Archive for: March 2013

How Identity Theft Can Kill a Small Business

Identity theft is on the rise again, hitting a 3-year high and producing one new victim every three seconds in 2012, according to a study released Wednesday by Javelin Strategy & Research. Data breaches are responsible for much of the stolen personal information. One in four people who received a breach notification letter fell victim to identity theft, the study found, compared with one in five people in 2011.

Fallout from the upswing in identity theft is hurting small businesses. Fraud victims are more selective of where they shop after an incident, the study said. About 15 percent of all fraud victims actively changed their shopping behavior, avoiding smaller online merchants in favor of larger retail sites.

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Is It Worth Paying for Mortgage Points?

When applying for a mortgage, having a stellar credit score (think: 720 or higher) is the best way to land a low interest rate. But did you know that you could pay additional money at closing to get an even lower interest rate?

Before you commit to a specific loan, your lender might ask you (and if he doesn’t, inquire yourself) if you’re interested in buying points. A point is essentially a fee that is 1 percent of the loan amount. For every point you buy, your interest will generally be lowered 0.125 to 0.25 percent in return…

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