About the Massive Equifax Data Breach and What to Do About it

As almost every knows, in Equifax suffered a massive data breach that affected about half of the United States population and nearly three-quarters of consumers with credit reports.  To make matters worse, the stolen information included sensitive personal data useful for identity theft: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers. The thieves also got credit card information on 200,000 consumers. Consumer advocates are calling on Equifax to pay fees for security freezes for consumers.  A security freeze is the most effective measure against “new account” identity theft, because it stops thieves from using the consumer’s stolen...


CFPB Shuts Down Illegal Credit Repair Company

Today, the CFPB announced it was shutting down a credit repair company that had charged 50,000 consumers over $20 million in violation of federal law. The CFPB charged Prime Marketing Holdings, LLC, Van Nuys, California, with imposing illegal advance fees and misleading consumers about the cost and effectiveness of its services and the nature of its money-back guarantee. The company operated under various names including Park View Credit, National Credit Advisors, and Credit Experts. The CFPB said the company had violated federal laws concerning credit repair: Charged illegal advance fees: Federal law bars companies from collecting advance fees for credit repair services....


Fed Loan Accused of Mismanaging Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Programs

The NY Times Dealbook today reports that the Massachusetts attorney general has sued the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, which operates under the name FedLoan, for making made errors in connection with the student loan forgiveness programs. The company, which is based in Harrisburg, Pa., holds an exclusive contract with the federal Department of Education to service loans enrolled in the public service loan forgiveness program and the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant program, or TEACH, which offers assistance to those who teach in high-need areas. Congress created the program in 2007, and the first wave...


Gaming the System to get a Perfect Credit Score

Bloomberg  reports that some consumers try to game the system to get a perfect 850 FICO score. Even if you are not trying for the perfect score, Bloomberg's report has valuable tips on how to improve one's score besides the obvious tactic of paying all your bills on time.


Private Student Loan Debt Held by National Collegiate Trust May be Wiped Out

National Collegiate Trust is an umbrella name for 15 trust that hold 800,000 private student loans totaling $12 billion. More than $5 billion is in default. The trusts, usually represented by Transworld Systems, have aggressively pursued delinquent borrowers. The NY Times today reports that billions of the debt might be wiped away because National Collegiate Trust often lacks the paperwork to show it is entitled to collect on the debt. Judges throughout the country have dismissed lawsuits by NCT and Transworld because required documentation was missing. NCT's loans were made to college students more than 10 years ago by dozens...

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