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MasterCard Survey Nets Curious Responses

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Security is a big concern for everyone. MasterCard recently surveyed cardholders about their wants, needs, and fears, and while security topped the list of wants, needs, and fears, other answers were curious to those in the processing industry. While card security has been iffy the past few years, it is set to change (hopefully) in 2016 with the implementation of chip and PIN cards, the worries about card security are warranted.

According to the survey, 77% are concerned about identity theft. 92% are taking steps to secure their identities and keep themselves safe online, yet 46% rarely or never change their online banking or credit card passwords. Sadly, and perhaps most disturbingly, over 1/3 of those surveyed admitted to using a public computer or public Wi-Fi to check their online banking or credit card accounts. Forty-four percent also use the same password for multiple online accounts.

While online security is a big deal, many want security but are not taking the steps to ensure their security. Perhaps it is out of habit that they commit these financial sins, or perhaps they are not sure what to do. The financial industry needs to do a better job of educating the public on what they need to do – and avoid – when dealing with online banking and financial accounts. If not, everyone suffers, from the consumers to merchants, to processors having to deal with a chargeback.

The good news is that 69% already use a chip card, or want one when they are implemented. Some companies are using them as a voluntary option, and so far the feedback is positive. This cuts down on chargebacks, but merchants need to make sure that they have chargeback insurance, regardless of what type of card is being used by their customers. There are few chargeback insurance providers in the USA, but when you find one, make sure that you ask questions. Question their knowledge about the industry you are in, and question how their process works. Every chargeback insurance provider operates differently, and not all are the right choice for every merchant.

5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Credit Score

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Having bad credit can be like a stone tied to your ankles. The sensation of drowning in debt is not fun for anyone. When your credit rating is good, it allows you to lead the kind of life that you want to lead. Whether it’s getting that dream house you’ve always longed for or owning that beautiful classic car that you had on your bedroom wall as a teenager. There are a number of ways that you better your credit rating and here are five things to get you started on your road to credit success.

  1. Set a regular date. It’s extremely important, when trying to better your credit score, to set a regular date to sit down and review your rating and your methods to improve said rating. If you don’t, you most likely lose track of what you’re doing and a bad debt will find itself working its way into your credit report. All you need to do is set aside one or two nights a month. It could make all the difference to your credit score.
  2. Get regular credit reports. As a part of your monthly review, be sure to get a regular credit report. Credit Sesame is a fantastic online resource for this and could help you to dramatically raise your credit score. So get online and get clicking because the more you know about your rating the better it will become.
  3. Consider a secure card. Signing yourself up for a secure credit card is a safe and efficient way to up your credit rating. Basically, you set the amount of money you wish to spend based on the security deposit that you put down. It means you’ll be less likely to overspend, and if you do, there will be a buffer in place if necessary. Once you’ve made a couple of years of successful payments on your secure credit card, you’ll notice that your credit score will be soaring like never before.
  4. Cut down on your spending. This one might seem a little obvious, but to some of us it’s not. Start making a clear budget and sticking to it. Live within your means and spend accordingly. Find cheaper alternatives to your otherwise excessive lifestyle. Change the brands that you use, seek out bargains carefully and consider your options more frugally and you’ll eventually see a change in how much money you owe.
  5. Argue your point. Beware of the credit-reporting agency. Sometimes they get information wrong, and in the case that something is erroneous, be sure to make a dispute in writing as well as online if that platform is provided. There are a number of credit reporting agencies out there so be sure that your information is correct across the board and make sure you’re not being penalized for things that have already been resolved. Things can find themselves stuck on old computer systems for a long time if you don’t do something to eliminate them.

Personal Loan Considerations and Tips

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You need or want to borrow money, but you aren’t sure how to start or where to look. After all, there are many options available to you and you do not want to waste time looking all over the place. Our handy guide here will show you the way. Read on and learn about the most important matters concerning personal loans.

1. How much do you need? You should have an amount in mind before you approach a banker. Specifically, if you have your eye on a used car that costs $5,000, then that amount is what you should ask. Avoid requesting more money than what you need as there is a greater chance you will be turned down and your monthly payments will be unaffordable.

2. What are your costs? A lender may charge you a loan application fee. If that is the case, consider this cost when borrowing money. Other costs involve interest and in some cases an annual fee to service your loan. Know what these are before applying for a personal loan.

3. Visit your credit reports. Obtain all three copies of your credit reports and review them. Visit to get your copies — they are free as long as you order no more than one of each in a particular year. Review your reports and correct any problems before applying for a loan.

4. Obtain your credit score. Your three-digit credit score carries great weight. Specifically, it is the same score creditors use to determine whether you will be loaned money and at what interest rate. A low score usually follows problems on your credit report. Endeavor to know your score and how best to raise it before applying for a personal loan.

5. Know your options. There are many places you can look for a personal loan. Your current bank or credit union are logical first stops to make. You can also check with other banks, credit unions and financing companies. Some people prefer to use a site such as to borrow money from their peers. Explore each of your options and as mentioned in the second point, know your costs.

6. Unsecured or secured loans. Two types of personal loans are usually offered by lenders: secured and unsecured. With a secured loan, you can borrow money by putting something of value up as collateral, such as stocks, bonds or a house. With an unsecured loan, no collateral is needed. What you should know is that a secured loan is easier to get and loan terms are more favorable too.

7. Supply your documentation. Even as you begin to apply for personal loan, you need to get your documents together. Lenders will review your last tax return and will require two or three of your most recent pay stubs. Your lender will explain to you what other documents are needed, therefore gather this information together quickly to avoid slowing down the loan review process explains

Loan Considerations

Now that you are ready to apply for a loan, take your time filling out the application. Carefully answer the questions and explain various points that the lender may ask. Before you submit your application, verify that the information is correct. Once you are confident that everything is in place, then make your submission.