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All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

Looking to leverage your hard-earned good credit to get the best loan? Great news: there’s a wide variety of excellent loans for those with good credit.

When analyzing a lending platform, you’ll want to look at the most crucial factors. These include the lender’s minimum credit score to be eligible, loan terms and amounts, and of course, APR.

Loans can be used for a variety of important purchases, such as a new car, a home remodeling idea, to consolidate existing debt, or even more. Perhaps you want to take advantage of COVID-19’s silver lining, as some loans are seeing record low interest rates.

While it’s true that you should never take out a loan without heavy consideration beforehand, many loans intended for folks with good credit have lots to like and negligible drawbacks. Think of them as financial tools you can use to expand your buying power, enjoy life, or improve your credit even more.

Not sure where you stand on the FICO credit scale? Use the table below to see where you fit in.

What Exactly Does it Mean to Have “Good Credit”?

If you have “good credit”, you might be a little concerned. After all, there are two categories above “good credit” in the FICO credit scale.

When you have a good credit however, you can still find great loan opportunities. You’ll just have to find the right lending platform for you, which is why we’ve compiled the top lending platforms for those with good credit.

Top Lending Platforms for Good Credit


We’ve analyzed lending platforms based on fees, APR, loan terms, and more.

1. Lightstream
Best Overall
2. Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Best for Debt Consolidation
3. SoFi
Best for High-Income Borrowers
4. Payoff
Best for Paying Off Credit Card Debt
5. Discover
Best for Paying Off a Loan Early
6. Upgrade
Best for Small Loans
7. Best Egg
Best for Big Purchases

Best Loans for Good Credit

Not sure which loans to seek out? We’ve already found the best below; let’s dive in!

1. LightStream – Best Overall Good Credit Loan

Lightstream Logo Banner

Pros

  • No origination or late fees
  • There are cosigning options
  • Generally good rates and term ranges
  • Will beat most competitive APRs

Cons

  • No prequalification available
  • Most loans require several years of good credit history, not just good credit

LightStream has some of the best loans you can find if you already have good credit. As a division of SunTrust Bank, LightStream has lots of experience to call on, and it shows.

  • Minimum Credit Score: 660
  • APR: 3.49%-16.79%
  • Loan Range: $5000-$10,000
  • Term Range: 2-12 Years

For starters, they don’t have any fees on their loans, and they offer generous borrowing amounts between $5000 in $100,000. Even better, their term limits are pretty flexible, ranging between 2 years to 12 years depending on what works best for your unique needs.

Furthermore, LightStream provides something called the “Rate Beat” program. This is just an APR match program with an additional promise to beat that rate by up to 0.10% (within certain conditions, of course). Thus, you can use LightStream to get a fantastic APR if you find another lending service with a similar rate.

There are other reasons to consider them for your good credit loan. For instance, they provide cosigning options if you don’t have a lot of credit history or need to take out a loan for a student. They also don’t normally specify any income when you’re signing up for one of their loans.

However, they do typically require several years of credit history, in addition to good credit. They also don’t offer prequalification, so you’ll need to get somewhat into the loan sign-up process before you know the actual cost of your agreement.

Still, it’s a phenomenal service through and through. The lack of fees, great APR and term flexibility, and APR-match program all make LightStream one of the best choices on the market overall.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Logo

Pros

  • Very flexible with payment options
  • Great for debt consolidation loans through direct payment to creditors
  • Provides some discounts with autopay
  • No additional fees

Cons

  • Funding might take a few days to arrive
  • No co signing option

Marcus personal loans from Goldman Sachs are great if you need a personal loan for debt consolidation, but their high amount limit makes them a good fit for just about any financial need. You’ll be able to take out a loan between $3500 and $40,000 if you have good credit.

