USC Credit Violation Casts a Pall

Since the onset of credit cards as early as the mid-1920’s, and particularly with advances in computer technology and specialized banking software, credit card theft has grown in magnitude right alongside the credit card system itself. This kind of fraud has become common enough that issuers and banks recommend cardholders consider credit protection programs, which are designed to shield them from personality theft and the loss of their funds and good credit scores. Because of the longstanding existence of such defensive measures, the frequency of credit theft might be surprising in our modern age, especially … Continue reading

A Comparison of Two Financial iPhone Apps

As a start-up, funding is everything. While countless start-ups start (and fail) each and every day, there are few and far between with an excellent idea and even better funding. Two of the newest finance-based start-ups with excellent funding and even better ideas, Credit Sesame and Lemon, have bright futures thanks to the funding they’ve recently received. Here, you’ll learn a little more about each and what you can expect from both in years to come. Credit Sesame The services provided by Credit Sesame, a credit and loan monitoring start-up, are meant to help people … Continue reading

New Credit Score Covers Those with Limited to No Credit History

Image credit to Andres Rueda via Flickr As a consumer, your credit score is almost as important as your social security number or identification. Without a decent credit score, you could be denied an auto loan, may not be able to take out a mortgage, or be declined when applying for credit cards. If you didn’t have a bank account growing up, were never taught financial responsibility, and have avoided using or applying for credit cards your entire life, Experian has debuted a new credit score designed specifically for you. This credit score is designed … Continue reading

Stacking Chips 101: A 401(k) Rebuttal

In last week’s post, my colleague, Justin Hong, discussed his qualms with the 401(k) system. While he raises several good points (such as broadening your financial knowledge and diversifying your assets), he dismisses several benefits of organized retirement plans. In the following article, I hope to refute Justin’s 401(k) “cons” list in order to create some friendly financial discourse.   Justin says: “The limitations of standard (and marginally lucrative) retirement plans…” Marc says: 401(k) plans are actually quite lucrative. Say I have $10,000 from my employer that I can either push into a 401(k) or … Continue reading

401K: Not as Safe As You Think

by Justin Hong When you graduate from college, you may start to notice your dreams evolving from free beer to a bright, shiny new job with health benefits, paid leave, and something called a 401K. If you don’t already know, a 401K (derived from the 401(k) subsection of the Internal Revenue Code) is a retirement savings plan, in which employees contribute a portion of their paychecks to some kind of investment (typically paper assets, such as stocks and bonds). These investments aren’t taxed until the time of withdrawal/retirement and are guaranteed to at least match … Continue reading