Tag Archive | "Debit card"

Debt Card Safety Tips

Debt Card Safety Tips

300px Smartcard2 Debt Card Safety Tips
Image via Wikipedia

Do you know where your debit card is? It is essential to your overall financial security that you keep your debit card in a safe place at all times. Safety, above all else, is of utmost importance. If you are careless with your debit card it is only a matter of time before it backfires on you.

What does it mean to be safe with your debit card? Well, this means different things to different people. To give you an idea of how to improve the safety of your card, follow the tips below.

1. If you lose your debit card do not wait too long to call your bank. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking that you are going to find your card in the near future – just to learn that this never happens. It is better to be safe than sorry. Call your bank, explain that your debit card is missing, and have them cancel it at once. Sure, it is an inconvenience but you will receive your new card in no time at all.

2. Do not share your debit card number and other information with anybody. There is never a good reason to give somebody else the information from your debit card.

3. Only use your debit card at reputable stores. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is using your card at stores that are unknown or do not appear to be legitimate. This holds true for both land based and online stores.

4. Speaking of online stores, make sure you proceed with caution. In today’s day and age it is simple for anybody to start their own store. At the same time, it is just as simple for somebody to steal your debit card information by doing so. Along with this, make sure all the information you transmit to an online store is kept 100 percent secure.

5. Memorize your PIN number. Did you know that some people keep their PIN number in their wallet? Worse yet, there are users that write their PIN on the back of their card. While this may sound silly, it is an all too common mistake. To avoid these types of issues, all you have to do is memorize your PIN. Don’t worry about forgetting it. If need be, you can always reset your PIN number at a local branch or even over the phone.

There is no reason to take a safety risk with your debit card. Instead, follow the five tips above. They will keep you, your finances, and your debit card safe.

 Debt Card Safety Tips

Posted in Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Debt Management, Your BudgetComments (0)

Steps to take if you lose your Debit Card

Steps to take if you lose your Debit Card

7123758 0475304ba3 m Steps to take if you lose your Debit Card
Image by Neil T via Flickr

Did you recently lose your debit card? Did you have a scare that makes you think this could happen to you in the future? Losing your debit card is a big deal for many reasons. Although this may never happen, it is good to be prepared for the worst.

Here are several steps to take if you lose your debit card:

1. Call your bank as soon as possible. It is common to wait a few days, hoping that your card turns up. While this could happen, it is better to be safe than sorry. Remember, the longer you wait to report your debit card missing the more chance there is that somebody will use it in a fraudulent manner. Are you really willing to take that risk?

2. Mail your bank a letter reiterating the information that you already spoke about on the phone. This may seem like a waste of time, but it is beneficial for many reasons. Above all else, this gives you a record of what you are requesting. If the rep on the phone does not cancel everything properly and in a timely manner, you can use the letter as proof of what you requested.

3. Request a new debit card. Since your old card has been canceled you are no longer able to use it. In turn, you need to make sure you receive a new debit card from your bank as soon as possible. After all, you do not want to go to long without one.

4. Remember to change any automatic payments that you have setup with your old debit card. Since your number and expiration date have changed, you will no longer be able to use the card for automatic payments – until you update your account, of course. This is one step that many people forget to take upon receiving their new debit card.

Tip: you can usually change your account information online.

5. Watch your account for fraudulent charges. From the time you lost your debit card until the time it was canceled, there is a chance that somebody used it to make fraudulent purchases. Keep an eye on your account, and if something looks suspicious make sure you immediately contact your bank.

One final tip: don’t make the same mistake twice. Losing your debit card can cost you a lot of time and money. Do whatever it takes to keep your card safe and secure at all times.

If you lose your debit card make sure you follow the steps and advice detailed above. It will help get you back on track soon enough.

 Steps to take if you lose your Debit Card

Posted in Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Your BudgetComments (1)

Can a Debit Card Help you Build Credit?

Can a Debit Card Help you Build Credit?

