MONEY SMART How to monitor your credit history
Marquette Bank, a local neighbor- hood bank, is celebrating Financial Literacy Month and Money Smart Week, in April, by offering free financial reviews and free educa- tional classes to help residents better understand their money. Marquette Bank would like to provide the fol- lowing helpful information on your credit history. Your credit report is a financial record of your entire financial histo- ry. It lists all of the credit cards and loans you have out on your name. It also lists all the balances you have with your creditors, highlights how regularly you make or do not make payments on your bills and also shows any liens, civil judgments or any financial actions that are placed against you. If you are late on your payments or bills, it will be docu- mented in your credit history and
this will negatively impact your credit score. Having a good credit score is important when you are try- ing to buy a car, purchase a home and even open a bank account. There are three credit bureaus: Transunion, Equifax and Experian that keep credit reports.
Here are 3 reasons you want to check your credit history:
Check for Discrepancies. Make sure everything is correct. Mistakes happen and some creditors could report inaccurate information. Contact any companies that report incorrect information so any errors can be corrected. Discrepancies can hurt your credit report and give mis- information to lenders who are look- ing to loan you money. Identity Theft. Perpetrators of
identity theft often get loans or cred- it cards under the victim’s name; leaving them with the debt in their name. If you find loans, credit cards or accounts open in your name and you do not remember ever opening these, immediately contact the com- panies listed and speak to their fraud department to resolve the issue. Staying Organized. Your credit report is a great tool to keep you on track with your finances. You will be able to see which companies you owe money to and how much it is that you owe. Use your credit histo- ry as a quick reference. You will be able to see all the credit cards, loans and accounts, as well as, inquiries on your credit.
The best (and free) way to moni- tor your credit history is to use www.annualcreditreport.com
. This free service is provided by the three
Working women should evaluate life insurance needs
By Daniel R. Taylor When it comes to safeguarding a
family’s financial future, there is a troubling gap between men and women. According to a survey com- missioned by COUNTRY Financial, about four in 10 women say their family would not live comfortably if they died.
Additionally, around 80
percent of all married couples are dual-income couples, and more than one quarter of wives earn more than their husbands.
As a woman whose family depends on you financially, the very thought of premature death may make you worry about the changes your family would need to make if your income were no longer avail- able. A good way to protect your family’s future is with life insurance. Why do I need life insurance? Life insurance provides protection from financial loss if you or a family member dies prematurely. Each sit- uation is different, but life insurance is commonly used for final expens- es, taking care of dependents and continuing business activities. Final expenses may include expenses of an illness, burial expenses, legal fees or outstanding debts.
Life insurance is especially help- ful if your family exists on a single
income. Life insurance helps fami- lies maintain their current lifestyles. Mortgages, college education and your spouse’s retirement are all costs that may be paid for by life insur- ance. Also, if you own a business, life insurance can help ensure your family or business partners will not be left with outstanding debts. How much coverage do I need? Although coverage amounts vary from person to person, most finan- cial planners agree you should have at least seven to 10 times your annu- al salary in life insurance. It’s best to purchase life insurance early because the older you get, the more expensive life insurance gets. Some employers provide group life insurance, but no one should rely solely on this type of coverage. Employee group life insurance pro- tects you while you are an employee, but may disappear if you lose or leave your job.
This is especially
important for women, since they are more likely to leave their jobs to raise a family. Group life insurance through a spouse or previous job will generally have minimal protection. What are the types of life insur-
There are two main types of life insurance protection: term and per- manent life insurance.
insurance provides protection for a specific period of time and is used to fill a temporary need, such as cover- ing a mortgage or sending a child to college.
offers the greatest amount of cover- age for the lowest initial premium and may be a good choice for fami- lies on a tight budget.
Permanent life insurance offers lifelong protection and allows you to accumulate cash value and equity. This type of coverage is used to fill long term needs, such as income replacement. Unlike term life insur- ance, you might have the option to stop making payments in later years. Start thinking about life insur-
For working women with families who depend on their income, life insurance is too valuable to ignore. If you do not currently have life insurance, don’t wait to protect your family’s future.
If you currently
have life insurance, re-evaluate your needs. Examining your life insur- ance needs every few years is a good idea, because changes and events in your life may alter the amount of coverage you need.
To help you
decide what life insurance policy is right for you, contact me at 773-724- 0193 for an insurance and financial review.
CHICAGO DEFENDER / APRIL 18-24, 2012 3 Term insurance typically
credit bureaus. You can view your credit history from all three compa- nies (Transunion, Equifax and Experian) once a year. The best method of monitoring your free credit histories is to view each of these at different times during the year. For example, check your Transunion report in January, your Equifax report in May and your
Experian in September, that way you are monitoring your credit his- tory every four months for free. When you stay on top of your credit report and history you will be more likely to make better financial decisions. For more information on free financial classes or free finan- cial reviews, visit www.emarquette- bank.com
or call 1-888-254-9500.
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