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Why over 143 Million People Now Hate One Company…

The Equifax data breach and what you need to know.

Have you ever heard of Equifax? If you haven’t let me tell you a little more. Equifax is the largest of the three main credit bureaus in the US. It started in 1898 and as a credit bureau, their business is you. More specifically your data.

Now credit bureaus do serve a specific purpose in our credit system today. That is to provide creditors or lenders with data on you. This normally takes the form of a credit report. This goes hand in hand with a credit score. Both FICO and Vantage scores take information found on your credit report in order to tell lenders how “risky” of a borrower you are.

Ok, so we got that out of the way. Back to Equifax. Equifax (and the other two main bureaus) gather as much private data as they can and store it in databases. This information includes social security numbers, driver’s licenses numbers, all current and previous addresses, full names, phone numbers, and credit card numbers. It’s basically an ID Thief’s paradise.

So What happened with Equifax and this “data breach?” Well, we have all heard over the years of big box store credit card information breaches. Target had one back in 2013 that affected an estimated 40 million consumers. They ended up paying back tens of millions to banks in class action lawsuits.

Data breaches aren’t new. What makes this one different?

Let’s start with the number of consumers that have been affected. Over 143 million consumers have been compromised. As of 2016, the population of the United States was 323 million people. That is around 44% of the U.S. Population.

So what information was taken?

According to the FTC “The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too.”

If you’re lucky all they got was your name, social security number, birth date, and addresses. In a moment we will go over how to find out if you were affected and what steps to take to make sure you protect yourself.

You might be thinking that since we trust Equifax (or at least let them) to harvest this much data on us that when an attack like this happens they would tell the public. The answer is no they wouldn’t. Equifax stated that the breach lasted from mid-May through July when it was finally discovered on July 29 2017.  The public was notified in the first week of September of 2017.

To make matters even worse three top level executives were found to have sold millions of dollars in stock before making a public statement about the breach. These stock sales were not disclosed in the regular trading plan for Equifax. NPR reported that “Regulatory filings show the three Equifax executives — Chief Financial Officer John Gamble, U.S. Information Solutions President Joseph Loughran and Workforce Solutions President Rodolfo Ploder — completed stock sales on Aug. 1 and 2.”

How Do I Know If I Have Been Compromised?

Equifax has created a website specifically for this situation. If you go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com you will be asked for your last name and the last 6 digits of your social security number. If you don’t feel comfortable with giving an organization that doesn’t effectively protect your information in the first place I certainly don’t blame you. It is safe to assume that you HAVE been affected and that you should take precautionary measures.

What Steps Should I Take?

Step 1:

The first thing you should do is place a fraud alert on your credit. You can do this by contacting one of the credit bureaus and simply requesting one. I would suggest going with Transunion or Experian because Equifax’s website and call centers are bogged down with this situation.

You can initiate one with Experian from their website https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html or by sending a letter requesting one. They are free and last for 90 days. While you only need to request it from one bureau because they send it to the others automatically it doesn’t hurt to confirm with the others.

A Fraud Alert prevents a creditor or lender from extending credit in your name without first contacting you directly.

You can also place a security freeze which prevents creditors from pulling your credit reports unless you unfreeze your reports. This is also done with each of the credit bureaus. If you are looking to get credit in the near future this might causes issues.

Step 2:

Pull your credit reports. You can pull all three credit reports for free from www.annualcreditreport.com. It is important to review the information on the reports to ensure that you recognize all the accounts and information. (We will do another post on what to do if you don’t recognize something). If you are a member you can access the members only forum and ask questions for our credit experts to answer!

Step 3:

Monitor your credit and identity. Equifax is offering 1 year free of Trusted ID Monitoring. This is their service and after 1 year you would be paying $20/month. In addition, Equifax has an Arbitration Clause in the terms of use that would prevent you from being involved in any future class action lawsuit. However, if that sounds ok to you and you want to trust the company that couldn’t detect a data breach then you can sign up for free. I suggest using myfico.com. The 3B Ultimate membership gives you all of your credit scores and a 3 bureau report. It also gives you identity monitoring showing you where your information was accessed and if your information has been for sale. You can access that at http://www.myfico.com/products/ultimate-three-bureau-credit-report/

There is another company called Identity IQ (https://www.identityiq.com/). Both services are around $29/month.

