Archive for April, 2012

Credit score killers that cost you money
News from ABC Action News:

It’s one of the most mysterious numbers in our lives:  Our credit score.

We all know that a good score is essential to getting a home or car loan. But how do you improve it? And more importantly, what are the credit score killers that can hurt you?

Credit score confusion

John Puthoff, of West Chester, thought he’d check his credit score before applying for a loan to buy a new home in Butler County.

“I am getting ready to buy a house, selling mine, and wanted to see where my score was at,” Puthoff said.

But he was stunned. First, because the three credit bureaus all charge a fee, and second because they all have different scores.

“I got a score from on bureau which was higher than the 850 which is the max, so I ended up confused.”

Other consumers we spoke at the Walmart on Cincinnati Dayton Road in West Chester agreed. Figuring out the” hows” and “whys” of your score is confusing.  And figuring out why yours just dropped 50 points can be almost impossible. 

The one certain thing is that a bad score will cost you money next time you need a loan.

One woman said “it was easy to find it. As far as finding out why my score is what it is, that was difficult.” Another man told us “I think they should make it easier to look up without difficulty.”
What the numbers mean

V…………… continues on ABC Action News

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Can I qualify? Tips from insiders on catching errors in your credit report and …
News from CultureMap Austin:

To state the obvious, your credit score has a big impact on your ability to qualify for a mortgage, and your score depends on what’s on your credit report.

For that reason, it’s important that you review your credit report regularly.

While a recent study reported the incidence of significant errors on reports is fairly small, our experience contradicts those results, and an error could prevent you from qualifying.

It’s likely the study only identified items creditors were willing to correct. I find many reports have negative items creditors are just too pigheaded to correct.

Maybe the hospital and your insurance company are arguing about coverage for a procedure, and the hospital reported the bill to a collection company. Maybe you returned your cable box, but the cable company didn’t note it on your account. Maybe your landlord said he was going to let you break your lease, then reneged after you left. The study didn’t address these types of errors, and to find them, we need to look at credit repair.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (…………… continues on CultureMap Austin

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The Mark of the Beast Revealed: The Real Meaning of Your Credit Score

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Honing traits that lead to success
News from

Ellena Day’s poor credit score was getting in her way, most recently blocking a home rental for herself and her two young daughters. Her big problem was a credit card she intended to use only for emergencies but wound up taking for a test drive at — among other places — Toys-R-Us.

“My 13-year old said, ‘Mommy we’re rich now,’ ” says Day, of her detrimental shopping spree. “It made me feel good because I was putting a smile on her face. If I would have had willpower, I would never have done it.”

Science would back her up, with new research saying that inner strength, willpower and patience might be the key to success in all areas in life — most notably the bill-paying choices that directly affect our credit scores. Here in Miami, it seems, we’re an impatient bunch, with a risk of defaulting to creditors that’s jumped some 32 percent since 2007, a time when the nation’s risk rose just 10 percent, according to the credit-rating agency, TransUnion Corp.

A likelihood of skipping bill payments is guaranteed to cost us money. Once it’s captured on our credit scores, we’ll pay higher prices for mortgage loans and lose employment opportunities (prospective bosses check these scores, you know.) So rather than vowing to improve our credit ratings by making tired resolutions of spending less and saving more, new research suggests we look…………… continues on

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Getting credit utilization under control will make you more appealing to lenders

Getting credit utilization under control will make you more appealing to lenders
News from Chicago Tribune:

Q: I’ve racked up $ 9,000 in debt on a $ 10,000 line of credit, but I can pay it off at any time.

I’m planning on moving this year and will need to finance my house purchase. I’m thinking that if I pay off the debt, the credit card company will lower my line of credit and I’ll take a big hit to my credit score. Should I contact the credit card company, or would contacting them raise a red flag and cause them to reduce my line of credit anyway.

  • Ilyce Glink & Samuel Tamkin

Should I strategically start to pay down the debt significantly as I’m looking for financing? When would the payoff be reflected…………… continues on Chicago Tribune

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Credit Score Tips for New US Residents
News from Fox Business:

Dear Opening Credits,

I came to United States from Bermuda in May 2011, and was able to obtain a credit card with HSBC with a $ 10,000 limit as they gave me the benefit of my good credit history with HSBC Bermuda. When I see my credit report at Credit Karma, I see that though my score is 731, I am penalized for average age of my credit lines and numbers/type of credit accounts. If I open new credit accounts, it will improve my utilization ratio and number of credit lines available. However, it would decrease my average history and increase the number of hard inquiries. I do not need to borrow now, but would need a good credit score in a few years to finance a house. Keeping this in perspective, should I start applying for new credit/charge cards? 

