VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 4 POSTED ON: 5/16/2012
ACS -Financial Readiness Program O Program March 2012 Financially Fit, Financially Ready Consumer Protection and Empowerment H EL P FUL W EBS IT ES : There are many reasons adverse action under the Finally, after a move, why military service Uniform Code of Military service members can face Federal Trade Commission members and their Justice for failing to pay a pressure to quickly get www.ftc.gov families seem like debt – which may make their personal affairs in attractive targets to some them hesitant to order, particularly when Consumer Sentinel Military unscrupulous individuals challenge the debt, faced with a pending www.ftc.gov/sentinel/military and businesses. They question poor business exercise or deployment. have a steady source of practices, or even seek These factors are no secret Free Credit Report income (including monthly assistance from the chain pay and veterans’ benefits of command. to consumer predators that www.annualcreditreport.com such as the Post-9/11 GI will use them to their In addition, service advantage. And they are no Bill). members move frequently secret to the Consumer Many are young and and don’t always know relatively inexperienced in which businesses to avoid Protection Branch, in the consumer affairs. And in a new community. Department of Justice Civil Monitor Your Credit Report to Avoid scammers know that Division, which is working Identity Theft: service members can face hard to fight consumer predators like these who prey Put an Active Duty on service members. alert on your credit report If you are or will be What To Do If You’re A Victim deployed consider First, immediately report the Finally, help other consumers Service members and putting a credit freeze fraud. In order to effectively by reporting fraudulent cases family members must know on your account if fight fraud, the Department of to the local Better Business where they can find unable to monitor Justice – as well as other law Bureau. And, if your state assistance — on their your credit report enforcement agencies – attorney general has a installation and in their needs information. So, if you reporting system, report the community — and take There are three Credit believe you are a fraud victim, fraud to them as well. It will advantage of the advice Report Bureaus: only take you a few minutes Equifax, Experian and report the case to and guidance those authorities. Consult your to complete an online report, agencies provide. TransUnion but the information you military installation legal assistance office, and file an provide will go a long way You can request a Just as you identify risks online report with the FTC towards stopping these FREE credit report, during a military operation Consumer Sentinel or FTC crimes. once every 12 months and take action to mitigate Military Sentinel. that risk, you must do the from each bureau Because awareness is truly same on the consumer These complaint databases the best prevention protection battlefield. Contact Financial Readiness provide information to law technique, military leaders at for assistance with accessing enforcement authorities all levels should make or analyzing your report! worldwide to help identify and consumer financial education stop wrong-doing. a priority. Page 2 FINANCIAL READINESS How to Avoid Predatory Lending Predatory Lending The commercial strips around But some lenders offer open-ended loans Get a 0% loan many bases used to be lined discovered ways around with rates as high as through a military with payday lenders. There the law, offering varieties 136%, which fall through emergency-relief you could find a short-term of high-rate loans that a loophole in the law. fund – Army loan against your next aren't subject to the 36% Emergency Relief paycheck, often for cap. For example, some (AER) outrageous interest rates. car dealers near bases (Would you believe more have been known to push Consider Joining a than 400%?) But the Military high-rate loans with big Credit Union Lending Act capped payday- upfront fees. Some loan rates at 36% for payday lenders have Boost your members of the military on taken to the Internet to emergency fund. active duty and their continue to offer You're best off if dependents, which led many expensive loans targeting you can avoid lenders offering payday loans troops, outside the reach borrowing for to disappear. of regulators. And some unexpected expenses Credit Repair: How to Protect Yourself You see the advertisements in You can improve your credit report You can also check with your newspapers, on TV, and on the legitimately, but it takes time, a state attorney general’s office Recognizing a Credit Internet. They all make the conscious effort, and sticking to a to see if the company has a Repair Scam same claim: “We can remove personal debt repayment plan. No valid license. Remember: just bankruptcies, judgments, liens, one can remove accurate negative because a company claims to - The company and bad loans from your credit information from your credit report. be a nonprofit organization, it wants you to pay for credit repair services report forever” or “We can erase Anything a credit repair company doesn’t mean it is. before they provide your bad credit – 100% can do legally, you can do for