What Do I Do if My Social Security Card is Stolen?

When your Social Security card is stolen, it can be a major cause for concern. The primary concern with a stolen Social Security card is identity theft. With just your Social Security number, identity thieves can wreak havoc in your name, negatively impacting your credit, finances and even commit crimes in your name. As soon [...]

How Can I Protect My Personal Information After a Data Breach?

On average there are three data breaches a day, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. So, that means your personal information might be at risk. If you’ve been notified you have been compromised in a data breach or suspect your personal information has been exposed, here are some concrete steps you can take to [...]

How to Help Protect Your Credit Health When You Missed a Bill Payment

Life is hectic and it’s easy to miss details sometimes, even when that detail happens to be a bill coming due. Making your payments on time can be tough when you’re having financial troubles or simply juggling a lot of responsibilities. It’s important to pay your bills on time to protect your credit health. Late [...]

2 Things You Can Do to Help Reach Your Credit Goals in the New Year

The start of a new year is a great time to reassess your financial health and implement habits that help positively impact your credit profile. Monitoring your credit report and identity is the best place to start your financial resolutions since it can have a ripple effect in other aspects of your life as the [...]

Here Are the Top-10 IdentityIQ Topics of the Year

This past year has been unlike any other. As we start a hopefully better 2021, we are taking a look back at the most searched and visited topics on the IdentityIQ blog during 2020. This list clearly shows that consumers are concerned about protecting their identity; paying down debt; learning how credit card debt impacts [...]

Corsair Capital Acquires Majority Stake in IDIQ®

Investment to Accelerate Growth of Leading Identity Theft and Credit Protection Company   New York – December 16, 2020 – Corsair Capital LLC (“Corsair”), one of the longest-standing private equity firms focused on business and financial services, today announced that it has acquired a majority stake in IDIQ®, a tech-enabled leader in credit report and [...]

How Multiple Credit Cards Can Affect Your Credit Score

To use a credit card for establishing credit, you need to have at least one open card that can be reported to the credit bureaus. But beyond that, there’s no definitive number of cards you need to have in your wallet for good credit. While your credit cards directly impact your credit, the number of [...]

With Job Scams On the Rise During COVID-19, Here Are Tips on How to Help Avoid Falling Prey

Work-from-home jobs have always been a target of scammers. Now, amid the COVID-19 crisis, these jobs have become even larger targets. Complaints about scams for certain business and job-related opportunities have spiked this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau (BBB). This uptick comes as the United States [...]

How to Help Protect Minor Children from Synthetic Identity Theft

According to the Federal Reserve, synthetic identity theft is one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the country. Synthetic identity theft occurs when a criminal uses a combination of real and falsified data to create a fictional identity for financial gain and other fraud. Children are particularly appealing victims for synthetic identity [...]

One of Largest IT Staffing Agencies in U.S. Reports Data Breach

A ransomware attack has exposed the commercial and personal employee data of Artech Information Systems, one of the largest IT staffing agencies in the nation. The data breach occurred Jan. 5 – 8 after a bad actor gained access to company servers through an employee user account. Company officials said Social Security numbers, medical information, [...]

4 Credit Moves to Make When You Move Back in With Your Parents

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, a record 32 million adult Americans lived with their parents or grandparents as of April. The pandemic is one likely culprit, but other factors – including housing costs and high student debt – have contributed to this phenomenon for years. Moving back in with your parents may [...]

Mortgage Lenders Tighten Borrowing Requirements in Response to Coronavirus

The coronavirus continues to upset the economy, and the housing market is no exception. As of last month, around 4 million homeowners have already requested mortgage forbearance with their lenders through the CARES Act forbearance program. Mortgage lenders are responding to the economic uncertainty by tightening credit requirements and making borrowers jump through more hoops [...]

Memorial Day Celebration Includes 25% of Credit and ID Theft Protection for Military and Veterans

This Memorial Day we celebrate active duty and veteran military members for the sacrifices they’ve made for our country with 25% off IdentityIQ credit report and identity theft monitoring services. These services are especially important as active duty and veteran military members are a group at highest risk for identity theft. Because of long deployments [...]

Protect Yourself and Your Children from Identity Theft

Remember the last time you were on an airplane and heard, “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead bins. Please place the oxygen mask over your own mouth and nose first before assisting others.” As a mom, that’s somewhat startling to hear because your instinct is to always put your children first and yourself second. [...]

