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Tag Archives: Credit Score

Ask an Expert: Will closing a credit card improve my score?

Dear reader, While closing a credit card may seem like a good way to improve your score, it could actually have the opposite effect. When you look at the factors that influence your credit score, the most important ones are the payment history (which accounts for 35% of your score) and the credit utilization ratio (30%), followed by the length of your credit history (15%), and your credit mix and …Read More

Ask An Expert: What steps should I take to prepare as a first-time homebuyer?

Q. What steps should I take to prepare as a first-time homebuyer? Dear reader: The prospect of becoming a home owner is very exciting and it’s the beginning of a long-term financial commitment, probably one of your biggest. Many first-time homebuyers find the process a lot trickier than expected, so it’s wise to be prepared to ensure you will have a successful experience. Here are some tips to help you …Read More

How to Dispute a Billing Error

By Jesse Campbell It’s the end of another billing cycle for your credit card. You get your latest statement in the mail (or via email if you prefer the paper-free approach). As you do every month, you take out the statement and carefully examine its contents. And you see something that’s not quite right. There’s a charge on there that you don’t recall. You review your receipts. You wrack your brain. …Read More

Beware of These Financial Tricks or Treats

By Drew Kessler Halloween tricks or treats come along only once a year, but the consequences of financial decisions usually last far past the next spooky holiday. Options that seem good on the surface, if not handled properly, can have long-lasting negative consequences.To understand how a seemingly good financial move can work against you, the NFCC encourages consumers to review the following to see if their actions are resulting in …Read More

Tips for Your Credit Smart Team

By Drew Kessler What could be scarier than your teen driving for the first time? A teenager with a credit card! As vulnerable teens increasingly obtain credit cards without really knowing how to responsibly use them, the NFCC recommends parents take action now to show teens the value of a good credit history and smart credit tips. Consider starting your teen off with a credit card tied to your account. Not …Read More

Your Credit Score: Updates You Should Know

By Jason Alderman With a new version of the leading FICO credit score working its way through the lending industry, borrowers who have wrestled with medical debt and others who have only a limited credit history might find their scores have improved when they apply for future credit cards or auto loans. FICO Score 9 was rolled out last fall by the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and …Read More

5 Reasons to Check Your Credit Report Today

By Lindsay Konsko Between paying bills, monitoring investments, and watching over the monthly budget it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by money-related responsibilities. This leads many of us to push off until tomorrow certain financial tasks we should be doing today. For example, a lot of folks don’t feel any urgency to check their credit reports. But there are some situations where it just can’t wait. Here are five signs you should …Read More

Majority in Survey Ignore Credit Reports, Scores

By Cliff Goldstein If you haven’t checked your credit reports or credit scores in the past 12 months, you’re in the same boat as most people, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s 2015 Financial Literacy Survey, sponsored by NerdWallet. In the study, which included more than 2,000 U.S. adults, two-thirds of respondents said they hadn’t ordered copies of their credit reports in the past 12 months. That includes 69% of women …Read More

Dealing With Negative Credit Report Information

By Lauralynn  Schueckler Federal law specifies how long negative information may remain on your credit report. To prevent you from being penalized for past credit mistakes forever, the Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates that negative information, so it can only be reported for seven, ten, or fifteen years at the most. This includes bankruptcies, late payments, accounts that a creditor turned over to a collection agency, tax liens, and judgments …Read More

Americans Not Paying Bills on Time — and Why That’s Bad

By Erin El Issa Paying your bills on time can save you money. You’ll avoid late payment fees and penalty interest rates, and also maintain or build good credit, which can help you get approved for favorable loan terms. Yet, many Americans — especially those in their 20s and early 30s — struggle to get their bills paid on time, according to a recent study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Here’s …Read More