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FTC Targets Student Loan Relief Scams

The Federal Trade Commission, 11 states and the District of Columbia on Friday launched the first coordinated federal and state law enforcement initiative targeting student loan debt relief scammers, whom the FTC estimates have collected more than $95 million in illegal fees by bilking borrowers.

“Winter is coming for debt relief scams that prey on hardworking Americans struggling to pay back their student loans,” Maureen Ohlhausen, acting head of the FTC, said in a statement.

https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2017-10-13/ftc-targets-student-loan-debt-relief-scams-with-operation-game-of-loans

 

What to do now if you’re among 143 million Americans affected by Equifax data breach

The Equifax data breach that potentially affects 143 million U.S. customers, nearly two-thirds of the adult U.S. population, could be quite the mess to clean up. The hackers had access to EFX, -13.48%  data from May until July 2017, which included Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers, among other data.

The company detected the breach on July 29, it said, and hired a cybersecurity firm to determine what data the hackers accessed. But in the time it took for the company to alert customers who could be affected, hackers could have used their data for purposes including opening credit cards or other lines of credit. And any impact on their credit scores of erroneous activity could take years to repair.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-you-one-of-the-143-million-customers-in-the-equifax-data-breach-do-this-now-2017-09-08

 

A Foolish Take: How Your Credit Score Is Calculated

Credit agencies look at five factors to determine your credit score.

Jun 19, 2017 at 12:00PM
Whether you like it or not, your credit score is incredibly important.

It dictates the interest rate you’ll be offered on a mortgage or car loan. It determines whether you qualify for a credit card. Phone, television, and internet service providers often review prospective customers’ credit histories. Even employers have started to consider the creditworthiness of job applicants.

The good news is that it isn’t hard to raise your credit score if it’s low. To do so, however, it helps to know how your credit score is calculated.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/06/19/a-foolish-take-how-your-credit-score-is-calculated.aspx

 

Stolen financial data at the center of breaches in April 2017

Lookout tracks breaches related to companies and services that may impact customers with our Breach Report feature. Breach Report looks at the largest companies globally, and reports on those breaches to provide customers the most relevant information. It also provides remediation actions to help keep them safe. Interested in getting Breach Report? Upgrade to Premium now.

Criminals breached a number of well-known companies this month including Chipotle, Gamestop, and Intercontinental Hotel Group. A common thread: stolen credit card data.

https://blog.lookout.com/breach-report-april-2017

 

How to Remove Debt Collection Items from Your Credit Report in Arizona

Great Article from Gary Nitzkin:

How to Remove Debt Collection Items from Your Credit Report in Arizona

How to Remove Debt Collection Items from Your Credit Report in Arizona

There have been plenty of issues with poor debt collection practices in Arizona over the past few years. This can make it difficult for Arizonians to know what should and what shouldn’t be on their credit reports when it comes to debt collections.

Having an account that has gone to debt collections on your credit report hurts your credit score. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get these items removed as quickly as possible. There’s too much to do and see in Arizona. You don’t want a low credit score holding you back.

The worst thing you can do about collections on your credit report is absolutely nothing. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) protects Arizonians from unnecessary credit damage. If you have accounts in debt collections, you can minimize the impact to your credit score by knowing your rights.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-remove-debt-collection-items-from-your-credit-report-gary-nitzkin

 

Fannie Mae Introduces Innovative Solutions for Borrowers with Student Loan Debt

Fannie Mae Introduces Innovative Solutions for Borrowers with Student Loan Debt

Innovations Help Borrowers Pay Down Student Debt and Overcome Debt Related Obstacles When Buying a Home

Aleksandrs Rozens

202-752-7916

WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced new policies that will help more borrowers with student debt qualify for a home loan. These innovations address challenges and obstacles to homeownership due to a significant increase in student loan debt over the past decade and provide access to credit for qualified borrowers. The new solutions give homeowners the opportunity to pay down student debt with a mortgage refinance, allow borrowers to exclude non-mortgage debt paid by others as part of the loan application process, and make it more likely for borrowers with student debt to qualify for a mortgage loan by allowing lenders to accept student debt payments included on credit reports.

