Equifax hack: Freezing your credit isn’t enough

The Equifax hack exposed the names, addresses, birthdates and Social Security numbers of up to 145.5 million Americans. Drivers license information for 10.9 million people was also exposed, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Credit freezes won’t prevent criminals from taking over credit, bank, retirement and investment accounts, says security expert Avivah Litan with Gartner Research. Thieves also could use the purloined information to snatch your tax refund or mess with your Social Security benefits. Your email, phone, shopping and cloud-based storage accounts aren’t safe, either.

Read my Associated Press column for the steps you should take now.

Q&A: Help your son by helping yourself

Dear Liz: I’m a new mom and want to start saving for my son’s college/car/other life expenses while also planning a secure future for him. If I only had, for example, $300 a month to put toward this goal, what would you recommend I spend it on? Life insurance? Savings accounts for him? Savings accounts for […]

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Q&A: Adding daughter to home could create a tax burden

Dear Liz: My wife and I are both 80 and we are contemplating adding our 56-year-old daughter as a co-owner and borrower to our home. The house is now valued at $600,000 and our mortgage balance is $196,000. If it is advisable, and I am able to do this, will it prevent the house going into […]

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Today’s must-read: Run–don’t walk–out of this store

Everybody knows that renting-to-own furniture, televisions and electronics is an expensive way to buy. What you may not know are all the other ways these transactions can hurt you. It’s not just ruined credit and aggressive collection tactics. In some states, you can even go to jail. NerdWallet’s investigative reporting team exposes the horror stories […]

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Q&A: Saving for retirement can’t wait

Dear Liz: I have a family member who at 57 has no savings, a house whose value is 58% mortgaged and debt from a family member of $180,000. This person is just starting a new job that will cover expenses with about $1,000 left over each month. The job offers a 401(k) but doesn’t allow […]

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Q&A: Free credit monitoring won’t prevent identity theft

Dear Liz: I thought I would share some information in light of the Equifax disaster. Two of my credit card issuers provide free credit monitoring. Capital One scans my TransUnion file and Discover uses Experian. Both send email and text alerts about new activity and a monthly “reassurance” email when no such activity turns up […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Rent-to-Own: Be informed before you sign. Also in the news: How Rent-A-Center torments customers, the pros and cons of subscription meal boxes, and how to “credit surf” to score huge reward bonuses. Rent-to-Own: Be Informed Before You Sign Reading the fine print. Kicking in Doors and Crushing Credit: How Rent-A-Center Torments Customers […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 questions couples should ask before getting a dog. Also in the news: 4 Black Friday facts retailers don’t want you to know, what to buy and skip this Black Friday, and the number one financial fear for most Americans. 3 Questions Couples Should Ask Before Getting a Dog A financial commitment. […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 Halloween hazards and how insurance can help. Also in the news: The secret to optimizing credit card rewards, how to make money driving for Amazon Flex, and why Millennials may end up saving more for retirement than their parents’ generation. 5 Halloween Hazards and How Insurance Can Help Don’t get tricked. […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: College degrees can be a bargain abroad. Also in the news: Open enrollment time, how to finance a car at 0% interest, and 3 ways to protect your retirement savings from a market crash. College Degrees Can Be a Bargain Abroad Considering international universities. Open Enrollment at Work: Get Ready to Get […]

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