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No one can remove negative information from your credit report. Repair your credit and learn to recognize scams.

There are lots of rumors out there about your ability to get a mortgage if you sell your home through a short sale. Get the facts from the Federal Trade Commission.

Traveling Abroad? Consider a Chip-and-PIN Credit Card

Foreign countries have different cultures, different customs, different languages - and, to top it all off, some countries have different styles of credit cards.

Rather than using the familiar cards, which feature a magnetic strip at the top of the card, several countries have transitioned to “chip-and-PIN” credit cards, better for consumer safety. While some foreign vendors will continue to accept your traditional magnetic strip cards, some may not.

So, what’s the difference?

Chip-and-PIN cards are embedded with a computer chip that contains the information that would normally be contained in the strip along the top of the card. In addition to this chip system, users are required to enter in a PIN code, much like as would be required for a debit card.

The cards offer greater consumer protection, as it is harder to clone the payment information when a chip is being used, thus reducing identity theft. In France, chip-and-PIN cards have been responsible for a 50 percent reduction in payment fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The cards are increasingly being made available for U.S. residents, and before traveling, officials suggest you check with your credit card company to see whether chip-and-PIN cards are available. If not, they suggest that you carry a little extra cash, in case foreign vendors refuse to accept your current credit card.

Learn more about using chip-and-PIN cards on European travel.

By law, you are entitled to receive one FREE copy of your credit report per year, from each credit agency. Find out how to get your report.

Check Your Credit Report for Free

You are entitled to a FREE credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can request all three reports at once, or space them out throughout the year.

Why It’s Important

It’s important to ensure that your personal information and financial accounts are being accurately reported and that no fraudulent accounts have been initiated in your name. Errors on your credit report can negatively affect your credit score.

What To Do If You Find Errors

Follow instructions on the credit report that explain how to dispute errors. If errors have not been corrected after you’ve disputed them with the credit reporting agency, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Get more information about disputing errors on your credit report.