Monday, December 4, 2017

6 Tips To Protect Your Credit Score During The Holiday Season!

At the end of the year, there is always a spike in consumer credit card spending as people prepare for the holiday season. Your holiday purchases can have a large impact on your credit score. A little bit of financial planning can keep these extra expenditures from damaging your credit.

In addition, you need to take some precautions to protect your credit from outside forces, especially during the holiday season. After all, they want to have a good holiday too, with your money!
Here are a few tips to improve your credit for the time being and keep it looking good through the holidays.
1)      Make a Detailed Plan
Review you Cash Flow and be honest with yourself. How much comes in and how much goes out. Make a list of whom, and how much you want to spend. Keep to your plan. You’ll be glad you did. Remember, this is the time of the year that we tend to get trapped in EMOTIONAL spending.
2)      Check Your Credit
Whether opening a new credit card or focusing on protecting your credit, the first thing you should do is check your credit. If you notice any problems or mistakes with your credit profile, now is the time to get it fixed. ( Also, if you have a high number of inquiries on your credit report you may want to stay away from applying for new credit.
You need to check, not only that the accounts that you have are reporting correctly, but that things that don’t belong to you are not on your report. Always check for wrong - addresses, date of birth, or social security numbers. These may indicate that someone is trying to use your credit.
3)      Pay Down Your Debt
While checking your credit, you may have noticed some high balances on your loans or credit cards. If you’re looking to improve your score to apply for a new credit card, be sure to pay down your credit balances so you have the lowest credit utilization possible.
4)      Ask for a Credit Limit Increase, or Apply for a 0% Interest Credit Card – if your credit is good.
Call your credit card provider and ask if they will increase the limit of your credit card. This tactic will allow you to charge a little more on your credit cards without impacting your credit utilization rate. That being said, just because you have a higher limit doesn’t mean you should spend more. This move is for protecting your credit score, not getting extra money. However, if the higher limit keeps you from maxing out your cards, then it will be worth it. Still, be careful not to spend too much as your credit cards carry high interest rates and you could end up paying a lot more for those holiday gifts.
5)      Watch Out For Holiday Scams

Scammers want to make a living too.

·         Bogus Websites – stay with recognized sites. If it sounds TOO GOOD it most likely is. They may look like your creditors or bank website but always check the web address. The address may have your creditors or banks name but look for another dot com address in the site address.

·         Email Scams – they are becoming more deceptive. It may appear to be coming from a friend or your bank but again, check the address it was sent from. You may be surprised. If you don’t recognize the email address, DON’T OPEN IT.
·         Fake Tech Support – I got a call recently from Microsoft about spamming emails being sent from my computer. The guy knew a lot about my system. He knew the operating system and other information. I called Microsoft and they knew nothing about it. I was informed that they would NEVER call to tell me that.
·         Online Coupon Scams – steer clear of these from companies you don’t know or haven’t heard of. They just want to get your information.
·         Anyone that wants you to pay via MoneyGram, Western Union or a Pre-Paid Card.
The pre-paid card is a favorite of the people running the IRS scam. They will never call, email or ask you to send money via a Pre-Paid Credit Card.
·         Oh…as one of my clients went through, no one from any court will call you up telling you that you have to appear in court this afternoon, or, if you want to avoid going to court, call the  collection agency suing you to pay them to avoid a judgment. Court employee NEVER will call you either.

6)      Points to Keep in Mind for After the Holidays…
        Pay down the highest interest credit cards FIRST.
·         Especially after the Equifax hacking, you need to review each and every bank statement and credit card statement to catch any possible fraudulent activity.
·         You will lose points if you have high balances to credit limits on your credit cards. Max out 5 or 6 credit cards and you stand to pose 100 to 125 points off your credit scores.
·         You will lose points for having balances on more than 4 credit cards.
·         You will lose points for opening too many credit cards too suddenly.
·         You will lose points for a higher total debt on your credit cards.
·         Avoid Department store card giving you a 10% discount Today. These cards charge higher interest rates and will quickly eat up any savings you get today.


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Credit Scoring Advisor Blog – Daniel Sater - Nationally Recognized Credit Expert & Credit Expert Witness


Friday, September 29, 2017

The Equifax Hacking Just Keeps Getting Worse

By Daniel Sater – Nationally Recognized Credit Expert and Expert Witness

On September 7th we learned about the hacking of 143,000,000 consumer’s personal credit information. What made it worst is that we learned that it started in mid-May! To make matters even worse, Equifax only discovered the data breach on July 21.

We now know that between the discovery and notifying the public, three executives sold their stock before the stock price dropped. It may be determined that this was an act of insider trading.

