The behavior of a consumer is prone to change. When a company makes an inquiry, what they get is a “snapshot” of your situation. When you open a charge account, miss a payment, or pay your debt, your score changes. Although the number keeps changing, you need to know what your score is at a particular time and how you can increase it. Each section of credit information carries a different weight when it comes to calculating your credit score.
35% payment history
This is very important as it contributes the largest share. Underpayments, missed payments, late payments, and other related issues are included in this section. Creditors report this kind of information differently (some 10 days after the due date, some after you have missed two payments, etc.). Get to know how your creditor reports information.
30% outstanding debt
You have a credit limit and you are the determinant of that limit. Your outstanding debt is calculated against unused credit and used to come up with a credit score. Many credit cards increase your credit limit (if you do not use up the available credit).
15% length of credit history
Keeping your account for a long period of time boosts your credit score. The most important thing is to pay off your balances and avoid closing accounts. If you use the same finance resource for different loans you will also help your score.
10% new credit information
New credit shows that you can open credit lines and that your financial situation is great since creditors are willing to finance you. It also shows that you are financially active.
10% credit mix
A mortgage is a loan; so is a credit card and any other account that you can charge groceries or gas to. However, they are not the same type of loans. Their difference is important. Several kinds of credit accounts show credit bureaus that you can handle different types of financing.
Negative items such as tax aliens, judgments, and bankruptcies can damage your score. Credit bureaus accumulate all the factors above and use their formula to come up with a number that is your score. The number changes regularly and you should check your credit report on a regular basis.
You can improve a bad credit score by adopting good credit habits, not over-borrowing, paying on time, and keeping low credit balances. Dispute negative items on your report; you can do it yourself or involve a credit repair company. Credit repair involves challenging and verifying inaccurate information. It works to retain the good information and eliminate bad information.
A recurring challenge for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is how to make them work in the real world. A Singapore-based startup says the answer is its Visa card.
TenX is pitching its debit card as an instant converter of multiple digital currencies into dollars, yen and euros. The company said it takes a 2 per cent cut from each transaction and has received orders for more than 10,000 cards. While transactions are capped at approximately £1500 ($2000) a year, users can apply to increase the limit if they undergo identify verification procedures.
TenX’s bid to make digital currencies easier to spend comes amid massive volatility and in fighting within the cryptocurrency community. Bitcoin, the most popular, slumped after reaching a record in June amid concerns about a split in two, only to recover as fears faded. The company has built an app that serves as a digital wallet connected to the Visa card so that when it’s swiped at a cafe or restaurant, the merchant is paid in local currency and the users’ crypto account is debited.
Arriving at your dream summer vacation destination without a lodging reservation would be a real nightmare. Scammers make this nightmare a reality for vacation-goers who seek out travel sites to quickly, easily and cheaply book hotels and vacation rentals online.
These scammers create mock lodging websites by creating slick sites or by copying legitimate popular sites and claiming to be them.
Consumers who think they’re booking stays through these fake sites find out the hard way that their money has departed while they’re left behind. According to a 2015 estimate by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, consumers fall victim to 15 million fake booking scams every year, costing them $1.3 billion annually. A fraudulent site that tricks you into sending money or providing personal financial information is called a phishing scam.
Be wary of being redirected to fake sites. Redirecting the user to another website without the user realizing it can be easier than you think. One click on an ad or link can lead you to a mock website. These ads, pop-ups, and links to fraudulent websites often appear legitimate.
Look closely at the web address (URL). Fake websites often have a URL close, but not identical, to the legitimate website address.
For example, a widely circulated online report exposed a site impersonating a legitimate online lodging rental site called Airbnb. The fraudulent site used the URL “airbnb.itinerary-booking.com,” closely mirroring the legitimate airbnb.com. Pay close attention to the URL to help you verify that you are on a legitimate site. TIP: Use a search engine to get to a legitimate travel or lodging site address, or compare the search result to the address that appears in an ad.
Pay through the booking site, and avoid third party payment methods. It’s a red flag whenever someone you’re doing business with seeks payment through a wire transfer, prepaid money card, or a third-party site.
Using a credit card generally provides you better consumer protections, and be sure the website is secure (any website that accepts online payments should begin with “https://”). Be wary if the host party contacts you via email or other method outside the website to request a payment that is not made through the site.
Be cautious of offers that may be too good to be true. Fake websites often offer unbelievably low booking prices. While these may be high-tech scams, the old, tried-and-true advice still applies: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Watch out for overly-glowing reviews. Fraudulent websites often make up reviews that are overwhelmingly positive to help convince consumers that a fake site is legitimate.
Call the company before you book a reservation; call to confirm after you book it. Fraudulent or shady operations will be hesitant to take your phone call or be harder to reach than legitimate, reputable businesses.
When you call, ask where the person on the other end of the phone line is located. Verbally confirm your reservation after you place it-including the address, the room amenities and a confirmation number-to help confirm that the booking was legitimate. If the company you thought you were doing business with cannot locate a confirmed reservation and you paid by credit card, contact your credit card issuer immediately to report the fraud.
Recently, Amazon launched a new Prime Rewards Visa Cardwhich will give its Prime customers a 5% discount on all their purchases on Amazon. Additionally, customers will also get rewards at other places where they shop using this card including restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. With no annual fee and other benefits such as no foreign transaction fees and travel protection, this card is likely to delight Amazon’s existing Prime customers and attract more Prime members.
While Amazon Prime members can already earn a 5% discount through its store card issued by Synchrony, the new card is a Visa card which can be used anywhere. According to a note published by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, customers owning Amazon credit cards spend the highest on its platform. Their average annual expenditure exceeds that of Amazon Prime members by 16%. We believe this new card is Amazon’s attempt to entice its Prime members to spend more on its platform and, with the lucrative rewards it offers, it could prove effective in meeting this goal.
Given that Amazon credit card holders spend the highest on its platform, the company is looking at ways to expand its credit card consumer base. CIRP estimates that approximately 15% of Amazon’s U.S. customers have any one of Amazon’s credit cards, representing approximately 21 million customers. However, growth of its card base has not kept pace with its growing Prime membership. In June 2016, it was estimated that Amazon has around 63 million Prime members.
Assuming that only Prime members have an Amazon credit card, it would mean that only a third of its Prime customers have one of its credit cards. According to a survey by Morgan Stanley, Amazon Prime members spend about 4.6 times more money on its platform than non-prime members. Its credit card holders spend even greater amounts than what Prime members spend. By enticing its prime customers to own its credit cards, Amazon will be encouraging them to spend more on its platform. Its latest card is aimed at attracting Prime customers by offering deals not only on Amazon.com but on other shopping destinations as well. This can lead to higher spending by existing Prime customers and help convert the fence sitters into Prime memberships.