How to Avoid a Credit Nightmare during Holiday Shopping!

Published on December 12, 2013 By Lauren

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  • I got a letter in the mail yesterday from my old bank when I lived in SC, to let me know that their security had been breached and all of my personal information had been leaked…This is NOT the kind of letter that I wanted to receive, but it got me thinking about something important.  How well do I keep track of what is going on in my checking accounts or credit report? The reality of it is that I don’t keep good track, if someone has stolen my identity through this breach, I would have NO idea!  That is a scary thing!

    This time of year so many of us are using our debit cards to make purchases online and in the store, and that kind of information can sometimes get stolen.  Did you know that over 25% of American’s have never checked their credit report?  If you never check your credit report, then you can’t see if anything strange is going on with your accounts, like a credit nightmare!

    I’ve been looking around today and finding out some good ways to make sure that I am protected in the future when making my online purchases:

    1.) Use Paypal whenever offered. I would highly suggest using Paypal whenever you can. Paypal protects you against fraud and they have a fantastic purchase protection program in place.

    2.) When using your debit card in a store – select the Credit option instead of having it go through as Debit.  If you have a fraudulent charge on your debit card, you can still file a claim as long as you report it within two business days. But if you wait longer than that, many times they will not give you your money back.

    If you push the credit button, your purchase it protected under the Zero Liability policy by the credit card company. If your Credit cards has a fraudulent charge you won’t be responsible for fraudulent charges to your Visa/Mastercard Debit card, unless the thief used your PIN number.

    3.) Check your credit report – you can check it for free using a company called Quizzle.  They are the ONLY Credit reporting company offering both a free credit score AND report on the web – there is no credit card or trial purchase required. In fact, they are the only site that provides a credit report in its entirety.  This way you can check your report to see if anything ‘fishy’ is going on.

    4.) Cancel cards that are old and not being used.  One thing that I do keep up on, is cancelling old credit cards when I am finished using them. I’ve caved at times and filled out the form at the register for 20% off my purchase, then forgotten I have the card.  I would have no idea that someone was using them, so by cancelling them you keep good track of your available credit, which {I think} helps increase your credit score.  When you sign up for Quizzle, you can see which of these cards are still in there and inactive, then they typically will give you a phone number to call to cancel.

    After looking around today and finding out these tips, I feel much better.

    The holidays are probably the hardest time of year for me to keep track of everything, since I buy so much in these two months. But after getting that scary letter, I feel like I am more equipt to make better purchasing decisions from here on out.

    Credit helps you get what you want. For a complete understanding of your credit and how to put it work for you, visit for your absolutely free credit report and score.

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Quizzle. The opinions and text are all mine.


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