Five Tips for Dealing With a Declined Credit Card
News from Fox Business:

Credit cards can cut you off for a variety of reasons. Here’s what to do in response.

1Your card was declined, but why?

What are five words you never want to hear from a waiter?

“Your credit card was declined.”

It happens all the time for a variety of reasons. You may be over your credit limit. Your credit score may have dropped, or the credit card company may suspect that the card is being used fraudulently.

And it gets worse from there. That sliver of plastic in your wallet may now be worthless — at least temporarily — yet those card bills just keep coming.

But, you have rights. A slew of consumer protections, including the 4-year-old Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, require issuers to treat you with respect, even if you’re not their favorite customer anymore.

Here are five things to consider if your credit card has been declined.

2The issuer can’t demand immediate payment

Your charging privileges may be gone. But you still have time to pay off your balance.

Federal law gives the card issuer a couple of options. It can…………… continues on Fox Business

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10 Facts You Might Not Know About Your Credit Score
News from Benzinga:

It’s probably the most important number in your financial life. However, most people don’t know theirs.

The number is your FICO score, also known as your credit score. Developed by Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE: FICO), the number is based on points assigned to each of five categories: credit history, payment history, accounts owed, types of credit used and new credit.

The score ranges from 300 to 900 with most people falling between 500 and 700. The higher the score, the better.

Here are 10 things you probably did not know about the number:

  1. When you pay a credit bureau or other company for your score, you may not be getting your FICO score. You may get an “educational score,” one based on your credit activity but not the one lenders see. You can purchase your FICO score on
  2. Each of the three major reporting agencies, continues on Benzinga

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Paying off loans may not improve credit scores
News from MSN Money:

This post comes from Deanna Templeton at partner site

With credit playing such a huge factor in your financial future, it’s no wonder we look for ways to maximize our credit scores. One common strategy for building your credit scores is to pay off credit card debt. It can give your credit scores a nice boost, especially if you’re carrying a large balance.

It may seem logical, then, to assume that the same strategy must apply to other types of accounts — like a car or home loan, for example. And if you follow this theory, paying a loan off early might sound like a great strategy for building your credit scores.

Unfortunately, you may be making yourself less creditworthy, according to scoring models.

When it comes to credit scores, there’s a big difference between revolving accounts (credit cards) and installment loan accounts (i.e., mortgage, student loan). Paying an installment loan off early won’t earn you any additional credit score points, and keeping them open for the life of the loan…………… continues on MSN Money

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Northern California cities top the chart with highest credit scores
News from

San Jose & San Francisco rank highest

Two metropolitan areas in northern California ranked highest in a recent study conducted by TransUnion that revealed metropolitan areas with the highest and lowest credit scores.

According to TransUnion, the metropolitan area consisting of San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara ranked highest of any metropolitan area in the U.S. with an average credit score of 700.

The metropolitan area consisting of San Francisco, Oakland and Fremont took second place in the ranking of highest credit score with an average score of 696. Third place went to Madison, WI with an average credit score of 694.

“Just as an individual’s credit score is a measure of the risk that consumer presents to a lender, our study calculated the credit score that would correspond to the risk presented on average by residents of various metropolitan areas,” Heather Battison, senior director at TransUnion, said in a statement.

Memphis ranks lowest

The unfortunate distinction of having the worst collec…………… continues on

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One in 5 Credit Reports Flawed
News from

Most people don’t check their credit scores, but millions of Americans’ credit reports contain mistakes that can affect their ability to qualify for a loan or make credit more expensive to obtain, according to a new government study released Monday.

One in five consumers, or about 40 million people, have an error on at least one of their credit reports from the three main credit rating bureaus. Errors could cause them to pay more for financial products such as auto loans, mortgages or insurance, according to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission study that examined nearly 3,000 credit reports.

One in five participants in the FTC’s study disputed an error and had it corrected, according to results. The FTC study, commissioned by Congress, also found one in 10 participants had errors in their credit history that when corrected, changed their credit scores.

The credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion maintain information on about 200 million consumers, according to the federal agency.

The findings show consumers should regularly check their credit reports, FTC officials said.

Federal law entitles people to one free credit report from each of the three major agencies every 12 months. The federal agency suggests using to get a free report.

Credit reports are used to make decisions on credit worthiness f…………… continues on

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Check Your Credit Report: You Might Be Getting Screwed
News from Gothamist:

You don’t want to end up with a “David Cronenberg score” do you? (Shutterstock / iQoncept)

The Federal Trade Commission recently studied [PDF] the credit reports of 1,001 people and found that 21% of them contained “confirmed material error[s].” More than 5% of those errors negatively affected their credit score—that magic, secret number that determines how good of a debt specimen you are. Most of those who had errors had them corrected by Credit Reporting Agencies, which is good news, if you can actually get in touch with the people who arbitrarily determine whether you can rent a home, get a job, or for some sad souls, find love.

