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Extra Credit: Do you know your credit score?

Credit History Credit Score Credit
Written by Tammy G. Bruzon · 03 August 2018

People who check their credit score regularly are more likely to understand how scoring works than those who don’t. The impact can be significant. Understanding how credit scores work translates into knowing how a credit score can impact interest rates and ultimately how much it costs individuals to borrow money.

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Do you know your credit score?
By America Saves

Credit reports and credit scores
By Northern New Jersey Saves / United Way of Northern New Jersey

Free credit freezes are coming soon
By Federal Trade Commission

Do you know your credit score?

People who check their credit score regularly are more likely to understand how scoring works than those who don’t, according to a new survey released by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore. The survey also revealed that the number of people who have checked their credit score recently has increased.

Whether you’re intending to use your credit soon or simply looking for ways to improve it for the future, here are three things you should know about your credit score:

  1. Missed payments can lower your score.

    Did you know that if you miss a payment on your credit card, car note, or student loans your credit score can be negatively affected? Payment history is one of the major components of your credit score. When you pay your bills on time each month, your credit score will gradually start to increase. If you miss payments or your bill is sent to a collections agency, your score will decrease.

    If you frequently miss payments, your score could drop significantly, and it will take time to raise it again. If you can’t afford to pay your balance in full, at least pay the minimum amount on time.
  2. Keeping a high credit card balance lowers your score.

    Believe it or not, carrying a high credit card balance month to month can harm your credit score. Credit utilization is the percent of your credit limit that you use each month, and your credit utilization ratio is a key component of your credit score. A good rule of thumb is to keep your credit card balance under 30 percent of your overall credit card limit. For example, if you have two credit cards that each have a limit of $500, your total available credit is $1,000. In this instance, you will want to keep your balance below $300, or 30 percent, of your total limit. 

    A large credit card balance can also feel overwhelming to pay down. When you aim for a low balance and pay your bill in full each month, you get a fresh start each billing cycle.
  3. Checking your credit report will not change your score.

    Annual check-ups on your credit reports will make sure they are error-free and won’t impact your credit score. This can be done for free each year at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 800-322-8228. 

    Additionally, many financial institutions will let you check your credit score online for free. When you regularly monitor your score, you can see how your financial decisions are impacting your credit potential. Some tools may also show you how you measure up in the major credit scoring criteria, including payment history, utilization, and age of credit history. 

Want to learn more about credit and your score? Take the short quiz offered by CFA and VantageScore online to test your knowledge at CreditScoreQuiz.org

Darlene Aderoju works for America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at AmericaSaves.org.

 

Credit reports and credit scores

A credit report looks at some of your bill paying history, public record information, how often you have applied for credit, and how you have used credit. It shows how much credit you have, how much of your available credit you are using, whether you have made your payments on time, and whether debt collectors have reported that they are attempting to collect debt that you owe.

Credit scores are calculated using the information in your credit report, and many lenders use them to decide how much money they can lend you and how much interest to charge.

Why do credit reports and scores matter?

A good credit history can help you:

  • Get and keep a job.
  • Get and keep a security clearance for a job, including a military position.
  • Get an apartment.
  • Get insurance coverage.
  • Get lower deposits on utilities and better terms on cell phone purchase plans.
  • Get a credit card.
  • Get a better credit score.

If any of these things are important to you, improving your credit report can help you get them.  Scores are calculated based on the information in the report – so at least once a year, take the time to make sure the information in your report is accurate. You can get one free copy of your report every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com

What are credit scores and how are they calculated?

Credit scores are numbers created by mathematical formulas that use key pieces of your credit history to calculate your score at a moment in time - like a photograph.  FICO and VantageScore are two of the most commonly used credit scores. These scores typically range from 300 to 850. A FICO score above 700 is considered good by most businesses, and the scores considered the best are 750 and higher.

While there are certain similarities and many differences in the credit score formulas, here is information that FICO makes available to the public on what goes into its scores:

  • Payment History: 35%
  • Amounts owed: 30%
  • Length of credit history: 15%
  • New credit: 10%
  • Types of credit used: 10% 

Payment history tracks whether you are paying your bills on time and as agreed. Paying bills late, not paying bills at all, and having bills that go to collections will cause your scores to drop. The impact on a score from a single late or missed payment decreases over time. Paying your bills on time can help increase your score. Debts that go to collections and to judgment will cause it to fall.

