The Potential Dangers of Mobile Banking Technology

It is easier than ever to manage your finances these days. Now that we have access to lots of different mobile banking technologies, it is simple to pay bills, get cash or just to check your bank balance. As we all know, though, there are good and bad sides to everything. Any time we sacrifice in order to get additional convenience, we wind up losing something. In the case of mobile banking technology, we can end up losing a bit of security when we seek to find even more convenient ways to get access to our finances.

Banking fraud expert, Julie Conroy sums it up like this: “As additional people flock to the mobile channel and transactions multiply, the bad guys are paying attention and deploying more attacks against it.” With Conroy’s statement in mind, it is good to know how to protect yourself from some of the dangers of mobile banking apps and websites. Here are some of the dangers lurking out there that you need to be aware of…

The Danger of Bad Reception

Some people opt to use their phone carrier’s data network instead of wireless to access their accounts. While 3G and 4G can be very secure, the security level drops when you access your financial apps via a lower service range area. In other words, the worse the 4G reception, the higher the likelihood that your data could be compromised. To avoid this threat, try to only access your bank account information or PayPal account when you are in an area that has superior connectivity rates.

Hackers can get into Wireless Networks with Ease

Some people don’t know this, but mobile apps do not always encrypt your information the way that secure websites do. This means that when you use a mobile app to access your bank account on a public or unsecured wireless network, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. Most public wifi hotspots are not very secure, and hackers are notorious for hacking into these networks to steal financial or personal data. If you must use a mobile app to access your bank account, make sure to use your home’s secured wireless network to avoid the potential of becoming a victim of hackers.

Losing Your Phone can Lead to Even more Severe Losses

It used to be that if you lost your cell phone that you would simply be out the cost of the phone. These days, though, with people storing their entire digital lives on their smart phones, losing your phone can lead to serious problems. Studies have proven that about 40 percent of smart phone users don’t use any type of password protection on their devices. If you are one of those folks, and you happen to lose your phone, anyone who picks it up could get immediate access to your sensitive personal and financial information. To avoid this threat, make use of the password protection option on your smart phone.

Waiting to get Money
Even though you are allowed to make instant deposits via mobile banking apps, you may have to wait a bit longer than you are accustomed to in order to access those funds. Banks are always concerned about protecting themselves against fraud. With the possibilities for fraud growing exponentially with the rise of mobile banking apps, banks have to do what they can to stay protected. This means that mobile deposits are subject to longer waiting periods than traditional cash deposits at your local bank branch.

Mobile banking apps are great for giving you instant access to all of your bank accounts. Just be sure that you are aware of some of these potential risks and that you take action to keep your bank account protected.

Payday Lenders out of the Crosshairs in Minnesota?

Recent moves by the Minnesota Legislature – moves that were dead set on imposing reform on the payday lending industry fell by the wayside at the end of 2014. In fact, the proposed reform actually failed to get going at all at the beginning of 2015. This turn of events represents a significant set back for a group of religious and community advocate groups that had their eye on demanding concessions from payday lending companies. These folks believe that when people get small dollar loans for a few weeks that the payday loan customers wind up in a never ending spiral of debt due to loan fees and late fees.

Last year, the Minnesota House, with the DFL pulling their strings, passed a bill that was backed up by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Lobbyists and advocates for the payday loan industry, however, were not able to reach a place of common ground, so the Senate passed. Fast forward to this year and the different parties involved were not even talking about the bill, with no hearings being held to date.

Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said, “I’m still committed to this. This goes to my goals for building [family] financial capability. The dialogue [between the industry and consumer groups] got difficult when it came to the interest rate and the number of loans. Families do need affordable credit. It’s troublesome when they are caught in debt traps.”

The group of payday lending companies, led by the successful Payday America company, with 15 locations owned by the same family that owns Pawn America, have pushed back against changes that would effectively limited how many loans a borrower could take out and that significantly lowered interest rates to cap out at only 30 percent. A Payday America executive, Chuck Armstrong, along with Paul Cassidy, a lobbyist for the company indicated that the proposed bill would essentially destroy the Minnesota short term lending industry. The industry has put forth a concession that was to put a common reporting system into place, so that borrowers would not be able to successfully apply for loans if they had existing loans open with other lending companies.