  • Minimum Credit Score: 660
  • APR: 6.99%-28.99%
  • Loan Range: $3500-$40,000
  • Term Range: 3-6 years

They also provide flexible repayment terms between 3 to 6 years in most cases. There is a small downside in that it usually takes a few business days for you to receive your funding. So they’re not the best choice for emergency loans.

Still, there’s a lot to like here. They don’t have any origination or additional fees, nor do they levy prepayment penalties (so you aren’t charged more for paying down your debt aggressively).

Their customer service representatives are also pretty understanding if you need to change your payment options. Again, this makes them a great choice for debt consolidation or other loan needs if you have a tight but fluctuating budget.

However, if you can set up an automatic payment system with them to benefit from a slight rate discount that comes with most of their loan packages. This is fantastic if you want to pay down your loan as soon as possible. Marcus loans also usually come with an option to directly pay your creditors if you do decide to use this loan for debt consolidation.

There’s no co-signing option and you do need pretty good credit to qualify for the majority of their loan agreements. But if you already have a good score, the Marcus loan could be an excellent choice, particularly if you want to eliminate multiple debts at once.

3. SoFi – Best for High-Income Borrowers with Good Credit

Sofi Logo

Pros

  • Very good fixed and variable rates on average
  • Allow flexible payment options
  • Tons of member perks to benefit from
  • Can help you manage your financial accounts more skillfully

Cons

  • Can’t refinance your loans
  • Funding will take several business days to arrive

SoFi, an investment firm well-known for building one of the premier robo-advisors, showcases their value once again with their personal loan options. They provide loans for a wide variety of needs, offering amounts between $5000 and $100,000.

  • Minimum Credit Score: 680
  • APR: 5.99%-19.96%
  • Loan Range: $5000-$100,000
  • Term Range: 2-7 years

They also let you borrow with repayment terms between 2 and 7 years, plus APR rates potentially as low as 5.99%. Like with Marcus loans, there’s a small downside in that your funding will only arrive after a few business days.

However, SoFi provides a huge array of extra financial service offerings are benefits. For instance, professional development services, events for various members, networking and community opportunities, and even resume and interview help are available.

In this way, SoFi doesn’t just provide simple loan assistance. They can also help you become a better financial steward for your bank account or portfolio.

So they’re a great choice if you’re in a higher than average income bracket and will take advantage of these bonuses. You’ll be able to use this lending institution for just about any loan you can imagine, including mortgage loans, student loans, and more. 

They also offer their loans with fixed and variable rates and provide flexible payment options. However, you aren’t able to refinance your loan in case there’s a mishap or emergency.

Still, we’d recommend them if you’re comfortable with a relatively long-term debt arrangement and want to take advantage of everything they offer. If your average income is over $100,000 a year, they’ll likely be a great fit – especially since you can benefit from SoFi’s capable investment services.

4. Payoff – Best for Paying Off Credit Card Debt

payoff logo

Pros

  • Reasonably good loan amounts and repayment terms
  • Provides lots of financial security tools
  • Free score updates and check-ins with specialists
  • Also offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation

Cons

  • Not available in several states
  • Charges an origination fee

If you have credit card debt, a loan from Payoff might be the best choice you can make. That’s because they don’t only offer flexible loan arrangements, but they also provide a plethora of tools and support structures to help you make your payments on time and gradually increase your credit score by eliminating your debt.

  • Minimum Credit Score: 640
  • APR: 5.99%-24.99%
  • Loan Range: $5000-$35,000
  • Term Range: 2-5 years

For instance, Payoff will provide you with free FICO score updates every once in a while, plus a quarterly check-in with one of their dedicated “member experience” specialists. This gives you a little bit of accountability when it comes to using your loan correctly, and you can ask them for advice to better work down your debt in the most efficient way possible.

Even better, you’ll get a suite of cash flow assessment tools, plus job loss protection for your loan. Thus, it’s a great choice if you aren’t sure about your employment stability in the short term future.

