1-In-3 Americans Still Feeling The Sting Of Recession

1-In-3 Americans Still Feeling The Sting Of Recession

While many Americans are now doing better than they were during the Great Recession, those dark days took such a toll on many consumers’ savings that some people who are currently doing well enough to pay the bills and enjoy a decent living aren’t able to make necessary longterm investments, like buying a new home or saving for retirement. [More]

(Artnchicken)

We Would Like To Shake The Hand Of The Man With A Credit Score Of 848

If you know what your credit score is (and you should), you might know that the best possible score is 850. So the fact that there is a man who has a score of 848 might just impress you — and maybe simultaneously make you super, super jealous that he’s managed to pull that off in this economy. As he explains it, it’s not that he doesn’t have debt. He’s just very wise about how he handles it. [More]

Will My Deadbeat Roommate Trash My Credit?

Will My Deadbeat Roommate Trash My Credit?

A terrible roommate can make your life unhappy in a lot of ways. But let’s say you have a financially irresponsible roommate who never pays their bills. Do their bad habits affect you … other than constantly having to chase down the rent? [More]

Justifications For Going Into Debt

It’s usually wise to avoid spending your way into the red, but sometimes it makes more sense to go wild and take on some debt rather than play things conservatively. [More]

Layaway Can End Up Costing More Than A Credit Card, Senator Schumer Warns

Layaway Can End Up Costing More Than A Credit Card, Senator Schumer Warns

Retailers are trying to push layaway this holiday season as a way to buy stuff you don’t immediately have the money for. For people without available credit, this can be a way to eventually get what they can’t afford now. But NY Sen. Chuck Schumer is warning that layaway fees can add up to be a much higher interest rate than any credit card would be allowed to charge. [More]

While Getting House Financed, TWC Dings Score With Unauthorized Credit Report Pull

While Getting House Financed, TWC Dings Score With Unauthorized Credit Report Pull

Shawn is peeved. He’s in the middle of securing financing on a new house and the last thing you need during that time period are any surprise people looking at your credit report. These inquiries can bring your score down. But he got exactly one of those, a “hard” one, thanks to an unauthorized peek-a-boo Time Warner Cable decided to do on his credit report when called them up to ask about reducing his cable package. [More]

Credit Card Companies Begin Flirting With Subprime Borrowers Again

Credit Card Companies Begin Flirting With Subprime Borrowers Again

After getting all hot and heavy leading up to the recession, then turning completely cold shoulder, credit card companies are once again starting to selectively flirt with subprime borrowers. [More]

What To Do When You Get Your First Credit Card

What To Do When You Get Your First Credit Card

Since credit cards don’t come with manuals that teach you how not to get buried in debt and saddle yourself with ludicrous interest rates and fees, it’s best to start slowly and work your way into a comfort zone. Use credit with discipline and it can yield tremendous advantages. [More]

Quick Fixes To Up Your Credit Score

Quick Fixes To Up Your Credit Score

Sweeping things you can do to improve your credit score, such as paying off large loans, aren’t the only moves you can make to appear more attractive to lenders. Small, immediate fixes to your personal finances can go a long way toward your goal. [More]

Standard & Poor's Zaps Google With Downgrade Ray

Standard & Poor's Zaps Google With Downgrade Ray

The U.S. government isn’t alone in the Standard & Poor’s downgrade doghouse. Google, which is in the process of buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, took a sharp knock from Standard & Poor’s equity researchers, who moved Google’s stock from a “buy” to a “sell,” lowering its target price to $500 from $700. [More]

Experian Adds Rent Payments To Credit Reports

Experian Adds Rent Payments To Credit Reports

In what could be a boon to renters looking to build a credit history (or bad news if you have a roommate who always delays your rent), credit reporting agency Experian has begun incorporating data on rental payments into its reports. [More]

Overcome Personal Finance Procrastination

Overcome Personal Finance Procrastination

The number one cause of personal finance ruin is procrastination, and the number one cause of procrastination is fear of failure. So if you find yourself watching Brideplasty instead of balancing your checkbook, deciding which expenses to cut, or updating your retirement savings plan, here are some tips for making those tasks less daunting. [More]

Don't Use A Debt Settlement Agency

Don't Use A Debt Settlement Agency

Steer clear of debt settlement agencies. A good deal charge unnecessary fees and there’s really nothing they can do legally that you can’t do on your own. Some of them are even outright fraudsters. [More]

Old-School Personal Loans Make A Comeback

Old-School Personal Loans Make A Comeback

Out of the soil of the post-apocalyptic credit graveyard shoots the skeletal hand of a forgotten lending practice. Banks are once again busting out “personal loans” to help finance what might otherwise be just out of reach for consumers. Here’s how they work: [More]

Western Dental Upsells Relentlessly, Then Pulls Dirty Trick With Billing

Western Dental Upsells Relentlessly, Then Pulls Dirty Trick With Billing

Ryan recently went to a clinic operated by Western Dental Centers, a franchise that operates in California, Arizona and Nevada, and now he regrets that decision. He writes that first he was forced to endure $800 worth of upsells while he was stuck in the chair, even though he was just going in for a cleaning. What happened with billing, though, was worse and may lead to lasting credit issues. [More]

25 Percent Of American Consumers Now Have Low Credit Scores

25 Percent Of American Consumers Now Have Low Credit Scores

Before the recession hit, roughly 15% of Americans had FICO credit scores below 600. But after the past couple of years of late payments, defaults, and foreclosures, that number has grown to 25%, or about 43 million people. At the same time, the number of people with excellent scores (800 to 850) has increased nearly 5% from pre-recession average, which the Associated Press says is partly a result of people cutting spending and working to pay off loans more quickly. [More]

Students, Your College May Be Selling Your Info To Banks

Students, Your College May Be Selling Your Info To Banks

Just in case students don’t slog through college with enough debt hanging over them, their colleges and universities have cut semi-secret deals with banks to share personal info meant to market credit to them afterward. The Huffington Post says Bank of America has such deals with 700 schools. [More]

Test Your Credit Card IQ

Test Your Credit Card IQ

So you think you’re pretty smart with your credit know-how? Got a good credit score and line of credit? Well here’s another number to watch, your credit card I.Q. Take this 10 question test and see how you stack up. Even I got a few of these wrong. For instance, “The typical American carries a balance of about $5,500 in credit card debt. If you make no more charges and pay only the minimum payment each month, how long will it take to pay that debt off at 19 percent interest?”

10 questions to test your credit card I.Q. [Philly.com via LowCards.com]