Search found 54 matches

by dollar_elbow
Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online
Replies: 37
Views: 15753

Re: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online

Anecdotally, I was able to my Equifax report online two days ago, so it seems hit or miss whether it works. Credit Karma gives you almost complete access to your Equifax and TransUnion reports for free as a good alternative. It does not give you soft inquiries, but all the hard pulls that affect you...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?
Replies: 26
Views: 1234

Re: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?

It should also be noted that when you visit the three main bureaus' websites, they will attempt to convince you to lock your credit reports rather than freezing. For now, make sure you freeze rather than using the lock services (some of which cost money) since freezes are mandated by law and have go...
by dollar_elbow
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACH Transfer Times
Replies: 8
Views: 739

Re: ACH Transfer Times

In the UK there is an equivalent system called BACS for handling tranfers which can generally process a transfer in less than 2 hours. Therefore, I believe that the ACH system could operate essentially in real time with near instant transfers, but the banks choose not to enable this.
by dollar_elbow
Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: apply for cc with frozen credit
Replies: 10
Views: 1144

Re: apply for cc with frozen credit

You can unlock all three to get an immediate decision on your application or else wait for a response from the CC company that will usually tell you which bureau they want to check so you can just unlock that one. You could check one of the credit pulls databases, such as https://creditboards.com/f...
by dollar_elbow
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: apply for cc with frozen credit
Replies: 10
Views: 1144

Re: apply for cc with frozen credit

You can unlock all three to get an immediate decision on your application or else wait for a response from the CC company that will usually tell you which bureau they want to check so you can just unlock that one. You could check one of the credit pulls databases, such as https://creditboards.com/fo...
by dollar_elbow
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barron's--Vanguard Is Losing Battles on Two Fronts in Fee Wars
Replies: 53
Views: 4799

Re: Barron's--Vanguard Is Losing Battles on Two Fronts in Fee Wars

Why does Vanguard impose minimums on their funds? I thought the expense ratio was supposed to cover operating costs so why bother with minimums? They could capture even more of the market without them. They could offer a third slightly more expensive class of shares for balances less than $3k or enf...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Checking Account?
Replies: 45
Views: 3011

Re: Best Checking Account?

I like Capital One 360 checking. It has fast, usually same day deposit of checks and ACH transfers. My wife and I use it for joint checking.

Schwab is the best if you want free ATM use, but the banking features are minimal. Fidelity's cash management account also has free ATM use.
by dollar_elbow
Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Man...opening a savings account with Ally is an arduous process.
Replies: 32
Views: 3234

Re: Man...opening a savings account with Ally is an arduous process.

My experience with Ally is that they require all three credit reports unfrozen to open an account. They do not seems to do a hard pull, but for whatever reason, their system requires all three unlocked even if a rep tells you otherwise. If you don't unfreeze them, you will end up in an endless loop ...
by dollar_elbow
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should I do with my "secured" credit card?
Replies: 9
Views: 745

Re: What should I do with my "secured" credit card?

I was in a similar situation a few years ago when I got a secured card to establish a credit history. I kept the card for one year, then applied for a couple of unsecured cards. I kept the secured card for a further year and then closed it as the credit limit was relatively low and I wanted the depo...
by dollar_elbow
Thu May 24, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable luxury ladies watch?
Replies: 21
Views: 1352

Re: Affordable luxury ladies watch?

IMO at that price point you are looking at fashion watches (not the Omega/Rolexes and the like). At that price point many enjoy Michael Kors watches. Keep in mind there is nothing special about them other than brand and design. +1 At that price point, you're just getting a cheap quartz movement wra...
by dollar_elbow
Mon May 21, 2018 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Savings Account emptied out!
Replies: 77
Views: 13024

Re: Chase Savings Account emptied out!

It is stories like this that stop me from using Schwab as my primary bank. I still can't believe that in 2018 it is not possible to get account alerts on a Schwab checking account to monitor for this type of situation.
by dollar_elbow
Wed May 16, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The front page is ugly
Replies: 140
Views: 14051

Re: The front page is ugly

I think a few simple changes would benefit the front page: Switch to a sans serif font. Subjectively, I find Times New Roman to be an ugly font for web pages and so do many professional web designers, hence why most major websites don't use it. Part of this problem stems from the fact that very basi...
by dollar_elbow
Mon May 14, 2018 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What online bank do you use?
Replies: 99
Views: 15718

Re: What online bank do you use?

