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Credit Reports

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

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

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

For A Better Credit Score
Should You Carry A Balance On Your Cards?

By Mark Foster A question our financial educators are often asked by people is if it is better for their credit score to carry a balance on their credit cards every month instead of having a zero balance. Actually, that is one of the most popular credit myths – that it’s better to carry a balance. The truth is that the FICO credit scoring company likes that you have credit …Read More

Raise Your Credit Score in 2014
in 5 Steps

By Karen Carlson Poor credit could be costing you thousands of dollars a year. If you’ve suffered from a ‘so-so’ or even poor credit score for most of your life, make a commitment to yourself to raise your credit score in 2014. 1. Face your credit history and score: Like many things in life, the first step is to admit you have a problem and face it head-on. Go to …Read More