Infographic: FICO High Achievers Show You How to Get Your FICO Score Above 800


Our studies consistently show that people with FICO® Scores over 800 have strikingly similar credit habits. We like to call these people FICO High Achievers, and you can learn from all 36 million of them. Check out this infographic and compare your credit habits to theirs. How do your credit habits measure up?   … [Read more...]

5 Factors to Consider Before Changing Jobs


According to a report by Forbes, job-hopping is "the new normal" for an increasing number of Americans. However, labor experts agree that switching employers is never a decision to be taken lightly. It can be a major risk.   While the lure of greater opportunity, better environment, increased compensation, and change for change's sake are all compelling reasons to accept a new job, there are many variables to take into account before officially taking the plunge.   Whether you are currently fishing for available openings or are already reeling in what promises to be an excellent opportunity, ask yourself these five important questions before changing jobs:   1. How Is My Financial Footing? While money (perhaps surprisingly) is not the main reason most … [Read more...]

Breached, Bothered and Bewildered?


The LA Times recently published an article featuring mortgage credit experts who warned “that the recent massive data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers could have significant effects on some real estate transactions in the coming months as damaged credit files depress scores and jeopardize loan applications and home sales”.   Is it possible that your innocent purchase of toothpaste and a few groceries could indeed jeopardize your ability to achieve a significant milestone like purchasing your first home? It could be more than a distant dilemma for consumers to ponder if they discover too late that routine purchases made at recently compromised merchants resulted in fraudulent charges to their payment cards. Erroneous fraud charges that remain undetected or … [Read more...]

6 Major Credit Myths, Debunked


There are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around relating to your FICO® Score or credit report. Working in this industry, I get a lot of questions that absolutely blow my mind. Just this week someone told me they thought that getting a credit card with 0% APR for 18 months meant that they were not obligated to pay anything until after those 18 months. Another individual thought that getting a secured credit card meant they had to pay twice as much as someone with an unsecured credit card. Where are these myths coming from?   In last year's FINCON Conference, Gerry Detweiler (, John Ulzheimer (worked at Equifax, FICO, and and Maxine Sweet (Experian) uncovered a few major credit myths in the panel “Everything Your Readers Need to Know About … [Read more...]

Do Consumers Actually Care About Their Credit Scores?


If anyone asked us whether consumers care about their credit scores, we at First Bankcard would say, “OF COURSE, they should care!” How else can they qualify for our company’s incredible financial products without understanding their FICO® Score and what they can do to improve it?   As I thought about this, however, it occurred to me that we might be a touch biased on that topic. So back in early 2013, when First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha, began to work with FICO to proactively provide our credit cardholders with their FICO® Scores through the FICO® Score Open Access program, we decided to actually ask our customers what they think.   We emailed a random sample of our credit cardholders a brief survey asking a few simple questions regarding … [Read more...]

Protecting Your Credit and Financial Reputation


Most people use their credit and debit cards every day with little thought regarding the fact that criminals are desperately trying to get access to your card information so they can run up fraudulent charges, create counterfeit credit cards, withdraw cash from ATM machines  (if they can intercept your pin number) or sell your information to other criminals.   And I am not talking about the random thief who steals a wallet or purse and uses the cards to rack up a couple hundred dollars at a nearby convenience store.  I am talking about highly sophisticated fraud rings led by really smart people who leverage advanced technology to access credit and debit card information on a larger scale.   Case in point – recent data breach notifications by Target and Neiman Marcus … [Read more...]

5 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Financial Health


2013 wasn’t a banner year for personal finances. In fact, 77% of consumers admitted to having financial worries, and 40% of adults gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance.Sound familiar? Change starts now.   Taking control of your finances and credit is one of the most important things you can do for your future (think retirement, a new home or a college fund). As we ring in 2014, make a new year’s resolution for your financial health. Here are five resolution ideas to get you started.   Resolution 1: Improve your FICO® Score This isn’t a quick fix, but you can definitely make substantial improvements to your credit score over the course of the year. You can view your FICO credit scores to get a baseline, and make an improvement … [Read more...]

Credit Card Holiday Tips to Help Protect Your FICO Score


The holiday shopping season is now in full swing and retailers are aggressively tugging on our emotions implying that true happiness and the ultimate expression of your love can be only be achieved through the purchase of gifts.   I know firsthand how easy it is easy to get caught up in the hubbub of the holidays and potentially over spend or make credit-related decisions that may have longer term negative impacts.  Here are some helpful tips to consider that can help protect your credit rating as you migrate through this hectic time of the year!   Be selective when applying for a store credit card:  Retailers aggressively “hawk” their credit cards and loans products to holiday shoppers often promoting free gifts and/or incremental discounts on that day’s purchases … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds Could Save Your Credit Score


FICO® Scores can take a hit from any direction, and many times it can be avoided if you think ahead. Performing simple, 5 minute tasks can aid in making sure you don’t miss a payment, such as setting up calendar reminders every month or automating the payments each month to be withdrawn from your bank. Some consumers even ignore payment requests and reminders, naively thinking they will just disappear or won’t affect their score. Two years ago Omar Al Chaar discovered that if you have unpaid parking tickets, your score will drop. Most people don’t know this.   What about those unavoidable expenses that pop up? One of the top reasons low and middle-income households in America see a drop in their credit score is due to emergencies. Here are some supporting facts: 40% of … [Read more...]

Word on the Web: Week of 12/2


Welcome back! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a successful Black Friday-Cyber Week Shopping Spree! Of course, we also hope whatever you may or may not have spent only has a positive impact on your score. Related to that, here are some great articles from the web.     Tom Quinn on DoughRoller’s Podcast Of course we’re going to give a shout out about our credit expert Tom Quinn giving a great interview on DoughRoller. This is definitely worth a listen to learn more about FICO® Scores and get some 3rd party information from Rob Berger. Listen Below!     ConsumerWatch: Is Your Credit Score A FICO? This holiday season you might be bombarded by … [Read more...]

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by a credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of a credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a credit card issuer. This site may be compensated by credit card issuers mentioned on the site by such companies.