Click inside for the weekly business rail, with a tip on your credit score and taxes, a BBB warning about your credit card bills and more. Or check out these links:
Tip of the Week
Although your tax return is not directly tied to your credit report, it can affect your score in indirect ways. For example, if you use your 2010 tax refund to pay down some outstanding credit balances, you could boost your credit score. Or, if you don't have the resources to pay your entire tax bill up front, you may find yourself in a situation in which it's difficult to pay other bills too, and slow or missed payments can also affect your credit score.
If you better understand your credit, you may be better equipped to deal with your tax situation if you end up owing, and to better take advantage of your windfall if you'll be getting a refund. Websites and monitoring memberships like FreeCreditScore.com, can help you to check, monitor, read and understand your current credit report or score.
Credit monitoring products can help you better understand the factors that affect your credit score, monitor your credit and obtain your full credit report and scores.
After rushing around charging various items over the holiday season, it's easy to lose track of what you charged. The Better Business Bureau reminds consumers that it's extremely important to make sure you check every charge to make sure it's yours and that it's accurate.
Under federal law, shoppers can dispute the charges on their credit cards if they don't receive the item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card, and many card issuers have "zero liability" policies under which the cardholder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it.
"Check your credit card statements often for unauthorized activity," said Steve J. Bernas of the Better Business Bureau. "And don't wait for paper statements. The BBB recommends consumers check their credit card statements for suspicious activity by either calling credit card companies or by checking statements online regularly."
For more information on protecting your identity or credit card usage, visit www.bbb.org.
According to Experian Hitwise, here are the 10 most-visited websites in 2010:
Number to Know
$1 billion: A blizzard that hit New York and the Northeast after Christmas caused a $1 billion hit in sales, according to ShopperTrak.
There’s yet another tablet hitting the market – Toshiba will offer the Toshiba Tablet in early 2011.
GateHouse News Service