added to your credit file affects your credit so it is best to be aware and only apply for what you need.

In case you have adverse  credit  and trying to repair your  credit  then you will be sure to call for copies of the  credit  file,and understand your score on the file, and if you think you happen to be a risk i suggest you apply for loans or  credit   cards  after you have cleared your  credit  report.

Take Observation

Fixing your credit takes observation on your part. We often get two kinds of bills in the mail. Bills that are classified as past due and bills that happen to be recent. Truth be told ignoring your bills is only delaying and it doesn’t help fix your credit.

For those who have current bills and you have no overdue charges make sure you take care of these bills first, since by paying this tends to help you stay out of the credit bureaus. It’s important you have a steady cash situation to get out of debt. In case your job doesn’t pay enough to make ends meet, you might want to look for a job that pays better wages.

This will help you be free from debt faster. When you get your up-to-date bills looked after you next must give attention to your late bills. In the event you haven’t reached the credit bureau yet, deal with the bill immediately. Working closely within law, I can inform you that should you make even a minute payment towards a bill it might probably help you from hitting the credit bureau. The fact is, should you be making any type of effort to pay off a bill it would keep you out of Court.

The most important step to mending credit Is staying up to date with your bills if by any means possible. When you think you can not make a payment It’s wise to make contact with your creditor letting them know there will be a delay on payment.  credit   card  companies often prefer that you just call them to work out a payment scheme and every now and then creditors will even decrease your monthly obligations, or maybe your bill. The very best solution then Is observing, and striving to repair your credit.

Many people have house payments, car loans,  credit   cards , and other forms of loans, including Utilities. There is certainly two types of debts that eat our money, so to understand these debts is a central feature to correcting your credit. Secured debts are any debts which have collateral attached. To explain your mortgage can be described as a secured loan that once you miss a payment you may be living in the streets. Car loans are a guaranteed way of getting back on your feet again for those who miss a few payments.

As a consequence, car loans are secured, and it Is your obligation to make payments. Some department store plastic cards are secured, for the reason that they ask you to definitely put up collateral if you miss payments on the merchandise purchased. Unsecured debts are Utilities, rent, personal loans from family or friends, student education loans, most major  credit   cards , and the like. Because of this it is more important to pay off secured loans vs unsecured loans. Secured loans again are house payments, car payments and so forth.

You might have more to lose by ignoring secured loans than what you have to lose by ignoring unsecured debts. Should you have a mortgage and think you cannot make ends meet, you need to check into a lot of the possibilities from your lender. There might be a second home loan available that gives cash back or other great benefits that could help you to get out of debt and repair your credit.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. For anybody who is seeing a poor outlook however it isn’t so out of hand that you just lost complete control, get up and take your control back. You will find mortgages available that provide overpayments and underpayments.

Therefore you are able to over pay one month against your loan and underpay against your loan the following month. Many of the loans even provide a vacation pay. If you don’t want to embark upon vacation you can use the bucks to pay for your mortgage. These types of loans can often be paid sooner than other types of loans.

When you have  credit   cards , it might be wise to make an application for a  credit   card  that lets you pay off other cards. Often there is an answer to getting out of debt. Again, the most important tool for getting away from debt is always to keep a close watch over your bills, pay off any secured bills first, and work your way through each bill as you go.

Credit Card Processing for Lawyers – Attorney Privilege

If you run an individual law practice or a small law firm, but profits aren’t quite what you had hoped they would be, you may be surprised to learn that accepting  credit   cards  can be the solution you’ve been waiting for.  Credit   card  processing for attorneys can help improve your ability to collect accounts receivable and thereby improve your cash flow and profits.  Credit   card  processing for attorneys isn’t as complicated or expensive as many people think it is, and it has many surprising benefits.

Many attorneys wait until they have finished their work to bill the client, but this opens the door for clients to receive services without paying for them. It is much better to request retainer fees and other advance payments upfront. When these payments can be made via  credit   card , clients are surprisingly receptive to the idea. In part, this is because they know that if for some reason you don’t deliver those services, they can always initiate a chargeback (disputing a charge) through their  credit   card  company. It also helps that for many people  credit   cards  don’t feel like “real” money, so they are more willing to make advance payments before having received your services.

Small law firms or individual law practices that bill their clients only after they have provided services are often stymied by the need to be their client’s advocate while simultaneously being a creditor. These two roles place opposing demands on the attorney. It is difficult to passionately argue in your client’s best interest when there are outstanding bills to be paid. Both the lawyer and the client feel uncomfortable in that situation. Fortunately,  credit   card  processing for attorneys provides an easy solution.

