Frequently Asked Questions
Short answer – Yes!
Your FinLocker has multiple security measures designed to help protect your sensitive data. When you create or sign in to your account you will be asked to verify ownership of the account through multi-factor authentication (MFA). Multi-factor authentication asks the user of an account information that only you should know to help prove ownership of the account. Typical MFA scenarios include:
- Swiping a card and entering a PIN
- Logging into a website and being requested to enter an additional one-time password that the website’s authentication server sends to the requester’s phone or email address.
All personal identifiable information is encrypted over the internet and in the locker. We use TLS (Transport Layer Security) and AES (Advanced Encryption Standards) encryption which is one of the highest strength encryption technologies available. FinLocker uses the strongest version of AES known as AES-256.
All data is processed and stored in Microsoft Azure U.S. data centers (the cloud). Microsoft takes a layered approach to physical security, to reduce the risk of unauthorized users gaining physical access to data and the datacenter resources.
FinLocker is subject to third party audits such as the SOC 2 Type 2 audit which tests the effectiveness of a service providers controls. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has developed the Service Organization Controls (SOC) framework, a framework for controls that safeguard the confidentiality and privacy of information stored and processed by a service provider. FinLocker also uses third parties to conduct vulnerability assessments.
Absolutley not. Consumer financial account credentials are not stored inside of FinLocker.
No way! No personal identifiable data is shared without your consent.
It does not! When we obtain your credit score, it’s called a “soft credit pull” so your score is not negatively impacted. This is different from a “hard credit pull.” Equifax provides the following explanation regarding a hard inquiry: “When a lender or company requests to review your credit report as part of the loan application process, that request is recorded on your credit report as a hard inquiry, and it usually will impact your credit score. This is different from a “soft” inquiry, which can result when you check your own credit or when a promotional credit card offer is generated. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score.”
We partner with Equifax to obtain your credit report which contains your outstanding balance, payment, and account type and to get your credit score. However, sometimes your information isn’t reported correctly, so it’s important to review and make sure there is not inaccurate information. If you believe there is inaccurate information on your credit report you may contact Equifax at: https://www.equifax.com/personal/disputes/
If you no longer wish to have your score(s) and credit report(s) in your locker you may opt out through the settings section of your profile. If you chose to add your score and credit report back into your locker, you may re-enable access from your locker, but that will require re-authorizing that access, and you will no longer have any of the historical data that was previously in your locker available.
In rare cases, our credit provider, Equifax, may not have your information on file. It’s possible you may not have enough credit history or had a recent change to something like your surname.
Your soft credit score is updated monthly on the anniversary of your credit enrollment.
We provide the VantageScore credit score. VantageScore was created by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Go here to learn more about VantageScore
From your dashboard, you can click “Add Accounts” in the Accounts widget to being the process or if you open the Accounts widget you will hit the “+” to begin. Once in the enrollment screen, simply search for the bank or financial institution you would like to enroll, once found, enter your username and password as you would when logging into your account online. That’s it, you’re enrolled!
If you are having issues finding your financial institution or experiencing any other issue during your asset enrollment, please either click the “?” inside account setup and then click “Submit a Support Ticket”. You can also email Support@FinLocker.com and our support team will be in touch.
In the accounts section, you will notice the “last updated” date is displayed on each financial institution. If your account is not current through today, you can click on the “” button (refresh) to manually reach out and pull in the newest transactions from your accounts.
If you are missing specific transactions, here are a few tips that may help:
- Refresh the account by clicking the refresh icon next to the account.
- Is the missing transaction pending or cleared? Pending transactions may be visible on the bank’s website, but they will not appear until they have cleared or posted.
- Do any of the missing transactions share all the same details (same merchant, amount and date and time), and only one is being posted? If that’s the case, we do only post one transaction (to avoid duplicate transactions).
Still missing transactions? Please contact us via email and let us know as much info as possible so we can get it straightened out for you as quickly as possible. Include the following details:
- Is this only happening with a specific type of transaction (like all checking account transaction), with specific merchants, with specific amounts or specific categories?
- What bank and account type are you having the issue with?
- Is there are specific date range for the missing transactions?
Please don’t delete your account you enrolled as all historical data will be lost.
Yes and Yes! To Hide an account means that your account is still linked and active, we just wont show it in your information. Don’t worry we will keep your information up to date while it is hidden.