On Sunday,

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Why You Should Check Your Credit Reports Each Year
News from Kiplinger Personal Finance:

Luckily, I’ve never found a major error on my credit reports over the years. However, once I did discover that my deceased father was listed as my husband on one of my reports — a little creepy but not something that would drag down my credit score.

SEE ALSO: How to Fix an Error on Your Credit Report

As I said, I’ve been lucky. That’s because a study by the Federal Trade Commission released on February 11 found that one in four consumers had errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores and, in turn, lead them to pay more for loans. “These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers,” said Howard Shelanski, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics, in a released statement. The results, he said, should make it clear that consumers should check their credit reports regularly. “If they don’t, they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at risk.”



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Call Kurtis: A Mistake Hurt My Credit Score
News from CBS Local:

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — An Elk Grove homeowner says he’s always paid his mortgage on time, but when he found a late payment reported on his credit report and the bank wouldn’t remove it, it was time to Call Kurtis.

Wells Fargo bought Wachovia, the company he had his mortgage through. Now Walley Tran says they made a mistake affecting his credit score.

There’s always something that needs to be done at Tran’s home.

“A lot of things to fix, being a homeowner,” he said.

And he’s kept a record of every mortgage payment he’s ever made.

So when he found a late payment from almost five years ago on his credit report, he sent Wells Fargo proof he wasn’t late — a receipt showing he paid $ 10,000 to Wachovia, which used to own his loan on time, which covered the monthly payment and more.

But what he got back was a letter saying “we are unable to change the information reported to the credit bureaus.”

“They sent me a letter saying it’s still my fault,” he said. “I don’t know why.”

The BBB’s Gary Almond said Tran should dispute the mistake with the three credit bureaus who have to investigate mistakes.

“If they can’t provide information within 90 days, they have to remove it or amend it.”

Before going to the credit bureaus, CBS13 decided we’d reach out to Wells Fargo on his behalf.

Tran said Wells Fargo then…………… continues on CBS Local

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Soon, there will be scores to check credit card frauds
News from Economic Times:

MUMBAI: Soon, there will be scores on the lines of credit scores to check credit card frauds. In view of the recent instances of credit card frauds, the National Payments Corporation, backed by the Reserve Bank of India, is prodding banks to sign up for a software that would map customer spending and throw up alerts.

The software would generate scores based on the historical spending habits of a customer, such as the amount, the variety of outlets and the frequency, among others, said a person part of implementing the process.

A pilot study will be launched i…………… continues on Economic Times

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New Year, New Credit Report Check
News from Fox Business:

We are more than a month into the New Year, which means you have another opportunity to review your credit reports for free. By law, each year U.S. consumers are allowed to download one free copy of each of their credit reports so they can review the reports for errors. This helps you avoid mistakes and discrepancies that damage credit scores.

A recent study found one in four credit reports contain some type of mistake so annual score check’s are vital to keep your financial health intact. 

You can download your free credit reports by going to and following the instructions. You will receive copies of all three credit reports – one from each of the three main credit bureaus. Each credit bureau maintains their own version of your credit history and has their own formula for calculating scores. Since the bureaus don’t communicate with each other, it’s up to you to make sure all three reports are correct.

Once you have copies of the reports, start looking for mistakes: duplicate accounts, incorrect accounts and/or statuses and even outdated information that should be removed after the seven to 10 year statute of limitations. If you identify a mistake, look for any documentation to prove that inaccuracy. Once you have all of the information gathered, you can make your disputes.

By law, you can make disputes directly with t…………… continues on Fox Business

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Check With Your Credit Union First For the Best Auto Loan Deal
News from Credit Unions Online:

Throughout the financial crisis the majority of Americans hung onto their car, concerned that purchasing a new vehicle would add another payment to their monthly expenses.

However now with rates lower than ever and the economy showing signs of life, 2013 is being considered to be the ideal year to spring for a new automobile.

Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at tells USA Today that, “We’ve never seen rates this low” coming from both banks and credit unions. McBride adds that even though low rates have lingered for a considerable amount of time, he doesn’t believe they’ve bottomed out yet.

As of mid-January, reports that the average new auto loan rate was 4.15% for a five-year new car loan and 4.77% for a four-year used car loan.

But Where Do Low to Moderate Income Borrowers Go?

Although the deals and rates are available, not all borrowers are in the same position to obtain a loan. Hank Hubbard, president and CEO of Communicating Arts Credit Union ($ 34 million, Detr…………… continues on Credit Unions Online

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How To Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points
News from

If you are preparing to apply for a new credit card or a loan, you’ll want to achieve the highest credit score possible. While FICO cannot provide an exact correlation between individual actions and specific points earned because there are so many variables in each credit score, there are steps you can take that will tend to raise your score. Some of these steps will have an almost immediate impact, while others may raise your credit score by as much as 100 points over time.

  1. Check your credit report. Get a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year at Start by looking for errors that lower your credit score and take action to correct them. Next, review the negative factors in the report and fo…………… continues on

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