How does a credit bureau get information on you?

Inquiring minds want to know.  Right?

How do these bureaus get our purchasing history?  If you were to write down every single thing we buy, borrow, lease, etc. on pages, you'd call it a financial diary.  So who is writing those pages?  Of course, we are, but someone else is writing all of this down, too - credit bureaus and entries to our credit report.

How do "they" compile our financial diary?

Almost every time you buy something, or create any kind of financial transaction, it is likely being reported to one, two, or all three credit bureau agencies:  Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.  In other words, from retailers to landlords, this information is sent to them for free.  

These credit bureaus compile this information and create credit scores on us using an algorithm.  Generally, the methodology used to create the number score is "Fico".  That's why you hear the phrase:  "I have high Fico Scores" or "my fico scores...

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Should you add your teen to your credit card?

SUMMARY:

The thought of adding your teen to your credit card might send you running for the hills, right?  Of course, this very topic is being discussed all over the US, probably right now.  

After you finish reading this, you will have a MUCH more informed idea of whether that makes sense at your house.  No fears!

What is an "authorized user" on your credit card?

It simply means that you add your teen as a person that can put charges on your account.  

Why would you consider adding them?  

I know.  I know.  You are thinking to yourself "I must be out of my mind if I do this." And yet, here are reasons why this might make sense for your house.  

  1. In a small way, this move might help them establish a credit history.  There are other ways to do this, but some parents choose this path.  
  2. You might need your teen to buy things on a regular basis on your behalf.  For instance, they may be able to drive and pick up...
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Credit Report Fraud in your child's name? Clues, proof, and how to fix it!

Hello.  

I'll never forget the night my husband after reviewing our college-aged daughter's credit card that she had "purchased" a 32" flat screen tv.  

WHAT?  We had her on a tight spending, she kept herself on a spending plan, and had never given us an ounce of worry in this regard.  But a FLAT SCREEN TV?  

Well, of course it turned out to be that her credit card # had been "skimmed".  In other words, someone had digitally lifted her credit card information while they had her credit card to check out with at a restaurant.  

True confession, however.  We had trained her to review her credit charges and look for irregularities.  Who discovered the error?  Her dad.  

Take heart.  No matter how many plans you put in motion, bad things can happen to good people.  

How do you know if your child's credit report/scores and more are in jeopardy?

Of course, review the charges.   Captain Obvious, right?  

What if...

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What . . . my child might have a credit report ???

 SUMMARY 

Teen:  "Mom, can I have a credit card?"
Mom"No"
              OR
Teen: "Mom, can I have a credit card?"
Mom: "Yes"
 
What do these two answers have in common?
Either answer has the potential resulting in your child having a credit report in their name.
 
What's a credit report?  
Remember that diary that you may have kept growing up?  That's almost what a credit report is.  It's a "file" that holds all the information on your debt and payment history.  
 
How can they have a credit report on your teen?  
Possibly, here are 2 ways:
  • if you have added them as an "authorized user" on your own credit card, they might have a report in their name.  Some issuing companies report financial information for both the primary holder AND any authorized users.  You'll need to check with them.
  • or their identity may have been stolen resulting...
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The $100,000+ Question

Carrie:  Mom, I’d like to go to ABC College, I think.
Mom:   Honey, how much does it cost?
Carrie:  Well, their website says it is $25,000 per year plus incidentals. 
Mom:   Incidentals?  Let’s assume that’s $5,000 for transportation, clothing and miscellaneous.
Carrie:  Ok, that’s $30,000 per year.
Mom:   {pauses}
Mom:   Honey, is it worth $120,000 to do this?

The above conversation is happening everywhere.  

But generally, what conversation is NOT happening? 

One week later the smart mom asks . . .  

Mom:  honey, after applying scholarships, loans and the like, we are still looking at $25,000/yr which puts us at $100,000+ for four years.
Carrie: Mom, does that work for us?
Mom:  We will try to swing it with your help, of course. 
Mom:  {pause}
Mom:  Honey, have you thought about whether college is right for what you want to do?

 So what do...

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Don't Teach Your Kids to Budget

Budget.  That’s right . . . budget.    Things have changed. 