They do have relatively strict requirements if you want one of their loans, like a credit score of 640 or higher and a decent debt to income ratio. They provide loans between $5000 and $35,000 and repayment terms between 2 and 5 years. The other big downside is that they aren’t available in several continental states, including Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia. 

But overall, they’re a great choice for paying down credit card debt, and not only because of what they offer in pure loan options. The tools they provide can be used to make sure that your debt repayment efforts result in lasting financial security. 

5. Discover – Best for Paying Off the Loan Early

Discover Logo

Pros

  • No prepayment or origination fees
  • Good loan payment terms
  • Comes with a free credit check tool
  • Will pay creditors directly for debt consolidation

Cons

  • Does charge a $39 late fee in most cases
  • No refinancing options

Discover makes it easy for you to repay your personal loans and makes it easy to get your funding on time. In fact, same-day funding is often included because they frequently make same-day decisions after a possible borrower applies.

  • Minimum Credit Score: 660
  • APR: 6.99%-24.99%
  • Loan Range: $2500-$35,000
  • Term Range: 3-7 years

Discover doesn’t charge any origination or prepayment fees, either, making it easy for you to aggressively pay down your debt and lower your overall loan. They do charge a late fee, though. You’ll be able to borrow between $2500 and $35,000 for between 3 and 7 years.

Discover also provides the option to pay your creditors directly if you want to improve your credit score as promptly as possible. Furthermore, all users will benefit from a Free Credit Scorecard tool, which includes up-to-date FICO scores and information about any changes or inquiries to your credit report. It’s a great tool to help you keep track of things as you improve your credit.

We like that they offer a plethora of flexible payment options to help folks that may need to change their payment amounts as time goes on. Since you can prepay without a fee, you can easily start with a lower payment amount every month and work up to a higher amount as your finances become more stable.

Still, you can’t refinance your loan entirely and you do need a relatively high credit score of 660. But overall, they’re a great choice if you are committed to improving your credit score and paying down your debt ASAP.

6. Upgrade – Best for Low-Amount Good Credit Loans

Upgrade Logo

Pros

  • Can typically get you your funding quickly
  • Loan amount goes as low as $1000
  • Has job loss protection
  • Offers cosigning options

Cons

  • Do have origination and late fees
  • No direct repayment to creditors for debt consolidation

Upgrade is a flexible credit lending institution, as they typically accept a wide range of incomes and credit scores. This being said, the lower end of their APR range is 7.99%: a little higher than what the other lending institutions we’ve looked at so far offer.

  • Minimum Credit Score: 640
  • APR: 7.99%-35.97%
  • Loan Range: $1000-$35,000
  • Term Range: 3-5 years

Still, they have a decent loan amount range between as low as $1000 up to $50,000. This can make them a great choice if you only need a small bundle of cash for a short timeframe. You can borrow for terms between 3 years and 5 years, and they’ll potentially help your loan with a low APR by using your cash flow as a worthiness metric instead of your credit score.

Upgrade does allow cosigners depending on credit score requirements between both parties, so students might be able to take advantage of their services. They do charge an origination fee and late fees, unfortunately.

But they additionally offer hardship plans to protect you in the event that you lose your job. This will qualify you for a temporary reduction in your monthly payment or a loan modification for the rest of the loan’s term.

Furthermore, Upgrade is valuable since they typically get you your funding within a day of your application being accepted. So they’re a good choice if you need fast cash with reasonable terms.

7. Best Egg – Best for Big Purchases

Best Egg Logo

Pros

  • Typically very quick loan availability
  • Can prequalify you with a soft credit check
  • You can change your payment date
  • No prepayment penalties

Cons

  • Do charge origination and late fees
  • Higher than average income qualifications

If you already have good credit, you might consider Best Egg, which offers APRs between 5.99% and 29.99%. They let you borrow between $2000 and $35,000 in most cases, although borrowers with really good credit can go up to $50,000. Repayment terms are typically between 3 and 5 years, and you should get your funding relatively quickly: in some cases, it’s less than a single business day.