How to Protect Your Identity During Tax Season

Tax season is officially here with Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, Feb. 3 – 7. While it’s important to be on high alert and protect your identity all year long, tax season is an especially vulnerable time. Every tax season, identity thieves run a variety of scams to get their hands on taxpayers’ personal information. [...]

FICO to Release FICO Scores 10 and 10T as Newest Versions of Credit Scores

FICO® has announced its newest credit score models – the FICO Score 10 and FICO Score 10T – with a focus on consumer personal loans and credit trends. The new FICO Scores aim to reward those who pay lenders on time and give lenders more precision and predictability powers when making lending decisions, said Jim [...]

How to Pay Down Holiday Credit Card Debt

If you went into debt shopping for the holidays, you’re probably not alone. Many American consumers plan to put at least some of their holiday spending on their credit card to pay off later. But putting too much holiday debt on your credit card can be bad for your wallet and your credit. Large credit [...]

5 Credit Score Myths to Stop Believing

There is a general lack of awareness surrounding credit, as American consumers’ knowledge about credit scores has been on a steady decline since 2012. And when you aren’t informed about your credit, it can be easy to believe misinformation and even spread it to others. Unfortunately, believing falsehoods about your credit can lead you to [...]

Data Breach Hits Parent Company of Joe’s Crab Shack, Claim Jumper, Rainforest Café and More

Landry’s Inc., the parent company of more than 600 restaurants, hotels and casinos, has announced a data breach exposing customers’ card payment information. Company officials reported a hacker accessed and installed malware to their network supporting payment processing, which is used by servers to swipe and charge customer credit cards. They said encryption technology made [...]

5 Ways to Make Smarter Credit Decisions in the New Year

Want to enhance your finances in 2020? Practicing better credit habits should be a key part of your strategy. Responsible use of credit is reflected on your credit report and affects how creditors view your ability to effectively manage debt. Any financial wellness plan for the new year should include a credit plan. Here are [...]

California Water District Data Breach Exposes Credit Card Information

The Cucamonga Valley Water District, a water district in Southern California, is informing customers of a data breach that might have put their credit card information at risk. Water district officials said a server operated by outside vendor Central Square, which the water district uses to collect one-time credit card payments, was breached by an [...]

Macy’s Data Breach Exposed Customer Data and Payment Info to Hacker Syndicate

Macy’s officials have alerted customers that their personal data and payment information may have been exposed via a data breach on the department store’s retail website. The breach allowed an “unauthorized third party” to harvest customers’ personal data and payment card information from macys.com. According to a letter to customers dated Nov. 14, Macy’s officials [...]

The Pros and Cons of Automatic Bill Payments

These days, many banks and service providers offer automatic payments to make paying your bills a little easier. This feature lets the companies you do business with automatically charge your credit card or debit your bank account on a predetermined date every month. While automatic payments can remove many of the headaches associated with paying [...]

Consumer Knowledge of Credit Scores Steadily Declining

Americans’ knowledge of credit scores has been steadily declining since 2012, according to a recently released survey from the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions, LLC. The survey was conducted by phone and posed a number of credit score related questions to 1,002 American adults. The improved economy could be one reason for the [...]

National Average of FICO Credit Score at Record High

The developer of the most popular credit scoring model, FICO® Credit Scores, announced last month the national average FICO score has reached 704, an all-time high. Average scores have steadily risen for nine straight years since bottoming out at 686 during the Great Recession. Stronger credit scores give consumers better borrowing power, access to better [...]

What is Synthetic Identity Theft?

Protect yourself and your family Identity thieves and fraudsters consistently innovate and adapt to new security measures when it comes to their crimes. One of the more modern cons, known as synthetic identity theft, is high on the list of concerns for legislators and financial institutions alike. Any demographic could be vulnerable to this form [...]

The Difference Between Revolving Credit and Installment Credit

The debts that appear on your credit report are typically sorted into two different types: revolving credit and installment credit. These debt types can affect your credit in different ways. But what’s the difference between revolving credit and installment credit? We break it down below. What is Revolving Credit? Revolving credit extends a fixed line [...]

Credit Freeze vs. Credit Lock: Differences Along with Pros & Cons

Credit Freeze vs. Credit Lock: What’s the Difference? Credit freezes and credit locks are often confused for one another since they protect consumers’ credit files from fraud in similar ways. They are, however, two different actions. As more people take preventative measures to protect their identity, it’s important to know how each of these actions [...]