Armstrong said, “We don’t want to keep people in a debt spiral. “Oftentimes it takes more than one loan cycle for a family to get out of debt. Our opponents are manufacturing hysteria.”

Payday lending companies always check to make sure that borrowers have a form of income. Currently, there are no caps in Minnesota to put limits on the volume of rollover loans that a person has, which can have an effect on compound interest rates. With the average payday loan being for roughly $300, the loan fees figure in somewhere around $26.50. Some critics say that this amounts to an APR of over 225 percent. However, it is important to note that most borrowers tend to pay off their loans on time, so the loan fees can only be considered a one-time charge and not a fee that compounds interest on an annual basis.

Even though there is not a lot of action taking place with regards to the proposed sanctions as of right now, payday lenders probably are not completely in the clear in Minnesota just yet. The CFPB still has its eye on imposing reform on the short term lending industry. However, perhaps alternative financial service providers, like payday lenders, can concentrate on simply offering their services to the people who really need them for the time being; instead of focusing on yet another legal fight with parties who seem to have nothing better to do than to limit the financial choices available to lower and middle income households.

Is Chase Slate the Best Balance Transfer Credit Card?

It is a veritable jungle out there for people who are looking for credit cards to use for low balance transfers. As you may already know when you are carrying around a high credit card balance, on a line of credit with high interest rates and other fees, it can be almost impossible to pay those hefty balances off. Transferring your high balance to a card with lower interest rates fees can be a great way to get started on your master plan to becoming free from the chains of too much consumer debt. It is important to choose the right credit card to use for your balance transfer, though.

The Chase Slate has become one of the most popular balance transfer credit cards on the market today. But just because the Slate is popular, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right card for you. We decided to investigate what this card has to offer and now we are going to share our findings with you.

What’s Good about the Chase Slate?

Many credit card companies try to entice you to choose their balance transfer cards by offering you 0 percent interest for a short amount of time. The Chase Slate, however, actually offer people 0 percent interest for 15 months. To make things even better, that longer 0 percent term applies to both purchases and balance transfers. It’s a sure bet that the longer no-interest period that the Chase Slate offers is one of its chief selling points.

Chase Slate also allows consumers to transfer their balances without paying any balance transfer fees. This is a very big benefit, as many credit card companies will actually charge you about 3 percent to move your balances to their credit cards. A 3 percent fee on a $5,000 balance would cost you around $150 if you were to choose one of those cards. Slate charges you absolutely nothing, so you don’t have to tack on any addition debt just for the privilege of switching to a card with more affordable interest rates.

Any Drawbacks to the Chase Slate?

There is no such thing as a perfect credit card. As much as we like the Chase Slate, it is important to let you know that it is a balance transfer credit card that is typically only available to people who have good credit scores. Typically, a good credit score is considered to be one that is higher than 660. People who have lower credit scores may feel like they are missing the boat by not being able to qualify for this particular credit card. However, if you have only had a few minor credit problems, say you missed a payment or two, you should still be able to qualify for a Chase Slate credit card.

People who travel frequently are sure to appreciate that Slate also offers Chip and Pin technology. When a card is Chip-enabled, you can safely use it abroad without any worries. So if you plan on taking a vacation or business trip to another country in the future, you may find that the Slate is the ideal credit card to use while you are traveling.

Be sure to use your balance transfer wisely, regardless of the actual credit card that you apply for. Don’t simply rack up more debt. Use the 0 percent introductory period to pay off as much of your debt as you can. That is the whole point of using a balance transfer, and it will definitely help you to get your finances into better shape for the foreseeable future.

Are Payday Loans More Affordable Than Traditional Loans?

