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Thread: ID Theft Protection... Legit?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    ID Theft Protection... Legit?

    In my mid-20s, I am beginning to feel like the old Mike Myers character on SNL, Middle Aged Guy. With my recent purchase of a used car, I took the time to explore my credit rating and was surprisingly pleased with the result (and the resulting rate on my auto loan) The same goes for my wife, who has a similar high rating. Beaming with pride over this, (when I had first entertained thoughts that I am turning into my father); I wondered if I could do something to protect myself in this regard.
    We have all seen ads to check your credit often, and now we are beginning to see ID theft protection ads pop up where the COE of the company is prominently displaying his SSN saying that his protection plan is so good that he doesn't fear his SSN being seen in public.

    So what of it, Cyburbia? Is ID theft protection necessary? Will it protect you? Or is this like the proverbial extended warranty or GAP insurance and just a service people offer to make money but no one really needs.

    Thoughts?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  2. #2
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Pay cash. Avoid any possible credit mess.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    we are a cash only household for the last 6 years and it actually has hurt our credit score - to me, that's the scam - - you have to be in the credit game to have a good score which I think is unfair

    we have had a few things removed from the report of credit we never even had when we bought our house (the only credit we have and I'd get rid of that if I could) - the credit companies are so used to people using other SSN's that it wasn't even a big deal to have it removed - so given that scenario, I think the protection insurance is just another way to get your money

  4. #4
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Being a cash-only household may hurt your credit score, no doubt. However, if you're paying everything in cash what do you need a credit score for? You're not using it. You're using cash. Just a thought. You could have a credit score that would disqualify you from any sort of credit purchase imaginable but if you walked into, say, a car dealership, picked out a car you wanted, and then placed the full $20,000 price tag in cash on the table and bought the car the credit score wouldn't matter. Plus you wouldn't be throwing interest payments away. Heck, if you're shrewd, you could be gaining interest in investments as you save enough for big cash payments.

    Anywho, this was long-winded, but I can do without a credit score and do just fine. Of course, I live in Texas and housing prices and general cost of living here is abnormally low compared to most places in the U.S. and that might make it more feasible for me than for others, but if you can, do it! Fight the machine by not letting it dictate your standard of living!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Heck, if you're shrewd, you could be gaining interest in investments as you save enough for big cash payments.

    I've done this for everything but my mortgage. Nearly every month my bank account grows and I have only bought cars that are a few years old and drove them till they died. About a year ago (when I realized the market was tanking) I went to a mortgage broker to see what I could do about getting into another home. She told me she had never seen a credit score as high as mine and she has been working this for 20 years. If you do not live an outlandish lifestyle you can get by on just charging your monthly expenses and keeping a high credit score.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Being a cash-only household may hurt your credit score, no doubt. However, if you're paying everything in cash what do you need a credit score for? You're not using it. You're using cash. Just a thought. You could have a credit score that would disqualify you from any sort of credit purchase imaginable but if you walked into, say, a car dealership, picked out a car you wanted, and then placed the full $20,000 price tag in cash on the table and bought the car the credit score wouldn't matter. Plus you wouldn't be throwing interest payments away. Heck, if you're shrewd, you could be gaining interest in investments as you save enough for big cash payments.
    Many times a shrewd investor can make much more in investments than they would be paying in interest payments. I don't own a car, but my credit score is good enough that if I decided to buy one, I would likely take a loan at a low interest rate (say 1 or 2 percent, which still gets offered with regularity - some US companies still offer 0% at times) and invest the large lump sum. Nothing worse than throwing a huge sum of money into a depreciating asset when it could be working for you. Of course, if the dealer can give you a large enough discount up front that would be better, but I've seen many situations where the discount given does not justify paying cash.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    It depends on what type of protection you get. Just remember, without protection YOU ARE NOT LIABLE FOR THE MONEY STOLEN. I have the theft protection from Zander Insurance.

    As for the Cash hurting your credit score, you’re correct. But if you’re a cash only house, why does it matter. If you were to buy a house, find a lender that does manual underwriting. Save up for cars, vacations, and emergencies.

    Also, if you don’t plan on buying a house anytime soon, put a freeze on your credit. What happens is it prevents someone from trying to take credit cards, get loans, or buy stuff using your name. You can’t do it in every state, but in some, it is the best way to prevent ID theft.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  8. #8
    For all you new and future parents out there: guard your child's SSN as if it were platinum. The SSNs of us old folks are already out there in a million irretrievable places (they used to post our test scores with our full SSN when I was at BSU -- and I was the only one there that had a number beginning in the 1-regime, eg, 1++-++-++++ - some privacy, huh?), but you can protect your kids numbers by NOT giving them to people that don't really need them. And, if they argue that they do need your kid's number, make THEM explain why and how they'll protect it.

    Just my paranoid $0.02
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  9. #9
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Strokes chin and says... "I see"
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    We get the best of both worlds... I have one credit card that we use only for large purchases and education expenses. We have the cash, but I want my 1.5% back, dammit! It has caused a very defined spending pattern for us that the CC company obviously monitors. I couldn't get my debit card to work at a gas pump a few months ago, so I used my CC. I got a call two hours later from the CC company asking about the purchase.

    Our only debt right now other than the mortgage is one car, which at 1.9% I won't bother paying off early. My money is better served in my 5.7% money market. My car and my motorcycle are paid off.

    Debt:income ratio has far more impact on getting a mortgage, car loan, etc. than anything else. I just make the occasional large purchase on my CC to keep my rating up.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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