To get and keep a good credit score:

  • Pay all your loans and bills on time. A good way to ensure this happens is to have money put aside in a savings account in case a bill is higher than expected one month or you had an emergency that used money you had planned to use for bill paying.  Saving a portion of your tax refund and having some funds automatically deposited from each paycheck into a savings account are easy ways to make sure you always have sufficient funds to make timely payments.
  • Make sure information in your credit report is correct. Check your credit report annually and take steps to correct mistakes. 
  • If you currently have access to credit, don’t use too much of the credit that is available to you.

For more information on credit scores and reports, visit: www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/category-credit-reporting/

Lynn Weckworth works for United Way of Northern New Jersey, a nonprofit coordinator of Northern NJ Saves. Some of the content in this blog has been excerpted from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Your Money Your Goals

 

Free credit freezes are coming soon

By Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Division of Consumer & Business Education, as published on militaryconsumer.gov

Looking for stronger ways to protect your credit? Thanks to a new federal law, soon you can get free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts. Here’s what to look forward to when the law takes effect on September 21: 

Free credit freezes

What is it? A credit freeze restricts access to your credit file, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Usually, you get a PIN to use each time you want to freeze and unfreeze your account to apply for new credit.

What’s new? Currently, credit freezes may involve fees, based on state law. Starting this fall, it will be free to freeze and unfreeze your credit file throughout the country. 

Free child credit freezes

What is it? A child credit freeze allows you to freeze a child’s credit file until the child is old enough to use credit.

What’s new? Currently, some state laws allow you to freeze a child’s credit file. Starting September 21, no matter where you live, you’ll be able to get a free credit freeze for children under age 16.

Year-long fraud alerts

What is it? A fraud alert will tell any business that runs your credit that they should check with you before opening a new account.

What’s new? Currently, fraud alerts last 90 days. Starting this fall, an initial fraud alert will last for one year. It will still be free and identity theft victims can still get an extended fraud alert for seven years.

The new law has a long name – Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act – but the outcome is simple. When the law takes effect in September, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion must each set up a webpage for requesting fraud alerts and credit freezes. The FTC will also post links to those web pages on IdentityTheft.gov.

And if you’re in the military, there’s more. Within a year, credit reporting agencies must offer free electronic credit monitoring to all active duty military. 

If you want to stay tuned on this law and get other tips, sign up for the FTC's Consumer Information Updates.

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Social Media Content

Share the following messages with your followers. 

#SavingsTipTuesday

Keep your balance low. Maintaining low credit utilization is a sign of good credit management and shows lenders you are a good credit risk. http://bit.ly/2AyDAS8 v/ @AmericaSaves #SavingsTipTuesday 

Use your credit wisely! Avoid applying for multiple accounts in a short period of time. Taking on large amounts of debt in a short time is a sign of high credit risk. >> http://bit.ly/2fw2jgh v/ @AmericaSaves #SavingsTipTuesday 

A study by @FederalReserve says that credit can affect your relationship. Check out this info from @FINRAFoundation about how credit can affect your love life. http://bit.ly/2BkIXms v/ @AmericaSaves #SavingsTipTuesday 

#WednesdayWisdom

You can get out of debt and save money by managing your debt and credit responsibly. http://bit.ly/2lQia9y v/ @AmericaSaves #WednesdayWisdom 

Never miss a credit payment! According to @USAAEF, 35 percent of your FICO credit score is based on your payment history. >> https://bit.ly/2zVezAl @AmericaSaves #WednesdayWisdom 

If you want to start investing, check out these tips from The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. https://bit.ly/2sVKJp6 v/ @MilitarySaves cc: @SEC_Investor_Ed #WednesdayWisdom 

#SavingsFactFriday

A high #credit score can make it easier to get an apartment, utilities, or even a job. http://bit.ly/2AwCKoJ v/ @AmericaSaves #SavingsFactFriday

Carrying a large balance on your credit cards from month to month can lower your credit score. v/ @AmericaSaves #SavingsFactFriday

Additional Posts 

Let @AmericaSaves help you stay committed to your savings goal! Take the pledge today: http://bit.ly/2dFhJf9

Want your free #credit report from the three main credit bureaus? All you have to do is ask! http://bit.ly/2AwBTo8 @AmericaSaves

Have a savings tip or story that others might benefit from? Share it w/ @AmericaSaves and you could win $25: http://bit.ly/2oiP4iv

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Helpful Resources

From America Saves

Debt and Credit
Importance of Credit History

Blog Articles

Resources and Research

Annual Credit Report (once-a-year), AnnualCreditReport.com or (877) 322-8228

Better Money Habits, Building credit and keeping yours healthy

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Credit reports and scores

CreditScoreQuiz.org & CuestionarioparaelPuntajedeCredito.org, this is an informational tool developed by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and VantageScore Solutions.