Let’s face it – the media has pretty much vilified the payday lending industry in recent years. Even people who never use the services of a short term lender know that online news sites and other media outlets routinely trash this particular industry. A new study that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York conducted seems to prove that many of the widely accepted beliefs about the payday lending industry are not true at all. In fact, the report actually demonstrates some situations and scenarios where payday loans can actually be more affordable than a traditional bank checking account.

Overdraft Fees are not cheap

The NY Federal Reserve Bank’s report revealed that the median overdraft fee on most checking accounts is around $27 for every returned check. And that amount does not even include the flat-rate fees that banks charge for these types of transactions. If you compare a typical payday loan, where someone gets charged around $15 for every $100 borrowed, it is easy to see that payday loans can certainly be more affordable than overdraft fees.

There is no other way to say it; the cost of bouncing a check or two is a lot more costly than paying the flat rate fees that payday lenders charge. Perhaps that is why so many people are taking out these types of short term loans lately. They know that their banks are taking them to the cleaners for bounced checks, so it makes more sense to get a payday loan to avoid draining their checking accounts. This may not be the case for everyone who takes out payday loans, but there are undoubtedly a lot of folks out there who have caught on to how the banks are raking them over the coals for even the smallest of overdrafts.

The study we mentioned was underwritten by the Community Financial Services Association of America. In the interest of transparency, it is only fair to mention that this group is a trade group for payday lending companies. An industry spokesperson, Johnny Gordon said, “When used correctly and for relatively small amounts, cash advance or payday loans can be both economical and convenient.”

The study went on to prove that payday loans are more accessible to people than traditional checking accounts and bank loans are. Gordon summed it up by stating, “Overdraft and other similar programs require extensive credit checks and comprehensive income documentation.”

One important fact that never gets brought up when people report on the payday lending industry is the fact that millions of people in this country either don’t have access to traditional banks or they choose not to use local bank branches to manage their finances. For these types of people, short term loans are often the best resources available when they are in need of fast cash for emergency expenses or simply to get by from one paycheck until the next one.

Without access to alternative financial services, like those that are regularly offered by payday lenders – both local locations and online lending websites – people who do not do business with the big banks, either by choice or because of their financial situations – would have no way to procure money to take care of their bills and other expense. It is a shame that so many people are working so hard to eliminate these types of lenders that may very well be the only sources of financial services that some families will ever have access to. These are the kinds of facts that need to be reported when people write articles to unfairly target the payday lending industry.

Is there a Bright Side to Having Bad Credit?

It doesn’t take a genius to understand how much of an impact bad credit can have on your life. There are so many downsides to bad credit, that entire libraries could be filled with all of the reports that have been written on the topic so far. You pay more money in interest payments, rentals become more challenging and you can even lose out on the opportunity to get a new job, all because your credit score is low. There’s no other way to put it, except to say that bad credit really is a drag…

There are already enough articles out there that tell of the negative impact of bad credit. It is time to change things up a bit, and see if there is anything positive about having a low credit score. Is there a bright side to having bad credit? Let’s see if we can’t find the silver lining for those of you out there dealing with bad credit…

Maintaining Your Perspective with Bad Credit

The first thing you have to keep in mind is that bad credit is not a life sentence; you are not stuck with a low credit score forever. Your score is not any indication of the type of person, but of your past financial decisions. Use this time to review some of the financial mistakes of the past, and come up with resolutions to avoid those mistakes in the future. Not every financial mistake was your fault. Chances are you have dealt with some real financial emergencies in the past. The main thing to remember is to avoid beating yourself up. Get some perspective. Leave the past in the past. And develop a smart plan to move forward, and to rebuild your credit score.

A Time to Learn about Credit

Once you are on the lower end of the credit score spectrum, it is time to start learning some lessons. A lot of people wind up in trouble because they never really learned about how credit scoring works in the first place. Now that you are dealing with bad credit, it is the ideal time to educate yourself. The more you know about the inner workings of credit, the better armed you will be to protect your credit score in the future. Keep this in mind to avoid feeling down and out about your current credit score situation.

