Hudson - Litchfield News September 2, 2011 - 13
Identity Theft Protection Measures All College Kids Should Know
Parents send their children to college hoping they’ll learn enough in the classroom to get their degree, and enough about life to make their way in the world once they graduate. But firsthand knowledge of identity theft is one lesson parents don’t want kids to have, and they should take steps to help their college-age children avoid it. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 29
make up the largest percentage of identity theft victims, according to Federal Trade Commission data. “Their youth and the open, communal atmo- sphere of college life can make college kids more susceptible to identity theft, studies show,” says Jennifer Leuer, senior vice president of Experian Consumer Direct, which owns ProtectMyID. “Many college students have little credit his- tory, making them a preferred target for identity thieves.” Before you send your child off to college this fall, share these identity theft protection tips with him: * Always keep your dorm room or apartment door locked, even when you’re home. Most iden- tity theft still occurs in mundane, nontechnical ways, like a wallet being stolen from a drawer or a purse taken from an unlocked room. * Be careful with documents that contain personal information. Shred bills, and keep credit
card and bank account statements stored in a safe, locked location. * Leave your Social Security card and birth certificate at home, with your parents. You’ll need your SSN constantly in college, so you should have the number memorized. Be careful about how you use it and who you give it to; they should have a legitimate need for it. Only carry with you the ID that you actually need, like your driver’s license and student ID card. Never loan those items to a friend, no matter how close you think you are. * Be wary about who you allow in your room. Remember, anyone who enters your living space could gain access to your personal information. * When making online purchases, only do business with websites that have the security lock symbol. The symbol indicates the website has taken measures to protect customers’ information. * Never complete a credit card application at a table or booth on campus. Instead, go through the
Credit Card Advice for College Kids
affect your credit report. Credit bureaus track new credit applica- tions as part of their reporting process. Total available credit and number of credit inquiries are also factors in determining your credit score. If you’re thinking about getting a credit card for college, keep these tips in mind: * Check your credit report and score first. Websites like freecred- itscore.com
allow you to view your credit score, which is a snapshot of your credit history and status. The site’s Credit Score Center can help you understand how your score works, how it’s calculated, what factors impact it and when is the best time to apply for credit. * Be skeptical and inquisitive about credit card offers. Be sure
Heading to college this fall? Whether it’s your first year in school
or your last, you probably already have some expectations about how things will go. Freshmen may be dreading the infamous weight gain, sophomores and juniors may be happy to be a year closer to graduation, and seniors will look forward to finally getting a degree. It’s probably safe to say, however, that you’re not planning on
racking up a lot of credit card debt as you go through college. Un- fortunately, that’s exactly what happens to many college students. The average credit card debt for college seniors is $4,100, accord- ing to a 2009 study by Sallie Mae. Eighty-four percent of college kids have at least one credit card, and the average balance for all college kids is $3,173, the study showed. If you haven’t already been offered a credit card while at col-
lege, chances are you will be. More than three quarters of college students say credit card companies have marketed to them through tables set up on or near campus, one U.S Public Interest Research Group study showed. While that offer of a free iPod just for applying may seem like a great deal at the time, don’t forget your credit card application will
you understand the terms and conditions that will apply to your new card. That zero percent interest rate for the first 12 months may sound great, but will the rate leap to 30 percent if you’re a day late making a payment? * If you don’t already have one, open a checking account first. Consider making it a joint account with a parent. You’ll need that ac- count to pay your credit card bill, even if you pay online and never write a check. Setting up automatic payments online can be a great way to ensure your payments are never late or missed. * Avoid using your credit card for consumables. For example, it makes sense to use credit to buy a new laptop; it will allow you to divide the cost into smaller, manageable payments that you can make over a few months. It doesn’t make sense to use credit to pay for a tank of gas or lunch at a fast-food joint. The debt will linger longer than the item you purchased. * If you can’t afford to pay off a purchase in a couple of months,
you probably can’t afford that purchase at all. Only use your credit card for items you know you can pay off quickly, because the lon- ger you carry the balance and pay interest, the more expensive the item becomes.
A credit card can be a useful tool to help you through your col-
lege years. Just be sure to follow good credit use practices to ensure student loans are your only debt once you graduate.
