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6 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Credit Monitoring Company

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(MENAFN – Outreachxpert Ltd)


Hiring a credit monitoring company to track your credit score is an ideal strategy in debt management, as it enables you to be up to speed with your FICO credit scores. Most importantly, in case of identity theft, you also protect yourself from any possible credit fraud.


A credit monitoring company can dispute a credit report on your behalf and notify your credit company about fraudulent transactions that you may not be aware of. If this is recorded on time, your credit score can be repaired and restored on time to give you back control over your finances.


As you identify a credit monitoring company to work with, below are important factors to consider: –


1.   Reliability and Timeliness


A credit monitoring platform should alert you in real-time whenever there is any change in your credit report. According to NBC News, 60% of complaints on credit bureaus are about erroneous entries on credit reports captured during the credit pre-approval processing. The complaints result in delays in approvals, costly follow-ups, and sometimes credit declinature.


To avoid such inconveniences, you should only consider credit monitoring platforms that track your credit score in real-time and alert you of any changes within a few minutes.


2.   Pricing


Pricing is vital since you should only sign up for a credit monitoring service that you can afford. Most platforms offer different plans covering select services such as credit card reports, dark web surveillance, information breach notifications, social media insights, identity theft insurance, and more.


The vital consideration is to ensure that the service that you opt for covers your areas of vulnerability. For instance, if you are an Instagram fashion influencer, you should consider a credit monitoring service that tracts identity and credit card theft on the social media platform.


Pricing largely determines the benefits available, but there are hundreds of free options to consider if you cannot afford the monthly subscription fee. However, free services only offer basic alert services, and there is no guarantee whether the notification is done in real-time.


3.   Warranties


If terms and conditions are friendly and the warranty terms are friendly, you should consider the credit monitoring service after careful consideration. For instance, one of the best platforms reimburses you up to $1m when you lose funds following identity theft. On the other hand, other applications can offer identity restoration services in their packages, which is ideal, especially if you have a busy schedule and don’t have spare time to follow up with specialists after identity theft or credit fraud. Furthermore, some applications offer credit repair services to help you improve your FICO credit score after a breach.


The options are unlimited, but the strategy of getting the best credit monitoring services is to identify your vulnerabilities first before finding a service with optimal benefits.


4.   Ease of Getting Credit Reports


The Federal Law compels the three credit agencies to give credit reports for free once a year. But the intervals are far apart, and you cannot rely on them if you want to track your credit score. When signing up for credit monitoring, one of your considerations is the frequency of getting the credit report, whether monthly, quarterly, annually or twice a year.


Most importantly, you should generate your credit report from the platform with ease whenever needed.


5.   Terms and Conditions


Data protection conditions should be central for any credit monitoring site, given the sensitivity of financial and personal information. Hence, you should read the terms of the agreement, and there should be a declaration where it states that your data shall not be shared with another party without your consent.


While state data protection laws are consumer-centric, you should always take your time before checking the box for agreeing to the terms and conditions.


6.   Ensure That the Company Is Licensed, Bonded, and Insured


A licensed credit monitoring company is accredited and allowed to transact the class of business at the federal and local levels. This is the first sign that the service offered is legitimate. Secondly, you should only consider companies that are insured. When a company is indemnified, you can recover your fiscal loss following a breach of professional duty. On the other hand, Bonded is an assurance that you may be compensated once the credit management company fails to perform a specific duty within the promised time. For example, alerting you in real-time about a suspicious transaction fails to perform a particular duty as per the sales contract.


 

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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