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Bad Credit Credit Cards – Why You Shouldn’t Post a Picture of Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card | Fintech Zoom

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Bad Credit Credit Cards – Why You Shouldn’t Post a Picture of Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card

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When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you will get a card with the data and type of vaccine used. Gina Ferazzi/Getty Images
  • Your vaccine card has sensitive personal information, and pictures of the card that you share online might put you at risk of identity theft.
  • The card not only contains your name and date of birth, but it also shows when and where you were vaccinated.
  • By posting images of this document on social media, you’re sharing sensitive data that may fall in bad hands.

It’s like seeing a light at the end of a tunnel. Almost a year into the pandemic, you have finally received a vaccine against COVID-19. You have every right to celebrate it.

But you need to be careful if you plan on sharing the news online.

Your vaccine card has sensitive personal information, and pictures you post online that feature the card might put you at risk of identity theft.

“Think of it this way — identity theft works like a puzzle, made up of pieces of personal information. You don’t want to give identity thieves the pieces they need to finish the picture,” wrote the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a blog post.

The vaccination card not only has your name and date of birth, but it also shows when and where you were vaccinated. By posting images of this document on social media, you’re sharing sensitive data that may fall in bad hands.

Posting just your full name might not pose a significant risk. But sharing other information, especially your date of birth and the name of the place where you were vaccinated, could be dangerous.

“While it may be tempting for many to share their official COVID vaccination record, there are certainly risks involved. Before posting a photo of your vaccination card on social media, people should understand those risks,” Poorya Sabounchi, PhD, COO of ixlayer, a health testing platform for physicians, told Healthline.

Sabounchi also warned that this problem isn’t exclusive to vaccine cards. There are pitfalls involved with choosing to share any documents containing personal information on social media.

“Some personal documents that can jeopardize your identity and put you at risk if shared online include boarding passes, money (paychecks, credit cards), birth certificate, health insurance, medical records, driver license, and even work emails,” he said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.

Legal experts say that posting your vaccine card online can void this protection.

“The information on the vaccination card is in most cases protected health information subject to HIPAA protection,” said Elizabeth Litten, chief privacy and HIPAA compliance officer at the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.

“But once it’s shared by the individual via social media, it no longer enjoys that protection and may be used for medical identity theft or as a means of hacking into patient portals,” Litten said.

She added that making public information like your date of birth, address, social security number, and even details about family members (like children’s names and dates of birth) could set you up for identity theft.

“This is a problem in terms of posting any personal or identifying information that can be used to hack into accounts or commit identity theft or fraud,” Litten said.

“For example, posting information about one’s or one’s child’s birthday and year, which are often used in account passwords, may be used in an effort to gain access across online accounts,” she said.

Attorney D. Wade Emmert, a health care partner at Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal in Dallas, said that with heightened interest in COVID-19 vaccines, your information might be used to create fake vaccine cards, something that could delay or interfere with your ability to get your second shot.

There can also be information attached to a photo file that you’re not aware of sharing, but is very useful for scammers.

“Many photographs you post online also have geotagging data embedded in them,” Emmert said. “Thieves can use that information to determine where you were when the picture was taken.”

However, if you’ve already posted a photo of your vaccine card online, there are actions you can take to secure your information.

“Just because the horse is out of the barn doesn’t mean you should leave the barn door open,” Emmert said. “Remove from your social media accounts any personally identifiable information.”

He added it might also be a good idea to review your privacy settings on your social network accounts and “review the people who are following you to make sure you actually know them.”

Sabounchi said using a physical document to track COVID-19 vaccinations isn’t only dangerous in terms of people’s privacy, but it can also create distribution challenges.

“A piece of paper can easily be misplaced, destroyed, or altered. By using paper vaccination cards, there is no system in place to track the rollout of vaccines effectively, slowing down the process,” he said. “With most vaccines on the market requiring a second dose, individuals will need to schedule a follow-up appointment to become fully inoculated.”

Sabounchi emphasized the need for a digital platform to help move this process along. This platform should have the capability to send out reminders when it’s time for the second dose and assist with the scheduling, he said.

“Large organizations and small communities can ensure they are reopening safely by securely storing individuals’ personal documentation and COVID vaccination records, while also using that information to keep their community safe once reopened,” Sabounchi said.

People excited about receiving a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are sharing photos of their new vaccine cards online. And along the way, they’re sharing sensitive personal information that may fall in the hands of identity thieves and scammers.

Experts say sharing your full name is unlikely to bring trouble. However, sharing data such as date of birth, where you were vaccinated, and even children’s birthdays can give important clues to scammers and identity thieves.

If you’ve already shared this information online, experts say it’s best to delete the picture, check your privacy settings, and make sure you know the people who are following you.