- ARA Content Simple Tips to Get Organized for Fall
It’s that time of year again. Ready or not, the lazy summer days will be replaced by a more structured, back-to-school schedule. And even though the transition from sum- mer to fall can be a stressful time of year for many families, the change is manageable if you take some time to simplify and orga- nize a few key areas of your home and life. Professional organizer Andrea Dekker
is the owner of Simple Organized Living, LLC, and she knows just how hectic fall can be. She offers time, money, and space-sav- ing tips at SimpleOrganizedLiving.com
, but also shares these ideas for starting your home organization plan for fall. 1. Clothes Fall is a great time to declutter closets - both yours and your children’s. With the change of seasons, you may also need to change out your wardrobe and your children will most likely need a few new items for school that you missed during the back-to-school shopping rush. Plus, with the holiday season right around the corner, now is a great time to purge some of your old things to make room for new holiday outfits and gifts.
Simple tip: Make the process fun for your
children by hosting a fashion show and asking them to try on all their clothes. You’ll quickly see which items should be donated to charity and they’ll be entertained for an hour or two. As for your own closet, purge anything that doesn’t fit properly, anything that’s damaged, anything you don’t feel great in, and anything you haven’t worn in the last year. 2. School supplies It’s the best time of year to stock up on
school supplies as many stores are offering substantial discounts. However, before you head to the store, take a quick inventory of what you already have. Compare your current supplies to your children’s back-to- school lists and only buy what you don’t
Simple tip: Take advantage of the amaz- ing deals, but don’t get carried away. If you only need one package of markers, then only buy one (even if they are $1). Those extra supplies will just take up valuable storage space in your home. 3. Technology In today’s fast-paced world, you won’t get
very far unless you have up-to-date technol- ogy. And while technology is a wonderful thing, it also requires an array of cords, pieces, parts, batteries, chargers and other accessories. Take some time to go through all your extra technology items and purge everything you don’t need. Then create a designated area to store extra cords, char- gers, etc.
Simple tip: Keep your cords organized by labeling them and reduce extra accessories and chargers by purchasing universal char- gers like the Energizer Universal Charger. Its space-saving design can charge up to eight batteries at once and works with AA, AAA, C, D, and even 9V rechargeable batteries. 4. Meals
During busy fall months filled with meetings, ballet practices, piano lessons and soccer games, it’s helpful to have a few extra meals stored away in the freezer. Yes, this involves planning ahead and making meals in advance; but once your freezer is stocked, you’ll save hours of time each week and you’ll never wonder “what’s for dinner?” again. Simple tip: Create a weekly meal plan.
Write down what meals you’ll have each night and what you’ll need to shop for, and don’t forget to make more so you’ll have meals ready to freeze for another week. 5. Schedule There’s a good chance your fall schedule will be busier than your summer schedule. Start off on the right foot by finding a good family calendar or personal planner to record all those important events and activi- ties. It could be an electronic calendar that you access via your phone or a simple wall calendar in your kitchen. The important thing is that you keep all the information in one place.
Simple tip: Use different colors to record
events for different family members. That way, everyone knows what the others are doing each day.
By planning ahead and organizing a few key areas of your home and life, you can make a smooth transition into the hectic fall months.
- ARA Content STOP SHORTER WITH A MICHELIN TIRE AND ® 1
credit card company’s secure website or contact your bank before you go to school. * Consider enrolling in a protection product, like ProtectMyID to do the things you can’t do for yourself, such as scanning the Internet daily for your information and alerting you to more than 50 indicators of fraud that may be a sign your identity has been compromised. In today’s digital world, a person’s credit status can change on a dime, and spotting unauthorized activity quickly can be a key to halting identity theft. * Monitor your credit report regularly. Not only will regular monitoring help you identify possible occurrences of identity theft, it can help you better understand how the financial decisions you make affect your credit score. With some preventative steps and prudent cau- tion, college kids can ensure identity theft is one thing they don’t learn about the hard way.
- ARA Content
Collins Dentistry for Children (603)635-1166
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B 225 Lowell Road
(603) 595-7827 (in front of Hudson Cycle)
Buy any set of four new MICHELIN brand 70 MasterCard Prepaid Card after
passenger or light truck tires, and get a $
mail-in rebate. Offer valid August 11 through September 7, 2011.
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2 See redemption form at participating dealers for complete offer details. Offer expires 09/07/11. Void where prohibited. The card is issued by Citibank, N.A. pursuant to a license from MasterCard International Incorporated and managed by Citi Prepaid services. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. Cards will not have cash access and can be used everywhere MasterCard debit cards are accepted.
Copyright © 2011 Michelin North America, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michelin Man is a registered trademark owned by Michelin North America, Inc.
Maynard & Lesieur 31 W Hollis St (603) 883-7739
Family owned and operatedAsk us about road hazard coverage Tires for every vehicle
CORNER OF HOLLIS & ELM ST. DOWNTOWN NASHUA
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