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How to Stop Your Pet From Ruining Your Credit Score

Posted by Erica Steeves on January 12, 2018
Related image                                     Whether you’re looking to adopt a new pet or you’re seeing the medical bills pile up for your current aging pet, believe it or not, your four-legged family member can take a huge toll on your credit score. For future pets, how you acquire it can sometimes make all the difference with your credit score. For current pets, unexpected medical expenses, vet visits and more can all add up to impact your credit utilization ratio. Here’s a closer look at what you should be mindful of when it comes to pets and your credit score:

Caring for an Aging Pet

Just as aging humans typically need more medical care, the same is true with pets. But while humans likely have medical insurance to cover or help offset expenses, pets usually don’t. And when prescriptions, an increased number of vet visits and medical procedures become more frequent, the costs can really add up. If you don’t have the cash on hand, it could drive you into debt. Here’s how to help manage such costs:
  • Save for a pet emergency fund: Even setting aside $1,000 a year can really help with your pet’s medical bills.
  • Talk to your vet about costs: Just taking your pet to the vet costs money. Speak with your vet to see if they’ll be willing to waive the vet visit fee if you have to take your pet in more than twice a year, for instance. Most vets will work with you this way to retain your business.
  • Look into pet health insurance options: While still fairly uncommon, there are options out there. Before selecting one, be sure that it makes sense for you and your pet’s situation.

Acquiring a New Pet

  • Are you buying or leasing your pet? Yes, leasing, or renting, a pet is a thing – you might just not know that you’re doing it. Many pet stores offer financing plans for their more expensive pets, but what they won’t tell you is that the pet is technically still theirs until you pay it off. Any financing agreement impacts your credit reporting, and while financing a pet could be a good thing in terms of building credit history, it could also be a bad thing too if you don’t stay up with payments or if the pet store is unethical about the process.
  • Speaking of unethical pet stores, many experts state that you should try to use credit cards as payment to adopt pets. Why? Because if something goes awry or the pet store disputes the purchase, you have a paper trail of the transaction. A credit card can help prove that the pet belongs to you. It can also be an ally in your corner if there’s something wrong with the pet in terms of getting a refund if the pet store is uncooperative.
    We love our pets. To many, they’re part of the family. But don’t let your furry family member lead you into financially troubling times.

A Brief History of Equifax

Posted by Erica Steeves on November 21, 2017
equifax-data-breach-hack-lawmakers

Along with TransUnion and Experian, Equifax helps make up the “big three” of the credit reporting bureaus. And though Equifax’s story isn’t quite as tenured as Experian, its roots date back to the late 1800s when it began as a grocery store. Here’s a look at how the Atlanta-based company grew into the credit reporting giant that it is today.

A History of Equifax

  • 1898: Equifax’s roots begin in this year as a Tennessee-based grocery story. Founded by brothers Cator and Guy Woolford, each got their start in the credit business as grocers, where they compiled lists of customers based on their creditworthiness.
  • 1899: The Woolfords moved to Atlanta with the goal of making credit reporting their new career. In Atlanta, Georgia, in 1899, the Retail Credit Company was born. Compiling credit information into a book, the Woolfords sold copies to merchants. The company posted a loss of more than $2,000 in its first year, but sold many more books the following year.
  • 1901: Retail Credit Company expands into the moral hazard market, selling credit information to life insurance companies.
  • 1913: Retail Credit Company incorporated in 1913 and continued to grow its insurance-related business. During this period, it began reporting for automotive liability insurance.
  • 1920: Retail Credit Company continues to grow. By 1920, it has 37 branches throughout North America.
  • 1923: The company forms Credit Service Exchange, a credit rating operations firm. This entity was later sold.
  • 1930: The Retail Credit Company has 81 branch offices throughout North America.
  • 1960s: Post World War II is a period of rapid growth for the company, and by the mid-1960s, Retail Credit Company has 300 branch offices and 1,400 sub offices. This was also a period where data was transitioned from written index cards to electronic data systems.
  • 1970s: Retail Credit Company buys credit bureaus in Oregon, Idaho, Washington D.C. and California. In 1971, Retail’s credit reporting also began to be governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which took effect in April of 1971. In the early days of the Act, Equifax was a frequent violator.
  • 1979: Retail Credit Company changes its name to Equifax. It’s believed that this change was part of a means to improve its image after being found in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act after it was signed into law in 1971.
  • 1986: The company amasses data on more than 150 million consumers in 28 states.
  • 1988: The company now covers all 50 states, with revenue of $743 million.
  • 1989: Equifax forms an alliance with CSC Credit Services.
  • 1990s: Equifax expands internationally with acquisitions in the U.K., France, Canada and Chile, among others.
  • 2017: Equifax is the victim of a massive cyber hack, which is believed to have exposed the personal, confidential information of about 145 million Americans. Equifax was widely criticized for the hack and for how it responded after the matter.  (to see if you were a victim of this hack, please click here.)
Today, Equifax has a workforce of about 14,000 employees throughout 19 countries, and reports revenue of $3.14 billion per year.

BBB Reviews

Posted by Nikitas Tsoukalis on July 11, 2017

A Guide to Improve Your Credit Score on Your Own

Posted by Nikitas Tsoukalis on June 30, 2017

A Guide to Improve Your Credit Score on Your Own If you are planning to buy a home in a couple of years, applying for a mortgage must be there in your mind. Other than your monthly income, the two major factors that can decide the type of house you can buy are down paym read more