  • Minimum Credit Score: 640
  • APR: 5.99%-29.99%
  • Loan Range: $2000-$35,000
  • Term Range: 3-5 years

However, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 640 and a high annual income of $100,000. If you do qualify, you’ll potentially benefit from prequalification and a soft credit check that doesn’t stand a risk of harming your credit score.

Their loans come with additional advantages, like the option to change your payment date depending on what works best for you. Even better, there aren’t any prepayment penalties if you want to pay off your loans early and aggressively.

This being said, they do have several fees, like an origination fee that ranges between 1% to 5.99%. They also charge late fees and return fees if payments aren’t processed because of some digital hiccup. 

All in all, though, they’re a great pick if you already have a high income and good credit history. We’d recommend them if you want a loan for a sizable purchase, like house remodeling or a new car, and feel confident in your ability to pay off the debt sooner than the term limit. 

A Buying Guide for Finding a Loan for Good Credit

What’s a “Good Credit” Loan, Specifically?

As the name suggests, a good credit loan is a type of personal loan usually only reserved for those with good credit. If you struggle to maintain good credit, you may want to leverage a credit repair company to help your credit score.

Personal loans are typically unsecured. Unsecured loans like these don’t have any additional collateral to back up the debt, like a house or a car. So lenders will use other factors to determine your interest rate and other aspects of a loan, like your credit history, income levels, and debt at the time of loan application. All this gives them an idea about your likelihood to repay a loan.

Good credit loans normally require credit scores at certain thresholds (usually around the 670 zone). This is quite different from bad credit loans which — despite guaranteed approval in some cases — either have very low or no credit limits.

If you already have good credit, it’s easier to get a favorable unsecured personal loan. This translates to lower interest rates, better terms, more options, and so on.

You can also usually get good credit personal loans from a wider variety of financial institutions like banks or credit unions. Those with lower credit have fewer options and loans with worse terms.

What Rates Can You Expect for Good Credit Loans?

In general, good credit loans have better rates, or annual percentage rates (APRs). In a nutshell, this means that you’ll pay less interest over the lifespan of the loan.

The APR for a given good credit loan will, of course, vary by institution. But in general, you can expect a good APR between 6% and 18% from most institutions.

What Kind of Loan Can You Get with a Credit Score of 700?

A “good” credit score is usually defined as between 670 and 740, so 700 is right in a comfortable spot. It’s not “excellent” but should still allow you to get favorable loans with low interest rates and manageable terms.

If you have good credit but you’re worried about maintaining your credit score, you may want to consider a credit monitoring service to help you out. Top-notch credit monitoring services will protect you from identity theft, cyber attacks, and can shield other family members as well.

How You Should Choose a Good Credit Personal Loan

When looking for an ideal good credit personal loan, consider the following factors to narrow down your choices, and to get an agreement that benefits your needs.

Compare Rates

Firstly, be sure to compare the APRs for every good credit personal loan you consider taking out. Although the general range mentioned before (6% to 18%) will hold for the majority of cases, some institutions might have better deals based on your credit history or other factors.

You’ll almost always want a lower APR, with the exception of loans that don’t work for your monthly payment limit. For instance, it might be worthwhile to go with a higher APR if it results in a more affordable monthly payment.

Is APR your most important factor? See our report of the top low interest personal loans.

Determine the Loan’s Purpose

Consider what the overall purpose of the loan, as this dictates the interest rate and other features that might come with the loan agreement. As an example, some loans are specifically designed to help people pay off high-interest credit cards. So they may come with additional factors, like allowing you to make higher-than-agreed monthly payments to make paying off your credit cards easier.

Others might be for more standard things, like buying a car. These might have favorable interest rates or be accessible to younger people with good credit but not a lot of credit history.

What Features Does the Loan Have?

