Category Archives: Careers

How to Negotiate Salary Increases and Promotions

There are only two ways to get extra money to save. Either you can cut your expenses or start earning extra income. While reducing your expenses is a good first start to sticking to your budget, there’s only so many soy lattes and unused gym membership that you can get rid of. It’s often much more productive to focus your energy on increasing your income. 

There are a couple of different ways to earn more money. You might consider a side hustle or starting your own business. You can look for another job that pays more or try to get more money from your current employer. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to negotiate salary increases and promotions and make sure that you’re getting paid what you’re worth.

The difference between a promotion and a raise

One important distinction to make is the difference between a promotion and a raise. A promotion is usually a change in job title and/or job responsibilities. A raise is just what it sounds like – more money. The two often come together, but not always. Be careful when you get a promotion that it comes with a salary increase commensurate with the added responsibilities you’ll be taking on.

Know how much you’re worth

Knowing how much you’re worth is a key factor in the negotiations for a promotion and salary increase. There are many online sites where you can see the average salaries for just about every type of job out there. Compare several different sites to see where your salary fits in. If you can show data that you’re underpaid for someone with your experience, education and responsibilities, that can be something your manager can take to HR to approve your promotion and raise.

Track your accomplishments

If you’re looking to negotiate a salary increase or promotion, start by acting the part. Promotions and raises generally are backwards-looking. What that means is that you’re likely to get a raise for work that you’ve done or are doing ALREADY. If you’re planning on talking to your supervisor about a salary increase or promotion, it can be helpful to track your accomplishments. 

If you’ve gone above and beyond your job description, or if you’ve received praise from a customer or co-worker, keep notes of when and what. That can be useful ammunition to show why you deserve this raise. Avoid the temptation of comparing yourself to your peers – instead, look at the job responsibilities of the role you’re aiming for. If you have detailed descriptions of how you’ve been doing those responsibilities already, you’ll be well on your way to getting that promotion.

Have regular conversations with your supervisor

Healthy companies have regular conversations between supervisors and the employees that they manage. It is a trait of a good manager to care about the employment and advancement of the employees that they manage. Don’t be afraid to talk with your supervisor regularly – ask her for constructive and timely feedback, and ask for concrete steps on what you would need to do to merit a promotion. Then document those steps and come back in a few months with details of how you’ve met those steps and deserve a promotion and a raise!

Be prepared to come with a backup plan

It’s important to understand the pay and compensation structure of the company you’re at. Many companies have pay “bands” or ranges of compensation for a given role. Knowing where your salary fits within that range can be helpful when you’re preparing to negotiate a salary increase. 

Also, if the company has announced a hiring freeze or layoffs, it might not be the best time to ask for more money. Understanding the bigger situation can help you pick the right time to have the discussion. Be prepared for what you’ll do or say if your supervisor turns your request for a raise down. Is there anything else that would be meaningful to you? Maybe it’s a more flexible working arrangement, deferred compensation like stock options or other types of non-monetary compensation.

Don’t be afraid to leave

At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide how much working at this job is worth it to you. It’s always a bit nerve wracking to quit your job, but it’s generally much harder to get a significant raise without moving to a new company. You don’t want to be hopping around from job to job every few months, but it’s also important to feel like you are getting paid the money that you are worth. 

If you don’t get the promotion you’re looking for, then it may be time to start exploring other options. After all, the best time to look for a new job is while you still have your OLD one (and don’t have to worry about making ends meet)

The post How to Negotiate Salary Increases and Promotions appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

How to dispute an error in your TransUnion credit report

The economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people concerned about their finances.

That makes it more important than ever to keep an eye on your credit report, and report any errors you find to the three main credit reporting agencies.

Complaints about credit reporting agencies filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau soared from 2018 to 2019. The majority of complaints were centered on incorrect information on credit reports and problems related to ongoing investigations.

Last year, more than 154,000 complaints about credit reporting agencies were filed with the CFPB. They made up almost 45% of the total complaints filed with the bureau. In contrast, they comprised less than one-quarter of complaints in 2018.

Of the three credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax – TransUnion racked up the most complaints. Of those complaints about TransUnion, 24,800 were related to incorrect information on a credit report and 8,300 involved problems with the agency’s investigation into an ongoing issue.

Almost 70% of the complaints about incorrect information involving TransUnion revolved around information belonging to someone else being included in the complainant’s credit report.

More than three-quarters of the complaints about ongoing investigations involved the agency failing to correct errors on reports.

Incorrect information on your credit report can reduce your credit score, which could result in you being charged higher interest rates on credit cards and loans. You could also be turned down if you apply for new credit.

See related: How to apply for a credit card and get approved

Request your credit report

If you want to check if your credit report is correct, you can request a copy from TransUnion, as well as from Equifax and Experian.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax will provide you with your credit report for free each week until April 20, 2021. You can request your reports through the site AnnualCreditReport.com. The credit reports don’t include your credit score.

Normally, you’re allowed one free copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies every year under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Requesting a copy of your report will not impact your credit score.

The CFPB says common errors to look for in your credit report include:

  • The wrong name, address or phone number on your report
  • Accounts belonging to someone else, whose name is similar to yours
  • Accounts opened under your name due to identity theft
  • Accounts that have been closed but are listed as open
  • Accounts incorrectly listed as late
  • The same debt listed more than once
  • Incorrect balances on accounts
  • Incorrect information reappearing on the account after it was already corrected

How to file a dispute

If you spot a problem with your credit report from TransUnion, you can file a dispute online, at the company’s website. There is no charge for disputing an item.

TransUnion credit report dispute center

You’ll need to set up a free account with TransUnion and provide some basic information about yourself, such as date of birth and home address, so the company can verify your identity

On the website, you can dispute everything from the name and address that is listed on your credit report to information about your credit cards and mortgages to your bankruptcy records.

Your credit accounts include information on the date you opened the account, your current balance and payment status, and you can dispute any of the information listed there.

For disputes over your credit accounts or information found in public records, TransUnion requires you to provide a reason as to why you are disputing the information.

The credit agency suggests you include corroborating information, such as records from your lender. You can upload those to your dispute.

You can add a consumer statement to explain any negative items that appear on your credit report.

If you don’t have easy access to a computer, you can also mail a dispute to:

TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000

Or, you can call 833-395-6941 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

See related: How to dispute an error in your Experian credit report

What to expect

TransUnion says most disputes are investigated within two weeks, but some take up to 30 days.

The credit reporting agency says it may do everything from updating your credit report based on the information you provided, to asking the lender to review the information to determine if the information on your credit report is correct.

If a creditor doesn’t respond within 30 days, TransUnion will delete the item from your credit report.

When the investigation is finished, TransUnion will send you an email and you can log in to its site to see the results.

If you don’t agree with the results, the company recommends you contact your lender directly with more information about your claim. If the lender agrees that your information is correct, it is required to contact TransUnion and tell it to update or delete the information that is in dispute.

Bottom line

It’s important to have errors removed from your credit report, which might help raise your credit score and entitle you to better interest rates.

Source: creditcards.com