Marina
19 September 2017 @ 08:39 pm
In light of the Equifax security breach announced on September 7th, I strongly recommend placing credit freezes on the following:
  • Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp (freeze is free until 11/21/2017)
    IMPORTANT: To anyone who had recently placed a security freeze on Equifax prior to 9/15/2017:
    If your PIN resembles this format, mmddyyhhmm, e.g. 0908172136 for September 8, 2017 at 9:36pm (i.e. time stamp of when you placed your freeze online), go online or call them right now and unfreeze it. Wait 15 minutes. You can then re-freeze online and get a totally randomly generated PIN that isn't of that previous format (EQ fixed their PINs to be much more secure).
  • Experian: https://www.experian.com/ncaconline/freeze (fees may apply; see below)
  • TransUnion: https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/landingPage.jsp (fees may apply; see below)
  • Innovis: https://www.innovis.com/securityFreeze/index (FREE)
  • ChexSystems: https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/securityfreeze/placefreeze/ (FREE right now, though there's a PDF that says they reserve the right to charge the following fees)

    States I've been told you can freeze your EQ, EX, TU reports for FREE:
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina.

    IMPORTANT: I believe these four states automatically unfreeze your credit reports after 7 years: Kentucky, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

    Credit freeze fees by state,
  • according to Equifax: https://help.equifax.com/servlet/fileField?entityId=ka137000000DSDyAAO&field=attachment__body__s (though placing a freeze is currently FREE from 9/07/2017 to 11/21/2017)
  • according to Experian: https://www.experian.com/news/security-freeze.html
  • according to TransUnion: https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/credit-freeze-information-by-state
    Keep in mind fees could apply when thawing or lifting a freeze, and they vary by state.


    You should also pull all your credit reports (which you can do once every 12 months for FREE):
  • Equifax: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • Experian: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • TransUnion: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • Innovis: https://www.innovis.com/creditReport/index
  • ChexSystems: https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/requestreports/consumerdisclosure/


    And opt out of pre-screened offers: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/


    You can also get a free monthly Experian credit report and Experian FICO Score 8: https://www.experian.com/consumer-products/free-credit-report.html
    Or an overview of your credit (not a full report) every month for free through Discover, which also includes your Experian FICO Score 8: https://www.creditscorecard.com/registration


    Credit card products that offer free FICO scores (from my personal experience):
  • If you have an American Express credit card, you can get your Experian FICO Score 8 every month for free.
  • If you have a Discover credit card or a Bank of America credit card, you can get your TransUnion FICO Score 8 every month for free.
  • If you have a Citi credit card, you can get your Equifax FICO Bankcard Score 8 every month for free (note: this is a different scoring model than the FICO Score 8).


    More on different FICO Score models here: http://www.myfico.com/credit-education/credit-score-versions/
    VantageScore model(s): https://your.vantagescore.com/interpret_scores



    Disclaimer: Any resources I've listed here are ones that I have personally utilized and verified. If you would like to add any other suggestions, feel free to do so in the comments.
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    lady sporky rat of the ms holding and sporkington
    15 September 2017 @ 12:21 pm

    I'm teaching a Heraldry 101 class tomorrow at Kingdom A&S and I have exactly one thing typed for a hand out - my list of sources. Everything else is going to be a quick run down, showing off SENA and the Admin Handbook, and then questions! I like answering questions. I will make sure my phone is ready to go and maybe even my notebook computer since it's sometimes easier to see something on that screen that a phone screen.

    I am a terrible lecturer. AND Adalyde put me up against Morin's Poison Garden class. HOW COULD SHE. I've offered a prize to whoever shows up to my class with Morin's handout.

    I loaned out Seasons 2 and 3 of Game of Thrones to Jenna. She devoured Season 1, so I need to eventually pick up the physical copies of Seasons 4-7.

    Dystopia Rising has been awesome lately, I've decided to create a Rover Sawbones (basically a combat medic) and I'm pretty sure I will not use a weapon the first couple of games. Mostly because I need the build for other stuff. Like Rescue and Scrounge and other stuff like that.

    I forgot that there was a youngish James Woods in John Carpenter's Vampires. I like this movie a lot, no joke. Then again, I like James Woods. But the effects are really neat. Daniel Baldwin makes me groan a lot, though. I'm not a huge fan of him.

