Enrollment in for-profit colleges like the University of Phoenix, DeVry University, and Kaplan University–Gawker calls them fake colleges–tripled in the past decade, and has become such a fast-growing segment of the education market that some members of Congress think it needs better oversight. [More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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?
Did you know negotiating a reduced
payment payoff with a lender negatively affects your credit score?