Credit Report

Credit Report

How to Fix Credit Repair After Identity Theft

I don’t know how to fix an identity theft credit score! Maybe you are in such a crisis and don’t know where to begin. It can be very frustrating!

Victims of identity theft most often experience a dip in their credit score. This is because the thief may have run up new debt on the card or applied for loans. 

Getting another loan can be quite difficult in such circumstances and it is frustrating.

How Identity Theft Affects Your Credit Score

identity theft credit score

The impact of a messed up credit score is far-reaching. What does a ruined credit score imply?

  • It could mean the amount you are eligible to borrow reduces, the interest rate could increase, and lending terms could generally have less wiggle room.
  • You may have to pay more in insurance premiums.
  • You might have to postpone buying that house you’ve been eyeing for a few more years.
  • Those that consider it a speculative investment to allow them take out a line of credit for something they haven’t yet planned for will no longer have that option.

The implications are life-altering! Having the option to borrow and getting optimal borrowing rates works in your favor in the long run. For that reason it should be guarded as much as possible. 

Thankfully, a dent to your credit report can be remedied. You can take several steps to bring your identity theft credit score back to where it was.

Where To Begin 

1.Respond Immediately

Identity theft can drastically affect your credit score and the sooner you catch it, the higher the likelihood of less damage. The thief can keep digging deeper into your pockets with every transaction.

Change all your passwords, PINs, and login details. 

Keep a record of all your transactions so you can easily cross-reference and identify a transaction that didn’t originate from you.

2. Place a Fraud Alert

Talk to one of the three credit reference bureaus. These are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Have them place a fraud alert or freeze your credit altogether. Whichever company you call is expected to share the information with the other two.

A fraud alert brings to their attention that you’ve been a victim of identity theft. That way they will pay extra attention to your account and will be cautious about lending you money. 

Any time someone tries to access credit in your name after placing a fraud alert, the business will ask for identity verification before consenting.

Placing a fraud alert is free.

A credit freeze locks all access to your credit report until the freeze is lifted. 

3.Report the Identity Theft

You will need to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission using the online form. Creating an account with FTC will ensure they take you through every step of the process, including the recovery plan, and pre-fill letters and forms for you.

If you choose not to create an account, you will need to print and save your Identity Theft Report and recovery plan immediately. It will no longer be accessible once you leave the page.

Where you are required to, report the issue to the police or sheriff. 

Furnish the authorities with all the necessary information including a copy of the FTC Identity Theft Report, proof of your address, a government-issued ID that has a photo, and proof of theft. Keep a copy of the report.

In instances where you don’t know the perpetrator, local law enforcement may not write a report. Take note of when you filed the report and who you spoke to.

4.Close All Affected Accounts

how to fix my credit score identity theft

You can now call the companies where the fraud occurred and explain the situation. Ask them to close the account. 

Make sure they provide you with a letter that frees you of any liabilities relating to the fraudulent account.

The letter should also state that the account isn’t yours and was removed from your credit report.

Keep this letter safely in case the account still shows up in your credit report later.

The sooner you close the accounts the higher the likelihood of the companies not holding you liable. 

5. Highlight and Dispute All Inaccurate Charges

Send communication to the three credit reference bureaus with a list of all the fraudulent transactions and ask that they remove them. 

Make sure to send a copy of the FTC Identity Theft Report or police report.

They should respond within 30 days of receiving communication from you. Make sure they confirm with a letter.

6. Correct Your Report

It would be best to reach out to the credit reference bureaus asking them to block all fraudulent transactions from your credit report. 

You will need to show them proof of  identity plus the FTC Identity Theft Report, highlighting the relevant transactions.

You have the right to block this information from your records.

7.Stay Alert

After such a scare, you want to be a little more alert about your account activities. Take a look at your credit reports as often as possible.

In the event debt collectors are attempting to collect debts you know nothing about, take the time to stop them.

If you know of a Social Security number that is being used inappropriately, it would be best to report it. Report and replace any government-issued identification that is lost.

If a person is arrested and uses your name or credentials, reach out to whichever agency apprehended the perpetrator. File an impersonation report and avail all your details so they can exonerate you.

Conclusion

There may seem to be a lot of back and forth but it is possible to fix your credit after identity theft. Take it all in your stride and keep calm through the process.

