There are a lot of personal things you might want to know about someone you date — relationship history, medical/psychological issues, allergies, political leanings, job prospects, any legal concerns just to name a few — but rarely do we look at a potential spouse and think, “I wonder if their credit score was wrecked by a $10,000 gallbladder surgery bill from when they were 21 and between jobs.” [More]
While retailers and payment networks work to cut down on data breaches in stores and online, it looks like fraudsters are relying more on stealing your card info at the ATM, as recent months have seen an unprecedented spike in the number of debit card data thefts from both non-bank and in-bank ATMs. [More]
Millions of financially struggling consumers who work with qualified nonprofit counseling agencies now have access to free credit scores and credit reports with the expansion of the FICO Score Open Access program. [More]
The Fair Isaac Corporation – better known to consumers as FICO – is on the verge of turning the credit score game on its head with the release of a new credit-scoring approach that would consider consumers’ monthly bills, such as those for utilities and wireless plans, when determining creditworthiness. The change is purportedly intended to help consumers on the low end of the credit spectrum, but some consumer advocates are concerned that lower-income Americans could be the ones most adversely affected. [More]
If you pay make regular credit card payments that are well above the minimum, and no one is hassling you about outstanding bills you might assume that your credit score is getting healthier or at least maintaining its current level. But there are some mistakes that consumers don’t even realize they’re making that could be hurting their FICO numbers. [More]
Citibank is poised to become the second financial institution to provide customers with free credit scores each month. But that’s only if customers stick with the company after its latest fee hike. [More]
Credit reporting behemoth FICO is making changes in the way it calculates credit scores. And for once, there’s some good news. The changes are expected to make it easier for most Americans to access credit — that is, to borrow money and take out loans — and will punish fewer consumers for incurring some debts that were out of their control.
All Americans are, as Consumerist is happy to remind you, entitled to access their own annual credit reports for free. But those reports are just that: reports. They don’t come with credit scores on them. For those, you still have to pay. Unless, that is, you happen to have a Discover card–and maybe, someday, other major credit cards, too. [More]
Everyone has that one relative who was an adult during the Great Depression and hid boxes of cash all over the house because they didn’t trust banks. Someday, your own descendants might share tales of weird old Aunt Mykayla, who entered the workforce during the Great Recession and refused to get credit cards or even buy a car. [More]
Medical bills can be outrageously high, and usually there’s a direct relationship between the unexpectedness of a procedure and its cost. Sometimes, no financial planning in the world can forestall unforeseen medical expenses. Yet if any medical debt ends up on your credit report, it can remain there for up to seven years — even after you’ve paid it in full. That’s why a large coalition of advocacy groups have written Senate leadership asking them to consider the Medical Debt Relief Act. [More]
Right now, U.S. consumers can check each of their three credit reports — from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — once a year for free through AnnualCreditReport.com, but getting your actual credit score will probably cost you. Legislation introduced today seeks to remedy this issue.
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]
Lots of people graduate college with minimal credit histories. Repaying student loans was always a dependable way to build that history. But recent, rampant growth in student loan debt in the U.S. could slow that process for an entire age group. [More]
Card skimmers have been around for a while. And while they may have gotten smaller and harder to detect, the people using the skimmed data were generally limited to how much cash they could pull out of victim’s accounts in a day. And so a new breed of criminal has figured out a way to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from ATMs. [More]
Much is made about how much impact your credit scores has on your ability to get a loan, live a happy life and be a good human being. But a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claims that one-in-five consumers are seeing scores that are significantly different from what lenders see. [More]
While plenty of other financial aspects of our lives may have been sent into a downward spiral since the recession hit in 2008, there is a bright spot in all that job loss and economic gloom: On average, our credit scores have stayed steady. But what exactly does that mean?
One way to protect yourself from identity theft is to “freeze” your credit report. This means that no new lines of credit can be opened in your name because lenders are prevented from taking a look at your credit report. This stops identity thieves from opening credit cards under your name and going on spending sprees. It also means extra hassle for you when you want to legitimately open credit. There’s always a tradeoff between security and convenience. Here’s how to do it.
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.