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2018 - Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Mortgage and Lending with NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 IL Lic 031.0006220/WI


2018 - Holiday Shopping Safety Tips


Today's brisk cool wind reminds me, another summer with its warm sunny days is in our rearview mirror ...


Brrrrrrr!  It also reminded me that the Holidays are just around the corner!  


Of course, that means holiday commercials will soon be running on our TVs 24/7 ... and Holiday shopping will once again be on our minds.  


Experience tells me that one thing is inevitable during those upcoming holiday shopping trips.  You'll be asked if you want to apply for a new credit card while checking-out at store registers.
Because of that, each year I've written posts warning of the credit and financial "dangers" that lurk while Holiday Shopping.  Each year I've urged ... just say "NO" to new credit offers unless one of the following applies: 
  • Your Credit/Credit Score can withstand a new credit inquiry
  • You can handle the new debt caused by the new card
  • You can make monthly payments on time, consistently, and faithfully
  • You will NOT be making application for a mortgage
  • You are NOT already in the mortgage process
  • You are NOT hoping to buy a home in the near future
  • You are NOT maxed-out on present credit cards
  • You have NOT already applied for other stores/credit cards
  • You know ALL the terms of the new credit account associated with the offer
  • You know what other credit obligations you have and the total of ALL your debt
  • The "enticement" offer is so valuable it offsets the negatives of taking on more debt
  • You have NO credit history and are trying to establish one for a future home purchase
As a Mortgage Originator, this year I remind you once again ... stay alert and strong regarding your finances and credit standing as you do your holiday shopping.  This is especially important if you're presently in the home buying/mortgage process ... or if you're planning on doing so within the next year.
But this year I'm adding an additional timely warning to my annual message:  This warning addresses the need for heightened awareness for your  physical safety during holiday shopping trips.
It's sad to say, but women are especially vulnerable to the dangers that exist during holiday shopping excursions.  One reason is that they typically carry purses while shopping.  (Purses are quick easy marks for thieves.)  And many times, they have children with them causing distractions and making them more vulnerable.
After reading a recent article describing the many dangers that exist during the holiday shopping period, I decided to do a bit more research on the topic.  That research resulted in my list of shopping safety tips offered below.
Please share these safety tips with family and friends.  That way they too can have a safe secure happy holiday season.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips
Tips Specifically for Women:
  • Consider using a travel pouch instead of a purse while shopping 
  • If using a purse, keep it zipped/closed while shopping
  • If using a shopping cart, place the cart's child safety straps through your purse straps
  • If no straps exist on the shopping cart, use a carabiner clip to attach your purse straps to the cart
  • Carry purses close to your body in cross-body fashion
  • Do not leave your purse unattended anywhere ... in a shopping cart, on the top of a car, on a trunk top, etc.
  • Get your keys out of your purse prior to leaving the store.  (The keys can act as a weapon if need be and the panic button can act as an alert)
  • Carry your purse on your side opposite of the traffic portion of an aisle
  • Walk with confidence at all times
  • Park your car in a well-lit portion of the parking lot
  • Lock your car door immediately upon entering it
  • Don't linger in your car while in the parking lot  
  • If possible, shop with a friend(s). There is safety in numbers
  • Leave flashy expensive jewelry at home
  • Wear casual - "walking" shoes, as they make a flight from danger easier
  • Carry pepper spray or another personal safety deterrent
  • Trust your "gut"  
  • Don't hesitate to seek the assistance of a security guard if alarmed in any way
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips for all ...
  • Carry only what you need when you go out shopping.  Example:  Driver's License, Debit/Credit Cards you'll use, phone, car keys  
  • Carry no/limited cash
  • If you carry cash, carry it in a front pocket
  • Always keep one hand free
  • Don't overload with packages
  • Lock packages in your trunk
  • Be and stay aware of those around you
  • Walk with purpose and confidence
  • Park in well-lit areas 
  • Avoid parking garages, if possible
  • Keep your car locked at all times
  • Shop during daylight hours, if and when possible
  • Trust your instincts
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and those around you
  • Locate, then carry your keys with you as you return to your parked car
  • Use the "panic" button on your car keys when alarmed
  • Don't linger in the parking lot
  • Save cell phone conversations until you return home
  • Try to avoid shopping alone.  There's safety in numbers
  • If you lose a debit or credit card, report it to the credit card company immediately
Awareness is always your best defense.  Stress, time constraints and pressures, crowds, and distractions allow for dangerous situations to develop.
Plan and prepare for your holiday shopping excursions ahead of time.  When you do so, you'll remain safe and secure ... physically, financially and credit-wise.
Shop smart and enjoy your Holiday Shopping!
* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a Home or Investment Property in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicago - Chicagoland area, IL or WI? 

Contact me! 

