The holiday season is a wonderful time of year. It’s time to give, spend time with loved ones, and celebrate life.
Unfortunately, it’s also the best time of year for theft. Even the most cautious people can fall victim to identity theft or credit card fraud. Spend a little time securing yourself so you can head out to enjoy the festivities with less worry.
Millions of Americans each year are denied home and car loans due to errors on their credit reports. Since we have big plans that involve credit in 2020, I’d love to avoid any errors.
I feel good knowing that Lexington Law Firm is there to help should anything suspicious arise. They are the oldest and most respected name in credit repair, and the only player in the category with the legal experience and technology to both advocate and drive results for consumers.
Just like you’d hire a professional in many other cases, you’d definitely want to do so if you spot credit errors. Lexington Law Firm has relationships with all of the three credit bureaus. They know who to call and what to say to help their clients efficiently.
Ways to Protect your Credit while Holiday Shopping
Stay Safe while Shopping in Stores
If you plan to head out into the crowds for holiday shopping, here are some suggestions to increase safety.
My sister and I both had our credit cards “scanned” during two separate occasions. I won’t pretend to know how criminals do such a thing, but I do know that simply replacing your wallet or credit card holder with RFID material blocks this from happening.
Carry a purse with a zipper closing instead of a flap. Use the shoulder strap to drape your purse over your body and keep it close in front of you.
If you carry a wallet, do not keep it in your back pocket. Use your front pocket or another secure location that’s difficult to grab without you feeling it.
Now’s a good time to clean out your purse or wallet and get organized. The less digging you have to do at a register, the safer it is. You don’t need things flying out of your purse while you try to find that loose change.
If you have several forms of payment, try to carry only the essentials. I know all too well that every major store has its own credit card that you feel you need to use for points and discounts. However, this is a good time of year to use one card.
Using one card allows you to track everything easier. Look at one statement to see your spending. Only deal with one credit card company should a theft occur.
Write down credit card info
In a notebook, write down the info of the credit card or cards you are using to shop in stores. If the card ends up lost or stolen, you’ll have access to the info you need to report it quickly.
Of course, store this notebook somewhere safe. Ideally, in a safe in your home.
Protect Yourself while Shopping Online
Choosing to shop from the comfort of home? Wise choice, although there are still things to be aware of.
If you find a product on a website you’d like to purchase, take a look at the URL of the website. You want to see https:// in front of it, not http://. That little “s” adds an extra layer of security you want when inputting sensitive info.
Keep in mind that it’s easy to create an online store these days. If you’re shopping on a website for the first time, check for reviews and valid contact info first. Visit their social media accounts to see if there’s a flood of unhappy customers before you checkout.
Take a few minutes to change your passwords on your favorite websites. Turn on 2FA (2-factor authentication) if it’s available. Every extra step towards security might take a few minutes up front, but it’s a time-saver compared to dealing with identity theft.
Keep Track of Spending
If your list is anything like mine, you’ve got the hard-to-buy-for people and then the ones where it’s easy to go overboard. Keep a detailed budget and stick to it, so you’re not spending beyond your means.
Here is a free printable gift planner sheet to help keep you on track.
Now is the time to frequently check your credit card statements. Mark your calendar to log into your accounts a few times per week during this busy season. The sooner you catch something unauthorized, the better.
When I experienced credit card theft, I caught it quickly because I check my statements frequently. Often, the thieves will run a few really small transactions before they make a large purchase. I noticed two charges for $0.50 apiece and notified the credit card company right away.
I’d much rather dispute $1 than thousands!
If you find something funky on your credit report, Lexington Law Firm believes that you have a right to a fair and accurate report. With the power of their knowledge and the law, the professionals at Lexington Law Firm can help fight for your right to good credit.
If you’re having money trouble, you may think that hiring professionals will be counterproductive. However, Lexington Law Firm offers packages that help meet everyone’s needs.
2020 Goals Require Excellent Credit
This list of tips might all seem like I am a paranoid person, which isn’t wrong, but guess what? My credit score is excellent, and these steps help me keep it that way.
The older I get, the more I know how important a credit score is. It’s like a superpower in adulthood.
We have some big goals for 2020, all of which require a healthy credit score. Our plans include building a house and going on a nice vacation. Our last vacation was in 2011 for our wedding. It’s safe to say we need one before the stress of building a house!
Head into the new year with a healthy relationship with your credit score. Stay safe out there, maintain your end-of-year financial goals, and start the new year off right.
What do you do to protect your credit around the holidays?