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Your Credit and the Holidays

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

Create a plan to deal with medical debt

Options for Higher Education

Back-to-School Strategies for Staying Out of Debt

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

Tax filing options to consider

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Celebrating Valentine's Day on a budget

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Strategies for Financially Surviving the Holidays

Creating a fun and memorable holiday on a budget

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

Tax Refund Delays for some in 2017

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

Making the holidays memorable for families on a tight budget.

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

Should Consumers Use the New EMV Cards?

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

Should Consumers Use the New EMV Cards?

Q. I don't understand all the fuss over credit cards with chips in them. Are they really safer, or is this just a way to increase costs to companies who will pass the extra expense onto us as consumers?

A. Last year, the cost of fraudulent purchases exceeded 38 billion dollars—staggering losses that ripple out to credit card companies, retailers and consumers alike.  Given the sheer number of losses and the potential for a compromised card to wreak havoc in your life, I’m in favor of creating safer ways to use credit cards.  

Chip-embedded cards, known as EMV cards, are way one to improve credit card security.  (EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa.)  A standard credit card has a magnetic stripe containing data that never changes.  If your card information is stolen, it can be replicated and used to make fraudulent purchases. On the other hand, an EMV chip card creates a unique transaction code for each purchase.  The code cannot be used again or duplicated, making it more difficult for would-be thieves to commit fraud.

If you’ve ever had your credit card information compromised, you know how frustrating this can be. You have to work with the credit card company, close your account and open a new one. You have to keep an eye on all your accounts to ensure no other accounts were compromised.  You have to check your credit reports to ensure that no further problems arise following the compromise.  And if your identity is stolen, you will have to spend hundreds of hours straightening out the problem.

Though they offer an effective layer of security, EMV cards still aren’t being used wisely, because they require retailers to update their credit card machines. An EMV card is inserted into the bottom of a machine that reads the chip, rather than being swiped like a card with a magnetic strip. EMV cards take longer to read than cards with magnetic strips.  

With an EMV, you now have the choice of using a card whose transactions cannot be duplicated. If these new cards can stop even 10% of the fraudulent transactions, this amounts to a savings of 3.8 billion dollars every year. 

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email acce@acce-online.com.

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.