Credit Reporting Bureaus

FINRA Investor Education Foundation:

Hands on Banking, Wells Fargo, All about credit

Money Under 30, How Credit Works: Understand The Credit History Reporting System

myFICO

The USAA Education Foundation:

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Subscribe to America Saves partner updates to be the first to receive new partner packets, the latest savings news and research, and information about America Saves Week. 

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Take the Pledge

Written by Madeline Daniels · 09 May 2018

#ImSavingForSweepstakes Official Rules

Written by Madeline Daniels · 15 February 2018

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. SWEEPSTAKES OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES OR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO ARE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER ON THE DATE OF ENTRY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

1) SWEEPSTAKES PERIOD: The #ImSavingForSweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes” or the “Promotion”) starts February 21, 2018 at 12:01 A.M. ET and ends April 6, 2018 at 11:59 P.M. ET (the "Sweepstakes Period").

2) ELIGIBILITY: TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN, YOU MUST BE A LEGAL RESIDENT OF THE FIFTY (50) UNITED STATES OR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER ON THE DATE OF ENTRY. The officers, directors and employees of the Consumer Federation of America (the “Sponsor”) its subsidiaries and affiliated organizations, advertising and promotion agencies, persons engaged in the development, production or distribution of materials for this promotion (collectively, the “Promotion Parties”) and the immediate family members (parent, child, sibling, and spouse of each) of and/or persons living in the same household as such individuals (whether related or not) are not eligible to participate. This Sweepstakes is void where prohibited by law.

3) HOW TO ENTER: NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. There are two ways to enter this Sweepstakes:

Via America Saves Website: To enter, go to https://americasaves.org/for-savers/pledge, and follow the on-screen instructions. Entrants who enter via the America Saves website will only be eligible for the Grand Prize drawing.

Via Participating Blog(s): To enter, follow the onscreen instructions provided on the Blog including clicking on the link provided (URL) which will direct you to the America Saves Pledge Form for located at https://americasaves.org/for-savers/pledge. Entrants who enter via a participating Blog will be eligible for both the Grand Prize and “bonus” First Prize drawings.

You must complete and submit the America Saves Pledge Form (the “Pledge Form” or “Entry”) as instructed to be eligible. Once the Entry has been successfully submitted, you will be entered into the Sweepstakes. As part of the Sweepstakes entry process, Entrants (the “Entrants”) will be required to indicate that they have read, accept, and agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Any Entry information collected from the Sweepstakes shall be used only in a manner consistent with the consent given by Entrants at the time of Entry, with these Official Rules, and with the Sponsor’s privacy policy which can be found at https://americasaves.org/learn-more-about-us/privacy-policy. Regardless of method of entry, there is a limit of one (1) Entry per person/per email address.

If any individual submits entries in excess of the disclosed maximum, by any means, including but not limited to establishing multiple email accounts, they will be disqualified from participation in this Sweepstakes. The name of the person submitting the Sweepstakes Entry must be the authorized account holder of such email address, otherwise, Entry may be deemed void. In the event of a dispute over the identity of the potential Grand Prize Winner, the Entry will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of Entry, and the potential Grand Prize Winner may be required to provide identification sufficient to show that he/she is the authorized account holder of such email address. It is the sole responsibility of the Entrant to notify the Sponsor in writing if the Entrant changes his or her email or postal address during the Sweepstakes Period.

After the Entry has been submitted, the Sponsor will send each Entrant an email requesting confirmation of his/her submission of the America Saves Pledge.  Furthermore, the Entrant will also be provided with the opportunity to enhance his/her pledge as well as their potential prize (as further detailed within this Section and in Section 6 below) should said Entrant be confirmed as the Grand Prize Winner.

