You can email Zina here. Brittney Laryea is a personal finance writer for MagnifyMoney. Her work covers a range of personal finance topics. However, many consumers may not grasp what that really entails. In a recent survey by CompareCards. When you freeze and thaw your report, you are preventing anyone else from opening a credit account under your name without your knowledge.
If being involved in a data breach is the catalyst that brings that to the top of your mind, then we can see that as a positive. How much a credit freeze will cost you by state. Pros and cons of freezing your credit report. An alternative to freezing your credit report. The freeze makes it harder for criminals to commit financial fraud using your information. You will need to use a personal identification number — only you will know it — to lift or thaw the freeze before creditors can again have access to your credit report.
You will need to request a credit freeze with each of the big three reporting bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — for the freeze to have the biggest impact. You must go through a separate process with each of the three major credit bureaus to freeze your credit report. You can freeze your Equifax credit report online, by phone or by mail.
In the meantime, you can still freeze your Equifax score the traditional way, by visiting the Equifax security freeze site. You will first need to fill out a form with your personal information, then make any payment required by your state. If that is the case, try one of the other methods or try again online in a day or two. Call New York residents call , and you should be connected with an Equifax representative who will verify your personal information and assist you with your credit freeze request. Request your credit freeze by certified mail.
Write a letter to the reporting agency requesting the credit request and send it to the following address: You can temporarily thaw your Equifax credit report via mail, online Equifax's security freeze site , or by calling New York residents dial Send mailed requests to the following address: Each time you freeze your report, temporarily lift a freeze or permanently end one, you may have to pay a fee. In the wake of the Equifax hack, consumer advocacy groups and some lawmakers have renewed their efforts to allow data breach victims to sign up for free credit freezes in their states. Public Interest Research Group, said in a statement a little over a week after the Equifax data breach was made public.
The act is intended to make actions related to freezing credit reports free for all consumers nationwide. The majority of states have laws in place that cap the amount a credit reporting agency is permitted to charge consumers to freeze, lift, or thaw their credit reports. PIRG analysis released shortly after the breach found only four states — Indiana, Maine, North Carolina, and South Carolina— have laws in place that provide free credit freezes, thaws, or lifts for their citizens. The analysis found an additional four states provide free freezes, but charge for thaws.
There is a silver lining for some. If you can present documentation showing you are a victim of identity theft at the time you place a freeze on your credit, most states will waive fees. You can check what your state will charge you for each action below. Multiply the amount by three because you will need to pay each credit bureau. Depending on the state, a protected consumer may pay a different amount or have his or her fee waived. The National Conference of State Legislators has more information on whom each state counts as a protected consumer, here.
Eva Velasquez, of the Identity Theft Resource Center, says consumers should consider freezing their reports if they are victims of identity theft or at an increased risk of having their information misused for identity theft because of lost or stolen items. Freezing your report is an important consumer protection you can and sometimes should take advantage of as a general consumer. However, there are several occasions when you may not want to freeze your credit. If you want a more convenient way to monitor use of your credit report, you may want to consider placement of a credit fraud alert instead of the freeze, as explained below.
When you have the alert set, all lenders attempting to pull your credit history will see a flag on the reports, alerting them to verify your identity before extending credit. Additionally, fraud alerts are temporary. In most cases, you will be required to renew the alert in 90 days. Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at brittney magnifymoney. Kantrowitz tells MagnifyMoney he expects that number to rise for graduates. And scammers have come up with a clever way to dupe these borrowers into spending money on services that promise to erase their debt.
Rather than getting the help they need, borrowers are duped into paying for something they could easily accomplish for free with a simple phone call to their student loan servicer. After all, student loan forgiveness scams are really only one part of a broad range of debt relief scams. Debt relief scams share many of the same qualities and employ similar tactics to mislead consumers into paying for their services.
Do your due diligence before working with any debt relief service, by keeping an eye out for these red flags, as well as checking sites like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Better Business Bureau for complaints against the company.
However, know that it is possible you may never get your money back. Reporting scams, can not only help others from losing their money, but if an investigation by the CFPB or FTC results in suit and judgment, then the debt relief company may be required to issue refunds , cease business, and ensure borrowers do not miss out on important repayment benefits. Track your credit reports with all three credit bureaus to ensure your personal information is not used fraudulently.
