CreditKarma.com Makes Free Credit Score More Like FICO's

CreditKarma.com Makes Free Credit Score More Like FICO's

The CreditKarma.com site we told you about in our roundup of “5 No BS Ways To Get A Credit Score For Free” has changed its calibration system so the free, advertising-supported, credit score it gives you is now on the 300-850 range, just like your FICO score. It’s still not your FICO score, but it does make the approximation, based on TransUnion data, more relevant. If you’re do some major money moves, like getting a mortgage, you would still want to pay for the FICO score for total accuracy, but if you just want a general sense of how you’re doing, CreditKarma.com is a great way to do it for free.

Credit Score Piggybacking Saved From Death

Credit Score Piggybacking Saved From Death

Piggybacking is back in, baby. FICO was all set to terminate the credit-score boosting technique of adding another authorized user to an account held by someone with good credit, but they demurred. Piggbyack away, little money pigs. Here’s how it went down…

5 No BS Ways To Get A Credit Score For Free

5 No BS Ways To Get A Credit Score For Free

Here are 5 ways to get your credit score for free. Note, all of them are the credit scores developed by the credit bureaus themselves, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and are not your actual FICO scores. Only the FICO score is used by lenders to determine your credit worthiness. However, you can at least use these credit bureau scores to get a general sense of how good your credit is. [More]

Use Your Credit Card At A Marriage Counselor, See Your Limit Get Reduced

Use Your Credit Card At A Marriage Counselor, See Your Limit Get Reduced

The FTC claims that CompuCredit didn’t properly disclose that it monitored spending and cut credit lines if consumers used their cards at certain places. Among them: tire and retreading shops, massage parlors, bars, billiard halls, and marriage counseling offices. “What they didn’t say was that you could be punished for specific kinds of purchases.”

Sallie Mae's 100+ Point FICO Drop Error Getting Fixed

Sallie Mae's 100+ Point FICO Drop Error Getting Fixed

Sallie Mae has publicly apologized for a coding error, potentially affecting around 1 million customers, that caused some consumers credit scores to drop over 100 points, and some consumers report that their dinged scores are already back up. If your score is not back to normal and you are in the middle of a transaction where your good credit is at stake, Sallie Mae said it will provide a credit reference letter. You can also call Sallie Mae customer service at 1-888-2-sallie. Sallie has pledged that the fix is in, but consumers can still take matters into their own hands by pulling their free credit report from annualcreditreport.com and disputing the incorrect information with Experian. Note, it’s against Federal law for creditors to report false information to credit bureaus, and consumers can sue violators up to $1,000.

FICO Scores Drop Over 100 Points After Sallie Mae Recode, Potentially Millions Affected

FICO Scores Drop Over 100 Points After Sallie Mae Recode, Potentially Millions Affected

Consumers are complaining that a change in how Sallie Mae decided to recode some loans caused their credit score to drop by over a hundred points. That’s enough to make a $93,240 difference in a home loan’s total cost. Here’s what happened.

Is Your HELOC In Danger Of Being Frozen?

Is Your HELOC In Danger Of Being Frozen?

If you have an open home equity line of credit you were counting on for renovations or other projects, you might want to read CNN Money’s article about how lenders are freezing them around the country. The main triggers for HELOC freezing are credit score changes and a rapid drop in home value in your area. The freeze may also be a computer-determined action, so if your HELOC suddenly goes away and you don’t think it was justified, it may be worth checking your FICO score and then contacting the lender to reopen the line or renegotiate it.

AT&T Won't Sell Man GoPhone Because It Can't Verify His Credit History

AT&T Won't Sell Man GoPhone Because It Can't Verify His Credit History

Nathan’s been having trouble this week buying a prepaid GoPhone from AT&T Mobility’s website. He finally found out the reason: they couldn’t verify his credit history. This is confusing because it’s a prepaid GoPhone and because his credit history is superb. “Cheryl refused to transfer me.

How Much Do Credit Scores Really Matter?

How Much Do Credit Scores Really Matter?