Equifax decided to let consumers check to see if their information was part of the hacking. They created a website to check – Hackers who have been known to take advantage of things like this created a website of their own – The bigger problem…EQUIFAX STARTED REFERRING PEOPLE TO THE FAKE SITE!

It Gets Better…NOT
It turns out that the hacking started ever earlier. It seems it started in March not in May. All that time, for 4 months, they didn’t even know the hacking was going on.

I would imagine this might be due, in small part, to their head of cyber security who has two degrees…both in music composition! LOL

The CEO of Equifax decided to “retire”, after the Board of Directors told him that his services were no longer needed. He retires with $18,400,000 pension benefits.

A scheduled hearing with congress on the Equifax data breach never happened since Equifax decided not to show up.

What is Congress Doing About This?
The GOP lawmakers are quietly trying to deregulate the credit bureaus despite the hacking. They want to limit class-action lawsuits and limit damage awards to $500,000 and bar and Punitive Damages from being awarded.
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!!

What You Need to Do
 You must be vigilant about your finances.
1.     1 Put a free Fraud Alert on your file at all three credit bureaus
2.     2 Get a free copy of your credit reports at
3.    3 Sign up for the Equifax free one-year monitoring service. (They no longer bar you from lawsuits or being part of a class-action lawsuit.)
4.    4 If you can’t sleep at night…you can put a Credit Freeze on your file. It will cost you to do this at the other two bureaus. And, yes, you need to protect all three bureaus. This will prevent unauthorized pulling of your credit prior to granting credit by a new lender. If you want to apply for credit, you will need to temporally unblock it at a small addition cost for each credit application. You'll need to call each of the credit bureaus -- Equifax (1-800-349-9960), Experian (1‑888‑397‑3742) and TransUnion (1-888-909-8872)

Scammers will be trying to get you to give up your personal information
     They appear to come from trusted sources. Phishing scammers are great mimics and fairly good psychologists.

  • ·         Never fill out and submit forms that appear in the bodies of email messages.

  • ·         Triple-check the address of any website requesting personal information.

  • ·         Beware of requests for information the sender should already have.

If you are a victim of Identity Theft – we can help. We have help many of our clients get back their good names and credit. Call us at 631-465-9565.
Credit Scoring Advisor

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Equifax Announced that 143,000,000 of their Files have been Hacked

This hacking of Equifax can cause serious problems for you. Although this hack was discovered by Equifax July 29th, the actual hacking happened between Mid-May through July this year!
Here is what you should do to protect yourselves from having your credit damaged by these hackers…
1)      Go to to check the potential impact of your files being part of the hack.
2)      Get a free credit report. Federal law guarantees your one free credit report per year from the three major bureaus (yes, including Equifax). Head to this website to get your most-recent credit report and evaluate it to find any malicious activity. Look for unknown accounts, strange addresses reporting and especially review all inquiries. You can go to any other site that gives you a report from all three bureaus.
3)      Set a fraud alert. Anyone can sign up for a free, 90-day fraud alert. The FTC has information on how to do that here. Be sure to list a phone contact number.
4)      Freeze your credit. Credit freezes make it harder for criminals to open credit cards in your name. You'll need to call each of the credit bureaus -- Equifax (1-800-349-9960), Experian (1‑888‑397‑3742) and TransUnion (1-888-909-8872) -- to freeze your credit. Understand that doing this will make it harder for you to apply for credit. If you want to do so you will have to contact the bureaus with your pin number and pay a small fee to unlock your credit.
5)      Pull your credit report once every 6 months to ensure there are not any future problems.
6)      Equifax has offered to sign you up for their monitoring service free for one year. If you do this be aware that you will be forced to go through binding arbitration is you want to sue later and can’t become part of a class action suit. If you want a separate monitoring service, you can use this link to get a $10.00 per month discount on Identity IQ.   

At Credit Scoring Advisor we ARE the experts. We specialize in Rapid Credit Repair for our clients. Our founder, Daniel Sater is a Nationally Recognized Credit Expert, Author, Public Speaker, and Educator as well as an Expert Witness on Credit Scoring, Credit Reporting and Credit Damages. In addition, Dan trains and Coaches numerous Credit Repair Companies across the country, he is a Certified C.E. Instructor for the Real Estate Industry for their continuing education credit. Mr. Sater is the Chairman of the Education Committee for NACSO – the trade association for the Credit Repair Industry.  His last book, "The Top 20 Toxic Credit Mistakes" is available on the Credit Scoring Advisor website and Amazon Kindle. He can be reached at 631-465-9565 or by e-mail at
Better Knowledge – Better Tactics –Better Results