You can get one free credit report each year at annualcreditreport. If you fear a debt relief scammer has your Social Security number and other financial information, you might want to consider a credit freeze. That will stop anyone from being able to open a new line of credit without you knowing. Contact your loan servicing companies and have any power of attorney authorizations removed.
Some companies will ask borrowers to give them power of attorney so they can negotiate directly with their loan servicers. Contact your bank or credit cards to stop payment to the debt relief company and see if they can work with you to try and get your money back. It is common for debt relief services to charge monthly recurring fees for their services. Change your Federal Student Aid password. Every federal student loan borrower has a unique login for the https: If you gave a company your FSA information, consider that information compromised and change your FSA password immediately.
These programs have a wide range of requirements and payment terms, some as short as five years, others as long as 25 years, and can be available based on the types of federal student loans you have as well as your chosen career. In addition to loan forgiveness programs, there are programs that offer loan repayment assistance or loan discharge.
How much can be discharged and the amount of repayment assistance varies greatly depending on the program. Teachers must complete five consecutive years of teaching at a low-income Title I school. Forgiven debt is not considered taxable income. Must work in a qualifying public service job, be enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan, and make on-time payments. Reserved for students who graduated after Oct. Eligibility depends on the types of loans, when the loans were borrowed, and whether they were borrowed for undergraduate or graduate programs. Contact your loan servicer.
Outstanding balance after reaching end of repayment term is forgiven. Most of the programs offer to pay one-third of the eligible amount for each year of service. Be sure to discuss your eligibility for loan repayment programs with your recruiter and request enrollment as soon as possible.
The program only applies to federal loans. There are a few exceptions for greater amounts depending on occupation. Upon completing a term of service in one of three approved Americorps programs, you are eligible for the Segal Americorps Education award that can be used to pay current student loans or for educational expenses later on.
But students can complete the program twice, earning double the amount of forgiveness. This education award would be considered taxable income. The award must be used within seven years of completion of your Americorps service. US citizens with federal or certain private loans in good standing working in qualified research programs such as a doctor M. Determine which of the five Loan Repayment Programs best applies to your situation and submit your application and any required supporting documentation during the open application period.
In , applications for all of the programs opens September 1, , and have various closing dates with the earliest being November 15, States or schools may offer these programs to those working in public service or under served rural areas. Check with each individual program. For those working in a health related field you can learn more about repayment assistance programs here.
Lawyers , you can visit the American Bar Association Website to find out what states offer loan repayment assistance. Those with a law degree can learn more about repayment assistance offered by law schools here. Make sure you keep your loans in good standing by continuing to make payments while you wait to hear back on your discharge application. If you are totally and permanently disabled and can establish that under the specific requirements of the program you could have your federal student loans discharged.
Must submit proof of your disability.
Due to sedentary habits, erratic working hours and growing stress, it is a challenge to adopt healthy lifestyles. Contact your loan servicer directly. Submit the form and make any payment required by your state to freeze your report. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. According to the Certified Financial Planner CFP Board, the fiduciary standard requires that financial advisers act solely in your best interest when offering personalized financial advice.
There is no cap on the amount that will be discharged. Discharged debt may be taxable. If you are struggling to afford your student loan payments, there are some actions you can take to ensure your loans remain in good standing and you avoid a default that could negatively impact your credit score. If you are unable to afford your current payment, you can apply to change repayment plans. For example, if you are on a Standard Repayment Plan for your federal student loans, you could request to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan.
If you are already on an IDR plan and your income has changed significantly, you can request to have your payment amount recalculated. If you are going through a temporary financial hardship, you can ask your loan servicer to apply a deferment or forbearance , which would not require you to make payments during the deferment or forbearance. While both a deferment and forbearance offer you relief from making payments, with a forbearance you will be required to eventually pay back the interest that accrues during that time.
Refinancing involves taking out a new loan from a private lender and using that loan to pay off your old loan. The pros of refinancing include a reduced interest rate and the ease of having just one payment. If you refinance a federal student loan, you will lose all of the benefits that federal student loans offer. Alternatively, you could consolidate your federal loans. A Direct Consolidation Loan combines all your loans using the average weighted interest rate into one loan.
So instead of dealing with multiple loan servicers and multiple loan payments each month, you only have one student loan payment to make each month. If you have private loans, your lender may not offer as many repayment options as federal loans. Reach out and work with your lender anyway. They may offer a financial hardship program that would lower your payments. Your loan servicer would much rather work with you to ensure they get paid.