I'll put my 40+ years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf. 
I'm easily found at:

Gene Mundt
Mortgage Originator - NMLS #216987 - IL Lic. 031.0006220 - WI Licensed #216987
American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656
Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell or Text: 708.921.6331
eFax: 815.524.2281
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Gene Mundt

 Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987    

                                 IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI License #216987                                                                                                    

NMLS #175656


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Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, these are excellent tips, I'm guilty of several of them when it comes to safety.  Thank you for the reminder.

Oct 16, 2018 03:20 PM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

Glad it served as a "reminder", Beth Atalay ... please stay safe!


Oct 16, 2018 03:24 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Fantastic tips Gene  not only for the safety of thieves but also for finances

Oct 16, 2018 03:28 PM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

We're in a double jeopardy, Hannah Williams ... best to stay vigilant ...


Oct 18, 2018 07:59 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hey Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi after this excellent list I'm thinking gift cards is the way to go!!

Oct 16, 2018 05:19 PM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

You have a point, Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 ... but then you miss the "thrill of the hunt", don't you?  At least that's what my wife says ...


Oct 18, 2018 08:00 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

PS:  LOVE the new pic!!


Oct 18, 2018 08:00 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Gene- these are excellent. Even though we need to be vigilant all of the time, the holidays seem to bring out those who would ruin our holidays. If it is really crowded and I can't park close to the door, I have been known to use the Valet. 

Oct 17, 2018 11:49 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

There are a myriad of ways to outsmart the crooks, Kathy Streib ... sounds like you have discovered how to do just that for yourself ...

Happy Shopping ...


Oct 18, 2018 08:01 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Relevant and timely posting from a credible source this posting is

Oct 20, 2018 10:06 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
Thanks so much .. Always glad to get the "Richie thumbs up"!
Oct 20, 2018 03:29 PM
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

Great tips Gene!!   I can't tell you how many purses I have seen unattended in shopping carts saying "steal me".

And my fave on the credit list..."the enticement offer" offsets the negatives of taking on more debt.   That one gives me the giggles...

Oct 20, 2018 11:32 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
The enticement aren't so enticing later when we have to tell them their credit keeps them from financing. The gifts keep on giving .. Negatively! Great to hear from you Linda ..
Oct 20, 2018 03:28 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

GREAT tips for both your finances and staying safe. The crooks seem to go into over time once the holidays get here Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi 

Oct 20, 2018 05:09 PM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

Sad, but true Scott Godzyk ... best to stay alert and be prepared!


Oct 24, 2018 11:37 AM
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Golf Guy | Find Your Dream Lifestyle

Morning Gene, great safety and financial tips.  It's so easy to become complacent during the holidays. Have a great Sunday.

Oct 21, 2018 04:21 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

That warm glow can't blind us, Matthew Klinowski, PA ... you're absolutely right ...


Oct 24, 2018 11:43 AM
Jason Potrzeba
Home Loan Investment Bank - Warwick, RI
Senior Account Executive

Your holiday safety tips are arriving right on time, the holiday season is about to begin. At my local Walmart this weekend, it is Christmas tree's as far as the eye can see!


Also, the math never makes sense for opening up a credit card at the register. I could be spending $20 and the suggestion is I could save 10% off my order, given the damage a store credit card has the potential to do with the big picture, that 10% savings is never worth it.

Oct 21, 2018 06:38 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

Absolutely true, Jason Potrzeba ... hopefully this advice gets many thinking as they head out to shop ...


Oct 24, 2018 11:44 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Gene

There's lots of great advice here about being safe and about finances. Seems like everyone has a credit card to offer these days with some special deal to fool you into thinking yet another credit card is a good idea.



Oct 21, 2018 11:19 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

Can almost make you dizzy, Jeff Dowler, CRS ... whatever happened to old-fashioned Christmas Savings Accounts???


Oct 24, 2018 11:46 AM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp
SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Well written Mr Safety, you know what they always say? "Safety is no accident."

Words to live by and make it a fun season to remember. 

Oct 22, 2018 05:51 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

Perfect comment coming from a home inspector such as yourself, Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector ... it's all about preparation, maintenance, and safety, isn't it??

Was down your way last week ... the stores are already in holiday mode!


Oct 24, 2018 11:47 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Great tips for holiday safety, Gene!

Congratulations on the well deserved feature!

Oct 22, 2018 08:33 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

Thanks so much, Sharon Tara ... I see you're in another holiday mode yourself!!  Celebrate, stay safe, and enjoy ...


Oct 24, 2018 11:48 AM
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

These are great safety tips, Gene! But isn't it sad that we even have to think about things like this when shopping for Christmas.

Oct 22, 2018 09:26 PM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

Definitely true, Rose King ... but with a little thought and preparation, the bad guys can't bring us down, right?  Enjoy your holiday preparations and stay safe!


Oct 24, 2018 11:49 AM