How to Know When a Store Credit Card Isn’t Worth Your Time

Many retailers, from online sellers to department stores and smaller chains, have their own version of a store-branded credit card. Chances are that you’ve been offered one in exchange for a discount off your purchase at some point. While retailers often try to lure customers at the cash register with savings, store credit cards aren’t [...]

Should You Pay Your Credit Card Statement Balance or Current Balance?

It’s a good idea to make more than the minimum payment on your credit card. Paying more than the minimum helps reduce your balance, shrink the amount of interest you’ll pay in the future, and might help your credit score by lowering the amount of debt you hold. If you have the funds, you may [...]

Credit Karma ‘Technical Issue’ Exposes Account Information to Wrong Users

Officials of the credit monitoring site Credit Karma are blaming a “technical issue” for a data breach that exposed users’ credit and personal information to other site users. Users began posting to Reddit and Twitter this week to point out the issue, saying when they logged into the site they were given access to other [...]

How a Strong Credit Score Puts Money Back in Your Pocket

You already know that a decent credit score can help you get approved for the credit cards, loans, and other financial products you need. The better your credit score, the better your odds of securing approval. But there are other financial incentives to building a solid credit score – it can actually save you a [...]

4 Realistic Anti-Fraud Changes You Can Make Now

Now is the time to protect yourself against account fraud and identity theft, which can do massive damage to your credit and finances. Luckily, you don’t have to be a finance guru or cybersecurity wizard to better protect your money and identity. Here are four realistic anti-fraud changes you can make immediately to protect yourself: [...]

How Does a Late Payment Affect Your Credit?

Missing a monthly bill payment carries consequences more severe than late fees and embarrassment. Late payments can cause long-term damage to your credit score and affect your ability to qualify for loans and other financial products. You should always try to make your payments in full and on time to avoid these consequences, as your [...]

Equifax to Pay Up to $700 Million for Data Breach

Equifax is expected to pay about $700 million for a data breach that put almost half the U.S. population’s personal information at risk. The credit-reporting firm is working to finalize an agreement that includes a $700 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, numerous state attorney general offices, and a class-action [...]

8 Warning Signs You Might Be a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity thieves use stolen personal information to open fraudulent accounts, empty bank accounts, and wreak havoc on their victims’ credit and finances. If you become a victim of identity theft, it’s important to catch it early. The sooner you find out your identity has been stolen, the sooner you can take action and prevent any [...]

Credit Score Ranges: Is Your Score Considered Excellent, Poor, or In Between?

When it comes to your finances, there’s a lot of significance placed on one little piece of information: your credit score, which is calculated using the information in your credit report. This number can affect your ability to access the lifestyle you want and dictate how much you’ll pay for things over time, so it’s [...]

9-Year-Long Data Breach Puts 95,000 Delaware Residents’ Information at Risk

About 95,000 Delaware residents have had their personal information compromised in a data breach at an insurance provider that lasted nine years, according to news reports. Dental and vision insurer Dominion National recently reported the data breach, which the company said began in August 2010 but wasn’t discovered until April this year. Dominion National found [...]

3 Credit Facts You Need to Know About Medical Debt

Medical costs are a serious issue in the United States. The average U.S. consumer spends more than $10,000 a year on medical care, and one in five Americans has reported problems with paying his or her medical bills. But medical debt can put a dent in more than your bank account. It can also land [...]

Credit Card Fraud V. Debit Card Fraud: Are you Protected?

Did you know that how you dispute fraudulent charges on a debit card is different than on a credit card? Consumer protection laws differ in each case and knowing the differences can help to keep your accounts safe from identity theft.   Mainly, if you need to dispute a fraudulent debit card charge, the funds [...]

Graduation Means More Freedom, But Also More Risk for Fraud and Identity Theft

Graduation season is here and that means many young people will be heading out on their own for the first time. However, with that new-found freedom comes an increased risk for fraud and identity theft. Did you know that young people fall victim to fraud and identity theft at a higher rate than older adults? [...]

ID Theft: What to Do to Recover Your Identity & Credit

Identity Theft Recovery Plan: Start with Your Credit Report   If your personal information has been compromised, maybe by a data breach or stolen credit card, check your bank accounts for fraudulent activity immediately. You may be a victim of id theft. If you see fraudulent charges, you may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or even lost. [...]

Debt Snowball or Debt Avalanche: Which Debt Repayment Method is Right for You?