“We understand the significant role that a monthly student loan payment plays in a potential home buyer’s consideration to take on a mortgage, and we want to be a part of the solution,” said Jonathan Lawless, Vice President of Customer Solutions, Fannie Mae. “These new policies provide three flexible payment solutions to future and current homeowners and, in turn, allow lenders to serve more borrowers.”

Innovative Solutions for Making Homeownership Affordable for Borrowers with Student Debt
Because there is rarely a “one size fits all” approach to this issue, the policies announced today provide options to borrowers based on their individual circumstances:

  • Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance: Offers homeowners the flexibility to pay off high interest rate student debt while potentially refinancing to a lower mortgage interest rate.
  • Debt Paid by Others: Widens borrower eligibility to qualify for a home loan by excluding from the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio non-mortgage debt, such as credit cards, auto loans, and student loans, paid by someone else.
  • Student Debt Payment Calculation: Makes it more likely for borrowers with student debt to qualify for a loan by allowing lenders to accept student loan payment information on credit reports.


Fannie Mae helps make the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and affordable rental housing possible for millions of Americans. We partner with lenders to create housing opportunities for families across the country. We are driving positive changes in housing finance to make the home buying process easier, while reducing costs and risk. To learn more, visit fanniemae.com and follow us on twitter.com/fanniemae.

– See more at: http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/financial-news/2017/student-loan-debt-6546.html#sthash.c1SHCv5F.dpuf

How to protect and check you CHILD’S credit report.

How to protect and check you CHILD’S credit report.

Identity theft of children is something that has been a BIG issue now days and is also very hard to detect. Because when you do detect it child might be already 18 and since it’s been going on for such a long period of time, its sometimes impossible to fix. Here are instructions on how you can prevent identify theft on your children and how to contact the 3 major credit bureaus.

Experian:

Minors 14 and older or their parents may request a credit report through Experian’s website, by calling 800-311- 4769, or through AnnualCreditReport.com. (If you suspect fraud, however, Experian says it’s best to work directly with the company from the outset.) If you’re checking on a younger child, or can’t get through the AnnualCreditReport.com online authentication process for an older child, you may write to Experian.

Experian requires parents or guardians to send the following documents by mail:

  • A completed copy of a Minor Child Instructions form (Form Attache)
  • A copy of the minor child’s Social Security card
  • A copy of the minor child’s birth certificate
  • A list of the minor child’s previous addresses for the past two years
  • The minor child’s full name, including middle initial and generation, such as JR, SR, II, III, etc. and date of birth
  • A copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued identification card
  • Proof of your address, such as a copy of a bank statement, utility bill, or insurance statement

 

Address:

Experian

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013

How to protect and check you CHILD’S credit report.

Equifax:

To obtain a copy of your child’s credit report (or to see if one even exists) from Equifax, send the following to the company:

Equifax requires parents or guardians to send the following documents by mail:

  • A letter explaining that the minor child may be a victim of identity theft
  • A copy of the minor child’s Social Security card or letter.
  • A copy of the minor child’s birth certificate
  • A copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued proof of identity that includes your current address

Address:

Equifax Information Services

P.O. Box 105139-Minor Child

Atlanta, GA 30374

 

TransUnion:

TransUnion has an online portal where parents or guardians can fill out and submit a Child Identity Theft Inquiry form: (Please copy and paste this link) https://www.transunion.com/credit-disputes/child-identity-theft-inquiry-form. When you submit this form you will find out whether there is a credit report in your child’s name. If there is, TransUnion will contact you for additional information. If you want a copy of the credit report, TransUnion might require you to separately request a copy of the report by mail.

  • A copy of the minor child’s Social Security card
  • A copy of the minor child’s birth certificate
  • A list of the minor child’s previous addresses for the past two years
  • The minor child’s full name, including middle initial and generation, such as JR, SR, II, III, etc. and date of birth
  • A copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued identification card
  • Proof of your address, such as a copy of a bank statement or utility bill.

