Know How...

Sep 14th 2017

Know How... 344


Protecting your credit and smart finances.
New episodes every Thursday at 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific / 19:00 UTC.
Category: Help & How To

Immediate Protection
* Fraud Alert
  - This is a service offered by all the CRC (Credit Reporting Company)
  - It is to be used if you are CONCERNED about fraud/ID Theft
  - Good for 90 days
  - Any time a lender wants to open a new line of credit, they are informed that they should contact you FIRST to verify your identity.
  - Only need to place a FA with ONE of the CRCs, they must notify the other CRCs

* Extended Fraud Alert
  - Also offered by all CRCs
  - It is to be used if you ARE the victim of fraud/ID Theft
  - Good for 7 years
  - Gives you 2 free credit reports from EACH CRC (for 12 months)

* Active Duty Military Alert
  - A FA, but it lasts for a year.

Use TransUnion (Padre's favorite... or at least the one he hates the least)
* Really Simple process
  - Go to
  - Create a new account (must enter in name, address, SSN and other personal information)
  -- Fraud-01.jpg
  - File an "initial fraud alert"
  - Give them a phone number or two that potential creditors will call to verify your identity.
  -- Fraud-02.jpg
  - You are now set for your Fraud Alert
  - (Put the expiration date on your calendar so you know when you need to renew)

* Credit Freeze
  - A freeze is different from a Fraud Alert b/c while creditors are notified to contact you to verify your identity in a FA, in a Freeze, a creditor can't even SEE your credit history without your authorization. 
  - You get a PIN so that you can see the status of your freeze
  - Typically a $5-$30 fee
  - MIGHT Be a fee to release a freeze
  - The duration of the freeze depends on state law.
  - In some states, a freeze lasts 7 years, others it stays till YOU lift it.
  -- Be careful with a freeze... as it WILL complicate credit you apply for... and possibly JOBS.

Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
Experian — 1‑888‑397‑3742
TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872

Maintaining your protection
Credit Reports
* You can get a FREE Credit report from ALL 3 of the big Credit Report bureaus once a year from
* Better still... Start a rotation and get one credit report from one bureau every 4 months.

iOS Apps: Mint (but don't do the free credit score, b/c it's from Equifax)

YNAB - You Need a Budget (we use this for tracking all of our finances, I know it inside and out)

WellsFargo App
* FICO Score (Bottom of Front Page)
* USEFUL info in the tabs
  - Score Factors (find out what's holding down your score)
  - Credit Education (Tips for increasing your credit score)

* Card-Free ATM (Middle of Front Page)
  - Allows you to get a one-time code that gives you access to an ATM for up to 30 minutes

Wells Fargo or your bank app - Manage Alerts (get text alerts when a password or username changes or when your balance falls below a certain level or when there's a withdrawal)

Qapital - Creative and automatic saving techniques

American Express App
* Purchase notifications
  - Menu > Settings > Notifications
  - Turn on "Notifications" and "Purchase Alerts"
  - This brings up a notification anytime there is card activity

LastPass - We'll be cleaning up our passwords on The New Screen Savers #DigitalCleanse

Credit Karma
* Shows Credit scores on the front page
* Credit Score change notifications
  - Menu > Settings > Check "Credit Monitoring"
  - This will give you a notification any time your credit score changes

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