    I have an awful lot of stuff to get ready for the month of October. It is full of stuff to do - first weekend in October is actually empty, then there's Coronation, Four Horsemen, Diamond Wars and GAHSS, DR:AR (debuting my Rover on my birthday weekend) and then my cousin Caitlin's wedding. Wow. Busy.

     
     
    Current Music: John Carpenter's Vampires
    Current Mood: busy
    Current Location: Rat te Kāinga
     
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    Come Hell or High Water
    14 September 2017 @ 11:01 pm
    Went out front this evening and nearly had a heart attack. Sam, my big yellow idiot, was on his side in the middle of the STREET. Before I could take another step, he stretched and rolled and looked me right in the eye before turning to his other side.

    The bastard was asleep in the street.

    Brought his fuzzy ass RIGHT in the house and made him stay in even though it was way before sundown. Give me a fright, get stuck indoors. HMPH!
     
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    Lucy
    10 September 2017 @ 01:00 pm
    Hello internet, it's good to see you again.

    It's been a stressful month or so - take moving house, combine it with computer problems and a short stay in hospital and oh it's nice to be sitting down on my couch, a cat next to me and just relaxing.

    I'm doing ok but I don't want to talk about it.

    New house is starting to feel like home. It's still new and a little weird and as strange as it sounds, it doesn't smell the same. Although in all fairness, I haven't really spent much time here but I'm hoping over the next week I'll start to settle in.

    J's been having great fun with some DIY projects and he's got quite the list of jobs he wants to get accomplished, big manchild with a toolbox that he is! We've also got some decorating to finish off so it's going to be busy couple of week especially with S starting her new job this month but it's also all very exciting and I'm looking forward to it.
     
     
    Current Mood: tired
     
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    Lis
    07 September 2017 @ 09:57 pm
     
    So, I'm three days in to my new job. It's starting off slow; my first day, almost all I did was read the Policies and Procedures manual. Today I ground through stultifying online trainings like Professional Conduct over Telephone and E-Mail and Maintaining a Respectful Workplace that exist largely so people who behave poorly can't say someone didn't explain common sense to them.

    But meanwhile, I've sat in on my supervisor doing a family intake interview, and sat in on case conference, and reviewed the assessment tool they're developing for me to use and made a major revision suggestion which my supervisor said was a very good idea, and the small happy twang of my job my job my job is going off inside my chest. These early days of preparation, of grounding at home office and orientation to the work atmosphere, are important before I dive into clinical work where I will mostly be at my worksites solo, one therapist with a locking wheely-cart against a giant mountain of need. On the other hand, I'm happily anticipating the dive.

    TW Money and budgeting

    Meanwhile: I was looking for something crunchy and miserable to read at the local library now that The Origins of Totalitarianism is finished (I KNOW, don't look at me like that) and instead, I found All Your Worth by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi. Oh, wow. I've been nervously chewing over the idea that I "ought" to have a more structured plan with my money now that I'm going to have some; for the last ten years my plan has been "panic a lot and try not to spend anything, inevitably fail". (It's been nice that my mother had tight money last year; she used to say, "Lis, why don't you go to counselling and get physiotherapy and buy new shoes???" and not understand when I'd explode with stress. Now she says, "Wow, you've been living like a churchmouse for a decade!") Most budget systems give me panic attacks, especially things designed by and for accountants; what works to best for me has felt like a shamefully bastardized system of spreadsheets and looking at my bank balance through my fingers. And now... I wish I'd read this book a long time ago.

    The book says right up front, "Most financial advice books are about helping rich people become more rich. This is about helping people who feel panicked and out of control with their money, like they never have enough, to gain stability, peace of mind, and the ability to weather life's ups and downs."

    And honestly, if there's anyone I trust not to bullshit me about financial stuff, it's the authors of The Two Income Trap, who fucking KNOW how batshit today's economy is. (My dad and older brother love capitalist self-help books and seminars; dipping into them has always been stress-provoking and unhelpful.)

    Their system is really simple, really intuitive, and makes me feel calmer and happier and more in control before I've implemented a single bit of it; I can see how I've been smart about money all along, but am reaching now for some tools to be truly wise with it. I can imagine a long-term strategy. And I'm not trying to wrap my brain around a bunch of terms and concepts that feel like Greek to me. It feels good.

    (I'm not sure how it would work with seriously limited incomes, like disability pensions or unemployment stipends; all their examples so far are people with full-time jobs and regular paycheques. I suppose you could take their basic sorting system and adjust the ratios, though.)

    First paycheque comes down the pipe in... twenty-six hours. I'm looking forward to it.
     
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