 

Address:

TransUnion LLC

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

Free Annual Credit Report Information

Free Annual Credit Report Information

As a consumer in the United States, the Federal Government decided back in 2003 that you are entitled to receive a free annual credit report so you can monitor your credit and your credit rating. The FACT Act was passed unanimously so that all Americans could get a free annual credit report and be able to keep track of what the credit reporting agencies were compiling on them.

This is groundbreaking in that people are now able to see what lenders see, correct any errors that are on the report, and keep track of their credit to prevent any blemishes that might damage their worthiness as a credit risk. Before the FACT Act was passed, the only people privies to this information were the lenders and the credit reporting agencies.

There are two ways you can go about receiving a copy of your free annual credit report. First, you can go directly to any of the websites of the credit reporting agencies. These agencies are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Their web addresses are www.experian.com, www.equifax.com, and www.transunion.com.

You will have to answer a few personal questions and provide proof of your identity based on some of the information on the credit report. Then the report appears directly on your computer screen so you can view it, download it to your computer, and/or print it out.

The second option you have is to go to either www.freecreditreport.com or www.annualcreditreport.com. They will eventually be directing you to the credit-reporting agency of your choice, but they will be able to easily guide you through the process of getting your annual credit report.

It is very important that you take advantage of getting your annual credit report each year and checking it for accuracy. Mistakes can be made, and they can affect the decisions of lenders when you apply for a line of credit or a loan. Just one mistake can make the difference between a yes and a no from the lender.

You will also want to monitor your annual credit report for any information that does not apply to you. It can alert you to identity theft if you see that there is information on there that isn’t yours such as a credit card you never applied for or a loan that you never sought out.

The annual credit report is a great tool for consumers to have when it comes to their credit. Not using it is a huge mistake, so go out and get your annual credit report today if you haven’t already. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

Get your Free Annual Credit Report at www.annualcreditreport.com or Call me at (888)959-8893 for more info. www.azcreditmedix.com

More Than 1 Million New Defaulted Student Loans in 2016

At the end of last year, some 42.4 million Americans owed $1.3 trillion in federal direct student loans. The total number of defaulted federal direct loans rose by 1.1 million, according to U.S. Department of Education data reported earlier this month by the Consumer Federation of America.

More than $137 billion (about 9.8%) of a total of $1.4 trillion in loan balances from both the federal direct loans and federal loans made by financial institutions are currently in default, which the federal government defines as being 270 days past due.

The average amount owed has risen from $26,300 at the end of 2013 to $30,650 at the end of last year. That’s an increase of 17%, far higher than the inflation rate over the same period.

Rohit Chopra, senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America and former student loan ombudsman at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), said:

3,000 preventable student loan defaults each day in America is 3,000 too many. Our broken system works well for the student loan industry but is failing borrowers, taxpayers, and our economy.

http://247wallst.com/banking-finance/2017/03/26/more-than-1-million-new-defaulted-student-loans-in-2016/

 

Higher credit scores are on the way, thanks to new standards

Regulators fine TransUnion and Equifax for deceit over credit scores

Regulators fine TransUnion and Equifax for deceit over credit scores  

Consumers may be one step closer to a higher credit score.

A recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau outlined a number of problems it found with the big three consumer reporting companies along with suggested reforms that could help consumers improve the accuracy of their own credit reports as well as those all-important three-digit scores.

The watchdog agency said Equifax, Experian and TransUnion had insufficient quality control systems and did not conduct reasonable investigations when consumers disputed something in their files.

The government also laid out a number of ways to improve the accuracy and operation of the credit scoring companies to prevent or fix the errors in the reports that lenders use to assess borrowers’ creditworthiness and set rates. For starters, the agency advocated stricter identity-matching criteria and updating records more frequently.

Incorrect information on a credit report is the top issue reported by consumers filing a complaint, according to the CFPB.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/14/consumer-agency-leans-on-companies-to-improve-credit-reporting.html