Monthly Archives: November 2014

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when a person commits fraud while posing as someone else. The threat of identity theft is real and can take months or even years to recover from once you are a victim. Use the information below to familiarize yourself with the precautions you can take to minimize the chance of becoming a victim and, if you are a victim, these steps will help you correct the situation.

FOLLOW THESE HELPFUL HINTS TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT:

Personal:

1. Order a copy of your credit report on a frequent basis (at least annually, preferably quarterly). You can request your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.

2. If you have to give private information over the phone, ensure you are in a secure location.

3. Shred all financial statements, billing statements, and pre-approved credit card offers.

4. The IRS does not request personal/financial data through email, so don’t respond to any emails asking for that information.

5. Check your financial accounts regularly.

6. Select Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and passwords carefully so they can’t be easily guessed by someone else.

7. Don’t give out private information over the phone or Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know for certain to whom you are speaking.

8. Destroy your computer’s hard drive if you are selling it or giving it away.

9. Don’t carry your social security card with you.

10. Don’t carry your registration in your vehicle; instead, carry it in your wallet.

11. Don’t carry auto insurance policies in your car; instead, keep them safe at home.

12. Make photo copies of all the cards in your wallet and keep them in a safe place.

E-Commerce:

1. Ensure you are using an ATM without someone watching you.

2. Pay your bills online using a secure website if that option is available to you.

3. Avoid entering your credit card number online unless it is encrypted on a secure website.

Mail:

1. Take outgoing personal and/or bill payments to the U.S. Postal Service mailboxes or drop them off inside a post office.

2. Don’t write your account number on the outside of envelopes containing bill payments.

3. Have the post office hold your mail when you are out of town.

4. Don’t leave mail sitting in an unprotected mail box.

Banking:

1. Use traveler’s checks versus personal checks when traveling.

2. Review monthly bank and credit card statements for mistakes or unfamiliar charges.

3. Have your paychecks directly deposited into your bank account.

4. Avoid providing personal information—account number or password—over the phone or via the Internet.

IF YOU ARE—OR BECOME—A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT, FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF:

1. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): www.ftc.gov or 877.438.4338.

2. Contact the fraud departments of any one of the four major credit bureaus:

3. Close the accounts that have been used fraudulently.

4. File a police report.

5. Keep an identity theft log for your personal records.

6. Contact other agencies that might be involved: Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline (800.269.0271), U.S. Postal Inspection Service (888.877.7644), and the Internal Revenue Service (800.829.0433).

http://www.nelnet.com/uploadedFiles/Home_Content/Financial_Literacy/20093_PS_IdentityTheftFlyer_HRFIN.pdf

Loan Websites

Federal Student Loan Websites

Complete FAFSA® – Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to see what aid may be available to help you pay for college

 

Federal Student Aid– Get ready for college or career school, learn about federal student aid and how to apply using the FAFSA®, and get information on repaying student loans

 

Federal Student Aid: Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation and Discharge– Find out whether you qualify due to your job, disability, the closure of your school, or other circumstances

 

Federal Student Aid: Military Student Loan Benefits– Information Members of the U.S. Armed Forces need to know about your federal student loan benefits

 

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)– Lets you retrieve your loan information for your federally-owned or federally-guaranteed loans including any balances and which company is servicing them

 

StudentLoans.gov– Apply online for Income Driven Repayment plans, consolidate federal student loans, complete your Master Promissory Note, complete entrance and exit counseling, and more

 

U.S. Department of Education– Provides information about the Department’s offices, programs, information and assistance services, funding opportunities, education statistics, publications and more
https://www.mohela.com/DL/resourceCenter/AdditionalResources.aspx

Work Study

State Work-Study Pays. Earn money & experience.

Pennsylvania has its own State Work-Study Program outside of Federal Work-Study. The program is open to all PA students, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. This is an additional opportunity to earn money for school and experience for the real world.

The State Work-Study Program is a great option for Pennsylvania students:

 

  • Take advantage of employment opportunities located in Pennsylvania.
  • Choose your own employer.
  • Pick a job in your future career field.
  • Work up to 40 hours per week.

https://www.pheaa.org/funding-opportunities/work-study-employment/index.shtml

Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

Do you know a high-performing Missouri State-West Plains student looking to transfer to a four-year institution? Does he or she have financial need? If so, please encourage him or her to apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which provides up to $40,000 annually to community college students and recent alumni who will pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. The application is now open and will close December 2. For more information, visit: http://www.jkcf.org/scholarship-programs/undergraduate-transfer/