300px Smartcard3 Can a Debit Card Help you Build Credit?
Image via Wikipedia

Can I use a debit card to build my credit? This is a common question, especially among younger individuals as well as those who have had credit issues in the past. Most people are aware of the importance of an above average credit score. While this may not sound like a big deal, the higher your score the better chance you have of securing a loan in the future. Along with this, it can help in many other aspects of your life, such as when applying for a job.

The answer to this question is yes and no. There are several differences between a debit card and a credit card. The main one being that your debit card is attached to a bank account. In other words, nobody is lending you money. When you use your debit card, the funds are coming out of your account. On the other hand, with a credit card, a company (Visa, American Express, and MasterCard) is lending you money and trusting you to pay it back later. Simply put, a debit card is nothing more than an easier way to access money in your bank account.

It is important to note that debit cards do not report to credit bureaus. In turn, using one of these cannot directly help you build credit or increase your score.

That being said, it can help build your credit if you show your financial institution that you can be responsible with your money. Your bank will realize that you have been using your debit card in a responsible manner, which will work in your favor if you want to apply for a “real” credit card such as one through MasterCard, American Express, or Visa. This is not a direct way of building your credit, but over the course of many months/years it will go a long way in showing your bank that you are worthy of a credit card.

Should I use a debit card since it does not do anything to help my credit? The answer to this question is up to you. Remember, just because it does not benefit your credit doesn’t mean that everything is bad. With a debit card you have quick access to funds in your checking account, while also making it easier to manage and organize your finances.

If you are looking for a direct way to build credit you should not rely solely on the use of a debit card. Fortunately, the responsible use of a debit card can help you build your credit in the future.

 Can a Debit Card Help you Build Credit?

Posted in Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Debt Management, Your BudgetComments (0)

Have your Government Benefits put on a Debit Card

Have your Government Benefits put on a Debit Card

Did you know that you can have your government benefits put on a debit card? This has become very popular over the past few years, as more and more baby boomers reach retirement age. Even if you do not opt for this method, you should consider the process as well as the benefits.
If you are interested in having your benefits put on a debit card, the following advice should be useful:
1. Do you know what a government debit card is? This is nothing more than a card that is preloaded with cash from SSI, Social Security Disability, or retirement Social Security. In addition to the convenience that they offer users, the government is interested in this program because it helps reduce paper usage while saving them money.
2. A government debit card works just like any other debit card or credit card. For this reason, users are well aware of how to use the card from day one. Preloaded debit cards can be linked to any government payment or payroll check. If you are currently receiving your government benefits in the form of a check, consider what it would mean to your finances to change over to the debit card option. You may find that this is much more convenient. After all, you will never again have to go to the bank to cash your check.
3. For more information, you can visit socialsecurity.gov – a debit card page is available with additional information. If you would rather speak with a live representative, you can contact Social Security by calling 1-800-772-1213.
Remember, this is a relatively new program that the government is aggressively promoting. They are encouraging people to use a debit card, as opposed to paper check, because of the overall convenience and security.
Are you excited about the prospects of having your government benefits put on a debit card? If so, you may be surprised at how quickly you can make the change. Once you get in touch with the proper party, such as the Social Security Department, you will be well on your way to receiving and using your debit card instead of paper checks.
To learn more, follow the advice outlined above.

 Have your Government Benefits put on a Debit Card

Posted in Debit Cards, Your Budget, Your TaxesComments (0)