When you let your clients pay by  credit   card , you free yourself of the role of creditor, instead allowing the  credit   card  company to play that role. In this way, you can focus on your primary role of advocate, ensuring that you act in the client’s best interest at all times. As described above, this is especially true when you accept the  credit   card  payment as an upfront retainer fee, so that you receive the funds in advance. After all, you can always refund money to your client later, but it’s much better to have the money before the work is done than to request payment (perhaps in vain) after you have finished all the work.

Many attorneys are leery of letting their clients use  credit   cards  as a payment method, because they believe that their practices are too small to justify the expense of  credit   card  processing, as it will negatively impact their bottom line. They have heard horror stories about the hidden fees and misleading policies associated with traditional  credit   card  processing services, and therefore prefer to rely on cash and check payments. Yet  credit   cards  are often the simplest, most direct way for your clients to pay you, and the process isn’t as expensive as you may fear.

Traditionally, attorneys and other professionals working individually had to secure an expensive, traditional merchant account and then buy or lease a  credit-card-swiping  terminal. Then, each time they wanted to process a payment from a client, they had to make a carbon copy of the card and call to request authorization. This was not only expensive, but also time-consuming and a distraction from the professional’s main line of work. Fortunately, today there are better options – specifically mobile  credit   card  processing for attorneys.

Small business owners and professionals, including many attorneys, find that mobile  credit   card  processing is an excellent option for their work environment. It allows them to accept  credit  or debit  card  payments from their clients wherever the work is done, without being tied to a fixed office. If you have a telephone, cell phone, or PDA (and who doesn’t?), then you already have all the equipment you need for mobile  credit   card  processing. With this technology, you can easily request advance payment of all the anticipated fees, accepting your clients’ payment information on the spot.

Mobile  credit   card  processing for attorneys is quick and simple to get started. First, you will need to get a merchant account, enabling your clients’  credit   card  payments to be deposited into your bank account. You may be able to apply for one through your regular bank, but this may be time-consuming and difficult, especially if you don’t have an excellent credit history. A much simpler and more straightforward process is to use the services of a merchant account provider that will help you open a merchant account with minimal fees as quickly as possible. The pragmatic “Dial Pay” or “Accept by Phone” program is an affordable, easy-to-setup program, offering you the convenience of using any phone to dial a toll-free number.

At the voice prompt, you enter the following information: your merchant identification number (provided by the merchant account processor), the client’s  credit   card  number with expiration date and the sale amount of the transaction. Other optional key-in codes exist such as the merchant processor’s bank ID (again provided by the merchant account processor), the customer code of the cardholder and the sales tax. It is advisable, although not required, to expand the dial pay program and key in the customer’s address (so that you can perform an address verification match) and the CVV2 code. The CVV2 is a security feature of the  credit   card , found in the signature panel on the back of Visa, MasterCard and Discover  cards , three digits long; American Express  cards  reveal the CVV2 code on the upper right hand side of the  card , above the  credit   card  number, and contains four digits. Inputting the CVV2 code ensures that the client has the  credit   card  in his/her possession.

While keying in more information will lengthen the time to complete the transaction, it is better to include more information than less so that a given transaction will not downgrade to a non-qualified status, the highest discount (percentage) rate that can be assessed.

Dial pay offers inherent advantages, including the following:

– It is relatively inexpensive to setup and use. While the discount and transaction fees are typically higher per transaction than those offered through other  credit   card  programs, the monthly fee is lower than just about any other method to accept  credit   cards . In addition, many merchant account providers waive standard  credit   card  fees for their dial pay program, such as the batch fee, monthly minimum fee, etc.;

– The learning curve to use dial pay is not steep and attorneys can figure out the process within a couple of minutes. (I advise all lawyers to test the dial pay system with their own  credit   card  first so that they can become comfortable with the dial pay process.);

– It can be employed just about anywhere you are – as long as you have a working phone;

– Record keeping is relatively easy. Monthly statements will be mailed to the merchant, listing all dial pay transactions for the month;

– Transaction information is easily accessible. You can track batch totals and daily activity by dialing the dial pay authorization number and getting back into the system. Online reporting may also be available. Of course, any merchant account provider will have a history of your transactions, too; and finally,

– Dial pay offers  credit   card  processing capability to attorneys who do not operate their practice out of a physical location and/or those without an Internet presence.

