Stop Believing In These Credit Score Myths

Stop Believing In These Credit Score Myths

Budgets Are Sexy sifts through the mysterious black magic that goes into establishing your credit score and reveals 10 myths to note when you’re making financial decisions that may affect the score. [More]

Are Credit Monitoring Sites Really Worth The Money?

Are Credit Monitoring Sites Really Worth The Money?

Now that everyone is so obsessed with their credit reports and FICO scores, credit monitoring services have popped up everywhere. For a modest recurring fee–one that easily adds up to over $100 a year–you can have a company constantly watch your credit report and alert you of any changes in it, so you can always be on top of your creditworthiness. But should you bother? The consumer director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups federation (U.S. PIRG) tells BusinessWeek that credit monitoring is a “protection racket” that turns people into “financial hypochondriacs… who are scared of their own financial shadows.” [More]

62 DFAS Employees To Be Terminated For Bad Credit

62 DFAS Employees To Be Terminated For Bad Credit

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), a military payroll facility in Ohio, has told at least 62 of its employees that they will be terminated for having bad credit, reports WKYC. Troy Marshall, a 17-year veteran at the DFAS and one of the people being fired (incidentally, he’s also the president of a union that expanded jobs at the DFAS five years ago), told WKYC that he handles Social Security numbers and maiden names, but nothing else. “We are people. We are not just numbers. We are not just credit reports… Look at the whole person.” [More]

Go Ahead And Cancel Your Credit Card, The Score Ding Is Minimal

Go Ahead And Cancel Your Credit Card, The Score Ding Is Minimal

New answers pried from the secretive FICO corporation that overlords our credit scores kill a longstanding myth. It turns out that cancelling your credit cards won’t destroy your credit score. [More]

Credit Checks For Jobs On The Rise

Credit Checks For Jobs On The Rise

Some HR departments use credit checks to help determine whether to hire an applicant. The practice has always had critics, since credit histories can have errors that are hard to correct, and since there’s no strong correlation between credit history and job performance. But in this economy the practice may be even less fair, notes MSNBC, even though more organizations are relying on it. [More]

Is That Credit Score FICO Or FAKEO?

Is That Credit Score FICO Or FAKEO?

Donny just bought a bunch of credit scores. But they’re all from different companies and none of them are the same. What gives? [More]

Why People Stop Using Credit Cards

Why People Stop Using Credit Cards

In yesterday’s Money section, USA Today talked to some consumers who refuse to carry credit cards, and looked at the hidden costs. One 24-year-old says they make her uncomfortable; a guy working at a gas station to pay for college says he doesn’t want to get accosted by endless junk mailings once his name enters the pool of potential customers. Then there’s the bankruptcy lawyer who canceled his cards on principle 8 years ago, after seeing how lenders behaved when their customers suffered financial setbacks: [More]

Experts Answer Credit Questions From Average Americans

Experts Answer Credit Questions From Average Americans

Henry Unger at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has put together a multi-part series of questions and answers from readers. The detailed answers are provided by Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta, and the questions–which I’ve listed below–cover a broad spectrum of personal finance issues, including credit cards, mortgages, and credit reports. [More]

What You Should Know About Store Credit Cards

What You Should Know About Store Credit Cards

It might be tempting to open a store-only credit card, especially when you’re about to make a big purchase and retailers offer big discounts to open an account on the spot. The problem is, that card you may only use a few times per year might hurt your credit score enough to outweigh a 15% discount on a new suit. These problems will persist even if retailers are forced to verify customers’ income before issuing them cards. [More]

Ooh Shiny: Sears Card Gives Free Credit Scores

Ooh Shiny: Sears Card Gives Free Credit Scores

How would you like a free credit score with not very much baloney? The Sears Card from Citibank gives you just that, with no annual fees. [More]

Should Retailers Verify Customer Income Before Extending Credit?

Should Retailers Verify Customer Income Before Extending Credit?

One provision of the CARD Act requires credit issuers to verify income and debt load before issuing new credit, and the Federal Reserve is now looking at how to enforce that. That’s scaring retailers, who have come to enjoy the benefits of pushing “instant credit” offers at the register. [More]

Quantifying Credit Score Killers

Quantifying Credit Score Killers

Whenever “credit score experts” give advice, you rarely hear hard numbers. They are eager to advise keeping your credit utilization low or how you shouldn’t apply for too much credit, but can never tell you how much it helps or hurts.

Credit Score Myths Debunked

Credit Score Myths Debunked

Ray at Financial Highway goes Mythbusters on credit scores, revealing 7 myths about the financial benchmarks. [More]

Sears Solution MasterCard Gives Free Credit Scores, But Has Annual Fee

Sears Solution MasterCard Gives Free Credit Scores, But Has Annual Fee

The Wallet blog has a cool tip about a credit card that give free TransUnion FICO credit scores. Sweet! Closer inspection reveals it’s not such a good deal, unless you have stellar credit history. [More]

Experian Fixes Messed Up Credit Report By Deleting Everything

Experian Fixes Messed Up Credit Report By Deleting Everything

Monique X. is trying to get a loan to consolidate her debts into a more affordable payment. She writes that she’s been careful with her credit history and knew that her credit score was adequate to get approved at her bank, “even with the economy the way it is.” That’s when she discovered that someone else’s accounts had been folded into hers, and that Experian’s solution to their error was as bad as the problem. [More]

Denied A Credit Card? Try A Reconsideration Letter

Denied A Credit Card? Try A Reconsideration Letter

Frugal Travel Guy has a story of how he was able to get a credit card for his son after the company first denied him. The magic bullet was a well-crafted “reconsideration letter.” What’s that?

Negotiating Reduced Payoff Can Hurt Credit Score

Negotiating Reduced Payoff Can Hurt Credit Score

Did you know negotiating a reduced payment payoff with a lender negatively affects your credit score?

How A Disputed Item On Your Credit Report Can Screw Up Your Home Loan

How A Disputed Item On Your Credit Report Can Screw Up Your Home Loan

Thanks to federal regulations, when you dispute an account on your credit report and the dispute is resolved in your favor, the credit reporting agency is required to remove or correct the account. Credit reporting agencies often don’t do this, though, and the Washington Post notes that it can come back and interfere with your next home loan application.