Debit Card Pros and Cons

Debit Card Pros and Cons

There are many pros and cons that go along with using a debit card. It is important to be aware of both the good and bad. Once you know the benefits and drawbacks, you can do what you can to avoid the bad and focus on the details that will better your financial situation.
Pros
1. Convenience. With a debit card you never have to use cash or check again. Instead, you can use it just like a credit card – except the money coming out of your checking account. Not only is it convenient to use a debit card at local stores, but the same holds true with online purchases.
2. Speed. Have you ever taken the time to write a check at a grocery store or retail outlet? This can take a couple minutes when you factor in the time it takes the cashier to “do their thing.” You can swipe your debit card and be on your way within a matter of minutes.
3. Easy to get cash. With a debit card you can visit any ATM and receive cash out of your checking account. Along with this, most stores can give you cash back after you make a purchase with your card.
Cons
1. Fees can sneak up on you. Just like credit cards, when you use a debit card there are fees that can come up from time to time. Some of the most common include: ATM fees, point of sale fees, and over limit fees.
2. No reward program. Although some banks are implementing these with debit card users, they are few and far between. A credit card reward program can eventually lead to everything from cash back to free plane tickets and much more. With a debit card you are simply taking money out of your checking account, with nothing coming to you in return.
3. Difficulties resolving disputed charges. When you use a debit card, as opposed to a credit card, resolving disputed charges can be a hassle. The reason for this is simple: the money spent comes out of your account almost instantly. This makes it hard to dispute the charge if the item is defective or never delivered.
With millions upon millions of people using debit cards it goes without saying that the pros outweigh the cons. As a user, you want to be 100 percent aware of the benefits of your debit card. At the same time, make sure you know the drawbacks so you can hedge against them.
With this information you should find it easier to take full advantage of your debit card, while avoiding compromising situations.

 Debit Card Pros and Cons

Posted in Debit Cards, Debt Consolidation, Debt Management, Your BudgetComments (0)

Even With Bad Credit, You Can Get a Credit Card

Even With Bad Credit, You Can Get a Credit Card

200px Smartcard2 Even With Bad Credit, You Can Get a Credit Card
Image via Wikipedia

OVERVIEW
Applying for a secured credit card and paying off your monthly balance can help you to reestablish your credit rating with the major credit bureaus.

Have you been told that you have a poor credit history? Have you run into some trouble with credit card debt before, which now you have cleaned up? Perhaps you have declared bankruptcy and you are trying to reestablish your credit? Here are several key ways that to reestablish your credit by securing credit.

Secured Credit Cards
A secured credit card is one of the most straightforward and safe ways to reestablish your credit. Typically, a credit card will advance you money from the credit card company. Secured credit cards ask you to put up that money in advance. A secured credit card is similar to a debit card; you set up a bank account and deposit an amount of money associated with the card. The account draws from those funds to pay your charges on that credit card. If you put $500 into your bank account, you can only charge up to $500 on your card. You should pay off the balance every month to establish a good relationship. With secured credit cards, you are typically rewarded for good behavior. A bank will increase your credit line without asking you to deposit more money. Slowly, a credit relationship is developed. Some banks only offer secured credit cards to people who are establishing credit for the first time, rather than people who have mishandled their credit in the past.

Be smart when shopping around for a secured credit card. Be on the lookout for a secured credit card that doesn’t charge an application fee. Every secured credit card will charge an annual fee, but they can vary dramatically. Shop around for the secured credit card with the lowest fee. Credit unions often offer secured credit cards to their members at a reasonable cost.

Unsecured Credit Card
Many banks don’t offer secured credit cards, but will offer credit cards with low credits. These cards almost always have high interest rates and fees.

Questions to ask when searching for a secured credit card.

• Does the credit card company/bank report to the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion? This is a very important factor in reestablishing your credit. You’ll want to establish a relationship with a credit card company that will make your credit history available upon request.

• How long do I need to have a secured credit card with your company before I qualify for an unsecured credit card? Typically, the time frame is about a year. You’re looking to establish a relationship with a company, so be sure it is one that will meet your needs for the next few years.

• How much interest will my deposit earn? Look for a credit card company that will give you about as much interest as you would get from a savings account at the bank.

• How can this secured credit card boost my credit rating? A secured credit card will boost your credit rating if you use it to charge a few things every month and then pay off the entire amount. Do not carry a balance on the secured credit card.

Keep in mind that if you do have bad credit history, you don’t have to live with it forever and you can take steps to improve it.

 Even With Bad Credit, You Can Get a Credit Card

Posted in All About Your Credit, Credit Cards, Credit Score, Debt ConsolidationComments (0)