Spend some time looking at any additional features a loan might have. For instance, some lenders provide loans that can be tracked using a proprietary mobile app. Others might have flexible payment schedules or let you defer payments if you run into unexpected financial hardship.

Can You Get Pre-Qualified?

It may be worthwhile to go with a lender that pre-qualifies you for one of their loans. Prequalifying means that a lender trusts that you’ll pay back a loan on time without doing a deep dive into your finances or credit history.

This is advantageous since you’ll know how much the loan will cost before you sign on the dotted line, allowing you to budget ahead of time. It’s also helpful since it usually doesn’t involve a “hard” credit check, which can affect your credit score.

Any Additional Benefits?

Lastly, consider any additional benefits a loan might come with, like financial education resources or free credit score monitoring.

How Much Do Good Credit Personal Loans Cost?

The overall “cost” for a personal loan involves both the APR (which determines how much interest you’ll pay over the loan’s lifespan) and the monthly payment you’ll have to adhere to. In addition, you’ll have to figure the total term length for the loan into your calculations.

So in short, combine:

  • The loan’s term limit, or how many payments you need to make to pay off the debt
  • The APR, which determines your interest (i.e. any extra money you’ll pay on top of the agreed loan amount)
  • The payment amount each month

Note that your overall cost can be lowered by aggressively paying off loans as soon as you are able. Paying more than the monthly amount eventually results in you paying less interest overall.

Also, longer terms usually accompany lower monthly payments but with more interest in exchange. The reverse is also true; short-term loans with low interest rates are usually accompanied by higher monthly payments.

For Instance, How Much Is a 100k Loan Per Month?

Let’s do a bit of example math to demonstrate these principles. 

Say that you have a $100,000 loan you plan to pay it off in ten years. The APR for this hypothetical good credit loan is a very reasonable 14%.

So you start off with $100,000 that you’ll need to pay back: this is the starting amount of the loan.

Then consider adding 14% for every year. Eventually, this adds up to a grand total of $186,319.72 by the time the loan is paid off in a decade.

This also translates to a monthly payment of $1552.66.

Is it a good deal? That’s up to you to decide. It depends on your budget, what you’re taking the $100,000 out for, and whether your loan agreement allows you to aggressively pay the debt down if you come into more money ahead of schedule.

Why Get a Personal Loan?

There are plenty of reasons why someone might seek out a personal loan, and especially along with good credit.

For instance, people with lots of debt often employ debt consolidation strategies. This allows them to combine all of their debts into a single personal loan and repay that loan over time.

The advantage of this strategy is that it’s easier to handle multiple lines of debt consolidated into one monthly payment than it is to juggle a dozen different bills. This method can legitimately save money through lower interest rates, but will require using one of the best debt consolidation lenders to be worth it.

Other people might be interested in good credit personal loans to handle unexpected but emergency expenses. For instance, hospital bills or the cost to repair your car after it was totaled in an accident might be more than your savings account can handle. Taking out a personal loan will allow you to stay afloat and handle the debt in a more manageable timeframe.

Or you might be interested in home renovations. Remaking or remodeling your home can cost quite a bundle, so a personal loan with good credit will let you continue saving while still enjoying your home’s new interior or porch without going bankrupt.

Is It Smart to Get a Loan to Pay Off Debt?

In general, people who use personal loans (like the aforementioned debt consolidation loans) to pay off debt have only a few options. In some cases, people who are in a lot of debt have bad debt repayment strategies or don’t handle money very well. This may result in them having to take out an unending chain of new loans to cover previous debts, spiraling further and further into financial insecurity.

However, taking out a personal loan can be smart to pay off your debt if you stick with the loan’s payment agreement. Obviously, this is easier for some loans than it is for others. But using personal loans to pay off debt can be helpful if they take the immediate pressure of debt repayment off your shoulders and allow you to set up a better payment schedule or timeframe.