- Click the profile icon in the top menu
- Click My Profile
- Use the eye-shaped icon next to each account to hide or un-hide it
To Delete an account means that FinLocker removes your account from your locker which means we will no longer retrieve information from that Financial Institution nor have access to that financial institution, we will delete all data related to that account from your locker (we will keep archival copies according to our data retention policies for legal and compliance purposes).
We use a leading provider of real estate valuations with more than 20 years experience. The service is called an automated valuation model, or AVM. The solution is used by top mortgage lenders and has billions of records in its database.
FinLocker provides both in-app push notifications and Email notifications! To make sure you are receiving the most up to date information about your finances, make sure you notifications are turned on.
- Go to Profile menu
- Click My Profile
- Select Settings
- Toggle all notifications to on (to the right).
While there are many factors that come into play when looking at loan readiness, the Locker has you covered with our Readiness Section! In order to view the Readiness section you must have first enrolled your Assets, enrolled Credit and completed the Plans section of your profile. Once this is complete, the Readiness section will cover items such as your Credit, Debt to income ratios, Down Payment and many others. Each section will display the guidelines (as dictated by Fannie Mae), where you stand today, your status compaered to the guideline and actions that can be taken to help you reach those guidelines.
Yes! FinLocker has both an IOS (Apple) app and an Android app. Head over to your app store and search for “FinLocker” to your financial super app in your pocket.
In the righthand corner of your locker is a wrench symbol. Simply click on the wrench and you can move the various modules on your dashboard (accounts, blogs, goals, etc.) to where you want them.
Consumers are in complete control of FinLocker providing consent on what information to share with lenders, landlords, student loan providers, mortgage companies, auto dealers, etc. FinLocker can be used to store information such as insurance policies, pictures of valuables, appraisal information, tax returns, tax documents for filing in the future, auto title, trusts, etc.
Customer User Guide
Many of the largest institutions have lots of different login portals, divisions, and subsidiaries. Often, these will all appear when searching for the institution, as you can see that there are multiple results when searching for “Bank of America”.
This may seem confusing, but in most cases a quick glance shows that most of these are for logins to Bank of America investment, retirement, credit card, and loan accounts. The correct choice for most users trying to find the login for most Bank of America checking and savings accounts is “Bank of America”.
Then, enter your financial institution credentials (ID and password) for your bank, credit union, brokerage, etc. to import your data electronically – this is your user id and password that you would use to login to online banking . After entering your credentials, you will be asked to “sync” your accounts. You may choose to complete the process by selecting “done” or “add another account”.
This process will be repeated until you have set up all your checking, savings, investment accounts. Depending on how many accounts you have, it could take a few minutes for each account enrollment. The good news is, you only must enroll one time! Once you have accumulated your accounts, hit “Sync Accounts” and the data will be electronically captured and imported into your FinLocker.
Remember: your credentials are never stored, but only used one time to import your data from your financial institution.
Note: Multi factor authentication (MFA) notice. For increased security, your financial institution may ask you to verify your information in more than one way. Multi-Factor Authentication adds a second layer of security to help prevent anyone other than you from accessing your sensitive information online. This is accomplished using two types of authentication to verify your identity when logging into a system.
You may be asked by your financial institution to enter a security code that is sent to your personal email or to your mobile phone. Simply enter the code in the appropriate field when prompted to complete your account enrollment.
We ask a series of 10 questions on the importance to questions like: is it important to prepare for a future loan, use calculators to plan for future financing, goals and budgets, have the lowest down payment, a low payment, pay off the loan as fast as possible, and so on. You don’t have to complete all 10 at one time, or just knock it out.
The accounts and transactions tab gives you a snapshot of your accounts enrolled, along with the details associated with that account such as: deposits, checks, interest earned, credit card activity, mortgage or rent payments, bill payments, interest earned, etc. You can filter transactions by category, date, or account, and even establish subcategories to get more granular to understand where your money is really going.
Keep track of things by including notes, and even take pictures of receipts (business expense reimbursement, or charitable contributions) and including with the transaction.
Where possible, we pull in the interest rate for your credit card, mortgage, auto loan, etc.
Establishing a budget helps create discipline that you don’t spend money you don’t have. Budgeting can help you save, create an emergency fund, help you understand your spending habits, and stay focused on your goals. Click “Create Budget” to setup your budgets.