Once restored, be careful to keep your Social Security number hidden at all times. Whenever you leave the country, don’t pay for items using your credit card.

Keep tracking your credit score as you go along and remember, with a little patience and clarity of mind, it is possible to recover.

How Do Credit Repair Services Work?

Most of us would die to have an appealing credit report. The main reason being our credit scores and reports highly influence our financial decisions that impact our lives. 

Credit repairing services can help you sort your credit report errors. If you are having a hard time with bad credit, credit repair services can help you but at a cost. 

If you have a hard time with bad credit, you come across credit repair companies for cleaning up your credit report. That is, getting a loan, a fantastic interest rate, a competitive insurance premium, and even securing a job can be impacted by what’s on our credit reports.

All hope is not lost for those with poor credit scores, as there are plenty of better ways to rebuild your credit. 

What is Credit Repair?

Repairing your credit is done by hiring a company to fix your bad credit by removing inaccurate and harmful info on your credit reports in exchange for payment. 

You get information on your credit status by communicating with the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) and financial companies like your bank to dispute the errors. 

There can be a lot of disputes, but the end goal is to have negative info deleted from your credit file. Therefore, improving your credit ratings. Credit repair services don’t help you manage your money. 

Management of your money is a service offered by credit counseling companies like the National Federation for Credit Counselling (NFCC) and the Financial Counselling Association of America (FCAA).

What are Credit Repair Services?

These are services that a credit repair company offers to improve your credit in exchange for a certain amount of fee. The organizations often promise to “handle all the heavy work” with credit reporting agencies.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the credit repair industry is fraught with scams. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate any credit repair organization before working with it.

How to verify a credit repair company: McClary says, “there are all kinds of ways” to vet credit repair businesses. Here’s somewhere to start.

  • Read the reviews of the company on the Better Business Bureau website.                               
  • Search for the consumer financial protection bureau’s complaint database.

If the company boast that it can do any of the following, it’s a red flag and likely a sign of a scam:

  • Guaranteed improvement of credit 
  • The organization requests you pay before it provides services 
  • Legally create a new credit identity for you 
  • Remove accurate negative info from your reports

Therefore, we recommend seeking out a credit counselor first. Counseling can help give you a better idea of what’s in your credit reports and how to improve your financial situation long-term.

How Do Credit Repair Companies Work?

Ultimately, most credit repair companies communicate on your behalf either with the credit bureaus or with the companies that reported or “furnished” your credit info to the bureaus. Most legit companies inquire for a copy of your credit report from each major consumer credit bureaus.

The organization will review your credit reports for derogatory marks, like:

  • Charge-offs  
  • Tax Liens     
  • Bankruptcies

Afterward, it will plan to dispute those errors and negotiate with creditors to eradicate those Items. 

Communications by credit repair organizations can happen via the internet, phone, or U.S. mail. The U.S. mail has historically been the method that credit repair companies have preferred for several reasons.

Mailing letters might sound unsophisticated, but it’s the only way that credit repair organizations tend to operate. Certain credit repair service providers use a technique known as “jamming,” which entails sending repetitive and often casual letters to various credit bureaus. 

Therefore, the credit company will send a large volume of dispute letters, so that either the credit bureau, lender, or debt collector will fail to process the dispute within the 30 days specified by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), resulting in the account being deleted.

The organization may also recommend applying for new accounts to add positive info to your reports. Be extra cautious here. If you’ve ever had trouble managing credit in the past, a new account may not be the best option. Also, it is not advisable to take on more credit if you don’t need it.

How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?

credit repair services

Credit repair companies are not free, but payment is made after they have done their service. These are done in two ways: Any item removed from your credit report is charged, and you are charged monthly. 

Once a month, they will charge you for the services provided during the previous 30 days. The fee per item is charged once the info is removed from your credit file. Exact fees vary by service rendered.

Credit repair organizations must first deliver the promised results then request payments afterward. For each derogatory mark removed from each of your reports, you might pay a one-time flat fee but that depends on the type of company you’re using. The pay rate can start around $35 per deletion and could range to $750 or more.

Does Credit Repair Take Time To Get Resolved?