Expounding on the inherent benefits of a dial pay program is not meant to negate exploring the option of accepting  credit   cards  via a wireless or stationary  credit   card  terminal. Depending on the nature of the lawyer’s circumstances, either payment vehicle may prove useful. Alternatively, a virtual terminal – a web-based interface where the clients’  credit   card  information is securely entered manually – may easily fulfill processing needs. (Please note that the discount and transaction fees associated to swipe a card are also less than the rates assessed to key in a transaction. However, it is imperative to examine all of a program’s relevant rates, including any startup and/or possible termination fees, to make an informed decision as to which service to utilize.)

In order to take your law firm’s profitability to the next level, lawyers need to investigate  credit   card  processing options as a means to more effectively collect fees from clients for present, future, and even past, services rendered. In turn, clients will appreciate the ease and convenience of making payments using their debit and  credit   cards .

Once in place, your merchant account should run on automatic mode, causing little, if any disruption in your accounts receivable process. Attorneys can then concentrate on their core competency – feeling unburdened – knowing that they will be compensated for their efforts!

Will Chip Technology Really Make Your Credit Card More Secure?

The government is promising to make your  credit   cards  more secure. In fact they are going to require that every card have an embedded chip built-in by fall of 2015.

The goal is provide better security than the old swiping method and hopefully avoid the problems of fraud caused by hackers at Target and other retailers.

The old swipe machines will eventually be laid to rest. So sometime probably after October, 2015, retailers will be liable for fraudulent purchases as a result of using one of the older swiping devices.

Every other economic power nation uses these chip cards, the U.S. is the last to come online. Why?

 Credit   cards  companies have fought this due to the pricier expense of card production. Payment terminals are also costly to upgrade causing retailers to turn the other cheek. The complexity of the entire U.S.  credit   card  system is also an area of concern as the two main  credit   card  players, Visa and Mastercard, are interfaced between retailers seeking easy transactions and banks seeking secure transactions.

While adoption of chip cards has slogged along, fraud in the U.S. has risen. Those magnetic stripe cards, in use in the U.S. since the 1970s, are easy to clone.

According to a report from BI Intelligence, The U.S. accounted for 51% of global payment fraud costs in 2013. The cost of U.S. payment card fraud grew by 29% in 2013, from $5.5 billion in 2012 to $7.1 billion last year.

Experts claim the chipped cards will make it all safer. Three firms have combined for the most widely used chipped card called “EMV”, representing those that developed the technology Europay, Mastercard and Visa.

EMV cards include a microchip that creates single-use codes for every transaction instead of relying on the card number, making the data useless if it’s stolen. Some experts believe these this technology could cut some form of  credit   card  fraud in half.

Citing a United Kingdom study, a research firm, Aite Group, said following chip card adoption, counterfeit card fraud dropped in the U.K. to $67 million in 2013 from a whopping $151 million in 2004. Fraud from lost and stolen cards also dropped by a third during the same period.

So how are the chip cards used? One way is to require buyers to enter a passcode personal identification number or PIN after the chip has been read. This effectively protects them from both counterfeit cards and the use of lost and stolen cards.

The other type of transaction reads the chip, but then asks for the signature. A little like what we have today without the magnetic stripe.

It appears the chip and sign method is what the U.S. will use first. Walmart is first on-board, currently the only major retailer accepting chip cards in its stores. Square has announced they are launching new technology that will use the chip and sign methodology on mobile devices, a boost for retailers. Some however believe thieves will adjust to this quickly and fraud will occur at current levels.

Until the PIN and chip method are fully in place, don’t expect to feel fully secure from  credit   card  fraud. Experts believe it could take several years for this system to be put in place unless another major breach occurs and consumers start screaming for a major change.

Credit Repair Secret – Techniques For Quick Credit Repair

Credit repair secrets aren’t really secrets. They are simply credit facts that most of the general public isn’t aware exist. Most times we think that were always on the losing end of the equation when it comes to credit and the fact is that were not. There are many laws set up to protect us. This doesn’t mean they don’t get violated. It simply means that if they are violated we don’t do anything about it. We tend to shy away from it because we don’t understand credit and what were doing.

With a little education about credit you can put these so called credit repair secrets to work for you and capitalize on the mistakes and violations collection companies make. A quick example of a common violation is the re-aging of debt. What this simply means is that a derogatory account has been given a new derogatory date that is more recent. This effectively extends the number of months or years the derogatory account stays on ones credit, which in turns damages the credit score for a longer period of time than is allowed by the statute of limitations.