Bad Credit Credit Cards – Why You Shouldn’t Post a Picture of Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card

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Early Termination of a Car Lease

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If you’re leasing a vehicle in order to save money, but are thinking of terminating your lease contract early, you may want to think twice. Leases aren’t always as easy or as affordable to get out of as auto loans.

Can You Terminate Your Car Lease Early?

In most cases, you can get out of an auto lease early, but you may not be able to do it cheaply.

Leasing typically comes with fees both at the beginning and end of your term. However, if you need to get out of your lease early, there may be early termination fees (ETF), making the cost more than you bargained for.

Additionally, lessors often require you to pay all your remaining lease payments in one lump sum before releasing the contract early. Costs involved with getting out of your car lease early may also include:Early Termination of an Auto Lease

  • Excess mileage charges
  • Wear and tear fees
  • Any taxes not yet collected
  • Any negative equity
  • Storage and transport fees
  • Pay the cost of sale preparation

Check your lease contract to see if your lessor has any charges for terminating your lease early, or if there are stipulations that prevent you from getting out of the contract before a certain time. Even if there are extra fees imposed on you for returning your leased vehicle early, it might be easier to terminate a lease nowadays than it’s been in the past.

Since the pandemic, many dealerships and lenders have pushed into the digital realm to get business done. This includes video conferences to meet with dealers that typically needed to be done in person in the past. Of course, your vehicle still needs to be turned into a franchised dealership to be inspected and processed before a leasing company allows you to terminate your lease contract early.

Is it Worth it to Terminate Your Lease?

The first step is to look at your leasing contract and see if you even can get out of your lease early, and how much it’s going to cost you in ETFs. Then, you need to gather the following information:

  • Your monthly lease payment amount
  • How many payments you have left on your contract
  • The residual value of the vehicle

To figure out a good ballpark figure for getting out of your leased vehicle early, add together the cost of your remaining lease payments and any ETFs. To see if it’s worth it, compare this figure with the buyout price at the end of your lease, and find out what the current market value of the car is by checking sites like Kelley Blue Book and NADAguides.

Depending on how close you are to the end of your lease term, if the buyout price on the vehicle is significantly lower than the early termination price, it may be a good idea to wait it out. Then, once you buy out your lease, you can trade in the car for something else.

If you decide not to wait, how you handle getting out of your leased vehicle early could depend on the difference between the current market value of the car and the residual value of the vehicle as predetermined in your leasing contract. If the car has more value than the lessor predicted, you may be able to sell it for enough to pay your way out of your lease early.

Three Options for Terminating Your Lease Early

If you’re looking to get out of your lease early, for whatever reason, you typically have three options:

  1. Sell your leased car to a dealer – Selling your leased car to a dealer is similar to doing a trade-in, except they pay off your lease contract, including the early termination fees. It’s typically a pretty easy process, especially since used vehicles are in high demand since the pandemic. You may be able to get a little more for a car that’s coming off a lease since the turnaround time on a sale is likely to be shorter, depending on demand. If this is the case, you may even be able to walk away with some cash in hand depending on if the dealer’s willing to pay more than the lessors estimated residual value on the vehicle.
  2. Have someone else take over your lease – Lease assumption isn’t always something you can do, but in many cases, you can transfer your lease to someone else, as long as they meet all the lessor qualifications and there’s equity in the vehicle.
  3. Lease buyout – With the demand for used vehicles at affordable prices up right now, you may be able to buy out your lease then sell the car privately as long as you get enough money to make it worth your while. If you can’t come close to selling it yourself for the amount you need to pay off your lease, including ETFs, it may not be worth it to try and get out of the vehicle early. Most leasing companies allow for some form of early lease buyout, but again, it may cost you those extra fees.

If Leasing Isn’t for You

Now that you’ve figured out whether it’s worth it or not to get out of your lease early, it’s time to decide what to do next when it comes to getting a vehicle.

If you didn’t mind leasing but the car just wasn’t for you, you likely have the option to swap into another lease on a different vehicle with the same company. Many lessors contact lessees toward the end of their contracts to see if they’d be willing to get into another car lease early.

However, leasing isn’t for everyone. If you found that the restrictions that come with it such as the mileage limitations, or cost of maintenance and repairs are too much for you to handle, it may be time to consider an auto loan for your next go-round. If this is the case, Auto Credit Express wants to get you started on the path toward your next vehicle.

We’ve gathered a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that are signed up with lenders to help people with credit challenges. Whether you’re just not sure where to start or you need a little help due to bad credit, start here. By filling out our fast, free, no-obligation auto loan request form, you’re taking the first step toward finding your next car loan without all the hassle of searching. Get started right now!

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GSB focuses on social responsibility

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State-owned Government Savings Bank (GSB) has focused on providing loans to people without a record in the National Credit Bureau system or with bad credit over the last year to help those impacted by the pandemic deal with unprecedented economic hardship.