The dispute you sent to the credit company bureau takes 30 days to investigate and verify. Typically, the credit bureau is required to send you the investigation results within five business days of the completion of the investigation. 

If the credit bureau determines the dispute is “frivolous,” it can choose not to investigate as long as it communicates that to you within five days.

What To Watch Out for When Seeking Credit Repair Services

Customers should exercise extreme caution when considering working with a credit repair company. If they ignore your questions, ask for payment before the service is delivered, or do not record its promises, turn around and look for another company. 

If you are looking forward to working with a credit repair company, consider all the warning signs and avoid potential scams. Anyway, it’s much better to confirm the accuracy of your own reports, since anything a credit repair company can do, you can do it much better.

Let Ebony Credit Solutions Help

At Ebony Credit, we offer credit repair services on flexible terms. Our process is easy, transparent, and affordable. Book an appointment to get started with us today.

Credit Repair Service-12 Factors to Consider before Choosing One

Are you having a bad credit score or a hard time monitoring your credit services? That’s where a credit repair service comes in handy.

With a clear picture in mind of what you need from the company, you won’t have a hard time choosing one.

Keep reading to find out everything you ought to know before settling on a credit repair service provider.

Let’s get started.

1. Features 

credit repair service

Look at all the features of the repair service. Make sure that the features match what you would want; they vary from company to company.

Check the model of the credit score used; FICO and VantageScore are the standard models. Note that most companies use the FICO model for lending decisions.

2. Customer Support

When making inquiries in various credit companies, listen keenly to their response to customers and potential customers. 

How they listen and respond to customers will tell you the kind of company they are and are respectful enough to work with.

A company that has a website is better; on this website, you can ask your questions. Make sure to check if they have responded to other questions before. 

Most of these websites have a section about the company where there is a helpline that you can always use to reach them. Now that you are ready to call their helpline, ask all the questions about credit repair you have in mind. 

If you are satisfied with the way all your questions are answered, then there are chances that they will give you a reliable credit repair service.

3. Beginner Fee

You ought to ask how much a company charges as a startup fee; this way, you can compare the fee from different companies and the services they provide for the amount. 

Contacting about ten companies will give you the range you are supposed to spend on your credit card. The research will help you rule out companies that are charging extremely high startup fees.

The beginner fee mainly includes the amount needed to repair your credit card and the analysis cost of repairing it.

Remember, credit repair scam companies will use this opportunity to obtain your credit details and make payments on your behalf without your knowledge. 

Most of these companies charge meager beginner fees, and by the time you get to realize, all your money is gone—enough reason why you should scrap off companies with a meager startup fee from your list.

Keep the focus on companies that charge a reasonable amount as a beginner fee.

4. Service Charges

credit repair company

After discussing the monthly fee with your company of choice, it is time to talk about the service costs. 

Most companies charge a monthly fee. Here you need to evaluate the monthly fees just as you did with the beginner fee above. Make sure you settle for an affordable and high-quality package. 

Once the company conducts an assessment on the state of your credit card, the monthly fee will cater for the repair.

However, some credit repair service providers like Ebony Credit only charge a lifetime fee and another charge per deletion. Such providers give you more flexibility and help you save more because you don’t have to pay every month.

5. The Number of Disputes It Can Solve

A reliable credit company should make clear the number of disputes they can solve. 

A company with an unlimited number of disputes to solve is the best, though it comes at a higher price.

With a low credit score, a company will tend to restrict the number of disputes it can solve. Make sure that you settle for a company with unlimited services.

6. The Credit Repair Service’s Years of Service

Before settling on a credit company, it would be best to consider one that has provided the service for many years. 

This way, you will be confident that they will solve all your credit situations. Being in the industry for a long time is an additional advantage since they have experienced numerous credit problems.

Ask about the experience of their workers and agents. Through the inquiries, you will avoid being in a situation where the company has been in the market for a long time, full of new employees.

Having an experienced employee handle your situation will improve your credit score.

7. Credit Monitoring Services

Choose a credit repair company that offers monitoring services for free. This way, you will be able to keep an eye on how your credit is fairing. 

Free monitoring services can allow you to make payment while the repair is still on.

8. Safeguard From Identity Theft

Are you worried about your personal information safety?

A lot of personal information is required when accessing credit repair services, the repair company must put in place measures that protect your details.