To enhance the Grand prize, Entrants must first answer “Yes!” to the following question. “Do you want to boost your potential prize from $500 to $750 by inspiring others to save on social media?”  To complete the Entry enhancement process please follow the instructions below. Failure to follow the steps below, after responding “Yes” to the entry enhancement question, will Void your Entry enhancement request. The prize enhancement feature will only take effect if you are confirmed as the Grand Prize Winner.

To enhance your Entry, you must be a registered user of either www.Instagram.com (“Instagram”), www.Facebook.com (“Facebook”) or www.Twitter.com (“Twitter”).  If you do not have an account, visit Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to create one. There is no fee or charge to become a Registered User.  By submitting your information and creating an account, you agree to the respective terms of use and privacy notice. If you do not agree to such terms of use and privacy notice, you cannot create a respective account, or enhance your Entry.  You can return your account to “private” any time after the winner announcement.

To Enhance Your Entry Via Instagram:

  1. Go to instagram.com and log into your Instagram account;
  2. Your Instagram account must be set to public;
  3. Post your savings goal, your savings story (and how it can help others) or your favorite savings tip/trick as a comment (maximum of 15 words), photo or short video (max of 25 seconds) and include the “#ImSavingForSweepstakes hashtag.

To Enhance Your Entry Via Facebook:

  1. Go to facebook.com and log into your Facebook account;
  2. Then visit the Consumer Federation of America page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ConsumerFederationofAmerica; and
  3. Look for the Sweepstakes call to action (on the Consumer Federation of America page timeline) and then post your savings goal, your savings story (and how it can help others) or your favorite savings tip/trick as a comment (maximum of 15 words), photo or short video (max of 25 seconds) and include the “#ImSavingForSweepstakes hashtag.

To Enhance Your Entry To Enter via Twitter:

  1. Go to twitter.com and log into your Twitter account;
  2. Your Twitter account must be set to public;
  3. Tweet your savings goal, your savings story (and how it can help others) or your favorite savings tip/trick as a comment (maximum of 15 words), photo or short video (max of 25 seconds) and include the “#ImSavingForSweepstakes hashtag. Tweet is limited to no more than 280 characters (including spaces and symbols).

Usage of Instagram, Facebook or Twitter may require a mobile device and therefore you may be charged for standard data rates according to the terms and conditions in your agreement with your wireless carrier. You agree to incur any and all charges demanded by your wireless carrier. You should also check your device's features for capabilities and check the device manual for specific use instructions. By enhancing your Entry, you agree that (1) your Enhanced Entry conforms to any terms of use/ platform guidelines, policies and content restrictions of Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (as applicable); and (2) conforms to the Guidelines and Content Restrictions below.

 

Guidelines and Content Restrictions

  • The Enhanced Entry must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity, copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights;
  • The Enhanced Entry may only feature the Entrant and/or members of the Entrant’s immediate family (e.g., spouse, partner, children);
  • The Enhanced Entry must not disparage or embarrass Sponsor, their owners and employees, or any other person or party affiliated with the Promotion and administration of this Sweepstakes;
  • The Enhanced Entry must not feature brand names or trademarks of others;
  • The Enhanced Entry must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous;
  • The Enhanced Entry must not contain any materials relating to lotteries, gambling, tobacco, alcohol or drugs, pornography, adult-oriented content or any other sexually-explicit material;
  • The Enhanced Entry must not contain anything that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; and
  • The Enhanced Entry must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where Enhanced Entry is created.

BY ENHANCING YOUR ENTRY, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR ENHANCED ENTRY (INCLUDING YOUR USERNAME AND PROFILE PICTURE) MAY BE POSTED ON INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND/OR SPONSOR’S PROPRIETARY WEBSITE, WHERE IT MAY BE VIEWED, SHARED (BY USERS OF INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND VARIOUS OTHER INTERNET-BASED SITES) AND COMMENTED ON BY THE SPONSOR AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

By submitting an Entry or enhancing your Entry in this Promotion, Entrant agrees to comply with these Official Rules. Entries or Enhanced Entries that do not comply with these Official Rules and Guidelines and Content Restrictions above, as determined in Sponsor and/or Administrator’s sole discretion, will be disqualified from the Sweepstakes. Decisions of the Sponsor and/or Administrator are final and binding.