Summary

In the end, the best loan for good credit will depend highly on your personal needs, repayment schedule, and monthly budget. There’s a plethora of loans for a variety of income levels and needs. Study each loan carefully and consider what we said above about how to choose an ideal loan for your financial situation.

Have you tried out any of these loans yourself? Let us know and let’s discuss.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

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Learn to Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Companies – The Black Chronicle

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In case you’re uninterested in getting turned down for bank cards and/or loans, it is most likely time to work on repairing your credit score report. and also you Many individuals flip to skilled companies since it may be a troublesome course of to overview the experiences, have destructive objects eliminated, and to work on repairs. Nevertheless, not all of those companies are well worth the time and funding. Some are outright scams. What do one of the best credit score restore applications provide?

Among the good issues to search for embody a free session, adherence to native legal guidelines, longevity, and an affiliation with at the very least one lawyer. The best credit score restore group will NOT cost you outright. They are going to give you a free session and overview your report to be able to let you already know what can and can’t be carried out. Ask them if they’ve expertise with the kind of scenario you want resolved, resembling enormous bank card debt or having an IRS lien eliminated.

Talking of attorneys, it is most likely for one of the best that you simply stick to a program that has attorneys working for it. Legislation corporations are one of the best credit score restore applications since they already know all the legal guidelines concerning the credit score companies, banks, and lenders. Having them in your aspect is particularly useful if there are any suspicious objects in your credit score report and you’ve got considerations about tried fraud.

What are a few of the “pink flags” you completely should search for? How are you aware when to show away from a “credit score restore program”?

Options Finest Credit score Restore Packages Do Not Have

What to AVOID:

• Any firm that tries to demand upfront fee.

• A promise of a “quick / simple repair”. There aren’t any “quick, simple fixes” with regards to credit score restore.

• Any type of assure or promise that an organization will “elevate your rating”

• Corporations which have unresolved complaints towards them.

• Any suggestion that you simply “lie” or create a “parallel id”.

• Make any suggestion or do something in any way that makes you’re feeling uncomfortable.

The very fact is that one of the best credit score restore applications by no means make any guarantees, apart from the assure that they are going to check out your credit score experiences and provide you with an evaluation of whether or not there actually is any hope for you, and that they are going to enable you in any method they will so long as the strategies adhere to each native and federal legal guidelines.

Earlier than signing any contract, learn all the disclosures. Do NOT arrange an auto-detect fee plan. Familiarize your self with the “Credit score Restore Organizations Act” so that you’re going to know what precisely an organization is forbidden to do. If this system is reliable, you’ll solely have to start funds upon receiving proof that they’re doing every little thing they presumably can (legally) that will help you.

Now that you already know what the best credit repair programs provide, you will get began together with your search. Many individuals suggest Lexington Legislation, as the corporate gives a free customized session and entry to your TransUnion report abstract. There are additionally a number of constructive Lexington Legislation evaluations on-line.

Source by George Botwin



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What Is Identity Theft? | Credit.com

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Disclaimer

Identity theft is a major problem. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there were more than 650,000 victims of identity theft in 2019, making ID theft the most-reported type of FTC complaint.  Chances are good that you will encounter identity theft in your lifetime. That was the case for at least 1 in 10 Americans ages 16 and older in 2016, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Protecting your identity and privacy should be a priority for you, and knowing what identity theft is can help you prepare. There are many different types of ID theft, which can make safeguarding your personal information even more important—and more difficult. Let’s look at some of the most common examples of identity theft and what you can do to manage the risks.

Defining Identity Theft

The term “identity theft” is used a lot, often interchangeably with “fraud.” Though many instances of identity theft are committed for fraudulent reasons, the two are slightly different. If you are a victim of identity theft, you want to catch it before it becomes fraud.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), identity theft is “the knowing transfer or use, without lawful authority, of another person’s identity with the intent to commit, aid, or abet unlawful activity.” In simpler terms, ID theft is the act of stealing another person’s information, like through mail theft, phishing, card skimming, unsecure Wi-Fi or a data breach. Fraud is when a criminal illegally uses that information for their own gain.

