Credit Resolutions You Should Keep Year Round

/ BY / Credit Score

It’s more than two months into the new year. So how are you doing on all those resolutions you made on January 1st? Even if you haven’t kept up with your resolve to exercise an hour a day or to skip between-meal snacks, make a renewed effort to get a handle on your credit card finances. If you didn’t make any resolutions about credit at the beginning of 2015, here are some you should make today--and keep. Pay off your high balances by paying more than the minimum. It’s very tempting to make the minimum payments on your credit card each month. It frees up more cash to buy or to do what you want. But take a minute to consider the long-term effect that this approach...

How to Contest a Bad Credit Score

/ BY / Credit Score

What should you do when you’ve been denied a loan or charged a higher rate of interest because the lender says you have a bad credit score? Your credit score may not be great if you’ve missed or been late with payments, had collection agencies calling your or declared bankruptcy within the last few years. But if you’ve done a fairly good job of handling your money, there could be an error on your credit report. A bad credit score may also be an indication that someone has been using credit improperly in your name. When you’re denied credit, the lender is required by federal law to give you the reason why, your credit score and the name of the credit reporting agency it used...

How Often Should I Check My Credit Score?

/ BY / Credit Score

It’s important to have a good credit score; the better your score, the more likely you are to get approved for credit cards and loans with lower interest rates. That can save you a fair amount of money over time. Does that mean you should track your credit score constantly? Should you be checking it yearly? Monthly? Even daily? Unless you have a compelling reason to monitor your credit score closely, there’s no reason for you to check your score too frequently. FICO (the company that provides the most widely used credit scores), states on its webpage that “in a given three-month period, only about one in four people has a 20-point change in their FICO scores.” A score change...

Five Easy Steps to Help Your Child Build Good Credit

/ BY / Credit Score

Can’t leave your kids a big inheritance when you die? Give them a valuable gift right now by providing the tools they need to build a good credit record and credit score. Our kids see us using credit cards all the time, but they often have only a vague idea of how credit works. You might be surprised at how many questions and misconceptions teens and young adults have about credit. Take advantage of teachable moments to educate them from an early age. When you pull out a credit card to pay for a purchase, discuss how those charges represent real money that you’ll have to pay back before too long. As they get older, explain credit scores and how a good credit score can save them...

Will Doubling up On Your Monthly Payments Affect Your Credit?

/ BY / Credit Score

Looking to improve your credit rating? Doubling up on your monthly payments—whether they’re for your auto loan or your mortgage—isn’t guaranteed to help you get any more points on your credit score. There are some compelling financial reasons for doubling up on payments. For one thing, you can save thousands of dollars in interest. Suppose you have a 30-year mortgage of $200,000 and owe about $1,000 a month for your payment. If you can swing another $1,000 a month and put it towards the principle you owe, you’ll not only save more than $114,000 in interest, but also shorten your mortgage repayment period by 19 ½ years. Even if you can put only $500 a month toward extra payments, you’ll keep $88,000 in your own pocket instead of paying it...


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