We will be discussing this more in the free FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/crcreditbuilders/ Request to join today!

Want access to The Members Only Forum and our credit experts? Claim you membership here: http://membership.creditrepairpublishing.com/

Your credit is one of the most important financial aspects of your life. In fact, most of our financial system is built on credit. Make sure you are treating it right and protecting it so that you can provide for yourself and your family.

We love to hear how our family is doing! Please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/crcreditbuilders/ and share how good credit has changed your life or ask questions about how to build good credit for your future!

Protect Yourself and Your Credit: More Credit Myths You Need To Know

The internet, traditional media, TV media, news magazines, and papers are full of useful and accurate information. But, they are also littered with inaccurate and dangerous falsehoods and myths. It’s hard to know what to trust and to believe. And when it comes to credit and credit repair or building credit, much of the information is outright false or inaccurate. For example, have you ever heard or believed either of these two common credit myths?

Credit Myth No. 1: “The credit bureaus are government agencies.”

Completely false. Credit bureaus are for profit companies.

They collect data to sell to lenders and other credit providers, landlords, insurance companies and more. They are not affiliated with the government but are governed under the Federal Trade Commission.

Credit Myth No. 2: “Credit Repair is against the law.”

Again, totally false. Infant, federal and some state laws specifically protect your right to repair and enhance your credit score.

The Federal Credit Reporting Act and Credit Repair Organizations Act both specifically state that it’s legal for you both to repair your own credit, or hire someone to do it on your behalf.

It’s not always easy to repair your own credit. Many people don’t even know where to start. But, if you are a person who can and does do it yourself there are some great resources that will walk you through the issues and the specific steps that you can take.

Click here to get more information on repairing your own credit, a starter’s guide or the full Credit Repair Intelligence Guide.


Click here to join our list and get more information on credit repair and creating a debt free life.

Too Many Victims… Not Enough Ambulances…

This post might upset some people, but that is NOT my goal.  My goal is to reflect on what a lack of common sense and personal responsibility is developing in our civilization and how you can benefit from it.

Click here for video version:

http://www.youtube.com/user/CreditRepairIntel

You see, our society (as a whole) simply has;

“Too Many Victims and Not Enough Ambulances…”

In this scenario you, as a part of society, have two primary choices in most crisis situations (such as the foreclosure crisis):

1.) Lie in the street, bleeding and waiting for an ambulance to save you.

or

2.) Don’t even play the bleeding victim in the street in the first place.

Let me explain…

Recently I heard a guy with one of the fastest growing talk shows in America talk about how people were losing their homes due to what he referred to as “NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN” and…

…after they lost their homes their credit would be shot and then getting a job was difficult because employers were looking at their FICO Scores.  To the talk show host this was “Unjust” and “UnFair” and something had to be done!

I don’t know about you, but in my personal philosophy I have to laugh and disagree.

Here’s why:

The world in which we live has rules.  These rules (while we may not always like or agree with them) cannot be bent or broken (at least not the vast majority of them anyways).

These are rules like:

1.) You can’t make someone truly love you (though websites like this might lead you to believe otherwise http://www.doubleyourdating.com/ or http://www.catchhimandkeephim.com/)

2.) You can’t change who your parents or siblings are.

3.) You can’t change your past experiences or what has happened to you.

You see, there are inherent risks in life we are FORCED to accept (whether we agree with them or not).  This is because these are universal laws .

For example, being born has the inherent risk you could end up with cancer or some other terminal disease (and be forced to accept it).

Being  in love comes with the inherent risk your lover may wake up one day and not be” in love” with you anymore and again, you’ll be forced to accept it (and websites like this one are geared for that: http://www.marriagemax.com/ )

Now, there are many things we do in life with extreme risk which we don’t even think about.  Like:

1.) Driving on two lane roads where nothing but a “four inch line of paint” is keeping the other person from going into our lane and maiming or killing us.

2.) Eating food from sources which could be tainted and cause us to get sick or die.

3.) Engaging in other high risk sports like mountain biking, motocross or even skiing which can lead to serious injuries.

However, when it comes to the risk of taking on debt (like a home mortgage) many people fail to take responsibility for the risk they are taking on; especially if the mortgage was an adjustable one.