I would point out that Schwab Bank is a real bank and offers a real bank account (Schwab has a bank and a brokerage, they are separate entities) that is linked to the Schwab brokerage account, whereas the Fidelity account is not a bank account, it is a brokerage account that Fidelity refers to as a...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Going Sideways/Weird Shipment Problems
Replies: 66
Views: 6393

Re: Amazon Prime Going Sideways/Weird Shipment Problems

I've been an Amazon Prime member for a few years, paying for 2 day delivery, some free video viewing and that's about it. For 30 days return policy purposes, it was great to have their delivery information to track return eligibility. Over the past few months, now only about 20% of my deliveries ar...
by dollar_elbow
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Recommendations
Replies: 43
Views: 7910

Re: Credit Card Recommendations

Citi Double Cash is good for an easy to use 2% cash back card. Fidelity Rewards Visa 2% cash back is also good, but requires a Fidelity Cash Management account (free) and has a terrible web interface for paying bills etc. Amazon Blue Cash is good if you buy a lot of food and/or shop in department st...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you ready for Amazon checking?
Replies: 42
Views: 6458

Re: Are you ready for Amazon checking?

I've never really understood why Schwab banking gets such stellar reviews here. Yes, it has some good features, such as the free ATM use, but few people on this board criticize its shortcomings. I would add that Fidelity's cash management account has similar issues so it seems to be a general probl...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moto G5+ and Android Pay
Replies: 5
Views: 470

Re: Moto G5+ and Android Pay

Google Pay and Apple Pay are very similar technologies and you should be able to use Google Pay anywhere you can use Apple Pay. Google Pay is just as easy and seamless as Apple Pay. I use both as much as possible since it's almost always quicker than using a card to swipe or waiting for a chip card ...
by dollar_elbow
Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 ACH speed?
Replies: 10
Views: 2011

Re: Capital One 360 ACH speed?

Cap One 360 checking will usually do same day ACH transfers for me, i.e. if I make a transfer in the morning, it is usually deposited in the afternoon. Likewise checks usually deposit same day if I deposit before 9 pm, often within a couple of hours. The savings accounts hold money for 5 days, but I...
by dollar_elbow
Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you ready for Amazon checking?
Replies: 42
Views: 6458

Re: Are you ready for Amazon checking?

Schwab banking in principle is very good (I have an account), but in practice it has slow processing times for deposits, and real-time banking alerts are non-existent (two critical features of a checking account in my opinion). If you want to know what your balance is or are worried about fraud, you...
by dollar_elbow
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Horrible Experience with Ally New Account Opening Process
Replies: 43
Views: 9268

Re: Horrible Experience with Ally New Account Opening Process

Despite what the reps might tell you, Ally requires all three reports and ChexSystem unfrozen for an account to be opened without hassle. Their system might only use Transunion for making a decision (I'm not sure), but in my experience (twice) they will just keep putting customers through an endless...
by dollar_elbow
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard site is crashed now?
Replies: 188
Views: 18324

Re: Vanguard site is crashed now?

I thought that since Vanguard is a fund company, most of its clients are Bogleheads, 401k participants, and institutions, who are generally holding assets long term and do not, or cannot, buy and sell like they are on a trading platform, so they should not be panic buying (I can imagine some Boglehe...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 44
Views: 6878

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

When I applied I was told that they needed proof of making at least $100k per year to be considered for the card. You might want to consider this if you don't want to give them financial details.
by dollar_elbow
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New investment account vs. credit freeze?
Replies: 7
Views: 1364

Re: New investment account vs. credit freeze?

Opening an account with frozen reports can be hit or miss. Ally, for example, makes it almost impossible to open an account with your reports frozen.
by dollar_elbow
Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone go 100% Ally or another online bank for all banking needs?
Replies: 61
Views: 7249

Re: Anyone go 100% Ally or another online bank for all banking needs?

I switched to Alliant Credit Union and keep Citibank's most basic account as a backup B&M in case I need to deposit cash. Unlike Chase or BofA, Citi does not require a minimum balance, just one direct deposit of any amount per month. I send a few dollars every month with everything else going to my ...
by dollar_elbow
Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New investment account vs. credit freeze?
Replies: 7
Views: 1364

Re: New investment account vs. credit freeze?

Vanguard, Schwab, and Fidelity will all want to check your credit reports to verify your identity when you open an account so you will need to have your reports unfrozen. Schwab may ask you to take documents to a local office if they cannot verify you online. Online banks such as Ally and Capital On...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could Credit Karma (app) be blocking my free annual credit report?
Replies: 13
Views: 1915

Re: Could Credit Karma (app) be blocking my free annual credit report?

