How Your Credit Score Affects Your Health

by Stacy Tharp 5. September 2012

Having a good credit score is important. We all know that. We’ve all seen the commercials, been told who checks our scores and why, and heard horror stories about what can happen when you have a bad credit history. (But if you’d like a refresher on credit scores, read Credit Scores: GPAs for Adults.) But what if I told you that having poor credit can have adverse effects on not just your financial life, but also on your health?

Before I begin to explain my reasoning behind this claim, it is important to note that I am not a doctor, nor do I have a medical degree, nor have I ever considered attempting a medical degree. That was a career path that I was able to quickly rule out after nearly passing out in high school Biology class while attempting to dissect the organs of farm animals…but that’s a story for another day. (Stay tuned!) I DO, however, have the ability to perform some skillful research! So with that, I’d like to share some of my findings.

Stress

Calls from creditors or collection agencies, realizing that you are spending more money than you’re making, waking up each morning in fear that this will be the day that your water or electricity will be turned off, an unexpected and costly emergency for which you are financially unprepared. These are all examples of situations that could easily leave you in a perpetual state of stress. According to Psych Central, long-term stress can cause high blood pressure, susceptibility to infection, slow recovery from illnesses and possibly even diabetes.

Health Insurance

Since many employers check their potential employees’ credit scores, having a low credit score can make it difficult for you to find a job. If you can’t get a job because of your credit score, besides having something to add to the list of things that can cause you stress, you won’t be able to take advantage of low health insurance rates that companies often provide for their employees. You may be forced to purchase insurance with high premiums, high deductibles, and/or limited coverage. Having sub-par health insurance might lead you to try to avoid visits to the doctor’s office, which of course could lead to the possibility of medical issues not being properly addressed.

Emotional Health

According to Daily Finance, overspending can be connected to such emotional states as avoidance, depression and low self-esteem. Overspending can in turn lead to a low credit score due to high credit card balances. These emotional states are most likely a cause, rather than an effect, of overspending. According to Advantage Credit Counseling Service, having a positive mental outlook is essential for effective debt management.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms or behaviors I have mentioned, it is essential that you talk to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

If you have difficulty managing your debt, here are a few things you can try:

Be sure to teach your children at a young age how to be financially responsible, and maintain that good credit score yourself, if not for financial reasons, then for your health!

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

True or False? Five Myths About Credit Scores Unveiled

Four Things the Easter Bunny Taught Me About My Credit

How I Graduated Debt-free from College

Our memories of Scunny - "The Character of the Square"

by Erica Starr 28. August 2012

When we decided to put together our Joe Flacco - local “Baltimore Community Neighborhoods” spot,
we needed to incorporate a familiar place and face that resonated with the people of Baltimore. A face
that immediately made you feel like you were a part of Baltimore’s community…part of the Baltimore
family and a friend. It took us all but two seconds to think of good ol’ Scunny McCusker and his home
on O’Donnell Square (or as we always called him, “The Character of the Square”). Per the usual, it took
Scunny even less time to agree to lend a helping hand…immediately followed by a standing offer to
enjoy a crush or two down at Mama’s on the house.

As long as we can remember, a visit from Scunny to our Canton branch has always been an experience
to look forward to. Whether he was sporting his famous Natty Boh PJ’s to make a deposit, or
volunteering to dress up as Elvis for our charity car wash (which included washing cars), Scunny’s
presence always seem to bring a smile to the faces of those in his presence. As a longtime customer
and more importantly, a friend of 1st Mariner Bank, we’d like to offer our deepest sympathies to the
McCusker family and to the Canton community for this incredible loss.

Scunny, you are truly irreplaceable. The written word can’t adequately bring you justice in regards to
what you’ve done for this community. Baltimore won’t be the same without you pal. To our “Character
of the Square”, you will be missed.

We’d like to also join the community by encouraging everyone to come down to Canton tomorrow,
Wednesday, August 29th, to help celebrate the life of Patrick “Scunny” McCusker. 30% of all daily sales
at participating establishments will be donated to Scunny’s favorite charity, The Believe in Tomorrow
Foundation
. A list of restaurants includes but is not limited to:

The Americana
Blue Hill Tavern

Chesapeake Wine Co.
Claddagh’s
Gin Mill

JD's Smokehouse
Looney's Pub (all locations)
Plug Ugly's Publick House
Portside

Saute
Shiso Tavern
Speakeasy
Tavern on the Square


Ladies and Gentlemen….Elvis has left the building.

Top Three Myths About Online Banking Revealed

by Erica Starr 22. August 2012

Nowadays, it’s next to impossible for consumers to participate in the 21st century without having to share some sort of personal information via the web. From social media sites to smartphones, it feels like it’s all about sharing and comparing when it comes to your personal information online. Information that, until recently, we’ve been taught to lock up like Fort Knox. But now it’s okay to share?

With all of the hype about top notch companies such as Citibank, Sony, TiVo and even Apple experiencing electronic security breaches, we decided to take a stab at debunking some of the common myths about conducting business online…more specifically, your banking…to make you feel a little bit more at ease when deciding to take the plunge and go paper-free!

TRUE or FALSE?


Because of the increased cyber-attacks over the years, the security measures that financial institutions have to take to protect their customers' information makes it extremely difficult and inconvenient for customers to access their accounts and conduct financial transactions.

False: With today’s advanced security technologies, banks are able to utilize the highest level of security while offering supreme functionality and user experience when customers access their sites. Tactics such as security questions and quick password recovery are just a couple of examples of secure ways banks can confirm a customer’s identity without any hassle on the customer’s end.

Sticking with traditional banking methods such as receiving monthly paper statements and driving to branches to make deposits will allow consumers to have more control over who has access to their account information, and therefore, they will be less at risk for identity theft.

False: In actuality, going the online route could actually be safer than sticking with traditional banking methods if you take the right precautions. Think about it. By banking online you:

  • Reduce the risk of “dumpster divers” going through your trash cans or dumpsters and finding personal information.
  • Get 24/7 access to your account information. That means you don’t have to wait until you receive your paper statement in the mail to discover that you’ve been the victim of identity theft. Furthermore, you can put an immediate stop to potential criminal transactions.
  • Eliminate the chance of an identity thief attempting to sign you up for online banking without your knowledge. Yep, it’s happening. Identity thieves are now targeting folks who aren’t signed up for online banking by electronically impersonating those individuals. All they have to do is get their hands on the account number (from an old paper statement they found in the trash can?) and boom…they’ve now signed you up for online banking and have full access to your account.

Banks that don't disclose what online security precautions they use must not be as secure as they claim.

False: It's actually quite the opposite. You wouldn’t want us to tell potential burglars where all of our security cameras are, would you? So then why would you want us to tip off potential hackers as to what technologies we are using to protect your information? Rest assured that 1st Mariner Bank, along with any other credible financial institutions use state of the art encryption technologies to protect themselves and their customers from potential security breaches.

If you are still apprehensive or have concerns about online banking security, visit our Security and Fraud Prevention Center to learn how we keep your accounts secure and what you can do to keep your accounts safe, then take the plunge into the wonderful world of online banking!

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out these related articles:

5 Mobile Banking Security Tips

How to Prevent Check Fraud Scams

Do Your Part to Help Save a Tree



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