Cyber Monday Tips

In 2014, the Monday after Thanksgiving was the biggest online shopping day ever (the first to tip over the $2 billion mark sales).  For those who do not cherish large crowds, sore feet, or a marathon of waiting in line, may the peace of the season rest at your fingertips.  Here are some online shopping guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission to help you deal with legitimate retailers…and avoid those who are not. Shopping Online Follow these tips for hassle-free online shopping: get the details, pay by credit card, keep records, and protect your personal and financial information. Get the Details Pay by Credit Card Keep Records Protect Your Information How to Report Online Shopping Fraud Get the Details Know who you’re dealing with. Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name. Confirm the online seller’s physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. And if you get an email or pop-up message that asks for your financial information while you’re browsing, don’t reply or follow the link. Legitimate companies don’t ask for information that way. Know what you’re buying. Read the seller’s description of the product closely, especially the fine print. Words like […] Read More

Cyber Monday Shopping Tips

Welcome to Cyber Monday, the online buying bonanza for those who do not cherish large crowds, sore feet, or a marathon of waiting in line.  May the peace of the season rest at your fingertips.  Here are some online shopping guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission to help you deal with legitimate retailers…and avoid those who are not.   Shopping Online   Follow these tips for hassle-free online shopping: get the details, pay by credit card, keep records, and protect your personal and financial information. Get the Details Pay by Credit Card Keep Records Protect Your Information How to Report Online Shopping Fraud   Get the Details Know who you’re dealing with. Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name. Confirm the online seller’s physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. And if you get an email or pop-up message that asks for your financial information while you’re browsing, don’t reply or follow the link. Legitimate companies don’t ask for information that way. Know what you’re buying. Read the seller’s description of the product closely, especially the fine print. Words like “refurbished,” “vintage,” or “close-out” may indicate that the product is in less-than-mint […] Read More

Your Christmas Credit

Christmas comes but once a year…your credit card bill is monthly.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases may accrue interest before the gifts are opened.  Situations happen—medical hardships, job loss, divorce, loss of income, and Christmas—which can affect good bill-paying practices and damage your credit.  The thing is, you can fix it.  If you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can fix your credit score.   For general tips on do-it-yourself credit repair (for free), visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov.   And if you are looking to buy a house (even if you have just lost a house to foreclosure), there are local credit counseling programs available that review the problems on your credit report and will help you make a plan to fix those issues.  Visit the St. Johns County Housing and Community Services website at http://www.sjcfl.us (click on “Housing & Community Services”) and the St. Johns Housing Partnership website at http://sjhp.org for more information. Read More