An example of where this argument has been successful would be a private bar loan, a loan taken out to cover the expenses of taking the bar exam.
Liz Stapleton is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Liz here. Debt relief , obama student loan forgiveness , Scams , student debt. A rule that would make it easier for consumers to join together and sue their banks might be shelved by congressional Republicans or other banking regulators before it takes effect. Members of the Senate Banking Committee announced Thursday that they will take the unusual step of filing a Congressional Review Act Joint Resolution of Disapproval to stop a new rule announced earlier this month by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The CFPB rule, which was published in the Federal Register this week and would take effect in 60 days, bans financial firms from including language in standard form contracts that force consumers to waive their rights to join class action lawsuits. The congressional challenge is one of three potential roadblocks opponents might throw up to overturn or stall the rule before it takes effect in two months. So-called mandatory arbitration clauses have long been criticized by consumer groups, who say they make it easier for companies to mistreat consumers.
They also say the CFPB overstepped its bounds in writing the rule. The rule permits arbitration clauses for individual disputes, but prevents firms from requiring arbitration when consumers wish to band together in class action cases. Meanwhile, the new rule also faces a challenge from the Financial Stability Oversight Council, made up of 10 banking regulators.
The council can overturn a CFPB rule with a two-thirds vote if members believe it threatens the safety and soundness of the banking system. A letter from Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika , a council member, to the CFPB on Monday asked the bureau for more data on the rule, and raised possible safety and soundness issues. Any council member can ask the Treasury secretary to stay a new rule within 10 days of publication.
The council would then have 90 days to veto the rule via a vote. It would be the first such veto. Prohibitions in current contracts will remain in effect. Consumers who want to ensure they enjoy their new rights will have to close current accounts and open new ones after the effective date, the CFPB said. Bob Sullivan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Bob here. CFPB , class action , politics , washington. A plan to repeal major aspects of Dodd-Frank — legislation enacted to regulate the types of lender behavior that contributed to the economic crisis — crossed its first major hurdle last week when the U.
House passed the Financial Choice Act. The bill still has to pass the U. Senate and be signed by the president before becoming a law. However, if it does, significant changes would be made to some regulations that might require consumers to pay more attention to their financial decisions. We will end bank bailouts once and for all. So financial institutions would have a path to declare bankruptcy in lieu of shutting down completely. Fewer regulations for banks: The Financial Choice Act also gives the president the ability to fire the head of the newly created CLEA at any time, for any reason, and gives Congress control over it and its budget.
These changes will take away much of the power the CFPB holds to monitor the marketplace and pursue any unfair practices. Specifically, he says the CFPB would no longer be able to go after high-cost, small-dollar credit institutions, such as payday lenders and auto title lenders.
The bill also would roll back the U. It went into partial effect on June 9. If the Financial Choice Act becomes law, opponents say it could mean that consumers will have to be even more careful with their financial choices and who they trust as a financial adviser because there will be less government oversight. If the bill passes the Senate, it could still face some hurdles. Jana Lynn French is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jana Lynn here. CFPB , legislation , policy , politics.
However, the final rule includes a number of modifications, including several concessions to the brokerage industry, from the original version proposed six years ago. So what exactly is a fiduciary? According to the Certified Financial Planner CFP Board, the fiduciary standard requires that financial advisers act solely in your best interest when offering personalized financial advice.
Currently, most advisers are only held to the U. This looser standard allows advisers to recommend suitable products, based on your personal situation. Many investors have been pushed toward products with high fees that quickly eat away at profits. This applies to all financial products you may find in a tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Despite these new protections, the Department of Labor also made some key concessions.
Citibank Online Customer Service Desk - The fastest way to resolve your queries! Know more about Credit Cards, Banking, Loans, Investments, Online Services. Citibank India provides automated service for your general product and service related queries. In case of further clarifications, you can refer to our FAQ section.
Previously, brokers were required to provide explicit disclosures about the costs of products to their clients. This included one, five, and ten year projections. However, this requirement has been eliminated. After heavy pushback from the industry, the Department of Labor also agreed to allow the use of proprietary products. Additionally, the Department of Labor has pushed the deadline for full implementation of their new rules.
New York Times also predicts the new regulations may also accelerate the movement toward more fee-based relationships. They also suggest complex investments like variable annuities may soon fall out of favor. Once their new rules are in place, they are anticipating retirement funds will shift to lower cost investments, savings consumers billions of dollars.
