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Credit Reports and Scores

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

How to Improve Your Credit Score

By Mark Foster I am often asked how someone can improve his or her credit. Credit can impact many things, including: Employment, down payments, interest rates, utility deposits, and even car insurance. Improving your credit can help you get that job or house you wanted, not to mention possibly saving you thousands of dollars in interest on loans. There’s a lot of information floating around out there and not all …Read More

What Happens If I’m Denied Credit?

By John Ulzheimer “John, I applied for a credit card about 3 weeks ago. Today I received a letter from the credit card company telling me that my request for credit has been denied. The letter also included my credit score, which was a 598. Why did I receive this letter?” What you received was a letter formally referred to as a notice of adverse action. In plain English, that’s a …Read More

Consumer Reporting Agencies Follow Your Moves

By Jason Alderman By now, you’ve probably heard about the Big Three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), which monitor your financial history and issue credit reports and credit scores to potential lenders. But did you know that there are dozens of other specialty consumer reporting agencies that track your history for activities that may not appear on your regular credit reports – things like bounced checks, late utility payments, …Read More

What is a Credit Score Hard Pull?

By Melinda Opperman When your credit report is pulled for any reason, it is counted as an “inquiry”. There are two kinds of inquiries; hard and soft. A hard inquiry is when your credit report is pulled by a financial institution for credit purposes. That is, if someone is considering whether or not to give you a loan, that’s a hard inquiry. Hard inquiries can include mortgage, auto, and credit card applications. …Read More

Ask Stacy:Why Does My Credit Score Change So Much?

By Stacy Johnson If you monitor your credit score you may be like this reader — scratching your head wondering why it changes so much. Here’s this week’s reader question: My Discover card started providing my credit score free each month. What I don’t understand is why it was 814 one month, then 794 the next, and now it is 803. Nothing has changed in my life. I didn’t open up …Read More

Demystifying Credit Scores

By Jason Alderman One of the few positive outcomes of the 2008 financial crisis was that it helped shine a light on the importance of understanding and staying on top of your credit profile. Along with that heightened visibility, however, has come a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding – particularly around the all-important credit score. “The consequences of not maintaining a sound credit score can be very costly,” says …Read More

The Pros and Cons
of Freezing Your Credit Reports

By John Ulzheimer Given the number of recent data breaches the topic of protecting your credit has been all over the place. That’s the silver lining of all of these retailer’s data breaches. The two most commonly referenced methods of protecting your credit is credit monitoring and a credit freeze, more formally known as a security freeze. A security freeze takes your credit report out of circulation, and only allows …Read More