– John 

Dear John,

Most American adults would be wise to make the effort to develop and maintain attractive credit scores, but I fear that you’re overcomplicating the matter. The reason you might be is understandable. As a relative newcomer, you’re dealing with a different credit reporting and scoring system than you’re accustomed to and naturally want to do all the right things.

Before I go into whether you should add another card to your wallet, take a moment to be happy that you’re doing remarkably well with the one that you already have. Not only did your…………… continues on Fox Business

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Simple Credit Management Tips
News from Sacramento Bee:

/PRNewswire/ — At some point, most everyone will need to borrow money, whether it’s for school, a car, a home, a business, or to meet daily expenses during a personal financial downturn. Of course, how that money is borrowed and how it is paid back can make a big difference in the total cost and a person’s overall financial standing.

“Knowing how, when, and how much to borrow can be difficult to determine,” said Kara Kaiser, Regional President, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. “But a little research and planning can go a long way to ensuring responsible borrowing and personal financial health.”

Kaiser offers some advice on responsible borrowing and how to make sense of the options available.

  • Know your credit score. This number is vital, and will often determine whether you can borrow money, how large a loan you can secure, and what interest rate you’ll pay. Creditors will look at this score to gauge your ability to pay back a loan. It’s made available via three main agencies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Credit reports from these agencies should be checked regularly to ensure accuracy.
  • Manage your credit score. There are many factors that play into a credit score, including your credit history, outstanding debts and your total number o…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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Your Credit Score, Your Money & What’s at Stake (Updated Edition): How to Improve the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future
“A great credit score can help you finish rich! Liz Pulliam Weston gives solid, easy-to-understand advice about how to improve …
BestCredit: How to Win the Credit Game (2nd ed.)
Dana Neal knows first hand the consequences of bad credit – how a financial setback can leave you unable to buy a house or car, re…

Check Depot Creates New Content About the Benefits of Payday Loans
News from Midland Daily News:

Article Strives to Inform and Educate Potential Borrowers

(PRWEB) April 26, 2012

Check Depot has introduced onto its website a new educational article set on informing readers of all the advantages of getting an online cash advance. These days, many people find themselves in need of some fast cash now and then to deal with financial emergencies or just to get by while waiting for their next paycheck, and the company has launched its new material keeping this in mind. The online resource, which is entitled “Top 5 Benefits of a No Faxing Payday Loan,” is just one of a host of free readable materials about cash advances and the payday lending process that are able to be accessed from the homepage of the Check Depot site.

“The team at Check Depot just wants to ensure that people know what they stand to gain when they take out payday loans,” says Check Depot spokesperson John Henry. “We are happy to have the chance to reach so many people with accurate information about legitimate opportunities to get fast cash. Anyone interested in availing themselves of quick financial assistance should examine our informative articles.”

The main benefit mentioned in the latest Check Depot article is that no faxing payday loans are extremely fas…………… continues on Midland Daily News

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It’s the right time to buy a house
News from MSN Money:

This post come from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.

I’ve wanted to buy my first home for a while, and when my landlord told me that my rent was going up to $ 900 a month, I got serious about it.

So I researched the estimated value of the house I rent now ($ 160,000) on my local property appraiser website. Then I plugged the number into a mortgage calculator. If I owned this house, my total monthly payment would be $ 817. In other words, I could pay my mortgage, property taxes, and homeowners insurance for $ 83 less than what I pay in rent each month.

I’m not alone in thinking it’s time to buy.  In the video below, Stacy Johnson talks to a real-estate professor who says if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, now’s the time to get in the game. Then read on for a checklist…………… continues on MSN Money

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Your Credit Score, Your Money & What’s at Stake: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future, Updated Edition

In the midst of the 2008 widening financial crisis, your credit score is becoming more critical to your financial life than it’s ever been. That’s because lenders are suddenly making it tougher to get credit than ever before and even tougher to get the rates and terms you deserve. Now, MSNBC/L.A. Times personal finance journalist Liz Pulliam Weston has thoroughly updated her best-selling book on credit scores to cover all you need to know to maximize your score right now and save money in the process. This fully updated edition reveals the tough new realities of borrowing and credit scoring in post-crash America and shows why those realities aren’t going to change any time soon. Weston rips away the mystery surrounding the industry’s massive FICO 08 credit scoring overhaul, and tells you exactly how to use the new system to maximize your score. You’ll find up-to-the-minute guidance on: fighting back against lenders who want to lower your limits or raise your rates…strategizing about the number of cards and the outstanding balances you should have now…bouncing back from bad credit and bankruptcy…choosing the right credit “solutions” and avoiding options that will only make things worse. Simply put, Your Credit Score, Revised and Updated Edition, offers a complete, up-to-the-minute action plan that you can’t afford to be without.
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Credit score tips for new US citizens
News from

By Erica Sandberg

Opening Credits

Erica Sandberg is a prominent personal finance authority and author of “Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families.” She writes “Opening Credits,” a weekly reader Q&A column about issues for people who are new to credit, for

Ask a question.