And the quality of the advice you receive can vary greatly based on their level of education, experience, and credentials. In order to find someone who is equipped to handle your unique financial situation, you will still need to do your homework. You may want to start by looking for a fee-only financial planner. Due to the nature of how they are compensated, fee-only financial planners operate without an inherent conflict of interest. Remember, no one cares more about your money than you do. Kate Dore is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kate at kate magnifymoney.
You wake up the day before payday to alerts from your mobile banking app saying your account has been overdrafted. How could this be? So you start backtracking. This is an example of how banks have turned so-called overdraft protection and insufficient fund fees into a multi-billion-dollar cash cow. This can make customers more susceptible to incurring multiple overdraft fees on the same day. The fees have effectively allowed banks to profit off of some of their most financially vulnerable consumers: On the one hand, it saves you from the embarrassment of a declined card at point of sale.
On the other, it is one of the most expensive ways to borrow money for what are typically small purchases. Some institutions limit the number of times you can be hit with overdraft fees in a single day. Bank of America, for example, limits overdraft fees to four times a day. Some banks will allow you to link your checking account with another account to pull funds from when you overdraft, but will then charge you for an overdraft protection transfer fee, which is typically lower than a full overdraft fee.
Overdraft fees can quickly spiral out of control if the person cannot afford to pay back the bank and bring their balance back in the black. More than half of the banks Pew studied said they charge an extended overdraft fee. Excessive overdraft fees could lead to a closed account or loss of check-writing privileges.
It could also become difficult for you to open accounts with other banks if your bank reports your behavior to ChexSystems. ChexSystems keeps a record of your banking history similarly to how the credit bureaus keep track of your credit history. In a worst-case scenario, excessive overdraft fees could damage your credit score as well.
If your bank decides to write off your unpaid account and send it to collections, it can show up on your credit report. At that point, your accidental overdraft could seriously damage your credit score. It may be in the form of a question asked by your banker or a pre-checked box when you enroll in online banking. If you are worried about getting denied at a point of sale and are okay with a fee to automatically transfer your own money, you can link your debit card checking account to another account for overdraft protection.
Keep your eye on your balance to avoid overdraft and NSF fees altogether. You can use a budget-tracking app like Mint that sends you overdraft and fee notifications as well, although they may not come in time to help you. There is no bank account that truly offers no overdraft fees. Ally Bank is one of the better banks when it comes to overdraft penalties. So long as you link a savings account to your checking account, the bank will transfer funds from savings when you make a purchase larger than your available balance.
The bank also gives you the option to link an account for overdraft protection with no fee for the transfer, or create a line of credit that can be used to cover overdrafts. If you decide to use the line of credit you will be charged interest on the overdraft balance until you pay it off, but there is no fixed overdraft fee.
MagnifyMoney has a full list of best account options for overdraft fees. In addition, you can use the checking account comparison tool to rank accounts based on overdraft fees and other options. At the very least, opt out of overdraft protection to avoid getting hit with fees each time your card is declined. Banking , overdraft protection.
Nick Clements Nick Clements has worked in consumer banking for nearly 15 years and is the co-founder of MagnifyMoney. Advertiser Disclosure Share this article: Zina Kumok Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. How to freeze your credit report. Equifax You can freeze your Equifax credit report online, by phone or by mail.
The service is set to debut by Jan. Go to the TransUnion security freeze site. You will need to log in or create a TransUnion account before you can submit your request online. Call and a TransUnion representative should verify your personal information and assist you with your credit freeze request. TransUnion offers a free credit report monitoring service called TrueIdentity.
The service allows users to lock and unlock their credit report with a swipe on their mobile device or a click online. The direct outcome is a significant increase in so-called lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. We are not only plagued by diseases of the developing nations, but are increasingly being plagued by the problems of the Western World. Health insurance policies today need to serve the financial requirements of a customer as well as provide comprehensive medical management. They are motivated by a desire to live and provide a comfortable life to their families and want programs that help them guard against medical emergency needs.
Apollo Munich, a partnership between Apollo Hosiptals group, the largest hosiptal group in Asia and Munich Health, a global health insurance provider, specialize in delivering programs that combine protection with preventive healthcare to lead a healthy and quality lifestyle.
Through this partnership, we are addressing the health insurance needs of the emerging affluent and affluent segments, leveraging our strong digital banking and client centric relationship management approach. Citi's presence in India spans 42 branches across 30 cities.