(James Callan)

Poor Credit Reports Start Vicious Economic Cycle; Can It Be Stopped?

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]

(FlyinAce2000)

Can’t Get Approved For A Loan? Blame Your Facebook Friends

Maybe it’s time you finally accept your great-uncle Aloysius’ Facebook friend request — if not out of familial love, perhaps if he happens to be particularly credit-worthy. Because if a new report is to be believed, not only do you have to worry about how that one lost video rental dinged your credit score, but you could miss out on a loan if your social media contacts are deemed to be financially unsavory. [More]

Knowing your accurate FICO score might be sweeter than chocolates.

This Valentine’s Day, Tell Congress You’d Really Love Access To A Free, Reliable Credit Score

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]

5 Myths About Your Credit Score

5 Myths About Your Credit Score

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]

How Long Should Paid-Off Medical Debt Be Part Of Your Credit
Report?

How Long Should Paid-Off Medical Debt Be Part Of Your Credit Report?

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]

Man's Credit Score Damaged By Appendectomy He Never Had

Man's Credit Score Damaged By Appendectomy He Never Had

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]

Ways You Can Screw Up Without Messing Up Your Credit Score

Ways You Can Screw Up Without Messing Up Your Credit Score

Your credit can determine interest rates for loans, as well as whether or not you’ll qualify for credit in the first place. Employers also ask you to let them run credit checks on you to see if you’re reliable. So it’s in your best interests to avoid making mistakes that will ruin your credit rating. [More]

Is A Perfect Credit Score of 850 Even Possible?

Is A Perfect Credit Score of 850 Even Possible?

A perfect credit score of 850 is technically possible, according to FICO spokesperson, Craig Watts but may not be possible for anyone. [More]

FTC Wants Your Input On How To Improve AnnualCreditReport.com

FTC Wants Your Input On How To Improve AnnualCreditReport.com

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.

Michael Jackson Had Bad Credit

Michael Jackson Had Bad Credit

It was apparently the least of his problems, but the late King of Pop had less than stellar credit, says TMZ.

Psht, Bank Of America Doesn't Need Your Consent To Give You A Credit Card

Psht, Bank Of America Doesn't Need Your Consent To Give You A Credit Card

Hector didn’t know whether or not he was going to accept Bank of America‘s offer of a new credit card with a $3,500 limit, so the bank made his decision easy by issuing the card without his permission. When Hector discovered the surprise credit line, he called Bank of America with two requests: explain how they could open a new account without his consent, and keep the account open until he could figure out the new line’s impact on his credit score. Of course, without a peep, Bank of America immediately canceled the new credit card, leaving Hector wondering what might happen to his credit score…

Credit Card Companies Are Warming Up To Reduced Payoff Deals

Credit Card Companies Are Warming Up To Reduced Payoff Deals

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.

Laid Off? You May Be Asked To Pay Off That Corporate Credit Card Anyway

Laid Off? You May Be Asked To Pay Off That Corporate Credit Card Anyway

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.

New York Times: Walking Away From Your Mortgage, Not So Bad After All

New York Times: Walking Away From Your Mortgage, Not So Bad After All

Great news, distressed homeowners! If you aren’t eligible for the President’s homeowner assistance package and can’t negotiate a better deal on your mortgage, the New York Times says that turning in the keys and leaving your home may not be the end of your financial world. The Times mapped out a guide for dealing with the various players controlling your mortgage…

How Credit Bureaus Correct, Or Fail To Correct, Errors On Your Report

How Credit Bureaus Correct, Or Fail To Correct, Errors On Your Report

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.

http://consumerist.com/2009/02/02/looking-for-a-quick-estimate/

Looking for a quick estimate of your credit score? CreditCards.com has a simple questionnaire that will give you an idea where you probably stand. [CreditCards.com]

Can Businesses Really Check My Credit Report Before Offering Me A Job?

Can Businesses Really Check My Credit Report Before Offering Me A Job?

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.

Is It OK To Use Credit Cards For Everything, If You Pay Them Off Every Month?

Is It OK To Use Credit Cards For Everything, If You Pay Them Off Every Month?

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.