More bank advice

When dealing with banks, don’t tell them your card is lost if it’s only misplaced, such as in your pants pocket or sitting in your bathroom. Any mention or hint that it may have left your possession will lead to your card being locked or even canceled. Only tell them it’s lost if it is truly unrecoverable. In that case, it’s as good as stolen and needs to be canceled and replaced.

I have spoken to customers who do not have their card in their possession. Their spouse may have it, or they left it at home and didn’t bring it to work. This is not a lost card, but sadly, you really have to be careful what you say because they might mishear you.

A report of a lost card can even affect your credit score! If you lose it too many times then they very likely will stop re-issuing it to you.

Do not use the word “bankrupt” or “bankruptcy” or “lawyer” or “attorney” in a sentence when speaking to banks. Yes, this may sound like an extreme precaution but they might cancel your card if you say those words. If you mention a lawyer, say, if you are calling to make sure a payment to a lawyer went through, be sure NOT to mention or hint that the lawyer is handling your debts.

Also, I am very skeptical of companies that claim to be “debt relief.” This doesn’t mean they pay off your bills. YOU PAY THEM, then, they pay the bills and keep some of your money for themselves. If you’re having trouble with finances, get a notebook and pen and do your own debt relief. You can also use online financial planning resources. Many of these are free services.

Don’t pay a lawyer to do bankruptcy for you. Actually, you can do bankruptcy yourself, if you insist on it. Remember, it’ll look bad to employers, landlords, mortgage brokers and lenders and will limit what you can and can’t do for a very long time.

Every time you supply your social security number to a company you are as good as giving them permission to check your credit, whether you know it or not. I have had companies check my credit without my consent so many times that I am considering locking my credit report. Do you really want complete strangers knowing all your previous addresses, or where you worked? It’s almost like LinkedIn, which is another bad idea. I don’t want anyone and everyone knowing my address or knowing where I work. Having a LinkedIn profile is asking for big trouble.

The other day I had an interesting discussion with a guy on the bus about how our country has turned into a police state. I didn’t agree with everything he said but a lot of it made sense. The snooping and prying really gets to me, especially when it’s covert.

A recent article I read in a reputable journal states that now, medical information can be mined LEGALLY off of social media. HIPAA doesn’t cover social media sharing and selling of information. While they might have good intentions here, such as stopping opiate addiction, I am concerned that this is an invasion of privacy for those of us to whom “opiate addiction” is not applicable.

Feedback and comments welcome!