Tuesday, August 12, 2008

FW: Your August TransUnion Newsletter

Your August TransUnion Newsletter. Click here for TransUnion Credit Monitoring.
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TransUnion Credit Care Monthly August 2008
Hello, Monty!
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A note from the editor
It's August. Besides thinking about vacations and how much longer we have to put up with mosquitoes, our attention turns to the inevitable: going back to school. Whether you have a child who's going off to college or university, one in high school, or if you are a big kid yourself, it's really important to add healthy credit usage to the list of essential life skills.
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Online learning offers many options

Your credit might be in order but is your career? If getting a degree is the only thing standing between you and the job of your dreams, consider online learning. With online education, you're in charge of your schedule.  Some employers reimburse tuition expenses and don't forget—a degree might mean a higher salary! Online learning offers a wider choice of programs and degrees than ever before…you don't have to go off to college to get a great education anymore!

This month's featured article
college student
Back to School: Credit Strategies for College Kids and Adults Alike

This is the time of year your soon-to-be high school
graduate is probably making some decisions about university or college—if not what to study, at least where. For many, it may be the first time away from home, the first time they are forced to pick up after themselves or do their own laundry. It's also a moment when many parents decide to give their child a credit card for the first time, or co-sign for one. You want to make sure your child learns to use credit safely and responsibly. After all, this is the first step on the road toward building a healthy credit score that could someday lead to buying a car or a house. Though it may be hard to imagine your youngster someday buying a house, by covering a few credit basics, you help to ensure he or she starts out on the right path—and perhaps is less likely to make costly mistakes!  

If you know college kids who have time to go shopping, it might mean they're not studying enough! That's where credit cards come in—offering the convenience of online shopping as well as the opportunity to start creating a sound credit history. If you're the one who's paying the bills later, credit cards give you (or the student) a way to track and protect those purchases, as well as financial resources in an emergency. In the last few years, there has been no shortage of sign-up opportunities as credit card companies are a staple on campuses across the country.

A little guidance goes a long way
Beginning credit customers may need guidance; they might not realize that bills not paid in full result in something called "interest charges," and credit is best used as a valued resource, not a way of life (going south for Reading Week doesn't count as an "emergency").

It's easy, when spending "plastic," for youngsters to lose sight of the fact that this is real money which will result in actual bills, especially when you haven't yet had the experience of paying down a credit card balance month after month for purchases you made so long ago you forgot what they were.

Part of learning how to handle credit should also be awareness of cash advance and annual fees. And, just as it would be with any card holder, a comparison between cards based on rates, fees and possible rewards is essential before opening any accounts. Cards that offer rewards such as airline miles, cash back or discounts might be useful for some students—why shouldn't they spend Reading Week somewhere sunny and warm, as long as they're paying for it themselves—provided they're not paying too much to accumulate those "rewards." 

Set a good example
Children always learn, of course, by example, so if your credit use is healthy you've given your students a great model to follow. Remember though, that sometimes mistakes are the best teachers.  So if your child does make some minor
credit slip-ups in the beginning (note emphasis on minor), it's better now, especially while you're still in the picture and the amounts (we hope) are small. Treat it as a learning opportunity.
family going over credit cards
Ask Audrey
Dear Audrey,

Is it true if I piggyback off my mom's credit that certain credit bureaus will not honor that history?

Thank You,

Rachel D.

Hi Rachel

What you refer to as "piggybacking" is the practice of having a card holder with a good credit history sign someone else to an account as an authorized user so that that person benefits from the card holder's good credit history. The industry has been cracking down on this practice because consumers with lower credit scores were able to pay those with higher scores to add them to their accounts as an authorized user, without actually using the account.

The best way to improve your credit score is still to establish credit, pay bills on time, and not take on too much credit. Find out more about managing your credit health in our Learning Center.

Until next month,


Audrey O'Dell Newsletter Editor

Your credit horoscope


Regal and dramatic, Leos love to spend. But by keeping tabs on your credit, you'll be sure to keep it under control. Unlimited Credit Monitoring is the most comprehensive way to monitor your credit.

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December 11, 2008 3:27 AM  

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