Have you used that word 6-letter word “budget” lately?  Go ahead and be honest with yourself.  You probably have.  But let me make a case on why you need to stop.   Times have changed.   Consider the following:

"Budgets" are Constricting

“Mom, I need $20.”   (funny how it used to be they only asked for $10!) 

“Honey, I just gave you $20 like…yesterday.  Can’t you budget your money?”

And there it is.  That word, that horrible sinking feeling word. The implied connotation to our kids and our “almost growns” is . . .  you can’t buy the things you want, you will never have enough money, and you are a one emoji away from busted.  Life is one trick multiple question with “none of the above” always included. 

Need stats to support this? 

...

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EASY Debt Example to teach your "almost grown" kids

 SUMMARY

Money and "stuff" are the granddaddy of all motivators.  Calling Santa . . . !

Thrill of Victory (the purchase) AND Agony of Defeat (the debt)

Movies, books, gas, electronics.  Where's that big guy in the red suit?  Well, he's not around, but those wishes for "stuff" ARE. Even if you aren't a believer in credit cards, and you prefer debit cards or cash, nearly everyone has a credit card or so it seems to your child.  They are soaking up illustration by illustration of credit cards in real time.  It's like an action movie but instead of Tom Cruise being the hero, it's a credit card.  

At JG we want things made easy.  Last lessons are sometimes difficult to teach but today you can learn how to teach DEBT in a dramatic and easy fashion.  Just an fyi, we are not against credit cards.  We ARE against credit card debt and credit card abuse.  More on that another day.

Please watch the 4 minute video if you can.  We...

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NOW is the time to set up Voting Eligibility for your 18+ Year Old


 SUMMARY

We’ve talked so much in the past about how to instill in our kids the values and motivations to be successful.  As parents we want our kids to be achievers, take responsibility, and own the world around them.  You’ve worked hard to instill in them a reliable set of practices, habits and commitments that will help carry them through to life, marriage, and maybe grandkids! 

Now comes an important task that you can't do until they are near aged 18.  

Do you remember when they first voted at their high school for class officers?  Or helped a friend run for office?  Hopefully your kids school did that.  I have to tell you that I never had the courage to run for a school office.  I was camera shy in  high school – and here I sit in front of a camera.  Who knew!  I had my finger in many pies, but just not the running for office one.  But my kids did. 

Little did I realize, but after they won...

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4 Tools to use Now. You already own them.

SUMMARY:

Times have changed.  

Math Class        - Check
History               - Check
Language Arts  - Check

But what about how to quit using excuses, how to learn confidence, how to go proactive and conquer that next achievement or goal?  

A lack of confidence encourages mental excuses

But what about how to quit using excuses, how to learn confidence, how to go proactive and conquer that next achievement or goal?  

Have you heard this at your house?

  • "I don't have enough money."
  • "I don't know how to do that."
  • "I don't have the skills to try out for that."
  • "No way will I ever learn how to do that."
  • "Everyone will laugh at me. I won't be good at that."

The actual line to achieving confidence isn't what you might think.  It is learning to ask questions.  Those questions lead to knowledge.  Knowledge leads to confidence BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY CAN ULTIMATELY FIGURE IT OUT.

But the trick we...

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Do those last remaining lessons for your nearly-grown offspring feel like . . .

SUMMARY

HELP!  Many a parent of a nearly-grown child feels there is still so much more to teach them, but need a creative idea on how to tackle it all.  

We've been there with our kids.  Despite our passion for helping parents and kids this age, we hit the wall (so to speak) on  how to get their attention to listen to those last critical lessons.  They didn't always want to listen to us.  

That's when we realized that we, or more specifically our kids, had/have a SECRET WEAPON to use.  Your kids (and you) have it too but odds are you haven't recognized it for what it is.  

But before we get to this SECRET WEAPON, if you didn't get a chance to view/read a prior session we taught that relates to this where we covered how to build confidence in our kids, and why our kids have such a challenge with this at their age, and what is the first move you can make to start that confidence ball rolling, Start with THIS to build confidence

Now about that...

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