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ATM's Can Give Your Money Away

Aug 10, 2008
With debt and finances becoming major issues in the public eye in the last few years, we're becoming more and more educated in general about solid financial tips, though we haven't necessarily mastered the use of them yet. Even if you're a regular reader of financial articles or blogs related to credit though, the following tips and information may be new to you, and should be important to many Americans.

1 Most of us have a pretty good understanding of how credit scores work and what areas they affect, such as our ability to get loans, and the rates which we'll pay for those loans should we get one. What you may not have known is that your insurance rates for things like health care, automobiles and even life insurance may also be affected by your score. Insurance companies request copies of your score before determining your rates, believing that your score may have an effect on the claims you'll make in the future. So even if you plan on avoiding credit for the rest of your life (and that's certainly a commendable aim), a bad credit score may continue to affect you regardless.

2 One of the early selling points for credit and debit cards was not just their convenience, but their safety as well. Not flashing large wads of cash supposedly made you less of a target for thieves, and while this may have some merit, and credit cards come with built-in fraud protection in most cases, the same is not true of debit cards. You're carrying more than just small amounts of cash with you, you're carrying your entire bank account, which could be instantly wiped out if someone got a hold of your low APR card and password, or forced you to use it for them. Having a strict withdrawal limit enforced on your account is a great step to take to minimize this risk.

3 One way to help rebuild your credit rating when your options are limited is to look into sub-prime merchandise cards. These often require a deposit and force you into using them at a specific store only (not necessarily a bad thing if it means you have less spending options), but do report to credit bureaus, allowing you to repair your score with a minimum of hassle.

4 ATM's will give you money that you don't actually have. Now before you start jumping for joy and rush off to hit up the ATM's, this isn't a good thing. Many people aren't aware that they can actually withdraw more money from an ATM than what is available in their bank account, up to a certain point. This comes with a hefty overdraft fee usually in the $20-$35 range each time though. Quite a price to pay for a measly $20 withdrawal. Make sure you know how much money is in your account at all times so you avoid trying to take out too much, and perhaps consider getting overdraft protection on your account to prevent this if you're prone to err in this way.

5 Joint credit accounts only supply credit history to the main account holder, usually the male in a marriage. When divorces occur this often leaves women scrambling for credit, with no history to back them up. Instead of multiple joint accounts, married couples should consider keeping at least one sole account for each partner.

Hopefully these tips will help you in the future. The quest for good credit and financial stability is an arduous one, and we can really use all the help we can get.
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