The biggest news this week is all about the data being collected about you and what those pesky tax forms actually mean.
In an exclusive from Bob Sullivan, it was revealed that credit reporting agency Equifax is selling Americans’ salary and employment information to debt collectors. The move is entirely legal, all stemming from a purchase Equifax made of employment-data company The Work Number.
Employers share information with The Work Number, and in return pay a fee for access to the entire database in order to verify employment records of current and prospective employees. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equifax is doing nothing illegal. Consumers can actually pull their own report from The Work Number for free once a year, since it is considered a credit report under current laws.
Many consumers are getting an unexpected (and for most, an unwanted) surprise in their mailboxes this year. 1099-Cs are tax forms issued for debt that has been discharged. Essentially, a 1099-C represents money that has been charged off by a lender.
You may have thought that when that debt was charged off, it meant it was forgiven. However, a 1099-C means that the debt has been added to your taxable income for the year, and may make your tax bill larger or eliminate any refund you were planning on getting. You may be able to apply for an exemption of exclusion, Gerri Detweiler notes. For more details on how to deal with a 1099-C, read the full article.
The Super Bowl is only two days away and while some people may be focusing on the ads, the chicken wings, the parties and, oh yeah, the game, we’re looking at the lessons the Super Bowl can teach you about managing your own credit.
Expert Jeanne Kelly says the first similarity between the Super Bowl and your credit is that only the teams that show up can win. It’s an important lesson in the power of information. To build your credit and, in effect, your credit score, you have to be proactive. Sitting on the sidelines with no credit accounts won’t magically make your score better. You have to play to win. For the other three similarities, read the full article.
Image: NS Newsflash, via Flickr