Safe online Holiday ordering

Safe Online Shopping – A Must for the Holidays

It’s one of the busiest shopping weekends ushering in the busiest shopping season of the year, but what if you aren’t up for getting out in all the chaos or what if your life (or the little ones at home with you) make it where you don’t feel like it’s worth the effort? Never fear! You aren’t alone if you decide to avoid the crowds and stay hold up at home. In fact, you are part of what is becoming more and more of a popular trend in this day and age… the online shopping experience!

BUT, if you decide to do your shopping online, make sure you are taking steps to stay safe!

Who is it?

Is this a reputable company you are purchasing from or are you going with some obscure company because they are offering you a deal that is way better than anything you can find elsewhere? It may not be a scam, but if it sounds too good to be true, it may be. Play it safe and make sure you are ordering from a website/company that has a good reputation.

What is it?

What have you ordered and how much did you pay? Make sure to keep records of your transactions, as well as any confirmation numbers. Check your credit card statements or bank account to make sure it is showing up properly. If it is not, address it immediately.

Where is it?

Make sure you are using a secure network and a computer you trust. Avoid using a public computer or free, public Wi-Fi, where hackers can easily break into your system and quickly access your information. Unless you have a program installed that can protect you, it’s better to wait until you are on a secure network to shop.

And how?

How does the company have its payment form set up? If it is not encrypted, you may want to purchase from somewhere else. In the post 9 Tips for Safe Online Shopping it states, “Before you purchase anything from a web site, verify that the vendor has encrypted its payment form. Many sites use SSL (secure sockets layer) technology to encrypt information flowing between your computer and the store’s server.”

Whether you feel calm as you approach holiday shopping or anxious for waiting too long, make your online shopping experience stress-free as possible. Use these common sense precautions to avoid potential pitfalls of shopping online for the holidays.

Are you looking for a company that cares about protecting your online identity, and that can help you find gifts for everyone on your shopping list? AddvantageUSA is able to do just that. Visit us today and let us help you cross off the items you are looking for with ease and peace of mind!

Girl considering getting a loan

Being Prepared to Apply for a Personal Loan at a Bank

It is the Holiday season and many of us will once again watch the movie “Its a Wonderful Life” for the umpteenth time. We seem to never get tired of watching the life challenges that the James Stewart character goes through.

As the years have gone by, however, it has become more obvious how much the banking methods have changed in this country. Back in those days, a middle class person with good character could get a loan from any local bank. That was what we thought banks were meant for.

Today, it is really difficult to get a personal loan. Many large and regional banks have discontinued them. The financial institutions that are still offering personal loans require a top-rated credit history. They are quick to deny an application if all of their strict criteria is not completely met. Oh, and that good character thing – well that doesn’t matter anymore.

However, the need for a little cash to get over a slow period has not gone away. So, what do we do these days to give ourselves the best chance possible.

First, be prepared. When you do decide to apply for personal loan through a major financial institution, you do not want to be denied. In the Forbes article 5 Tips For Getting Your Bank Loan Approved, it states “It can be dangerous to your credit to continually apply for just any loan you think you may be able to get. Too many loan applications can ruin your credit and obliterate your chances of securing one in the near future.”

A key to not getting denied for a personal loan is to improve your credit history. One way to raise your credit rating is to acquire a secured credit card. Another way is to buy products on a payment plan that is easily within your ability to repay in a timely basis. For instance AddvantageUSA provides products that can be purchased online for a reasonable monthly payment. They then report your successful payment record to the major credit agencies. This is very effective.

These are a couple of ways to improve your credit rating in preparation of requesting a needed personal loan. Have you used other techniques? Share them with us.