The NCVC calls the latter “identity fraud,” which encompasses crimes like credit card fraud, medical fraud, and Social Security number theft. Identity fraud can be financially driven, but is also committed out of other motivations. Someone might try to steal your passport or driver’s license information to travel unnoticed by law enforcement, for example.

Whether an ID thief uses your credit card or medical insurance, the cost to you can be big. Javelin Research found that the 2018 out-of-pocket costs for victims of identity theft were $1.7 billion.

Different Types of Identity Fraud

As a popular saying goes, “Know your enemy.” Let’s take a closer look at identity fraud types and preventative measures you can take to prepare yourself and protect your finances.

1. Credit Cards

Credit card fraud is by far the most prevalent type of identity theft, according to FTC numbers.

You probably store your credit card information with different vendors or subscription services. If you used your card once at a retail store, they’ll still have your information on file. If a data breach occurs at one of those businesses, someone may gain access to your credit card number and begin to make fraudulent purchases.

While it may be easier to catch a fraudulent charge on a card you have, it could be harder to spot a new account in your name. In the meantime, hard inquiries and high credit utilization due to fraud could wreck your credit score.

ExtraCredit, Reward Smart Financial Decisions. Learn More

What you can do: Requesting a chargeback might help you avoid paying for specific fraudulent transactions, but checking your credit report will show you if the problem is deeper. Sign up for ExtraCredit to keep an eye on your credit report and scores at the same time to make sure that fraudulent accounts aren’t being opened or used. You can also request your free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year to keep close control over your identity and credit profile. If you notice anything fishy, request a freeze immediately and file a report with the FTC.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, you can currently review your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus for free each week, through April 2021.

2. Loans and Leases

Somebody with your personal information might try to apply for a loan online. Fraudsters may then be able to get financing to buy a car or real estate. The FTC has also reported fraud instances related to student loans and payday loans.

Loan application fraud is a challenge to track, but the impact is someone racking up debt in your name. When creditors come calling, it won’t be the thief who has to answer the phone.

What you can do: As with credit card fraud, regularly check your credit reports to watch for red flags. If you spot something, immediately contact the responsible financial institution. You may also want to file a police report or contact the office of the attorney general for your state. If you are the victim of loan/lease fraud, consider using credit repair services to help you recover.

3. Phones and Utilities

Mobile takeover fraud is a complicated scheme, but it’s a growing problem. Basically, it involves a fraudster using your information to access your smartphone and then lock you out. In the meantime, they can use your apps, read saved documents, or scam others by impersonating you. They might also harvest your personal and financial information that you have saved. The same might happen for an electricity or water account: A criminal finds a way in and consumes services that are ultimately billed to you.

The common theme with identity theft here is that if someone has your info, they can do just about anything with it. This includes opening up utility accounts in your name, getting free electricity, gas, water, internet or cable.

What you can do: Maintain strong passwords for all the accounts you have. If you need to, use a password manager to help you keep track of all the complex log-in credentials. Never, ever make your passwords using personally identifiable information, like a pet, birthdate, or home street. Should something happen, immediately contact your service provider.

4. Tax Fraud

Come tax time, a refund is a happy surprise for some Americans. Others may get a nasty shock when they’ve learned someone has claimed their return before they even file their taxes. Tax fraud typically occurs when someone has stolen your Social Security number, which they can then manipulate to falsely file a return and claim your refund.

What you can do: Under no circumstances should you give your SSN to anybody but trusted entities like the government, your bank, or your credit card company. Be wary of scammers posing as the IRS who will call or email you demanding your SSN information. This is a surefire sign of fraud. You can also opt to file your taxes early, thereby eliminating the opportunity for thieves to file for you and claim your return.

