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From applying for a job to residential leases to the security of your personal information, your credit report and credit score can impact almost all facets of your life. But many consumers don't fully understand how these reports and scores are generated, who can access them and why, and what to do to correct any harmful errors that appear in their credit history.

So here are some of the most important questions, answers, and tips regarding your credit report, and how to maintain its integrity.

How Do I 'Freeze' My Credit Report?

Identity theft isn't just super annoying; it can ruin you, financially. Each year seems to bring a new record for the amount of money stolen ($16.8 billion in 2017), and despite concerted efforts to fight it, it's still a growing problem. 

Although it seems like a drop in the bucket, Congress just made it a little cheaper for individuals to protect their identity by making credit freezes free. What's the new law and how do you go about adding a security freeze to your credit report?

Previously reserved for getting small business and creative ideas off the ground, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe have morphed into online money pools funding everything from legal fees to medical expenses. So, for those toiling under the crushing burden of student loans, it's only natural to wonder whether you can crowdfund your way out of that debt.

But before you go asking strangers to pay back that law school loan, here are a few legal considerations to take into account.

As temperatures rise, so do the cons. Scam artists often turn up the heat on unsuspecting marks, like homeowners, the elderly, and even high-schoolers, during the summer. So it's important to know the kind of rip-offs that are going on to avoid becoming another victim. 

Here are five of the top summer scams:

You finally thought you were getting your life together, financially speaking. Paying bills on time, paying down credit card debt, and even trying to set some money aside for retirement. So, you talked to a financial advisor who put together what you thought was a great plan, but now the plan seems to have been to lose all that money you invested.

If your financial advisor screwed up, do you have any legal recourse?

Is It Illegal to Hide Cryptocurrency in Divorce?

It's never a good idea to try to cheat the law. When going through a divorce, property division begins by determining the assets of the splitting couple then divvying up those assets.

Hiding property is, as you might expect, a regular fear and feature of the divorce process. Stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and 401(k)s can be tracked down by your ex's lawyers. As can (more easily) the house, the car, and the dog. But what about anonymously held cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin?

Outside of buying a house, or a boat, or a houseboat perhaps, buying a car is one of the biggest financial investments we'll make. So it goes without saying that you should take the car buying process seriously and therefore you'll probably have a lot of questions you'll want answered before you finalize the deal.

So here are three of the biggest legal questions about buying a car, from our archives:

Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. Between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas morning, Americans will spend millions, if not billions on holiday shopping. And between the in-store crowds and online fraud, Americans are set to lose a lot of money as well.

So here are three of our best tips for keeping holiday shopping safe, from our archives:

Top 5 Student Loan Debt Tips

Student loan debt in America is exploding, growing by an estimated $2,726.27 every second and totaling over $1.38 trillion dollars (as of this morning). Not only are students being buried in debt, parents are now, too.

And with so many shady debt servicing companies and for-profit colleges out there, it's more difficult to repay that debt and separate fact from fiction while doing it. So here are some of our best legal tips for dealing with student loan debt, from our archives.

Bankruptcy filings are tough decisions to make, both financially and emotionally. Most of us are too proud to admit we can't pay our debts, and we're also unsure of the long-term effects on our credit and our lives. And most of us will be eager to return to our normal lives as soon as possible after filing bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help relieve your debt burden now, but how long will that bankruptcy filing hamper your ability to buy a home in the future? Here's a look.