Bad Credit can teach you to Overcome Obstacles

Think of bad credit as an obstacle that you can – and will – overcome. Many people do not realize how resourceful they really are until they are facing some type of adversity. Think of rebuilding your credit as a challenge that you are going to tackle with all of your might. Resolve to not let your current situation define you for good. Muster up your courage, get informed and use your low credit score to inspire you to do better with your finances moving forward.

In Conclusion

Chances are that if your credit score is low right now, that you will do all that you can to keep it from getting worse. The old saying of “Once bitten, twice shy” certainly applies to this type of situation. You now understand just how much of a pain bad credit can be, so you are less likely to fall into the same patterns that got you into financial trouble from here on out.

It can be hard to see the positive things in life when your credit score is bad. You ultimately decide how you are going to react to things in life, so make sure that you react the right way to your current financial situation. You can improve your credit score, so try to see the bright side and take strides toward an even brighter financial future.

Payday Loan Customers are Smarter Than Some People Think

If there is a subject that the mainstream media and some governmental bureaus love to harp on about it is the payday lending industry. All you have to do is go online, watch a news program on television or open up the newspaper to see some sort of article or story about how payday lenders are the worst kind of people in the world. We’ve all seen stories about these “predatory lenders” charging sky-high interest rates and other fees, all the while keeping their regular customers in bondage to a never-ending cycle of escalating debt.

That’s pretty heavy stuff, right? But is it true? Are payday lenders preying on the poor and pulling a fast one on people who need access to fast money? And perhaps more importantly, are payday loan customers just a bunch of poor, uneducated people who are constantly being scammed by short term lending companies?

To find answers to these questions we need to turn to the governmental bureau that has been tasked with monitoring financial misconduct – the CFPB. This bureau receives thousands of complaints from people all over the country. The question, though, is whether or not a large volume of those complaints are related to the short term lending industry. Guess what, they’re not!

Recent data posted by the Consumers Financial Protection Bureau indicates that payday lending is way down on the totem pole with regards to complaints from actual customers. This data, which analyzed the first three years’ worth of complaints to the CFPB indicates that only about one percent of the complaints received are related to payday lending companies. To put that in perspective, the vast majority, around 66 percent of complaints, were filed against mainstream banks, credit card companies, debt collection companies and other established financial organizations.

Stop to think for just a minute what the only alternative to payday loans is for many people. That alternative would be withdrawing money from a traditional checking account to the point of a negative balance. We all know this practice better as paying overdraft fees to our friendly neighborhood banks. If the APR on overdraft fees were calculated the same way that payday loan fees are the worst case scenarios would see people paying upwards of 1700 percent for overdraft protection. Compare that to the much lower calculated APR on some payday loans (around 350 percent) and it is easy to see that overdraft protection fees are far more predatory than any payday loan could ever be.

The CFPB has even done somewhat of an about face when it comes to the payday loan industry. The bureau now suggests that using overblown APR data to understand short term payday loans is not all that accurate. This is because payday loan customers actually understand what they are getting when they apply for these types of loans. The average payday loan customer evaluates these types of loans with regard to fees charged, rather than calculating the APR that they could potentially pay on a short term loan.

While no one expects the CFPB to back down from its mission to protect consumers from predatory financial practices, it is nice to know that the hard data collected by this bureau proves to vindicate the payday lending industry a bit. It may be too late for some smaller lending companies that were forced out of business due to Operation Choke Point, but the message is clear – payday lending companies are not preying on their customers, and those same customers understand the short term lending industry better than many so-called financial experts out there.