With a safeguard identity, you won’t feel nervous about the safety of your data.

9. Personal Loans

When you have credit issues, it is not easy to get loans from companies. 

The good news is some companies will offer personal loans even when your credit is being repaired; you can purchase a commodity and continue with your daily business.

10. Refund Guarantee

choosing a credit repair service

Your main aim of looking for a credit repair service is a significant repair. I am sure you won’t like it when the credit remains the same after investing your money in it.

A credit repair service with a compensation plan allows you to get your money back if the desired services are not delivered. This way, you can find another company to work on the credit.

The compensation pan gives the company the morale to deliver quality service. Losing money because of poorly delivered service is not fun for them.

11. Online Reviews

Companies that are confident of their work value their customer’s feedback will have a review section on their website.

When you land on a company’s website, remember to check the reviews; they are vital in your decision-making. In most cases, the customer is always right.

Reviewing websites will also help in finding objective reviews. Here you can have access to the low-rated reviews.

When going through negative reviews, don’t ignore the red flags; if you notice identity theft cases and failure to fix credit services, you should consider another company.

Some companies will fake their reviews to impress you. To avoid this, remember that we can’t have a review with only positive comments.

12. Discount for Couples

In cases where you and your partner want to repair the service, a company with a discount for couples will help you save a lot. 

The money saved can be used in fulfilling other tasks such as debt payment.

Final Word

Now that you are aware of most considerations when choosing a credit repair service, go ahead and find a repair service that will cover all your needs. Ensure that you ask all the necessary questions; this will enable you to make a sound decision. All the best.

9 Easy Tricks to Boost Your Credit Score Fast (#6 Works Like a Charm)

Are you worried about your low credit scores and how you can boost your credit score fast? You’re not alone; many people are looking for ways to improve your credit score quickly.

A higher credit score means building up the confidence of financial institutions in your ability to pay loans or your credit card.

The best part is with a higher credit score; you will enjoy low interest on your loans.

Keep reading to find out dead simple ways to achieve a better, if not an excellent, credit score.

1. Pay Your Bills on Time

Paying your bills on time is an effective strategy for raising your score. Late payments will cost you. They can last on your credit report for up to 7years.

If you miss the payments for 30 days and above, communicate with your creditor and have a plan to make payments as soon as possible this way, they may consider excluding the late payment on the report.

Some creditors won’t include the report; however, make your payments without delays to avoid hurting the score.

Setting a reminder will help you avoid missing payments; adopting automatic payment methods will help you cover the most payments.

Payment of bills plays the most prominent role in determining your credit score when working with VantageScore or FICO.

Adding positive credit to your account will improve your score significantly; the best part is the impact of late payment fades with time, depending on how many days you were late with the payments. 

2. Report Errors on Your Credit Report

When you acquire your credit report, look at it carefully and ensure that there are no mistakes.

Some of these mistakes include a late marked payment while you paid it on time when your report is mixed with someone else and an outdated negative report.

A single mistake on your report affects your score immensely. Once you note any mistake, report it.

Even if the process of disputing the errors may take plenty of your time, it is worth it. It will improve your chances of acquiring a larger loan. 

If you need a mortgage, make sure you resolve the disputes early enough.

Some credit companies act fast on correcting the errors to improve your score. The credit bureau takes up to 30 days to respond to the complaints.

3. Boost Your Credit Score Fast by Adopting a Payment Strategy

To attain a low balance for reporting by your card provider to the credit bureaus, you must implement a strategy. 

Using 30% or less of your limit is a great idea; the lower the credit utilization raises your score; for example, people with excellent credit scores use less than 7% of their limit.

Your credit utilization is vital to your score.  For a low credit utilization, set a reminder on your card to notify you once you reach a specific limit.

A good payment strategy highly influences your score. It will lead to a good credit report to the bureaus and boost your credit score fast.

4. Request for Higher Limits

A higher limit on your score reduces your entire credit utilization, and your balance remains the same.

Talk to your credit provider, and they will advise you on how to get a higher limit. Try to avoid hard inquiries that drop your credit score points.

Once your provider reports the higher limit, your credit utilization will lower, provided you avoid using up the extra advantage on your card.

5. Have an Extra Credit Account

An extra credit card will improve your credit. Consider another type of card apart from the one you have.