There are many good reasons to work on paying off your debt. Over time, your financial obligations and the size of your monthly payments may shrink. You can free up more cash for investing, saving, or just having fun. Making timely debt payments can even help your credit score. But what is the best way [...]

7 Common Credit Mistakes to Avoid

Building a strong credit score may seem like a complicated undertaking, but it generally involves making informed choices and avoiding common pitfalls. When you don’t know what behaviors to avoid, you could be dragging down your credit score without knowing it. Don’t let unintended blunders hurt your credit. Here are seven common credit mistakes to [...]

How Can a Credit Card Balance Transfer Help You Pay Down Debt?

Credit cards with strong balance transfer offers can help cardholders with high-interest rates pay down their credit card debt faster and more affordably. In theory, it’s a simple concept: you simply move your existing credit card debt to a new card with a lower interest rate, with the intention of paying down your debt quicker. [...]

Buying a Home? Here’s How Your Credit Will Affect Your Mortgage Rate

When you’re shopping for a home, it’s important to pay close attention to mortgage rates, the amount of interest that lenders charge on a home loan. Though it’s only a small percentage, the mortgage rate directly affects the amount of your monthly payment and how much you’ll pay over the lifetime of the loan. The [...]

Massive Marriott Data Breach Exposes Personal Information of Up to 500 Million Guests

Marriott International, one of the largest hotel chains in the world, today revealed its discovery of a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of up to 500 million guests. The data breach leaves Marriott guests vulnerable to account fraud, identity theft, and other criminal activities. Marriott says an unauthorized party has been accessing [...]

6 Common Credit Report Inaccuracies

The information contained in your credit report should be fair and accurate. After all, it determines your credit score and helps lenders, creditors, and other companies decide whether to do business with you. Unfortunately, credit report inaccuracies are extremely common. In 2013, the FTC reported that one in five Americans had discovered an inaccuracy on [...]

5 Things You Shouldn’t Put on Your Credit Card

When used correctly, your credit card can be a useful personal finance tool. Credit cards can fund everyday purchases, build your credit score, and even earn valuable rewards. But when you use your card the wrong way, you can easily fall into financial hot water and damage your credit. There are certain things you should [...]

6 Credit Card Benefits You Might Not Be Using

Credit card companies usually highlight their showier benefits, like cash back rewards or airline miles, to draw in new business. But many credit cards provide much more than that, offering a full suite of valuable benefits to their customers. If you’re only aware of your credit card’s surface level perks, you might not be getting [...]

What to Do When a Debt Collector Calls

Getting an unexpected call from a debt collector can be an intimidating experience. Often, debt collectors will try to pressure you into paying them over the phone on the spot. But even if you’re swimming in debt, you have rights when a debt collector calls, and you should always do your homework and exercise your [...]

Who Can Check Your Credit Report?

The primary purpose of your credit report is to demonstrate your creditworthiness to lenders and creditors. In other words, your credit report can help companies decide whether to approve or deny your loan and credit card applications. But lenders and credit card companies aren’t the only ones that can pull your credit report. In fact, [...]

5 Things to Negotiate With Your Credit Card Company

If you’re unhappy with the terms of your current credit card, you might think you’re stuck with the status quo. But credit card companies are often willing to negotiate certain terms, especially if you’re a good customer or if you have special financial circumstances. Here are five things to negotiate with your credit card company. [...]

Free Credit Report Freezes Are on the Way: Here’s What You Need to Know

Following last year’s enormous Equifax data breach that compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans, consumers were left wondering how to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. One solution is credit freezes, which prevent thieves from using your credit to open fraudulent accounts in your name. But freezing your credit with all three [...]

Is a Debt Consolidation Loan Right for You?

When you’re stuck with high-interest loans or massive credit card balances, it’s hard to envision a future where you aren’t overwhelmed by debt. If that describes you, you may be considering a debt consolidation loan to help dig yourself out. Personal loans for debt consolidation are offered by many banks and credit unions. They allow [...]

How to Get Your Credit Ready for a Credit Card Application

Before you apply for a credit card, it’s a good idea to review your credit and identify opportunities for improvement. That’s because a better credit score can get you lower interest rates, higher credit limits, and access to better cards. Whether you’re applying for your first credit card or your fifth, you should take some [...]