Think about this for a moment…   I mean REALLY think about this.

What if everyone in the country just said “NO” to signing up for any adjustable rate mortgage?  What if everyone only bought homes with 30 year fixed mortgages?

What kind of shape do you think the housing market (and the Nation) would be in today?

After all, why would anyone buy using a an adjustable rate mortgage?  The adjustable mortgage has far more risk.  In fact, it is a clear fact that if everyone had bought their home during the housing boom with a  30 year fixed mortgage the country would not be in nearly the mess it’s in today.

Sure, many real estate industrialists may argue otherwise and so will many consumer advocates with nonsense like:

I’d didn’t realize what I was signing!

They rushed me through the process and misled me!

We all have learned lessons from listening to dumb or untrustworthy people.  Also…

Many of us, when young, were offered rides from parties with drunk drivers or even offered hardcore drugs AT THE PARTY but it was “common sense” and a little “caution” combined with responsibility which made us say no (that is, if you did say no).

And, of course, we learned lessons from those that got into those drugs.

So, whenever we find ourselves in a scenario that we got ourselves into, even if it involves circumstances beyond our control, we have two choices:

1.) Lie in the street, bleeding and wait for an ambulance to save us.

or

2.) Don’t play the bleeding victim in the street in the first place.

If your FICO Score is shot, then the sooner you start taking the steps to rebuild it, the sooner you will be in the position to benefit from the mistakes of yourself and others.

If you want to learn the guaranteed way to…

1.) STOP Creditor Harassment

2.) Deal with Collections, Late Pays and Charge Offs

3.) Rebuild new positive accounts as fast as possible

Then I strongly suggest you take the new Credit Repair Intelligence System for Risk-Free 30 Day Test Drive.  You’ve got nothing to lose but bad credit.

Find out more here:

http://www.CreditRepairPublishing.com/crisystem

What Always Works

No matter what credit course they buy, or even if they don’t buy one at all, many people find themselves consistently coming up short in one single area… and it happens to be one area that can have considerable negative impact on their credit.

One thing, that’s it. And it can be blamed for a good 75% (or more) of the FAILURE related to consumer credit repair efforts.

It’s the one common mistake that people make no matter what method they choose, no matter what course they buy, no matter how smart or stupid they are.

(Alright, so what is it already?)

Be patient dang it.  I’m getting there.

I don’t know why people so consistently make this same mistake.

  • Perhaps it’s because nobody told them that the credit bureaus and creditors don’t give a “rat’s a$$” about their credit.
  • Perhaps it’s because they think most people are “good people”, and that while “creditors” and “credit bureaus”  are not really definable as people, somehow this “good people” rule still applies to them.
  • Or, maybe they’re afraid.  Maybe they perceive the credit bureau as a dangerous monster (a fair description, I’d say) and they’re just scared to cross the monster’s path.
  • Or maybe they think they don’t deserve better credit. Maybe they think that if they reach for the cookie and their hand gets slapped, it’s a sign that wanting cookies is a bad thing and that nobody should ever reach for them.

SO, what’s this one “uber-mistake” that so many people are making?

It’s simple… so simple, you might think it’s kind of dumb.  Maybe that’s why it is so often overlooked.

Here it is:

People quit too soon.

Yep. That’s it.

They lack persistence.  They quit before the game is over.  When they meet resistance, they think that’s the end.  They try xyz method, and when xyz method fails, they get angry and say things like “this stuff doesn’t work!”

Please understand something: The credit bureau systems are DESIGNED to make you want to throw the credit repair book through the window and QUIT.  I mean it… they are

** D   E   S   I   G   N   E   D **

that way.

I’d offer up proof (which there is plenty of) but that isn’t the point of this post.

The point is, the ONLY “silver bullet” in credit repair is a consumer who refuses to give up.  Other than that, there are really no magic tricks.

Sure, you need knowledge, you need to learn the methods, you need to have a good “bag of tricks” and sometimes even someone to help tell you how to use the bag of tricks… but in the end, the one thing that will separate the successes from the failures is PERSISTENCE.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is…

Reach for the cookie. Don’t give up. Hang in there. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else.  If that doesn’t work, try yet another thing.  If you aren’t creative enough to come up with ideas on your own, sign up for the forum and we’ll help you brainstorm.  That’s really what it’s all about.