Cash Loans are the Best Way to Live an Exciting Life

You work hard for your money, and there are better things to do with that money than just pay those never-ending bills that arrive in your mailbox every month. Don’t get me wrong; you have to pay the utility bill, your car payment, mortgage or rent and all the other endless bills that flood your mailbox. But these are not the only things you need money for. You have to live your life. It would be a very boring life if all you could afford to do was pay your monthly bills. Paying your bills is a necessity and it’s one of the reasons you go to work every weekday and sometimes on the weekend, but it’s not the only reason.
You also want to spend money on the fun things in life. Doing what you really enjoy in life makes life worth living. What would life be like if you never indulged yourself with the activities you enjoyed most? It would be a very boring and stressful life. Man needs to feel the excitement of what life has to offer. The greatest joys in life are the anticipation of something exciting about to happen. It’s really that simple; you deserve to have an exciting life. One that promises you pure enjoyment in experiencing the things you really want to do. A cash advance is a great way to treat yourself to something wonderful, if you don’t have the cash in your pocket or in the bank. Using cash loans to get whatever it is that you want immediately, is a way to make life better.
If you have bad credit that does not mean you should live a dull life, no, far from it. You will just have to apply for cash loans for bad credit. These cash loans no credit check are a quick and easy way to get the money you need for anything you desire. A great way to get the money you need is cash loans online. There is nothing simpler than filling out an online application that will take you a few minutes to complete. You’ll get a quick reply, and imagine how exciting it will be to check your bank account and see the money you wanted, there in your bank account.
Making your life as simple and enjoyable as it can be is just a few minutes away with a cash loan. If today you decided to throw the most outrageous party in your life, and wanted to invite all your friends; you could do it, even if you didn’t have a single penny to your name. Just go online, filled out a quick application, wait for the money to be sent to your bank account and then call all your friends to let them know when and where the party will be. This is the beauty of a cash advance. You decide what is important for your happiness and then go for it. This is really why working a job has its benefits. You get to pay your monthly bills and live the exciting life you desire.

Save Money on Your Electric Bill This Summer

It is no secret that your electric bill can go up in the summer due to the cost of cooling your home. There are ways that you can save money on your electric bill this summer without having to sweat all summer long. Here are some tips for anyone who would like to save more on their electric bill this summer.

Do you have any ceiling fans? If your answer is no you need to get some. Many people do not realize that having ceiling fans actually helps to circulate the air and makes it so you do not have to have your air turned up so high. They really do help cool your house, which makes them a good investment.

When it is hot out you should keep your curtains and blinds closed. When the sun beams in through the windows it heats up your house making your air conditioner work even harder. Keeping the blinds and curtains closed really does make a difference in how much your air runs.

When you are not home increase the temperature in your home. You will save money when your air conditioner is not running as much and if you do not need to keep it at a certain temperature for animals and no one is home, then why cool it? You can purchase a programmable thermostat that can start cooling the house down shortly before you get home so it is not so hot when you get there. Sometimes these high tech thermostats come with rebates too.

Day 215-2012-08-02 Air Conditioning!

How often to you tend to your furnace filter? It is recommended that it be cleaned or even changed once a month. Keeping the furnace filter cleaned helps the furnace run as efficient as possible which will help you to save money on your electric bill.

If you leave a room, make sure that you turn off all the lights. What is the point of lighting a room that no one is even in? Keeping as many lights and electronics off that you do not need, as possible, will make a noticeable difference on your electric bill.

Almost everyone would like to save money on their electric bill not just this summer but every summer. These are all great tips to help you keep your electric bills down to a manageable level. Even if you do not think that it will make much of a difference on your electric bill, what is the harm in trying?

Father’s Day Geeky Gadget Gifts

Still looking for that perfect gift for dad for father’s day? Is he a geek or does he love gadgets? Here are some great gadgets that any dad would love to get this year for father’s day, but you should hurry, because father’s day is almost here.

I’m sure you have had the experience of not having your gloves work on your phone. I know it’s frustrating. I am sure you have seen the gloves that do work on your smartphone. These are not always the gloves that you want to wear in the winter. Now you can purchase a product called AnyGlove. This product has the ability to turn any pair of gloves that you have into a pair that you can use with your smartphone. You can find this through AnyGlove.

Beef and Corn on a Charcoal BBQ grill

Most dads enjoy grilling out from time to time. if your dad is anything like mine he does not like to wear an apron as it is not manly. Not wearing an apron however puts him at risk for getting grease or any number of things all over his clothes. So why not find a manly apron for him? Now you can get him the Tactical BBQ Apron from ThinkGeek.com. It is an apron that looks more like a tactical vest; it is definitely a manly man’s apron.

