Equifax

Credit Scores 101

This week on the show we’re taking you to credit score boot camp with credit guru Gerri Detweiler.

Helping consumers find reliable answers to their credit questions has been the theme of Detweiler’s work for the past 20+ years. Currently Head of Market Education for Nav, she helps individuals and business owners navigate the confusing world of consumer and small business credit.

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As an expert on credit issues, she has been interviewed for more than 3,000 news interviews including The Today Show, Dateline NBC, The New York Times, USA Today and Reader's Digest. She has also testified before Congress.

Nearly two years after credit monitoring company Equifax announced that a “Cybersecurity Incident” had exposed personal information of 147 million Americans, it will pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million, to end a federal, state, and consumer claims against it.

With breaches like Equifax happening on a seemingly regular basis, it’s more important than ever to keep a close eye on your credit score.

And don’t forget to review your credit report every 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you find an error, report it immediately and stay on top of the process, as a lower score will cost you more to borrow.

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CBS This Morning: Equifax Settlement

After a huge data breach in 2017, credit monitoring agency Equifax agreed to pay out $700 million, up to $425 million of which would establish a fund to compensate consumers. About 147 million people, nearly half of the country’s population, had their personal and financial information exposed. Equifax admits “no wrongdoing,” and a federal court still needs to sign off on the settlement. I joined CBS This Morning to discuss how you can find out if you’re eligible for a payment.

Equifax Settlement

Equifax Settlement

Nearly two years after credit monitoring company Equifax announced that a “Cybersecurity Incident” had exposed personal information of 147 million Americans, it will pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million, to end a federal, state, and consumer claims against it. If the proposed settlement receives federal district court approval (as expected), it would be the largest ever for a data breach.

CBS This Morning: Free Credit Freezes

Americans can help fight identity theft by freezing their credit – now free of charge – at the three main credit-monitoring services. This new policy is part of a law called The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. Over a year ago, a hack of one of those credit services, Equifax, affected nearly 150 million people and exposed personal information including names, social security numbers and birth dates. I joined CBS This Morning to discuss the importance of freezing your credit, how to do it, and what to do if you are experiencing fraud.

Have a money question? Email me here.

Identity Theft Prevention One Year after Equifax

Identity Theft Prevention One Year after Equifax

It has been one year since credit monitoring company Equifax announced that a “Cybersecurity Incident” had exposed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license and credit card numbers, from nearly 148 million Americans, which means that it’s time for an identity theft prevention check in.

Do I Need This Annuity + Your Money with Ron Lieber

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Why is my advisor trying to get me to buy an annuity? Such a common question on this show, and that's how we kicked things off this week with John from Colorado. Even though John is in great shape with several million saved, that doesn't mean he automatically needs an annuity. Such an interesting call! 

As someone who consumes a massive amount of financial data and then tries to make it palpable to listeners, viewers and readers, I am drawn to those who have an uncanny ability to break through the clutter.

At the New York Times, my-go to writer for personal finance is Ron Lieber. His column, the wildly popular Your Money, covers just about anything and everything that hits you in the wallet, from investing to paying for college to mortgages and homes.

And that pretty much describes how our discussion went. We bounced around -- from Equifax to the cost of college and the fiduciary debate.

Ron is also an accomplished author. His most recent book is The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money.

His latest book project, What To Pay For College, is set to be released in 2020 and will ask college presidents questions that families don’t know (or are afraid) to ask, as well as putting the surprisingly small amount of existing data on this topic into context and pulling the curtain back on how schools set prices which can now top $125,000 for four years of tuition, room and board for state residents.

It’s always a blast to talk shop and the state of the financial services industry with a colleague, especially when it’s somebody you so highly respect.

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100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask

Home ownership has always been considered an essential part of the American Dream.

And while it may be getting harder to accomplish—especially for the millennials—it’s still pretty high on the list of goals. If you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right by doing your homework and asking the right kinds of questions:

  • What can you afford?
  • What do you want in a home, and what do you really need?
  • What does "location, location, location" really mean?
  • How do I decide what to offer on a house?
  • What exactly does the closing process look like?

While it’s hard to ignore all the financial implications of making such a large investment, there are, of course, the equally important issues related to life, family and relationships that arise in buying a home.

And quick postscript to all you millennials out there who want to buy, but feel like the cards are stacked against you...hit up the app store on your phone and put all the tools and technology at your fingertips to use to help you find the best deal possible.

And remember, the American Dream is still very much alive and achievable.  

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a finance related question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

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