This is a common occurrence but unless you know what you’re looking for you won’t be able to tell one from the other. An account is considered to be bad and starts to count down the reporting period 30 days after is goes delinquent. If as mentioned above it went bad on Feb 2010 but it was reported by a collection company to have been April 2010, there’s the violation. Sixty additional days of derogatory reporting is the violation. The collection company should be using the same data that the original creditor has. With this credit repair secret technique many accounts are deleted from consumers credit reports every year.

Credit Cards And Prevention Of Identity Theft

Identity theft is fast becoming a very serious crime, in the UK. Its repercussions for the individual who has his or her identity stolen can be very serious and frustrating. Claiming back your own identity from the thief can be a slow and painful experience, often taking many months, to be resolved. During this time, you may find it difficult to get a loan or a mortgage, even after the thief has stopped using your identity.

The biggest use of identity theft is in the hijacking of credit cards and information used to obtain new cards in the real user’s name. The best way to deal with these unscrupulous thieves is to not be caught out by their clever tricks and loose your identity in the first place. A very large percentage of cases of identity theft stemmed from thieves obtaining information from credit cards and related documents. It is essential to safeguard your card and the associated paperwork.

Most of it is common sense, but on the other hand, if you’re not prone to being a thief yourself. You will probably never think of the clever moves that these nasty individuals use to get at the information that they need.

The first thing is that you should never allow anyone to borrow your credit card or get access to the card numbers. You may of course have perfect trust in a close member of your family, and they never deliberately do you any harm. If you give your sister your card to use one day, will she no all the do’s and don’ts to avoid identity theft? Will she inadvertently give away your information that will then be used by identity thieves. This is why it is best never to let anyone else use your card even if your total trust in them.

A lot of credit card fraud can happen simply because you do not keep your eye on your card and who is handling it, and what they are doing with the card. When handing over your card is very important to try to not let her out of your sight, even for a few seconds.

If you are at a restaurant, and the waiter comes over and you give him a card. The waiter will go off somewhere out of your sight to process it. This is a very bad idea, once out of your sight is incredibly easy for a waiter or other staff to electronically record all information from your card.

This process is performed with a piece of equipment smaller than a cigarette packet, and takes less than a second. If you are going to somewhere like a restaurant, or a bar, where the card may be out of your possession or sight. Don’t use it use it, use cash, if you don’t have the cash go to the bar or cashier’s desk and make your payment in person. Do not give your card to someone who takes it away, out of your sight.

The same can be true in shops, although it is not so much of a problem. In normal retail, outlets because you are usually stood with the cashier, do not let the cards out of your sight. Don’t wander off while they process, your payment, and don’t let your eyes look around the store, remember, the process of stealing your cards information takes less than a second.

Laws governing credit cards in the UK states that transaction receipts should not display your full card number only the last few digits. This is a welcome move by the government, but it is not a 100% guarantee that there will not be information on the receipt that an identity thief can use to their advantage. Do not leave the receipt behind always take them with you.

Credit card applications drop through the letterbox with alarming regularity. Each of these application forms is a goldmine for the potential thief. It is so simple for the thief to apply for that credit card that you did not want. It is easy for him to change the delivery address for the card on the application. Make sure to tell your postman, that you want him to push the post all the way through your letterbox. If you decide, you do not wish to make an application don’t just throw away the paperwork or even rip it up. Make sure shred it, to totally destroy it.

Using your credit card online can also be a tricky situation, although contrary to popular belief, online transactions are actually safer than the physical transactions with your card. Care must still be taken with all online purchases. The best option when making purchases online is to use major corporations that are household names. These are usually online versions of major department stores are highly trusted retailers.

Of course, not all things can be purchased from these types of companies. So when performing transactions with an online company that you do not know. You should make absolutely sure that their address (for payments) at the top of your screen begins with HTTPS not the usual HTTP. The ‘S’ stands for, secure, if you do not see this on the payment page your information can be read by anybody.

You should never respond to urgent e-mails from your bank that tells you that there is a problem with your credit card and you need to resolve it is immediately online. Nearly all these e-mails are fraudulent, if you think this may be a genuine communication about your credit card. Then call the number you will find on the back of your card.