Is your dad a sports fan? Does he like to go places with a cooler full of beverages? Then why not get him the Remote Controlled Rolling Beverage Cooler? This is a fun gadget that dads everywhere are sure to love. How much more fun could he have with his buddies as he uses the remote control to roll the cooler around to his friends and back to him so they can all grab their favorite cold beverage? This item is available through Hammer Schlemmer.

If your dad is like mine he enjoys music that was made from a different time, a time when that music was put onto records, not CD or MP3s. If that sounds like your dad, why not get him the Crosley Classic Turntable? It is stylish and sleek and he will have lots of great times getting out his favorite old records and playing them over and over again on a gift that means a lot. If you would like to give your dad this gift it is available through Crosley.

With Polished Silver Oval Wi-Fi Hotspot and 2GB USB Combination Cufflinks there has never been a more stylish way to be a geeky dad. These are great for the dad who wears cufflinks on a regular basis, who could use their own Wi-Fi hotspot, and never knows when they may need a flash drive. They are not only stylish but they have multiple purposes too. If you would like to get these cufflinks for your dad they are available through Ravi Ratan.

Father’s day is almost here so there is not much time to wait. Find your dad the geek gift that he will love for years to come. Put some thought into it and it will show not only that you put the time and thought into it but it will also show him just how much you truly love him and all he has done for you over the years.

An Unlimited Phone Plan for Just $19 a Month?

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Smart phones are expensive. They can cost you $200 or more. When you do get one, they are often tied to a two year contract that costs you a lot of money. Even if you do buy a phone and do not get a contract and pay monthly instead, you could still end up overpaying for unlimited talk, text, and data. There is a new company emerging that is offering unlimited talk, text, and data for as little as $19 a month! Does it sound too good to be true? Before you answer that, you should know, there are some flaws to this.

This new company is called Republic Wireless. They are located in Raleigh, North Carolina. They are a private firm who initiated their services in December. While they are a new company, you can still access their phone and plans online at their website, republicwireless.com.

While they do offer plans for $19 a month, there are some draw backs to using this company. The first is that currently there is only one phone that works with this company’s technology. The phone is the Motorola Defy XT. The cost of this phone is $249, which is a typical cost of a smart phone. Part of the reason behind the cost of the phone however, is to counteract the cost of the lower rates of service. This phone is bigger than most smart phones, it has lower resolution, and less memory, but for many people it will be plenty.

Not everyone likes to pay that much upfront for a phone, and some people simply do not have the money to. For those people they are offering another option, you can buy a phone for $99, and then pay $29 a month instead of $19. Either way you choose to go you are still going to get a wonderful deal. This new pricing option started last week, so it is too soon to say if it is going to be a hit or a miss with the consumer.

Many of you may still be thinking that this is too good to be true. You can get unlimited talk, text, and data for either $19 or $29 a month, without a contract, and with a 30 day money back guarantee. There has to be a catch right? Maybe. What is going on is that this company is using a different type of technology. This technology is new but may actually be the future of cell phones.

Unfortunately the call quality is not yet great, it is still a work in progress. The sole phone that works with this technology has been called simply run of the mill. The reason that there is only one phone that works for this is because the phone has to be specially equipped. This cell phone company is a Wi-Fi-centric carrier. This means they use Wi-Fi networks to make the phone work properly. This should go without saying that if you are not near a Wi-Fi hotspot you may not have the best service and reception.

You do not have to use the Wi-Fi only. You can get on the internet, make calls, and text all on Sprint’s cellular network for no extra charge to the consumer. This is a plus for when you are not near a Wi-Fi hotspot, because we all know there are times when we just cannot get to a Wi-Fi hotspot but we still need to make a call.

There may be some downfalls to this phone, the plan, and the carrier, but the future of this company and its technology looks promising. This is a great way to save on your phone bill every month. Why pay close to $100 every month if you do not have to? You are just wasting money. Get on to republicwireless.com and learn more about their technology and their plans. This may be just what you need to help you trim your budget a bit.