Obsessing over a number that’s only three digits long sounds a little OCD, until you realize how much a hundred or so points on it can cost you. I’m referring to credit scores. This three-digit number that lenders use to determine how favorable a loan to give you can affect many of your financial transactions, but it especially becomes a big deal when you take out a mortgage on a house. Let’s look at a home loan for $300,000 with two different sets of scores:

Know Where To Fix Your Credit Score By Getting Your Reason Codes

Know Where To Fix Your Credit Score By Getting Your Reason Codes

If you want to improve your credit score, a score from 300-850 that lenders use to determine whether you qualify for a loan and how much interest to charge you if you do, you’ll want to know your “reason codes.” These are 2-digit numbers that come with you credit score when you purchase it. Each bureau usually gives you four reason codes with their report, so get your score from each one for a total of 12. One wiki tutorial says that reason codes are listed in order of importance. Armed with that, The Mechanics Of Credit site decodes all the reason codes and prescribes solutions for each one. With this info and tactics, you should be able to boost your score a couple of points and save a bundle.

Bank of America Angers More Customers With Unjustified Rate Hikes

Bank of America Angers More Customers With Unjustified Rate Hikes

More about Bank of America’s inexplicable rate hikes against good customers who never pay late: the Charlotte Observer talks to some recent recipients of BoA’s infamous rate-increase letters from the past few weeks. The first person they talk to is a 60-year-old woman who “had never been late on a credit card payment, just refinanced her home at a lower interest rate, and just been rewarded by her credit union with a lower rate on her credit card there.” Bank of America just raised her card from 13% to 24.99%.

Why Is Bank Of America Raising Interest Rates On Its Good Customers?

Why Is Bank Of America Raising Interest Rates On Its Good Customers?

BusinessWeek has just published an article about Bank of America’s recent surprise mailings in January to some of its customers, announcing “that it would more than double their rates to as high as 28%, without giving an explanation for the increase.” These customers have good credit scores and hadn’t made any late payments, and those who called Bank of America to ask why this was happening weren’t given clear reasons. Industry experts say Bank of America has reached a “new level” of “lack of transparency in raising rates,” beyond anything Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase currently practice, because BoA is apparently using some undisclosed internal metric to determine who gets the rate hike.

It's Still Possible To Game Your FICO Score By 100 Points Or More

It's Still Possible To Game Your FICO Score By 100 Points Or More

For about $1400, you can raise your FICO credit score by 35 to 40 points through companies like TradeLine Solutions, writes the New York Times. Lots of subprime mortgage holders are turning to these companies in a last ditch effort to game the FICO system, in order to avoid rate adjustments that might send them into foreclosure. Of course, knowingly misrepresenting your credit score might count as loan fraud, points out a FICO representative.

MedFICO In Development, It's FICO For Patients!

MedFICO In Development, It's FICO For Patients!

From the folks that brought you the credit score system in all it’s glory, here’s MedFICO! It’s a new business project underway with the goal of assessing patient’s ability to pay their medical bills. The system would gather patient’s bill payment history from hospitals around the country and then assign patients a score similar to a credit score. Critics are worried if the same problems with people getting erroneous information in their credit report and then having an insanely difficult time cleaning it up would also affect MedFICO. They also worry whether hospitals would use MedFICO to determine the level of care offered, like whether the person gets a hospital stay or not. FICO scores are now being used by some employers to screen out potential employees, would they use MedFICO to see who might take a bigger chunk out of the health benefits?

Ben Popken On Fox Business News Chatting About FICO '08

Ben Popken On Fox Business News Chatting About FICO '08

Here’s the clip of yours truly, Ben Popken, on Fox Business News discussing some of the changes in store for FICO ’08, the credit-scoring system lenders use to determine how punitive a rate they get to charge you. You may notice that I have a strange look on my face at the beginning.

http://consumerist.com/2007/12/31/consumerist-editor-ben-popken-will/

Consumerist Editor Ben Popken will be on Fox Business News Monday at 12 noon to discuss the changes in store for FICO 08. UPDATE: It looks like our video slave is home today, so if anyone wants to DVR Ben’s appearance and email the video file to tips@consumerist.com, we’ll like, make you a cake or something.

How FICO 08 Changes Your Credit Score

How FICO 08 Changes Your Credit Score

The FICO system, whose credit scores lenders use to determine whether you’re credit-worthy and how favorable to set the terms, is set for a makeover. An article in today’s WSJ reveals more of the changes in store than previously disclosed, here’s how they’ll affect your credit score:

http://consumerist.com/2007/12/06/did-you-know-you-can/

Did you know you can upgrade your credit card with the issuer without losing your credit history? [Bankrate]