How Virtual Card Numbers Make Online Shopping Safer

Cybersecurity is a constant concern for retailers that store consumer data online. Even so, hackers are persistent, and data breaches have happened to some of the largest retailers in the world. When you use your credit card or debit card to shop online, you run the risk of your account information falling into the wrong [...]

How to Protect Your Identity While You’re on Vacation

People take vacations to explore new places, get away from the daily grind, or just plain relax. But even when relaxation is your goal, you need to be vigilant against identity theft. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 17 million people fell victim to identity theft in 2014 alone, and thieves won’t take [...]

Seven Reasons to Pull Your Credit Report Right Now

A lack of familiarity with your credit report could cost you big. The information in your credit report determines your ability to qualify for credit cards, loans, and even employment in some cases. Negative information in your credit report could hurt your credit score and block access to the financial products you need. You should [...]

Synthetic Identity Fraud Targets Children in a Long Con

Criminals with a lot of time on their hands are committing a con that can take years to pay off and sounds like something out of the future: Synthetic identity fraud. Instead of the traditional identity theft of stealing an existing identity from someone and posing as them, synthetic identity fraud criminals create a new [...]

Credit Card Lost or Stolen? Here’s What to Do

Your credit card is one of the most valuable items in your wallet, and you rightfully might feel frantic if it’s been lost or stolen. But unlike some other pieces of property, federal law protects your credit card. Replacing it might be a pain, but if you act fast you can limit the damage done. [...]

How to Protect Your Physical Documents from Identity Theft

Each year, millions of Americans fall victim to identity theft. It’s a serious threat, as thieves can use your personal information to open new accounts, claim tax refunds, file fraudulent Medicare claims, and more. Even if your identity isn’t stolen, thieves may try to use your personal information to gain access to your bank account [...]

4 Ways Credit Cards Can Help Your Credit Score

When used correctly, credit cards are one of the best tools available for building or improving upon your credit. They directly impact several factors that determine your credit score and are a good place to start if you want to make a positive change. Here are four ways credit cards can help you build your [...]

Why to Always Use a Credit Card Over a Debit Card to Avoid Fraud

Debit cards are one of the worst ways to use your money if you want your ID protected. Because it’s linked directly to your bank account, anyone with your card information can instantly withdraw all the money from your account. If that doesn’t scare you enough, there’s the fact that debit cards don’t have near [...]

Your Kid Should Have a Credit Card Before They Can Drive

The parental refrain “Do what I say and not what I do” isn’t a wise one in many respects, but especially when it comes to financial talks with your kids. Parents lead by example and if you’re racking up credit card debt you can’t afford, then you may be teaching them bad money habits. Such [...]

3 Best Ways to Stop Your Credit Report From Being Hacked

Data breaches are just about a daily occurrence. Whether it’s at a hospital, business school, energy provider or any other business with personal data on file, hackers are finding more ways to steal information and possibly later use it for fraud. Checking a credit report each month to make sure thieves haven’t opened accounts in [...]

Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: Which is Safer for Online Shopping?

Online shopping offers convenience and great deals, but it also leaves you vulnerable to hackers and data breaches. Criminals are constantly trying to break into the databases of online retailers to access consumers’ personal information and debit or credit card numbers. You should take steps to protect yourself online, and that includes determining the best [...]

Five Underused Tools that Make Online Shopping Safer

Staying safe as you shop online requires diligence. Some good habits, such as keeping your credit card number private, are obvious. But savvy shoppers can go above and beyond to reduce the risk of theft and fraud as they shop on the Internet, using modern technology and safeguards to protect themselves. Here are five underused [...]

5 Ways to Build Credit When You Don’t Have Any

When you don’t have any credit history, it’s hard to qualify for credit cards and loans, which are ironically the very tools you need to build good credit. Lenders simply can’t judge your ability to manage debt without any past information to evaluate. This is a common challenge for young people and anyone without any [...]

This Tax Season, Beware IRS Phone Scams That Target Taxpayers

Each year in the United States, tax season provides con artists an opportunity to scam taxpayers out of their hard-earned money. It’s a serious problem that is only on the rise: according to the IRS, the number of potential victims for one common scam has skyrocketed from hundreds to several thousands in a matter of [...]

How Secured Credit Cards Can Help You Build Credit

When they’re used correctly, credit cards are one of the best ways to build credit. But if you have bad credit or a thin credit history, you might have trouble getting approved for a card. It’s a classic catch-22. Secured credit cards were designed for people in your scenario. While they have a few quirks [...]

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