By entering this Promotion, each Entrant agrees to grant the Sponsor, subsidiaries, and affiliates and its agents and designees, the exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sub-licensable right to exercise the copyright, publicity, database rights and any other rights Entrant has in the Entry or the Enhanced Entry, and also the right and permission to edit, modify, cut, rearrange, add to, delete from, copy, reproduce, translate, dub, adapt, publish, exploit, and use the content of and elements embodied in the Entry or the Enhanced Entry, in any media now known or hereafter devised (including without limitation, the Internet), for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law. Each Entrant hereby represents and warrants that he/she is the original author/creator of his/her Entry or Enhanced Entry and the Entry or Enhanced Entry will not infringe any third party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, or other proprietary rights or rights of publicity or privacy. Sponsor's use of information submitted to Sponsor in connection with this Promotion will be subject to the terms and conditions of these Official Rules.

Each Entrant acknowledges that other Sweepstakes participants may have used ideas and/or concepts in their Entry or Enhanced Entry that may be similar in idea or concept to what is included in Entrant’s Entry or Enhanced Entry. Each Entrant understands and agrees that he/she shall not have any claim against any other Entrant or Sponsor arising out any such similarity or be entitled to any compensation because of any such similarity.

Proof of submission of Entry or Enhanced Entry does not constitute proof of receipt of Entry. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be returned to Entrants. Each Entry submission must be manually key stroked and manually entered by the individual Entrant; automated and/or repetitive electronic submission of entries (including but not limited to entries made using any script, macro, bot, or Sweepstakes service) will be disqualified and transmissions from these or related email or IP addresses may be blocked.

4) RANDOM DRAWING: A random drawing to select one (1) potential Grand Prize Winner and (1) Potential First Prize Winner from among all eligible entries received within the Sweepstakes Period will be conducted on or about April 16, 2018. Odds of winning a prize depend on the total number of eligible entries received. Potential Grand Prize and First Prize Winners are subject to eligibility verification and compliance with these Official Rules.

5) WINNER NOTIFICATIONS AND PRIZE FULFILLMENT: The potential Grand Prize Winner will be notified within three (3) business days of the respective prize drawing by email at the email address provided at time of entry. The potential Grand Prize Winner will be required to complete, sign, and return [1] an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release and; where legal, a Publicity Release (collectively the “Affidavit”) and [2] an IRS Form W-9 to include his/her social security number that will be used only for the purpose of reporting the winner’s prize earnings to the Internal Revenue Service, as applicable.  Complete documents must be returned to the Administrator by the date stated in the notification email/letter or the prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate potential Grand Prize Winner.  If the potential Grand Prize Winner (i) cannot be contacted after a reasonable attempt has been made by Administrator (as determined in Sponsor’s sole discretion); or (ii) fails to timely return the required paperwork without alteration and in the form presented by Administrator; or (iii) refuses the prize; or (iv) the prize or prize notification is rejected or returned as undeliverable, then such potential Grand Prize Winner will be disqualified and forfeits all rights to be deemed a winner in the Sweepstakes and receive the prize, and an alternate potential Grand Prize Winner will be notified, time permitting. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation will be given.

6) PRIZE: One (1) Grand Prize: $500 prize check. Retail Value (“RT”) of $500. Total RV of Grand Prize: $500. Should the Grand Prize be awarded to an Entrant who enhanced their Entry (as detailed in Section 3), the Total RV of the Grand Prize will be $750. The Enhanced Grand Prize will only be awarded to the Entrant who successfully shared his/her savings goal on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. One (1) First Prize: $100 Gift Card. RV of $100. Total RV of First Prize: $100.  First Prize will only be awarded to the Entrant who entered via a participating Blog. Gift Card is subject to terms and restrictions of the issuer. Total Maximum RV of all prizes to be awarded: $850.

7) GENERAL: Except as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, no substitution of prize or award shall be offered and no transfer of prize or award to a third party is permitted. All federal, state, and other tax liabilities arising from this Sweepstakes are the sole responsibility of prize winners. No more than the listed number of prizes and awards will be provided.