any services. guaranteed. yourself at little or no cost. If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam you can contact the - The company The Federal Trade Commission Before you get involved with a Federal Trade Commission to file doesn’t tell you your (FTC) says do yourself a favor credit-repair company, ask your a complaint. rights and what you and save your money. Don’t state attorney general or Better can do for yourself Business Bureau if any complaints www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov believe these claims: they’re very for free. likely signs of a scam. have been filed against the company. - The company recommends that The fact is there’s no quick you do not contact fix for creditworthiness. any of the three major national credit reporting companies directly. Fraud Alert: Emails or Text Messages to Avoid FDIC Consumer News has protecting against new reasons. The message urged - The company reported how criminals schemes using electronic users to call a hotline to suggests that you masquerading as devise. unblock their card, but try to invent a “new” legitimate business or instead they reached an credit identity. government agencies Think twice before automated response system have tricked consumers responding to an “urgent” into divulging valuable asking for their card number, - The company email or text message. One advises you to personal information over PIN and other information. recent scam involved a dispute all the the computer, phone, or email/text message sent information in your fax in order to drain bank For additional tips on credit report, warning bank customers that accounts. avoiding Internet Fraud, visit regardless of its their debit or credit card had www.onguardonline.gov accuracy or Here is our latest tip for been blocked for security timeliness. Page 3 FINANCIAL READINESS Financial Tips for Traveling Applying Everything in Using Your Credit Card Using Your Debit Card on Moderation while on the Road the Road Traveling Using your credit card Be aware of ATM withdrawal “Oh, I’m on vacation! I deserve a provides you records of your fees (levied by both your bank treat,” are the famous last words purchases, gets a good and the ATM), hidden currency of so many people when they conversion rate, and there is conversion charges, and travel, ultimately leading to a a degree of theft protection. security issues, from having mountain of debt or a shortened But credit cards are not your card stolen and PIN time on the road if uttered too always accepted, or ideal, swiped, to electronic and often. At the same time, maybe and there are a few pitfalls to identity theft. we do deserve it. What’s the point in traveling if you’re too beware of. Try to get a no fee or low- miserly to actually experience Cash advances should foreign-fee debit card. your surroundings? But where is the balance? generally be avoided You can use your debit card as whenever possible, since a credit card. It will give you As long as it’s only occasional, interest is charged from the some protection in case your splurging might be just fine. day you withdraw the account is used by someone Vendors often money. else. pay extra fees if Managing Finances Securely While Traveling you use a credit or debit card. So You need cash, but not too You need a credit card, but discrepancy, you can catch it when you’re out much of it (and not all in the also to protect yourself from right away and alert your shopping (for same place). it’s best to carry theft. bank. souvenirs, for cash in different places on example), ask if your person. And you’ll want to manage it Have your bank account all online, while still keeping number and contact they will give you You need a debit card, but your passwords safe and information in a safe place a discount for not all your funds in the accounts free from internet just in case you need to paying with cash. account linked to the card. fraud. make that phone call. Should things go horribly wrong and your account gets Regularly check the cleared out, you want to transactions on your bank have some money, account to ensure there somewhere. hasn’t been any suspicious Financial Readiness Courses activity. If there is a Financial Readiness offers assistance with a wide Budgeting Your Way to Financial variety of topics: Personal financial readiness Security: 1st Tuesday of every month, Banking and credit Building wealth for retirement 0900-1100. union services Major purchase planning (Cars, Credit and Debt Management 101: 2nd Budget development Homes, etc.) Tuesday of every month, 0900-1100 and record keeping Investment planning. Investing in Your Future: 3rd Tuesday of Debt liquidation How to read the Leave & every month, 0900-1100 Credit reports and free Earnings Statement (LES), Consumer Empowerment: 4th Tuesday scores VA Home Loan program While your main goal of every month, 0900-1100 of Consumer rights and distributing a newsletter Children’s college education obligations might be to sell your Insurance product or service,Financial Readiness Program Manager: the key to a successful Becky Watson ID Theft newsletter is making it Phone: 0444-71-8634 DSN: 634-8634 useful to your readers. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org A great way to add useful content to this newsletter
"Financially Fit_ Financially Ready"