GSB president and chief executive Vitai Ratanakorn said the bank has extended loans to people with no credit history who have never borrowed from commercial banks or non-bank institutions.

He said the bank had already provided 1.5 million loans to members of this group of people.

The bank has also provided loans to 200,000 people with bad credit records.

Mr Vitai said the lending was aimed at drawing those outside the credit bureau system into the system and enabled them to get access to the loans, which was one of the main roles of state-run banks. This lending has been supported by the government.

He said this lending was not aimed at seeking profit as GSB charged a low monthly interest rate of 0.1-0.3%. For example, if the bank provided a 10,000 baht loan to a person under this scheme, it would only gain interest income of around 120 baht per year.

In addition to its objective of becoming the country’s genuine social bank, GSB’s other goal this year is to prevent loans from becoming bad debts, he said. The bank will rush to help customers in danger of accumulating bad debt to restructure before it reaches that stage.

Mr Vitai said GSB will not focus on growing its loan portfolio during the first six months of the year, but on serving the state’s policy of helping people and business operators cope with the impacts from Covid-19. Grassroots people and small and medium-sized enterprises are suffering the most from the pandemic, he said.

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How to Start Over When You’ve Lost Everything

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Upset women laying on the wood floor of her living room and petting her dog.

Image source: Getty Images

When you’re down to nothing, you have everything to gain.

People start over for many reasons, including job loss, divorce, illness, and business failure. Whatever the reason, if you’re starting anew, here are some steps to take in rebuilding.

Acknowledge the twist

Remember that you’re not starting from scratch. The fact that you’ve lost assets means that you had assets to lose. Whether that’s a retirement account, home, or business doesn’t matter. You know what it’s like to work for — and achieve — something. You did it once; you can do it again.

Establish credit in your name

If you don’t have much credit in your name, establish your own healthy credit file by taking out small amounts of credit and paying them off like clockwork each month. If your credit score has taken a hit, apply for a credit card for people with bad credit, use it to make small purchases, and pay it off each month before the bill comes due. Or you might ask someone you’re close to to add you as a user on their credit card. Your credit score gets a boost each time they make a payment, even if you never touch the card yourself.

Invest right away

The sooner you begin, the faster you can recoup losses. Maybe you can’t invest as much as you once did. That’s okay. Something is better than nothing, and you can add to your investment pot over time. The more time compound interest works its magic, the better. Every dollar helps, whether you plan to retire in 10 years or 30.

If you’re employed by a company that matches a percentage of 401(k) contributions, do whatever you can to contribute at least that much. The matching funds are basically free money.

Let’s say you earn $60,000 annually, plan to work 15 more years, and your employer matches up to 5% of your contributions. Here’s how much you’ll have put away with just your 5% on its own:

Annual Income

Percent Contributed

Amount Contributed

Average Annual Rate of Return

Time Until Retirement

Value At Retirement

$60,000

5%

$250/month, before taxes

7%

15 years

$75,387

Since your employer also matches that 5% of your income, you’ll have $150,774 instead.

If you were to raise your pre-tax contributions to 10%, here’s how it would look instead:

Annual Income

Percent Contributed

Amount Contributed

Average Annual Rate of Return

Time Until Retirement

Value At Retirement

$60,000

10%

$500/month, before taxes

7%

15 years

$150,774

Including the additional 5% contributed by your employer, you would have $226,161 at 15 years. It’s not a fortune, but could be very helpful. By the way, if you don’t touch it for 20 years, that nest egg would be worth nearly $369,000. If you don’t plan to retire for 30 years, it will be worth more than $850,000.

If you’re not with a company that matches contributions, find a brokerage firm that supplies the level of education and direction you’re looking for and get started.

Get professional help

After financial trauma of any sort, it’s tempting to invest aggressively. While in some circumstances it could be an effective way to make up for losses, it may not be the best move if you’re closing in on retirement. Consider working with a financial advisor, even if it’s on an hourly basis and you pay only for their time helping you come up with a smart investment strategy.

Postpone Social Security

One thing my husband and I (and many of our friends) have done is raise the age at which we expect to retire. We don’t see it as a sad thing. I never want to stop working, and now that my husband is in a job that tickles him, he’s not in a hurry either. The minimum age to retire is 62, but if you can wait until you’re 70, you max out your monthly Social Security payments.

Find support

Millions of people have made money, lost money, and started over. Chances are you already know a few people who’ve redesigned their lives from the bottom up. Talk to them. Ask them what they learned from the experience. If they had it to do over again, is there anything they would change?

People who experience hardship often have the best stories to tell and are often an excellent source of inspiration. It may not be easy now, but with luck, you can look back one day and say, “Hey, I did okay — despite the unexpected setbacks.”

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