The IRS recommends watching out for various scams. If you believe you’ve been a victim, file a report on IdentityTheft.gov, call the IRS at 1-800-908-4490, and complete and submit the identity theft Affidavit.

Taking the Next Steps to Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is a constant threat, so you’ll always need to be on your toes.

Guard It from ExtraCredit provides you with proactive alerts, dark web monitoring, account monitoring, and $1 million in ID theft insurance.  Sign up today or read more articles about identity theft and fraud.

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China to take steps to improve bad faith deterrent mechanism_英语频道_央视网(cctv.com)

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BEIJING, Nov. 26 — China will adopt policy steps to optimize the mechanism for deterring acts of bad faith and refine the social credit system to underpin the development of the socialist market economy, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.

“In recent years, China’s social credit system has continued to develop. A market economy relies on credit, and a credit-based economy must follow the rule of law. Work in this regard shall be effectively carried out pursuant to laws and regulations,” Li said.

Those at the Wednesday meeting decided on measures to refine the bad-faith deterrent mechanism to promote the orderly and healthy development of the social credit system. The principles include adhering to laws and regulations, protecting rights and interests, taking a prudent and appropriate approach and implementing list-based management.

The scope and procedures of credit information shall be formulated in a science-based way. Including certain behaviors in public credit information will require strictly following laws and regulations and a catalog management approach. Such information will be made accessible to the public.

Administrative departments must determine acts of bad faith on the basis of legally binding documents. The scope and procedures for sharing credit information shall be standardized. The principle of legality and necessity shall be observed when deciding whether and to what extent credit information is shared and disclosed. Such decisions shall be made clear when compiling the credit information catalog.

The meeting underlined the need to strengthen information security and privacy protection. Access to and procedures for credit information inquiries shall be strictly enforced. Leaking, tampering, damaging or stealing credit information or utilizing credit information for personal gains will be seriously investigated and dealt with. Illegal collection and transaction of credit information will be strictly cracked down on.

“In the development of the social credit system, it is important to pay attention to protecting personal privacy and trade secrets. Credit reference shall be conducted in accordance with law, with science-based scope and definition and appropriate penalties. Information must be used in a safe and secure manner,” Li said.

Identification of list of entities with serious acts of bad faith will be better regulated. The list shall be limited to those who put public health and safety in grave jeopardy, seriously sabotage the fair market competition order or disrupt normal social order. The list shall not be willfully expanded without authorization.

Punishment against bad-faith acts shall be enforced in accordance with laws and regulations, to make sure that penalties are meted out commensurate with dishonest behaviors. Disciplinary measures taken against entities with serious dishonest behaviors that reduce their rights or increase their duties shall be based on facts of bad faith and on laws and regulations. Punishments should be appropriate and not be added or increased at will. Financial institutions, credit service agencies, industry associations, chambers of commerce and news media should not be forced to punish entities with serious acts of bad faith.

A credit repair mechanism, which is conducive to self-correction, will be established. Entities will be allowed to fix negative credit records, unless otherwise stipulated by laws and regulations, should they correct dishonest behaviors and eliminate adverse impact. Relevant departments shall remove entities, who meet credit repair eligibility, from the list in a timely manner.

All localities and relevant departments shall promptly overhaul measures that have been rolled out for the determination, recording, disclosure and punishment of bad-faith acts, and those that do not meet the requirements shall be regulated in a timely manner.

The meeting also decided on measures to advance high-quality development of the credit reference sector. Cross-sectoral and cross-regional connectivity of credit information involving finance, government affairs, and public services will be promoted as provided by law. Disclosure and orderly utilization of data in government departments will be promoted in faster pace.

Market access of individual credit reference agencies will be promoted in an active yet prudent manner, and openness of the credit reference sector will be scaled up. Matching regulations and supporting institutions for the credit reference sector shall be improved and accountability mechanism strengthened. Fraudulent credit rating shall be strictly punished according to law. 

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