Lastly, make absolutely sure that you check through every transaction on your credit card statement; try to compare them to your actual receipts. Any transaction that you cannot recall should be considered dubious until you have confirmed the payment with your credit card company. You should always check that every transaction is valid; it is not only that a few pounds may be lost to credit card fraud. It may also indicate that someone is using a duplicate of your real card, or that your identity has been stolen

There is no real reason to be unduly concerned about using a credit card. As long, you follow the very simple and easy rules above it is unlikely that you will have any serious problems with identity theft, involving your credit cards.

Credit Card Guide Australia

This guide has been written to inform you about getting the right  credit   card  to suite your personal needs. There are hundreds of types of cards it is imperative you select the correct card. Selecting the correct card could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run or give you rewards such as free travel, appliances and other benefits.

What is a  credit   Card ?

It is a plastic  card  with a magnetic strip, issued by a bank or financial institution to a customer to buy goods and or services on  credit . Also called a charge card. Credit is money given to a customer to borrow over an extended period of time. Banks and financial institutions make money by charging an interest on money lent to the customer. Generally  credit   cards  charge a high interest rate this is because a  credit   card  is designed for small purchase for short periods of time.

What are the major banks in Australia?

Australia has four major banks with triple A (AAA) credit rating. This is the highest level of credit rating a bank or financial institution can achieve. The 4 major banks for Australia are:

  • Commonwealth Bank
  • St. George Bank
  • Westpac Bank
  • ANZ Bank

These banks are always recommend for borrowing money because they are most secure and regulated. However they don’t always provide the cheapest line of credit available. Sometimes smaller banks and financial institutions  card  offer cheaper  credit  and a better deal with better customer service. Remember to research all small banks and financial institutions, read the fine print on there contacts.

What  credit   card  suits me best?

There are many types of  credit   cards  on the market today, the shear amount of  credit   cards  can make picking your  credit   card  a difficult decision, and so we have divided all the  credit   cards  on the market into 6 categories.

Balance Transfer

A balance transfer  credit   card  is great for when you currently have a debit on another  credit   card  (generally over AUD $5000) and you would like to swap it onto your new  credit   card  with a new bank or financial institution for a lower interest rate. You will be given the option depending on the  credit   card  for 6 months 12 months or lifetime interest rate, The lower the time the better the savings. Essentially you can move from card to card taking the lowest 6 month interest rate.

Debit  Card  (pre-paid)

A debit  card  is essentially a pre-paid  credit   card . This kind of  card  is great for customers who wish not to have  credit  access. Most Customers who use this  card  generally purchase items online, because this  card  works exactly the same as a  credit   card  bar the fact you must put money into the card before you can purchase your good or service.

Frequent Flyer

A frequent flyers card is for customers who wish to get point for purchases and transfer these point into rewards such as free plane flights to locations depending on how many points you receive will translate to how far you can go. To gain points you must purchase items. The average points per dollar is 3 points to 1 dollar.

Low Interest

Low interest  cards  are for customers who whish to keep debit on there  credit   cards  for extended periods of time, ergo if you wish not to pay off your debit and just paid the interest then this is the  credit   card  you would use.

No Annual Fee

No annual fee  cards  are for customers who do not use there  credit   cards  frequently.


Rewards Cards are for customers who frequently use their card for all or most purchases, for frequently using your card your bank will reward you with points, at the end of the year or specified time line you can trade your points for goods and sometimes services. The catch on these cards is that if you don’t use your point within the allocated timeline you will lose your points.

Information for Application?

What are does the law require you to be to get a  credit   card ?

  1. You must: Be 18 years of age or older.
  2. You must meet your banks credit rating requirements
  3. You must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have a current Australian visitors visa
  4. You will need to prove your gross annual income on paper
  5. Your employer’s details (name and address)
  6. Details of your own home if you have one (estimated value, amount owing on the property)
  7. Details of any existing loans (investment property loans, personal loans, leasing,  credit  and store  cards )
  8. Any savings, investments and cheque account details (account numbers and balances)
  9. Asset or investment details (value of property, shares, car, furniture and other assets)

Are you a new Bank customer? If you’re a new Bank customer, you will need to go to your bank branch and provide personal identification, along with the two most recent original pay-slips for the primary applicant. Personal Identification documents include one of the following documents containing your photo: Passport

  1. Australian Drivers / Firearms licence
  2. Proof of Age card
  3. Or two different documents from this list: Birth Certificate
  4. Citizenship Papers
  5. Pension Card

How to increase your chances of Approval

To help increase your chances of getting approval on a  credit   card . Run a credit history check on your self. Visit the Veda Advantage, Dun and Bradstreet, and Tasmanian Collection Service, these website will give you a detailed report on your credit, these website can take up to 10 working days to provide you your report.

