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  • credit score

    6 Universal Truths About Credit Reportscredit, Personal Finance

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    Credit reports: They’re complicated. You can’t really argue with that sentiment: They are long and often unwieldy; there are three major versions of them, and they can affect more facets of your life — like, say, your ability to get certain jobs — than you may think. Fortunately, there are some things that are true, no matter what credit report you’re looking at. Here are six universal truths about credit reports. 1. They’re All Going to Have the […]

  • mad

    Why Credit Makes People So Freaking Mad: A Theorycredit

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    No one really likes reading about credit, credit scores and credit reports. As editor of a publication devoted to teaching people about these things, it’s a fact that I’ve had to learn to live with, and it’s not a surprising one. There’s plenty for people to get mad about. Credit is confusing, credit report errors can be hard to fix, and the whole business is generally considerably less fun than watching a kitten escape from […]

  • Gold stash

    9 Credit Lessons You Can Learn From ‘Game of Thrones’credit

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    If you’re a fan of “Game of Thrones,” you can apply some of the show’s lessons to your financial life. Here are nine credit lessons the characters have inadvertently taught us over the last six seasons. (And, warning, there are spoilers ahead for those of you who haven’t caught up.) 1. Always Pay Your Debts  The unofficial motto of House Lannister is “a Lannister always pays his debts.” Whether actually true or not, it’s a […]

  • 7 Credit Myths That Just Won’t Diecredit

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    There are so many myths and misunderstandings when it comes to credit reports and scores. Not understanding how they work could have a negative effect on your creditworthiness, which can cost you money in higher interest rates on loans. Here is a list of seven common misconceptions about credit scores and the real deal behind them. 1. Myth: Closing Credit Cards Will Improve My Credit Scores Fact: Closing many cards at once can have a […]

  • Credit Card

    Credit Card Debt in America Is Almost Back Up to $1 Trillioncredit, Personal Finance

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    Americans are racking up credit card debt like it’s 2008. That’s according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports U.S. credit card balances are on pace to reach $1 trillion this year, as consumers grow more comfortable with carrying debt and banks continue to push their plastic. The sum is just shy of the all-time peak of $1.02 trillion set in July 2008, just before the financial crisis set in. The Journal cites a steady economy and lenders signing […]

  • Debt collection

    Will a Debt Take Longer to Drop Off My Credit If Another Debt Collector Buys It?credit, Personal Finance

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    When a debt goes into collections, it may change hands several times. Creditors may sell the debt or contract another agency to collect it and this could happen more than once, depending on how much time has gone by with the debt remaining unpaid. It’s important to keep track of who is managing your debt so you know who to pay back and when. (You can find tips for negotiating with a creditor here.) Having a […]

  • mortgage

    How Your Credit Card Can Keep You From Buying a Homecredit, Personal Finance

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    New changes coming to Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system next month could have prospective homebuyers rethinking how they pay their credit card bills. Here’s why. Lenders generally use Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system for every single mortgage loan sold in the secondary mortgage market. This system has always reviewed the mortgage applicant’s credit history, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, reserves (a fancy term for savings) and occupancy in order to determine whether they should be approved […]

  • credit score

    The New FICO Score: What It Means for Youcredit, Personal Finance

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    If you’ve always maintained a strong payment history with your cellphone and cable bills and want a little credit for it, you may be in luck. Credit-scoring giant FICO just announced a new scoring model designed to give credit scores based on people’s payment history with their phone, utilities and other bills. LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax introduced the FICO Score XD to help lenders assess consumers who may not have a traditional credit history but have a strong record of paying […]

  • Why You Need to Check If Your Child Has a Credit Reportcredit, Identity Theft

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    Imagine a 9-year-old swimming in credit card debt. Or a 13-year-old being hounded by bill collectors. Sound ridiculous? Well these are very real scenarios. It turns out adults the only demographic credit fraudsters threaten. Even children are at risk of having their identity stolen. In fact, child identity theft impacts 1 in 40 households with children under the age of 18, according to a 2012 survey by Javelin. Children’s credit reports are especially appealing to credit thieves, because […]

  • Foreclosure mortgage

    Worst-Case Scenario: What Does Foreclosure Actually Do to My Credit?credit, Personal Finance

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    A foreclosure can lead to a litany of problems, financial and otherwise, for homeowners and their families. And, as people work to keep their home or simply get through the filing, they often don’t have time to consider their credit score. In fact, for a time, perhaps they shouldn’t. “If a person is going through foreclosure, they have very serious financial issues that are probably reflected in very poor scores,” Rod Griffin, director of public education […]

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