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Ask an Expert: What is a credit report and why is it important?

Q. What is a credit report? Dear reader, A credit report is a very important document used by lenders and financial institutions to make their lending decisions and to set the terms and conditions of any credit they give you. To take control of your finances, it is recommended to review and understand your credit report thoroughly. So, let’s start by discussing the kind of information you will find on …Read More

Identity Theft Prevention: Equifax Data Breach—How We Respond

The recent data breach at Equifax (one of the nation’s three credit reporting agencies) was also the largest, exposing 143 million American consumers’ sensitive personal information. The need to increase our due diligence and ramp up individual efforts to reduce the risk of identity theft, or at least minimize the damage if it has already occurred, has never been more urgent. According to Equifax, the data breach lasted from mid-May …Read More

Ask An Expert: What steps should I take to prepare as a first-time homebuyer?

Q. What steps should I take to prepare as a first-time homebuyer? Dear reader: The prospect of becoming a home owner is very exciting and it’s the beginning of a long-term financial commitment, probably one of your biggest. Many first-time homebuyers find the process a lot trickier than expected, so it’s wise to be prepared to ensure you will have a successful experience. Here are some tips to help you …Read More