To set up each budget:
Name the budget,
Select a category,
Designate what account to track, and
Once you have added your income to your profile and have enrolled your financial accounts, the ‘Detailed Budgets’ page will present you with a suggested detailed budget. To access your detailed budgets, click the ‘Detailed Budgets’ tab at the top of the ‘Budgets and Goals’ page.
The ‘Detailed Budgets’ view is powered by your net monthly income. We have provided you a starting point with a ‘Pre-Set Budget %’ for various expenses. Please update and enter your budget amount for the month. Your actual spending (for enrolled accounts) is then tracked and updated daily in the ‘Actual’ column.
Note: By clicking the arrow on the right side of a spending category panel, you can drill down even deeper for each spending category. Once a panel is expanded, you can override the “Planned Amount’ if you choose to do so. Just be sure to click the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the page or your changes will not be applied.
This is a section to setup your financial goals. A new home, a new car, retirement, paying off debt, saving for college or establishing an emergency fund. To start, select Create Goal.
Setup as many as you like by following the procedure below:
Establish the category and write the goal name.
Input your goal amount
What is the target date to accomplish your goal?
Select which accounts will fund the goal
You have the opportunity to obtain a credit score, credit report and have your credit file monitored for changes as part of your personal financial management tool. If you’ve enrolled as part of your initial setup, you are all set, and can already see your score as well as peruse your credit report. If not, follow these steps:
First, give consent to enroll for your personal credit score and credit report. Don’t worry, this credit access is considered a “soft” credit inquiry and has no impact to your credit score.
Second, you will need to compete some additional personal information to access your credit score and report. First name, last name, email, date of birth, social security number, city, state and zip code.
To verify your identity, some challenge questions only you would know are asked to be completed. Upon successful enrollment, you will receive the following confirmation.
From the main dashboard, select details in the credit score section
In the credit section, you will see not only a summary of your credit score, but also the areas that make up the credit score.
Credit score – highlight these two words to see your credit score over the last 12 months.
Additionally, highlight the below will give you a snapshot of each area that makes up the credit score.
Number of active accounts
Length of credit
Inquiries on credit report
Selecting one of the credit files: American Express, BestBuy CBNA, Brooks Brothers CBNA, etc. opens up a detailed snapshot of that credit tradeline. You will be able to see the utilization rate, balance used vs credit limit, minimum payment, original open date, payment history and details such as the type of credit and the delinquency: 30 / 60 / 90 days late.
Credit Alerts (0) – circled above, will take you to any active alert on your credit file
Freeze Credit at Equifax – will take you to the Equifax credit freeze page to freeze/unfreeze your credit file – for free.
Assets: this is money you have in a bank (checking, savings, money market, certificate of deposit), brokerage account such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money in retirement accounts such as IRA, 401k or 403(b) plans. Below is an asset allocation of checking, savings, CD, Mutual Funds and Bonds.
Based on the accounts you enrolled in FinLocker, we provide a breakdown of where your money is based on the total number of dollars in your FinLocker.
Understand your current financial health. Financial Assets – Financial Liabilities = Net worth
- Assets – this is money you have in a bank, brokerage account such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money in retirement accounts such as IRA, 401k or 403(b) plans. Assets also include your home, car, and items in your residence.
- Liabilities – these are items you owe money. These are loans like auto loans, home loan, credit cards, student loans, money borrowed from friends or family, money borrowed from your 401k, etc.
Bank savings account
Investments – Mutual Funds
Total Financial Assets
Bank Credit Card
Total Financial Assets
Total Financial Liabilities
Click the view details and you will see the detailed net worth page. Here you will find the assets and liabilities populated from your accounts enrolled, property enrolled and credit information. For areas not automatically populating the asset or liability section, enter your own values and click save.
We will pull in all the credits (money deposited in your account) associated with your bank account along with what you have spent (debits) or withdrawn. A positive cash flow means that you took in more dollars than you spent. The money you have leftover could be used to pay down debt, save for an important goal, or just save. A negative net cash flow means you have spent more than you have earned.
To help you understand where your money is going, your financial locker aggregates your spending by category: Food and Dining, Travel and Transportation, Utilities, etc. Select the current month, previous month, or year to date.
From your dashboard, you can see a snapshot. Hover over the graph to see the spend amount by category for the current month. Previous month? Year to date information? Click “View Details” for that detail.
Select the current month, previous month, or year to date to organize transactions how you want your results presented. No budget for a category? You will be prompted to create one.
