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Your First Credit Card

Your First Credit Card

A “first” credit card can be exciting, tempting and intimidating.  Credit cards are a great convenience, but they are also borrowing money that must be repaid.  Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you get your credit card and use it.

  1. A credit card is serious business.  The issuing company is lending you money and you have responsibilities to pay it back.
  2. One card is probably enough.  Avoid temptation by having more than one card.
  3. Keep the credit limit low.  Depending on how you are going to use it, $500 or $1000 is high enough for most first-time credit card users.
  4. Pay off the entire balance each month.  Avoid charges and build a good credit record.
  5. Make the payments on time.  This helps build a good record and avoids late payment charges.
  6. Use the card for emergencies.  Start off slowly with this new convenience.  Keep using cash and checks for most purchases, especially until you get comfortable with the card.
  7. Never let others use your card.  You are responsible for all charges on your card.  Do not let others borrow it or give out the number.
  8. Keep track of your use of the card and compare your records to what shows up on the monthly statement.
  9. Keep the card active.  Even if you are only using the card for emergencies, use it for small purchases every three or four months just to keep it active.  Then be sure to pay off the balance before any interest is due.
  10. Avoid using the card for cash advances.  The interest rate charged for advances is usually high and interest is charged immediately.
  11. Create a spending and budget plan.  Do not let your credit card payments exceed 20% of your monthly income.
  12. If having a credit card turns out to be a problem, get rid of it or stop using it for a while.

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    Monday, March 2, 2015

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Mutual Blog

Personal Social Media Account Security

For many of us, social media has become a part of our everyday lives and helps us conveniently keep tabs on the people and topics we care most about.

Recently however, there has been an increase of social media account take overs by cybercriminals. As stated in the media, one contributing factor in some of the social media account takeovers has been the use of weak passwords.


Tips for creating a stronger password:


  • Passwords should typically:
    • be at least 8 characters in length
    • contain at least 1 number
    • contain at least 1 special character (!@#$$%)
    • contain both upper and lower case characters.
  • Do not use your name, date of birth, maiden name, mother’s maiden name, address, or other easily guessable words for passwords. 
  • Another way to create a strong password is to use a series of words that do not relate to each other. For example, JumpingFastRelaxStop!#.

 


Social media additional security options:


Another way to help avoid social media account takeover is to use the additional security options available. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security that drastically decreases your chances of account takeover. Two-factor authentication is essentially the using of two separate components to verify your identity, the combination of something you HAVE with something you KNOW. A good example of two-factor authentication you most likely are already used to is withdrawing cash from an ATM, for example. Having both your debit card AND knowing a pin number is required to complete the withdrawal and protect your identity.

A popular and convenient two-factor authentication method is using a combination of both an online password and a text message verification sent to your phone. Enabling this type of authentication typically follows this process:

  1. Enter your password into Facebook or another website
  2. Immediately receive a text on your phone with a temporary pass key
  3. Enter the passkey received back on the site/app and you’re logged in

This may seem like overkill, but enabling this two-factor authentication will drastically decrease the chances of your social accounts being hacked. And actually, the process of setting up and using this authentication is pretty simple and convenient.

 


How to enable two-factor authentication:


Many popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and others already support two-factor authentication. To learn more about how to do so on the most popular sites on the web, be sure to check out this article:

http://socialcustomer.com/2014/04/how-to-enable-two-factor-authentication-on-50-top-websites-including-facebook-twitter-and-others.html

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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Your First Credit Card

Your First Credit Card

A “first” credit card can be exciting, tempting and intimidating.  Credit cards are a great convenience, but they are also borrowing money that must be repaid.  Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you get your credit card and use it.

  1. A credit card is serious business.  The issuing company is lending you money and you have responsibilities to pay it back.
  2. One card is probably enough.  Avoid temptation by having more than one card.
  3. Keep the credit limit low.  Depending on how you are going to use it, $500 or $1000 is high enough for most first-time credit card users.
  4. Pay off the entire balance each month.  Avoid charges and build a good credit record.
  5. Make the payments on time.  This helps build a good record and avoids late payment charges.
  6. Use the card for emergencies.  Start off slowly with this new convenience.  Keep using cash and checks for most purchases, especially until you get comfortable with the card.
  7. Never let others use your card.  You are responsible for all charges on your card.  Do not let others borrow it or give out the number.
  8. Keep track of your use of the card and compare your records to what shows up on the monthly statement.
  9. Keep the card active.  Even if you are only using the card for emergencies, use it for small purchases every three or four months just to keep it active.  Then be sure to pay off the balance before any interest is due.
  10. Avoid using the card for cash advances.  The interest rate charged for advances is usually high and interest is charged immediately.
  11. Create a spending and budget plan.  Do not let your credit card payments exceed 20% of your monthly income.
  12. If having a credit card turns out to be a problem, get rid of it or stop using it for a while.

Contact a Representative Today

Back to Education Resources

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