In order to keep your financial and personal information safe, it’s necessary to look for red flags and be proactive about security. Here's important information to help safeguard your money, your personal information, and your family today.
(BPT) - You work hard for your money. Unfortunately, crooks work hard as well, attempting various tactics to take your money. If you fall for a scam, little can be done to help you get your money back. In order to keep your financial and personal information safe, it’s necessary to look for red flags and be proactive about security.
Know the red flags
From classic methods to using sophisticated technology, criminals will try a variety of strategies to gain access to your money. If you experience any of the following, consider it a red flag and pause before you act:
Learn the do's and don'ts
The Bank of America Privacy and Security Center provides key actions you can take to help protect yourself from becoming the victim of a scam:
Learn more and find out about the latest scam and fraud prevention news by visiting www.bankofamerica.com/security.
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Depending on why you need a personal loan, items you already own can stand as collateral. Of course, this means that if you cannot pay the loan, you may lose your belongings. To keep that from happening, make sure that you are borrowing wisely and building good relationships with your creditors.
Build and Establish Credit
One of the best ways to build credit is to strive to build good relationships. Open a bank account at a bank or credit union where you can walk in every payday and have a real conversation with people. Arrange to make your direct deposits at this institution. Work to put a few hundred dollars into a savings account, and be sure to open a secured credit card with a $500 limit. Pay the credit card off in full every month. When you need to ask for a loan, go back to this institution.
Be Aware of All Your Assets
Loan restrictions are changing, which means banks have to change how they rate borrowers. These rules are referred to as CECL, or Current Expected Credit Loss. If you have had credit problems in the past or suffer from a low credit score right now, you may still be able to qualify for a personal loan. Your current employment situation and recent changes to your ability to pay the debt can be taken into account even if your credit rating is damaged. Keep in mind that qualitative and environmental factors continue to apply under CECL. If your employment environment has changed, your bank may have more flexibility to work with you.
Consider a Cosigner
If you have someone who can help you to get a personal loan by serving as a cosigner, you can use this option. However, you should only go this route if you are very confident that you can pay back the loan. There are two risks to the cosigner if he or she ops to help you. First of all, he or she may be limited in how much he or she can borrow if an emergency comes up. If he or she needs a loan, your loan will show up as debt on his or her credit report. Secondly, if you do not pay, the cosigner is on the hook for your debt. Too often, family members wind up serving as co-signers. If you do not pay and the loan goes into default, you can damage your credit score, the co-signer's credit score, and your relationship.
Getting a personal loan at a great rate starts with a small loan or secured credit card at your bank. Do your best to keep your loans small and local until you are ready for a sizable investment, such as a home or new car. People with great credit can usually find the best rates.
Here’s another article you might like: What to Keep in Mind About Finances When You're Buying Your First Home
Ready to own your own home? Ready to make the investment of your lifetime? Here are three things to know financially when buying your first home.
Preparing to buy your first home is both exciting and stressful. Before you start down the road of home ownership, it is vital that you have all of your finances in order and that you fully understand what is in store for your budget. Here are three things to know financially when buying your first home.
Mortgage and Down Payments
The world of mortgages and down payments can be confusing for the first-time homebuyer. Understanding the differences between a fixed-rate and an adjustable mortgage will help you to make a more informed decision. You also need to plan how much money you want to put down on the home. There are several advantages of placing a 5 percent down payment, but it’s important to consider what works best for you and your financial situation. Keep in mind that if you put less than 20 percent down, it is likely you will be charged a monthly fee for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Consider the pros and cons as you're weighing the offsetting advantages of placing a 5 percent down payment.
Set a Price Range
Picking the right price range is an imperative step in finding the right house for your personal needs and your budget. When it comes to real estate, timing is everything. If you are shopping in a buyer's market, you are going to get more for your dollar. There are a host of online tools to help you figure out how much home you can afford. A lot of times, a real estate agent can also help you to figure out how much you can afford. You also need to examine your current and projected lifestyle to determine how much you can spend. For example, if you plan on having children in the future, you need to add these costs to your overall budget, especially if one parent plans on staying home with the kids.
Budget for Extra Expenses
The costs of purchasing a house go well beyond the basic outlay for the down payment and insurance. Chances are that if this is your first home, you will be upgrading to a significant amount of additional space. This will likely necessitate that you set aside extra money for new furnishings. If you are moving into a newly constructed home, it is also probable that you will need a budget for landscaping. Depending on the condition of the home, you will want to have some cash on hand for repairs and renovations.
Equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge will help the process of buying your first home go more smoothly. All of the stress will be worth it once you are relaxing in a place you own.
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