Credit Reporting Agency Says Woman Is Deceased, Woman Says Hey I’m Alive

Kimberly Haman was applying for a new mortgage when her application was put on hold. The reason? Equifax, one of the U.S. consumer credit reporting agencies, thought she was dead.


And When I Did 1 Thing My Fingers Ran With Blood

1 thing 2 do.


In Time of Great Upheaval, the Dollar Bill Remains Stalwart

Fun fact for your Wednesday afternoon, courtesy of Quartz! The $1 bill has not been changed since 1929, and will not be changing anytime soon. As has been the case for the past several years, the 2014 budget specifically said that the Treasury Department isn’t allowed to spend any money redesigning it, either. So don’t even try!


Computer Predicts the Balance of Your Bank Account

I have spent far too much of the past hour taking this quiz from the University of Vermont that I found on Reddit (sssh, don’t judge me):

We are computer science researchers at the University of Vermont and have created a website that can predict the amount of money you have in your bank account. The website consists of a simple survey with questions posted by other users. The computer has been programmed to predict your personal savings based on your survey answers and statistical data of each question.

Well, I do love quizzes! Okay and now I am 91 questions in, with 61 to go. A half hour of my life is now missing and and I have answered such questions as:

- How many hamburgers do you eat in the average week? – Do you keep a journal? – Do you have an IRA? – Do you own a car? – How many inches is your TV? – Do you prefer to write with a pencil or pen? – Are you gay? – How much student loan debt do you have?


How Can I Prevent Myself From Overdrawing My Account?

I forgot about an automatic payment which wiped out my checking account two days before my paycheck came in, and in that void I swiped my debit card five times which resulted in five overdraft fees of $35 each. Of course I had plenty of money in my savings account, but since I don’t sign into my bank account every day (should I be doing this?), I didn’t realize in time to transfer the money.


Questionable Mailer Sent By Bank

I’ve received this letter in the mail a few times already, and sorry, but the question of “Can you afford a new home?” is kind of an important one. Plus: “You can now buy a new home with as little as 3.5% down”—hah!


My Credit Card Debt Is As Bad As Substance Abuse

I now, embarrassingly late in the game, see credit-card debt as a problem for many that is nearly as pernicious as drug and alcohol addiction.


I’d Like a Prize-linked Savings Account, Please

PBS Newshour has a terrific segment on prize-linked savings accounts—accounts which give savers the chance to enter a lottery to win prizes as small as $50 and as large as $25,000. The more money an individual puts into his or her savings account, the more chances there are to win. The difference between this lottery and something like “Mega Millions” is that it doesn’t cost anything—the person gets to keep all the money saved, plus any accrued interest. The prize-linked savings accounts are typically CDs, which means savers are putting their money into accounts that they can’t touch for at least a year, and this has helped people who weren’t savers before change their behavior.


Questions for a Multinational Bank

$JPM VC Jimmy Lee is taking over @JPMorgan on 11/14 at 1pm ET. Tweet Qs using #AskJPM & learn more about him here:

— J.P. Morgan (@jpmorgan) November 13, 2013

JPMorgan canceled a Twitter Q+A session with vice chairman and veteran investment banker Jimmy Lee yesterday after they realized that people could be mean on the internet.


We Are Bad at Choosing Password Hints

Al Jazeera America has an article called “123456, your mom and other things that shouldn’t be your password,” which is pretty self-explanatory: It seems as if a lot of people are not very good at choosing passwords, or even when they are, they sometimes make the mistake of making the password hint too easy to identify.


What a Professor Studying Low-Income Communities Discovered After Working for a Payday Lender

Lisa Servon studies low-income communities and is a professor of urban policy at the New School in New York. Partly to make money so she could make ends meet, and partly to get an inside look at payday lenders, Servon decided to work at a check-cashing place in the Bronx and at a payday lender in California.