I've used Credit Karma for several years without issue. It soft pulls TransUnion and Equifax reports weekly and it doesn't sign you up for any services unless you request it to. Credit freezes interfere with credit pulls and annualcreditreport.com sometimes. (Re: bold and underlined) Does that mean...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking
Replies: 10
Views: 1776

Re: Credit Freeze? One last step I'm taking

What's the danger of the Equifax hack for accounts like Vanguard? I checked the Equifax security website, and both my and my husband's information has been compromised. Obviously it would be annoying for someone to buy a television with our credit card, or attempt to take out a mortgage in our name...
by dollar_elbow
Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this common bank queuing etiquette? (rant)
Replies: 18
Views: 1764

Re: Is this common bank queuing etiquette? (rant)

All the banks I've dealt with allowed accounts to be closed over the phone or through a web chat. They simply mailed me a check if there was an outstanding balance. Is there really a need to go to a bank unless you have someone specific you want to talk to?
by dollar_elbow
Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you "upgrade" credit cards within a company?
Replies: 13
Views: 1782

Re: Can you "upgrade" credit cards within a company?

Capital One will allow you to upgrade some of their cards. If you have one of the no cash back visa cards or a student journey card, they should allow you to upgrade to the quicksilver card to get cash back. You cannot change a cash back card to a travel card though. Amex allows for some upgrades, b...
by dollar_elbow
Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is everything done with a mouse?
Replies: 49
Views: 6444

Re: Why is everything done with a mouse?

It requires extra work on the part of the developers to implement keyboard support on web pages so it's less common. Mouse support is provided inherently by every browser so it's simple to create a web site and know that users can interact with it using a mouse. Adding keyboard support means binding...
by dollar_elbow
Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could Credit Karma (app) be blocking my free annual credit report?
Replies: 13
Views: 1915

Re: Could Credit Karma (app) be blocking my free annual credit report?

I've used Credit Karma for several years without issue. It soft pulls TransUnion and Equifax reports weekly and it doesn't sign you up for any services unless you request it to.

Credit freezes interfere with credit pulls and annualcreditreport.com sometimes.
by dollar_elbow
Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank - Is this a safe/best place to stash some cash?
Replies: 108
Views: 33097

Re: Ally Bank - Is this a safe/best place to stash some cash?

I use Ally and I like their website and banking app (I've only used the Android version) and that you can usually chat with a representative straightaway or talk to someone within a minute on the phone (occasionally they have 10 minute waits at busy times). I had no trouble with either their checkin...
by dollar_elbow
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for cash back
Replies: 104
Views: 23313

Re: Best credit card for cash back

Capital One has just launched a "Premier Dining Rewards" card offering unlimited 3% cash back at restaurants and 2% on groceries, which might be of benefit to some people: https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/premier-dining-rewards/ I got one since I reasoned I may as well get a 3% discount when ...
by dollar_elbow
Fri May 05, 2017 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Enhanced Security for your my Social Security Account
Replies: 8
Views: 2738

Re: Enhanced Security for your my Social Security Account

If you create an account/login to the SSA "My Social Security" site, you have the option of enabling one time SMS codes to be sent to your phone when you login as an extra security feature (I did this). I think they are just expanding this feature to offer sending the code to an email address as wel...
by dollar_elbow
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting "web site business". Need an LLC?
Replies: 20
Views: 2356

Re: Starting "web site business". Need an LLC?

For many of you it seems starting an LLC is easy and relatively cheap. What about if you are in a state like New York, which has much more onerous requirements for starting an LLC (including that the business be advertised in specific papers for 6 weeks) and where the initial cost might be thousands...
by dollar_elbow
Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All in with Balanced Index fund
Replies: 44
Views: 7688

Re: All in with Balanced Index fund

My thoughts are that Balanced Index is less discussed because Vanguard seems more interested in advertising its Target Date funds, so people are less familiar with it, and the Wellington fund somewhat overshadows it in thread conversations about US centric balanced funds.
by dollar_elbow
Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do credit cards with rotating categories make money for credit card companies?
Replies: 16
Views: 2025

Re: How do credit cards with rotating categories make money for credit card companies?

It makes sense that they make money from people carrying a balance, but as previously mentioned, I don't see how they make money if I earn less than $1500 cash back. Each 5% cash back transaction is a loss regardless of how many I make and I never carry a balance. Chase often sends me promotions for...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do credit cards with rotating categories make money for credit card companies?
Replies: 16
Views: 2025

How do credit cards with rotating categories make money for credit card companies?