8) CONDUCT: By entering into this Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Administrator and the Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects and waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Sweepstakes or these Official Rules. These Official Rules are accessible from https://americasaves.org/for-savers/pledge throughout the Sweepstakes Period. Failure to comply with these Official Rules may result in disqualification. The Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual: (a) suspected of tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes; (b) to be acting in any manner deemed by the Sponsor to be in violation of the Official Rules; (c) to be acting in any manner deemed by the Sponsor to constitute unsportsmanlike or disruptive behavior, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY A USER OR ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND COSTS (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

9) LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: The Promotion Parties assume no responsibility or liability for (a) any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, or for any faulty, failed, garbled or jumbled electronic data transmissions; (b) any unauthorized access to, or theft, destruction or alteration of entries at any point in the operation of this Sweepstakes; (c) any technical malfunction, failure, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or communications line failure, regardless of cause, with regard to any equipment, systems, networks, lines, satellites, servers, computers or providers utilized in any aspect of the operation of the Sweepstakes; (d) inaccessibility or unavailability of the Internet or any combination thereof; or (e) any injury or damage to the participant’s or to any other person's computer which may be related to or resulting from any attempt to participate in the Sweepstakes or to download any materials from the Sweepstakes. If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not able to run through completion for reasons which may include, without limitation, infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which may corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes, then the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes in whole or in part, without further liability to the entrants or third parties. In the event the Sweepstakes is cancelled, Sponsor reserves the right to conduct a random drawing to award prizes from among all eligible non-suspect entries received prior to the time of the action or event warranting such cancellation. With regard to this Sweepstakes, the Sponsor and/or Administrator will contact those entrants deemed as potential winners for purposes of clearance and awarding of any prize.   The Official Rules prevail should there be any conflict or uncertainty relating to the promotion based on information or advice provided by any of the Released Entities (as defined below).

10) WINNER RELEASES: All Entrants, as a condition of entry into the Sweepstakes, agree to release Sponsor, its directors, officers, employees, subsidiaries and affiliated companies, suppliers, printers, application developers, advertisers, promotion agencies (collectively the “Released Entities”) from and against any and all liability, loss, claims, demands or actions of any kind whatsoever for injuries, damages, costs, or losses to persons or property which may be sustained in connection with: (a) accessing the Sweepstakes page; (b) submitting an Entry or otherwise participating in any aspect of the Sweepstakes; (c) the acceptance, receipt, ownership, use or misuse of any prize awarded; (d) preparing for, participating in, or traveling to and/or from any prize-related activity; or (e) any typographical or other error in these Official Rules or the announcement of the offering of any prize.

11) DISPUTES: The Sweepstakes is governed by the laws of the United States. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. The construction, validity and interpretation of the Promotion shall be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules. All disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or related to the Sweepstakes shall be resolved in the applicable court within the District of Columbia.

12) WINNERS LIST: To receive a copy of the Winners List, available after April 15, 2018, send an email with subject line: "ImSavingFor" Winner’s List to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All such requests must be received by May 15, 2018. The winners list will only be available after the Grand Prize Winner has been verified.

13) SPONSOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Sponsor: Consumer Federation of America, Attention America Saves, 1620 Eye Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006. Administrator: Marden-Kane, Inc., 575 Underhill Blvd., Suite 222, Syosset, NY 11791.

© Copyright 2018 Marden-Kane Inc.  All rights reserved.  Entrants are hereby authorized to copy these Official Rules on the condition that it will be for the Entrant’s personal use only.

Instagram is a registered trademark of Instagram, Inc. Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc. Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or in association with Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.  Entrants understand that you are providing your information to Sponsor, and not to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Promotion are to be directed to Sponsor, at the address noted above, not Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Administrator2 | January 11, 2014

    Save your loose change. Putting aside fifty cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly 40% of a $500 emergency fund. http://ow.ly/sj972 

Saver Stories View all »

Inspired to Build Savings By Starting Small

Written by Great Lakes Michigan Saves | April 19, 2016

With little-to-no money in the bank and living on a limited income with her adult daughter, Sharon wasn’t sure if building up savings for her future was even possible. “At my age, to put debts behind me would be a relief,” she said, but she wasn’t quite sure how to even get started with a savings plan. That all changed when Sharon attended the Great Lakes Michigan Saves Pay Yourself First Saver’s Summit during America Saves Week.

Read more...

Taking Steps Toward Financial Fitness

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | November 7, 2014

Nicky Vasquez learned about Virginia Saves when she attended her first class with Bank On Virginia Beach. The instructor shared how important it was to have a written savings goal, and the entire class joined Virginia Saves as the first step toward financial fitness.

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Starting and Continuing a Personal Finance Journey

Written by Sara Cooper | December 23, 2013

When Kiara Hardin, now a junior at Western Illinois University, became an intern with the Chicago Summer Business Institute during her sophomore year of high school, she began her personal finance journey. The program required participants to open a savings account.

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