For some people, bad credit is a result of being irresponsible. For others, it’s a matter of bad luck and overwhelming circumstance. Alas, the credit reporting agencies don’t make such distinctions, meaning someone whose house went into foreclosure because he lost his job and also had to be hospitalized is treated the same as the person who stopped making mortgage payments because they didn’t feel like it. [More]
While the three major credit bureaus each allow you to access your credit report once a year at no charge through annualcreditreport.com, getting your actual credit score will likely cost you some money. [More]
How one’s credit score is computed is to most people a complete mystery, akin to figuring out a quarterback’s passer rating. Thus, there are numerous myths and half-truths that have attached themselves to credit scores, some of them having at least a partial basis in fact. [More]
Right now, any medical debt that gets sent to a collections agency can remain on your credit report for up to seven years, even after it’s been paid off. This ding on your credit score can be the difference between qualifying for a loan or being denied. That’s why the House Committee on Financial Services is looking at a bill that would erase some paid medical debts from folks’ credit reports. [More]
While going through the process of obtaining a mortgage, a California man found out that his credit score had dropped nearly 100 points because he had been referred to a collections agent for $2,800 owed to a doctor in Texas for an appendectomy. Only problem is, he still has his appendix. [More]
A perfect credit score of 850 is technically possible, according to FICO spokesperson, Craig Watts but may not be possible for anyone. [More]
The problem with annualcreditreport.com—other than its name—is that getting your reports from the site is a little like dealing with GoDaddy: you have to deal with upsells and side-sells at every step. You can indeed get your free credit reports from the site, but you’ll also have to keep turning down other offers from the three participating bureaus. Hell, there are even ads (sorry, “sponsor” links) on the home page, the one place where you’d hope for the least consumer confusion.
It was apparently the least of his problems, but the late King of Pop had less than stellar credit, says TMZ.
If you’ve fallen into a debt pit and can’t make your credit card payments, and now you’re watching them steadily mount with penalties, fees, and steep interest rates, consider negotiating a lower payment. The New York Times reports that while most card companies won’t admit it officially, they know when they’ve got a customer who can’t pay, and they’re much more willing to settle for a lower amount than they were a year ago.
Rob lost his job, but kept the company credit card. Well, not so much the card, but the unpaid balance that went with it. As Rob’s employer stopped cutting him paychecks, it also stopped making payments on the account as well, and the creditor started hounding Rob, who wrote in to syndicated columnist Todd Ossenfort.
SmartMoney’s Anne Kadet looked into the process by which the three major credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax—investigate and correct errors on credit reports. What she found was that the process is “almost entirely automated,” and that “many lenders respond by simply rereporting the erroneous data.” Here’s how it works, and your meager options when something goes wrong.
Reader Brandon wants to know if those freecreditreport.com commercials are being misleading when they tell you that your credit report can affect where you get a job.
Reader Rebekah has a question about credit cards. She and her husband pay off their cards every month, but like to charge most of their expenses because they enjoy the reward points. She’s wondering if this is a good idea and how it affects her credit.