I understand with conventional cashback credit cards (i.e. a flat 1%, 1.5%, or 2%) I am getting paid part of the various merchant fees as a reward for using the card. In the case of cards with rotating categories (e.g. Chase Freedom or Discovery), I do not see how the companies make money by offerin...
by dollar_elbow
Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Schwab for primary checking account
Replies: 26
Views: 4166

Re: Using Schwab for primary checking account

Thanks for all the input. I will call them to see about enabling 2FA, but is a little disappointing they cannot implement push notifications.
by dollar_elbow
Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Schwab for primary checking account
Replies: 26
Views: 4166

Using Schwab for primary checking account

I read good things about Schwab's bank account on the forum (free ATM use at any ATM being one of them), so I opened an account, potentially to use for my primary checking account. I was disappointed to discover that they have terrible security, no two factor authentication, and do not even offer al...
by dollar_elbow
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard 2 factor authentication and Mint or Personal Capital
Replies: 15
Views: 16183

Re: Vanguard 2 factor authentication and Mint or Personal Capital

In my experience, Personal Capital seems to work fine if you enable Vanguard's 2FA. Mint does not work with 2FA, and will keep prompting you for the one time code each time it tries to check your Vanguard accounts.
by dollar_elbow
Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWELX [Vanguard Wellington]
Replies: 50
Views: 9654

Re: VWELX [Vanguard Wellington]

The Wellington fund is almost immediately dismissed on the board because it is not a true index fund, but I don't think its returns can be so easily dismissed. If you pick any of the Target Date or Lifestrategy funds, even if you choose one with a very high stock allocation, say 80% or 90%, Wellingt...
by dollar_elbow
Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which credit report(s) to get?
Replies: 8
Views: 1030

Re: Which credit report(s) to get?

Credit Karma will give you both your Equifax and Transunion credit reports for free plus a Vantagescore credit score. It updates weekly. Experian allows you to look at your credit report for free from their website. They will keep trying to get you to sign up for a service to give you a credit score...
by dollar_elbow
Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Rewards Visa 2% cash back
Replies: 73
Views: 12949

Re: Fidelity Rewards Visa 2% cash back

You can simply open a Fidelity Cash Management account (essentially like a checking account with 0% interest), deposit a few dollars, and then apply for the rewards card. There are no fees.
by dollar_elbow
Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard statement error
Replies: 4
Views: 971

Re: Vanguard statement error

I recently converted two funds to ETFs and Vanguard swapped the basis on the two funds, which led to ridiculous unrealized gains. It was eventually sorted, but it concerns me that Vanguard can't do simple operations that I would assume should be automated.
by dollar_elbow
Sun May 01, 2016 6:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio help
Replies: 3
Views: 623

Re: Portfolio help

Thanks for all your help. I think for the moment I will just leave the taxable account alone then (apart from rebalancing it if necessary) and focus on my tax advantaged accounts.
by dollar_elbow
Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio help
Replies: 3
Views: 623

Portfolio help

Hi, My situation is a little different to most Bogleheads so I would be interested in your feedback. I came to the US to work on a visa and in the beginning I was uncertain whether I would stay here long term. After reading the forum for awhile I adopted the live below your means lifestyle so I had ...
by dollar_elbow
Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I put a Credit Freeze on my accounts?
Replies: 37
Views: 6253

Re: Should I put a Credit Freeze on my accounts?

My wife and I both put on a Credit Freeze at all 3 agencies about 5 years ago. We have seen no downside. There may be a small inconvenience if you are planning on applying for loans or credit cards, but it is easy to temporarily lift the freeze. I assume you have not had to lift the freeze. Do you ...
by dollar_elbow
Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card with thin file [to build credit history]
Replies: 14
Views: 47491

Re: Credit card with thin file

I had such a problem recently in trying to get a card with a thin file. You might consider the student journey card from Capital One. It is designed for thin credit and you get 1.25% cash back so it's not that different from the quicksilver card. You could also consider the quicksilver one card if y...
by dollar_elbow
Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another thank you to the Bogleheads
Replies: 6
Views: 1041

Another thank you to the Bogleheads

Hi all, I just thought I would post my own thank you to the Bogleheads for setting me on the right path. I am new to the US and I had never invested in a mutual fund before, but three years ago, by a curious coincidence, my employer's retirement program became open to me and I simultaneously got a c...