  • Read though your credit report and check it for inaccuracies and other data which is incorrect. Resubmit it.
  • Your credit report is just one factor a credit provider may take into account when assessing your application for a loan. Other factors may include your employment, your income, your savings and any existing liabilities.
  • It is recommended that when you apply for a  credit   card  that you have been working for a minimum of 12 months at the same company.
  • Make sure your bank account show that you have money in it and that you keep money in it (save). This will show the bank or financial institution that you have the ability to repay your credit debit.
  • Bankruptcy in most cases will hamper your efforts in finding credit. If you have been bankrupt you may need to see a professional about fixing your credit.
  • Other liabilities such as mortgage personal loans and car loans can be a factor when the banks review your  credit   card  application. Be sure you can make repayments on all your liabilities comfortably.

If you have been rejected for a  credit   card  application you can always resubmit your application in 6 months (or less in some cases), contact your selected bank and discuses why you were declined. Once you know why you were not approved you can seek to correct your situation and then resubmit.

The Credit Card Valve Is NOT Easy to Control

During a recent edition of CNN’s Your Money Matters a caller shared that they had exceeded their credit card’s maximum line of credit thus triggering the default 29.9% interest rate and was trying to solicit advice as to how to deal with this daunting financial problem. One of the guest pundits responded first by stating that the caller had fallen into a trap largely of their own making.

The show’s host, Ali Belshi, obviously taken aback by such a pointed response by his guest, countered that at least when the mob was in the loan shark business, the victims didn’t have to put up with that kind of self-righteous nonsense. As his guest smiled at Belshi’s sharp reply Belshi went on to allege that the banks and credit card companies prey on the poorest of us and by doing so this constitutes an almost criminal act. He added that personally he has no credit card debt and has not carried a balance on any of his cards for a long, long time but he is well-compensated by CNN and also has a good education. Belshi’s concluding statement on the matter was that in these difficult economic times, it’s not easy for the large majority of folks that haven’t been as lucky as he.

Belshi’s allegory brought to mind a picture of the 1960’s stereotypical loan shark and got me wondering just how we got from there to here. After a little bit of research I discovered that back in the sixties and early seventies most states capped not only the amount of a loan but how much interest lenders could charge. If you needed more than the bank would provide you either had to scale back your needs or seek out a more “creative avenue” for financing. This “creative avenue” often led to the neighborhood loan shark.

However, in 1978 the United States Supreme Court made a ruling that resulted in the elimination of the usury laws that created the limits I cited previously and the lenders haven’t looked back since. As a result, most neighborhood loan sharks vanished around the same time disco died.

This landmark decision helped expand the availability of credit, which has been a double-edged financial sword for most all Americans. Consider this: In 1977 according to the Federal Reserve only 38% of households even had a credit card; now over 75% of us do. Most telling of all however is the fact that in 1977 just under 10% of those considered part of the “lower class” had a credit card; today that number is north of 40%.

Not surprisingly, as the availability of credit soared, so did the number of bankruptcies. Shockingly though, instead of reinstating the laws that existed up until the Nixon administration or, at the very least, instituting interest rate caps of some kind, Congress simply made it more difficult for most families to declare bankruptcy.

The delighted lending industry took advantage of the situation further by extending even more credit to these folks by sending out more than a billion credit card offers every year.

Especially heinous was the fact that with these mailings, they took special aim at the highest-risk households (defined by this industry as those that already had used more than 30% of their available credit line). Is there any wonder that this whole “house of cards” collapsed in 2008 resulting in the worst economic failure this country has experienced since “The Great Depression”?

Admittedly, Congress did pass legislation in 2010 that has put an end to some of the credit card companies’ most egregious practices however these entities have very powerful lobbyists in Washington, so there still remains plenty of loopholes for them to exploit American households through. As a result, the best way to beat them at their own game and protect yourself along the way is to not carry any balances on your credit cards.

Credit cards by themselves are not evil; in fact, when responsibly used, they can be a huge convenience. They remain the very best vehicle for building a credit history not to mention the ability to get cash 24/7/365 via any ATM machine. But if you become addicted to this convenience and begin carrying balances on multiple cards, they can become an economic cancer with disastrous consequences. Unlike in the past, these potential ramifications now transcend every income bracket which is the main reason why it’s so important for every responsible consumer to learn to live within their means.