Home > Personal Finance > Credit.com in the News 9/29/12

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This week the experts from Credit.com contributed to a wide range of publications on subjects including credit cards, identity theft, data hacking and debt. Check out the hits…

The Alarming Ties Between Debt Collectors and District Attorneys

Adam Levin, Credit.com’s chairman and co-founder, unravels a twisted tale in which public officials illegally lend their credibility to debt collectors, allowing them to bully those they’re trying to collect from. He explains that the tactics collectors use can be illegal in their own right, but now some have become even more corrupt with the conspiracy of some district attorneys. The story raises the question, if you look to government officials to protect you from illegal debt collection practices, but they’re conspiring against you, where do you go for help? @Adam_K_Levin @HuffPostMoney

Is the government really dropping the ball on privacy?

Adam also spoke to WTOP about the government’s mishandling of personal data that accounts for the improper access of 94 million files. He attributes these problems to carelessness in bookkeeping and securing data. Negligent or corrupt insiders are at the root of this very large problem. Adam highlighted that the tolerance of these loose ends within the government is putting Americans in harms way and is outrageous. @wtop

Who Would Want to Target Consumerist?

Credit.com editor-in-chief Michael Schrieber commented on the unusual hacking of the personal finance website, The Consumerist. They still aren’t sure exactly how much data was compromised or what more they could have done to protect against the hack. During his discussion with ABC News the question at hand was the motivation behind this was? The site is a long time advocate of the little guy making this hack an uncharacteristic one. @schreibot @ABCNews

‘Discover’ Agrees to $200M Repayment To Settle Sales Tactics Complaint

Gerri Detwiller, Credit.com’s director of consumer education, explains what’s behind the Discover $200 million fine. The credit card company was offering “debt protection” for a fee to their cardholders. In turns out that they weren’t putting back the amounts they should have in accordance with what they were bringing in. Gerri predicts this settlement will continue to encourage banks to modify these programs or do away with them all together. @Gerridetweiler @CBSPhilly

Credit Where Credit’s Due

Credit.com credit expert Tom Quinn looks back at the credit environment directly after the financial crash and compares it to today’s lending practices. The article focuses on non-transferable international credit history and looks at the growing willingness of lenders to provide credit and loans to those who weren’t eligible a few years ago. @reviewjournal

Why Medicare Cards Still Show Social Security Numbers

NYT’s Bucks Blog wrote a story about why Social Security numbers are still printed on Medicare cards and the potential problems this could create. They cited an article written by Kali Geldis, Credit.com’s Deputy Managing Editor, following the Democratic National Convention where a woman held up her medicare card bearing her SSN for all the world to see. High cost and complexity are cited as reasons why SSNs remain on the cards, but others see the potential risk of identity theft as a much bigger risk. @KGeldis @Your_Money

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Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

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We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

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Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

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- The Credit.com Editorial Team