The new card can help where you have a loan; it will improve your credit score by reducing your credit utilization by availing more credit.

However, before getting the extra card, think about what and how to pay the fees and interests if the card is strictly for improving credit.

The card starts benefiting you immediately after the credit bureau approves it.

6. Consider a Secured Credit Card

boost your credit score fast

A secured credit card is a great way of rebuilding your credit. 

It allows you to make a cash deposit as a backup; once you make the advance payment, the deposit acts as your credit limit. It means you can use it just like your typical credit card.

Despite improving your credit score, the card mostly helps you in timely payments and keeps your balances low.

The card adds more positive information to your report and allows you to correct mistakes such as delayed payments you made on the other cards.

7. Be Added as an Authorized User

This idea works well for newbies.

It only requires a relative or a friend who has a better experience with their card to add you as an authorized user.

For example, if you have a new card with a credit limit of $2000 and your monthly usage runs to about $600, it means you are using 30% of your credit limit, thus a higher credit utilization. If your dad has a credit card with $20000 with a bit of usage, you will love the fall in your credit utilization if he adds you as an authorized user.

Before considering an account to be added to make sure it reports to the credit bureaus.

Note that you don’t need the account holder’s personal details such as their account number or credit card to improve your scores.

8. Pay Off Collection Accounts

Dealing with all your collection accounts reduces the threat of being sued for failure to pay the debt. 

You can agree with the collection agency to stop reporting any debt payments.

The good news is the latest FICO and VantageScore allow you to remove the collection accounts; after reporting the paid-off status to the credit bureaus, the scores benefit much.

However, if the negative mark on your credit report is significant, convincing your collecting agency to stop reporting the account might be a big deal.

9. Limit new Account Applications

As much as you would like to have additional credit accounts to boost your credit file, more accounts may lead to a hard inquiry that affects your score. 

The average age of your credit card is reduced when you have additional accounts; this may compromise the scores.

Even if accounts and inquiries are minor factors affecting your score, you need to be cautious and reduce the number of new applications you make.

Final Word

All the tips above will help improve your score. However, there is a need to be patient with each process. Remember there is no limit for time to rebuild your credit. It all depends on what is affecting your score. Establish the cause and work on it, and before you know it, you will be ranking at an excellent credit score.

Can Your Web History Impact Credit Score?

You might be wondering, can my web history impact credit score? Well, the short answer is yes. Keep reading to find out more.

Have you ever considered your web history as important to your financial life? 

Well, very soon your internet habits just may be. In the near future, your web history could impact credit score and, therefore, the kind of house you buy or even what you pay on your car loan. 

Currently, the credit score is a three-digit number that is arrived at from assessing your debt level and payment history. 

A working paper posted on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) website, however, hints at companies possibly widening their scope of data collection to get a better picture of borrowers and the risk they carry. 

New Credit?

web history impact credit score

The researchers say lenders could soon take a look at your search, browsing, and shopping history to obtain a more accurate credit score. This may be the future of lending.

Citing other studies, the researchers show that using both credit information and your ‘digital footprint’ offers better loan default predictions. 

Most of this digital information is readily available but what is not can be provided to credit bureaus. 

It may sound rather odd and spy-like, with someone watching your every digital move but that isn’t the case. 

Machine learning and artificial intelligence would instead be tasked with scraping this data and then turning it into information suitable for a credit report.

Who Benefits when Web History Impact Credit Score?

On one end, some may not like the thought of lenders looking at their browsing data. This feels very personal and possibly a violation of private space if nothing else. On the flip side, those who don’t have a good credit rating from traditional financial institutions could benefit from this. 

Consumers who have been ‘unscorable’ could access credit and those with a credit score teetering between medium and low could either increase it or lose access altogether. This is according to a 2018 study by the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

The pandemic, for instance, hit many people and left them with late loan payments thus denting their credit rating. Lenders were therefore not quick to give good deals even though mortgage rates significantly dipped to historic lows

With this other system, lenders could look at your browser history and your purchases would let them know how trustworthy you are. This would be viewed as the bump it is and not a negative character trait of your doing. 

Considering people’s digital footprint would essentially bolster financial inclusion for those that have had difficulty getting credit in the past. 

Are There Any Risks Involved?