‘Opening Credits’ stories

Dear Opening Credits,
I came to United States from Bermuda in May 2011, and was able to obtain a credit card with HSBC with a $ 10,000 limit as they gave me the benefit of my good credit…………… continues on

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3 reasons not to co-sign a loan
News from MSN Money:

This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.

A few years ago, a friend told me he didn’t have the credit to get a car loan. Would I co-sign for him? I almost did it, but my father stopped me with some wise advice: “Don’t gamble with your credit score for someone else’s benefit.”

So I didn’t co-sign, but my friend found someone else to do it. Nine months later, he stopped making payments, the lender repossessed the car, and the co-signer’s credit was ruined. I narrowly escaped financial disaster.

That’s my story, but co-signing a car, or any loan, is rarely a good idea for anyone. Stacy Johnson explains why in the video below. Then read on for more reasons why you shouldn’t co-sign and tips if you do it anyway. 

Here’s a recap of why you should be wary of co-signing. And keep in mind that we’re talking car loans in this post, but the advice applies…………… continues on MSN Money

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Millennials struggle with financial literacy
News from USA TODAY:

The cost of financial illiteracy

Test your financial knowledge with sample questions from the National Financial Capability Challenge, a 40-question exam given to high school students each year since it was implemented in 2010 by the Department of Treasury and Department of Education.

Department of Treasury, Department of Education

Paralyzed. That’s how Paige Worthy feels when she thinks about budgeting her money.

  • By Brett T. Roseman, for USA TODAY

    Paige Worthy uses her iPad to check a recipe while shopping on March 3 at Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen in Chicago.

By Brett T. Roseman, for USA TODAY

Paige Worthy uses her iPad to check a recipe while shopping on March 3 at Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen in Chicago.

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“I freeze. I have no idea where to even start with this,…………… continues on USA TODAY

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Should Employers Use Credit Scores to Hire Employees?
News from Fox Business:

Oh, the dreaded credit score.

These three numbers play an integral role in our personal and financial lives. It’s not enough that we have to keep up with three different versions that never seem to quite agree, but nowadays we must also be ready to defend our scores during a job interview.   

The use of credit scores in applicant screening is fairly common practice in this country. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of employers check applicants’ credit scores for at least some of their job candidates as part of their hiring process. Naturally, this begs the question, what do credit scores really tell us?

Not what we may think, according Daniel Whitman, assistant professor at the Rucks Department of Management, Louisiana State University. In a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Whitman and his coauthors uncovered some interesting relationships between credit score, personality and performance.   

Being too agreeable will get you in trouble. One of the most interesting findings of the study is that an individual’s level of agreeableness correlates with their credit score. The study finds that the more disagreeable a person is, the higher the credit score. That’s right, those unpleasant contrarians among us have an edge when it comes to securing high credit scores. continues on Fox Business

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How To Get a Free Credit Check
News from Powys County Times:

In this time of economic turmoil and struggle, buyers will find that their credit score is important now more than ever. Experian’s new service CreditExpert, which even tracks a tenant’s rent history, will help consumers monitor and protect their credit profile. This new technology will help any buyer, and can increase the odds of qualifying for financing by keeping credit clean. And now, you can use this service to check credit free of charge.

A credit rating is a score which is based on your payment history of past debts and obligations, so that lenders can loan smartly. Your credit can make or break your chances of becoming eligible for most services and even renting or purchasing a place to live. Your credit score suffers when you cannot pay your debt, rent, mortgage, or owe any money which cannot be repaid.
When you use Credit Expert, your credit report status is updated regularly. This kind of monitoring helps you to overcome potential obstacles before it affects your credit. You will also be informed if your name is being used and associated with any form of fraudulent activity. If you’ve had problems with your credit before, you will also get notified when your credit has recovered.

CreditExpert has a free 30 day trial which includes: credit…………… continues on Powys County Times

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Tips for gaining a good email reputation
News from iMedia Connection:

I recently rediscovered an inspirational quote a friend send me a few months back, and as I read it again, I began to think about how much it related to everything we do. While the great scholar who authored it was not talking about email, everything he says is completely true to the email eco-system.

“Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of — for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”– Socrates

Get connected. Want to stay on top of the latest trends that are driving business for today’s digital agencies? Attend the iMedia Agency Summit, May 20-23. Request your invitation today.

While the topic of reputation is a fairly popular one among email marketers, I think it would serve us all to really think about what it means for our programs. To put things in perspective, think back to when you were in high school. What kind of reputation did you have? Were you a star football player that all the girls wanted to date, were you a member of the band who made friends ea…………… continues on iMedia Connection

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