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Credit Reports

Pulling your credit report: What is a Soft vs. a Hard Credit Inquiry?

By Meredith Wood There are lots of different ways to say “credit inquiry”— you might hear “credit pull” or “credit check” or even “credit audit.” Terminology might seem unimportant when there are so many words with identical meanings. However, within all of these terms, there is one very important distinction that, if you mix it up, could end up costing you a lot: the difference between a soft and a …Read More

Ask an Expert: How to Remove an Account From Your Credit Report

Q:  I am having trouble removing an account from my credit report. The account is not mine. Each time I dispute it and the credit bureau removes it; the account reappears about two months later. What can I do to get this off my report forever?   A: Dear reader, It’s easy to understand your frustration when it seems that you are doing all the things that should produce a final …Read More

Understanding the Importance of a Credit Report

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) releases a yearly summary of complaints related to the financial service industry, which includes credit reporting agencies. Based on a tally of all complaints submitted to the CFPB website in 2016, the greatest portion were about credit reporting issues. By the numbers, that comes to more than 43,000, or about 23% of the total 186,000 complaints. While the CFPB doesn’t collect data about how …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

Is a Credit Card a Must for College Students?

By Drew Kessler The CARD Act requires a person less than 21 years of age to either document their ability to repay the debt, or have a co-signer before being granted credit. The new law will also regulate aggressive credit card marketing to college students. In years past, issuers enticed students to apply for cards by making offers of free t-shirts, beach balls, or even chances for an iPod. Some …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