While these changes remain speculative and seem far off at the moment, they could potentially come to pass. They provide quite the advantage but at what price? The biggest worry would be privacy and data security. 

The researchers admit there would be an ‘efficiency-privacy trade-off.’ With an increase in the use of private data in financial services, the government would have to set standards for data collection and use, the researchers say. 

The paper notes that the U.S. does not allow the use of race or gender information to make lending decisions but this still leaves room for other kinds of data to be misused. What data is important and what isn’t? How will the information collected remain in the right hands? 

Big Tech is not as highly regulated as the banking industry but data privacy would have to be monitored for this to work. That poses a problem in itself since the industry is very fast-paced and governments may take time to come up with necessary policies.

How Do You Build Your Credit Score?

steps to build credit score

Before they figure out how much your web history could impact your credit score, you need to build a solid credit score. It will increase your borrowing limits, a mortgage, lower interest rates, a credit card, and personal loans. 

Some landlords look at your credit rating before deciding to offer their house to you too. The old-fashioned way is the way to go for now and the best approach to this is:

  1. Regularly Check Your Score

It may seem pointless but knowing where you lie will keep you on the right track. Stay aware and alert on your progress. It becomes much easier to spot any odd activity too. 

There are services you can use that will allow you to access your score at no cost and send you alerts whenever a change occurs. That way you can adjust your habits before things go too far.

  1. Build a Good Track Record

A good record begins with making payments on time. Ensure you pay your credit card as expected to build a good credit history. If regular cards are not an option, specialized credit cards will still serve the purpose.

  1. Debt Consolidation

Having many small debts with high-interest rates poses a big challenge to your credit score. The debt level is very critical for the credit score decision. The best option is taking a low-interest debt consolidation loan to pay off all the high-interest debt accrued. 

That leaves you with one loan to pay off that is more manageable. It also looks much better on paper.

  1. Be On the Lookout for Fraud

This is why regularly checking your credit rating is necessary. A little fraudulent activity and your credit rating could take a beating. 

It can easily ruin all the hard work you’ve been putting in over the years. Any suspicious activity caught in good time could save you a lot of unnecessary trouble.

Get Ready, Do It Right

Life as we know it keeps changing and technology will keep offering newer and better ways of doing things to accommodate the changing landscape. Whether web history can impact credit score is still up for research but preparing for it won’t hurt. 

Keep shopping wisely and keep your online activity in check. Fill out your LinkedIn profile and show off your skills while you’re at it. 

We’ve seen bigger and crazier innovations within the Big Tech space and who knows where this could end up?    

How The Economic Works

Economics 101 -- How the Economic Machine Works.

A Economics 101 -- "How the Economic Machine Works." Created by Ray Dalio this simple but not simplistic and easy to follow 30 minute, animated video answers the question, "How does the economy really work?" Based on Dalio's practical template for understanding the economy, which he developed over the course of his career, the video breaks down economic concepts like credit, deficits and interest rates, allowing viewers to learn the basic driving forces behind the economy, how economic policies work and why economic cycles occur.

To learn more about Economic Principles visit: http://www.economicprinciples.org.

Understanding the economy in 10 easy steps

The Reserve Bank of Australia's decisions about the cash rate are not just about setting the interest rate for mortgages. The economy is not controlled by one set of numbers but reviews a variety of factors.

It helps to understand the various signals that experts look for when making decisions that will ultimately affect your pocket book. For most households, key indicators that affect your daily life the most are interest rates, inflation and unemployment.

Staying abreast of the economic signals can assist you to make wise financial decisions and not get caught out.

Here are my top 10 basic economic factors worth understanding:

 

1. Cash rate

The cash rate also called the official interest rate, and it is the interest rate off which all borrowing is based. The rate is controlled by the Reserve Bank, though technically it is the rate the banks charge each other for overnight borrowing, to maintain positive balances with the Reserve Bank. When the economy is improving, the Reserve Bank raises interest rates to slow the economy; when the economy needs some stimulation, interest rates are reduced to low levels such as today's 2 per cent. The Reserve Bank uses the cost of money to control demand.