Select Enroll Property button and then input your street, city, state and zip code. You will be asked to confirm the address and then your FinLocker will populate. For non-homeowners, input an address in a community of your choosing where you may like to live or a home for sale address.
Once established, your property section of your FinLocker will have a section for you to upload a picture of the property, your estimated home value based on an experienced national home valuation company, comparable sales nearby, estimated equity based on your property value minus the mortgage balance, and a summary of your outstanding mortgage balance information. See below for a post property enrollment view.
You may start searching for properties for sale from your dashboard. Click search properties. A new screen will popup to allow you to enter an address, city, neighborhood, zip code or MLS number.
To favorite a property, simply click the heart logo of the pictured property.
You can always revisit your favorited properties or saved searches by selecting view details.
You may take a look at key categories that will show your readiness to transact for a home loan. This snapshot captures key categories of credit (delinquency, foreclosure, bankruptcy, and credit score), employment, income, DTI, funds after close and LTV (down payment and projected home value). You may receive suggested action steps as well as learn through videos on credit, down payment, budgeting and cash reserves.
Once you click on the Readiness Tab you can complete the steps to determine your readiness assessment. All three sections need to be green to see the overall readiness page.
The top of the mortgage section will contain various mortgage product scenarios that your lender may share with you. These could be fixed rate mortgages (terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years) or low-down payment, construction to permanent loans or other programs applicable to you.
The Home affordability tab will permit you to create various loan scenarios based on your income, type of loan you choose: Conventional or government, housing expense ratio. FinLocker will import any liability, or debt that you have enrolled.
You can see that the PI (principal and interest) payment, taxes and insurance are included above as well as a potential homeowner association (HOA). To prepare for your purchase or refinance, we also calculate closing costs and down payment (based on the percentage you plan to pay).
For those that have a current mortgage loan, this calculator permits you to conduct “what if” scenarios if you pay additional payments on your mortgage loan. In the example below, we apply an extra $250 in the additional payment field which generates savings in total interest and reduced number of payments remaining due to accelerated payments.
Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC1
A home equity line of credit is a second mortgage which is often used for home improvements, debt consolidation or other major expenses. The rate is typically tied to the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate + a margin. For example, if today’s prime rate is 5% and the margin is 1%, the rate is 5%+1%=6%. The lender may have various programs or offers such as prime + 0%, prime – .5%, or prime + 1%.
Many HELOCs permit interest only periods, which does not require principal payments during the Interest Only period. As such there is no amortization, or principal paydown on the unpaid principal balance.
Currently, the debt consolidation feature is a cash out refinance, meaning the credit card debts to be included in the new refinanced mortgage loan. In the scenario below, we include the credit card to be consolidated with the mortgage loan. The consumer may choose “I’m interested” and share their accounts with their lender who sponsored the FinLocker if they elect to move forward.
Once you are ready to move forward on a lending transaction, you can initiate the sharing process from clicking on one of the promotions to a product you are interested, or from the sharing center (click profile, then share center).
You will confirm some information about who you are sharing your information with, what type of loan, your stated information in your locker and which accounts to share with the lender. You may select all, or specific accounts. It’s your choice. Once you have selected accounts, confirm the accounts to share, and then click continue.
Select what accounts and/or documents you would like to share, validate and then share with your lender.
The upper right section of your locker includes three icons: 1) Contact Lender, 2) Notifications, 3) Profile. Clicking on the human icon brings the profile menu.
General information – name, zip code, email.
Password Reset – to change your password
Credit report – this is the information you entered to obtain your score and report. If you would like to un-enroll, you can do that here.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions are located here
Preferences – answers to your questions on your preferences regarding personal finance and lending are here. Change them at anytime.
Plans– answers to questions about your plans with regards to a home loan, home equity, auto loan, student loans, are here. Change them at any time.
Settings – Here we include information on how you want to be communicated with such as notifications. Turn on/off notifications for goals, budgets, credit, accounts, etc. We also list your accounts enrolled; you have the ability to hide an account so it will not display in your locker or calculations.
You can create support tickets, including any questions that you may have, by clicking with the Support icon on the footer your myFinLocker or by simply sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. FAQs, Chat and additional aids are also provided within the Support center. In addition, specific helpful videos and aids are located major myFinLocker features (e.g., Credit, Account Detail, Mortgage, etc.).