2. Inflation

Inflation is the rising cost of goods and services. The Reserve Bank uses the cash rate to keep inflation within the bounds of 2-3 per cent. The idea is that when money is cheap, we'll spend a lot and prices will rise; when interest rates are high, we won't spend so much and prices won't rise so fast. Inflation is currently 1.7 per cent – don't expect a rate rise soon.

3. GDP

The growth of gross domestic product (GDP) measures how fast the economy is growing. GDP growth is like a national scorecard and is currently around 3.0 per cent, above the global trend.

4. Global growth

The Reserve Bank looks at global growth because it defines the health of our broader market place. The International Monetary Fund put global growth at 2.4 per cent in 2015 and forecasts 2.9 per cent for this year.

5. Labour market

Strong employment is essential when you control the economy with interest rates. Banks won't lend to those with no job and economic confidence is weak with high unemployment. The Australian unemployment rate is currently 6.0 per cent; in comparison, in Canada it's 7.2 per cent and in the UK it's 5.1 per cent.

6. Exchange rate

The current "low" exchange rate of the Australian dollar against the US dollar is more a return to trend. It makes some imports more expensive but it helps exporters.

7. Industrial v services economy

The RBA refers to the "mining economy" and the "non-mining economy" (all industries other than mining). Economic growth has traditionally been based on the mining industry in Australia, which is currently not experiencing growth. However, Australia has seen recent growth in the non-mining sector. This economic transition matches the recent Chinese shift from industrial to a services economy.

8. Household consumption

Household consumption equals consumer confidence in buying and selling goods and services. It is currently strong.

9. Balance of trade

This is simply the difference between how much we export and how much we import. Every economy would love to export more than it imports and Australia usually hasn't. Since 1971 our normal state is to have a trade deficit.

10. Business investment

One of the big stimulants for not only the economy but also the jobs market, is business investment. In 2015, capital expenditure was down around 16 per cent on 2014.

Mark Bouris is executive chairman of Yellow Brick Road.

NB. This article has been altered to correct the definition of "cash rate".

 

 

 

Bill H.R. 3621 The Comprehensive Credit Act of 2020

The House passed Ayanna Pressley’s credit score reform bill. Here’s what it would do.

“American families are finding themselves trapped in cycles of debt, simply for trying to afford basic needs like healthcare and education.”

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley speaks on the House floor in support of H.R. 3621 – the Comprehensive Credit Rating Enhancement, Disclosure, Innovation, and Transparency (CREDIT) Act of 2020, legislation she sponsored to affirm the right of all consumers to a fair and transparent credit reporting process.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley says she is “thrilled” that the House of Representatives passed her bill to reform the credit report system, though the legislation’s future in the Senate is unclear.

The House approved the Comprehensive Credit Reporting Enhancement, Disclosure, Innovation, and Transparency (CREDIT) Act on a mostly party-line vote Wednesday afternoon.

Pressley — who has championed often-arcane financial reform bills during her first term in Congress — says the legislation would address a “fundamentally flawed” system that can impede upward economic mobility in a country where “our credit reports are our reputations.”

“When credit reports determine where you can live, work and how much you will have to pay for everything from a car to a college degree, consumers deserve a system that ensures equity, transparency and accountability,” the Massachusetts congresswoman said in a statement. “American families are finding themselves trapped in cycles of debt, simply for trying to afford basic needs like healthcare and education.”

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For military consumer: Free electronic credit monitoring

Free electronic credit monitoring coming soon to the military

October 31, 2019

Staff Attorney, FTC's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection
Starting October 31, many members of the military will have access to a free tool to help spot identity theft. The nationwide credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – have confirmed that they will provide free electronic credit monitoring services to active duty servicemembers and National Guard members.

For details on how to sign up, go to the websites for each of the credit reporting agencies.

A credit monitoring service can alert you to mistakes or problems on your credit report that might be the result of identity theft. For example, it would tell you if there’s a new credit card or loan in your name. If you knew about that, great. But if you didn’t, that could be an early warning of identity theft.

Once you have the credit monitoring service, you will be notified by mobile app, email, or text of certain changes to your credit file. These can include changes of address, payments that are more than 30 days late, bankruptcy information, foreclosures, liens, and new accounts opened in your name.

If you find inaccurate or fraudulent information on your credit report, read Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report. If you find signs of identity theft, visit Identitytheft.gov to get started on recovery.

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