5 Smart Credit Card Moves that Could Help Your Scores

BLOG---Credit-and-Loans---5-Smart-Credit-Card-Moves-that-Could-Help-Your-Scores

We all know the consequences of using credit cards irresponsibly: crushing debt, late and missed payment fees, poor FICO® Scores, bad breath (okay, maybe not one of those).   Of course, using credit cards wisely comes with a number of benefits. In addition to being a secure and convenient way to make payments, credit cards can help you establish and build credit, give you access to valuable rewards, and can even help improve your scores. To help you play the credit card game wisely, here are 5 smart moves to make.   1. Ask for a credit limit increase   Your issuer might occasionally surprise you with an unprompted credit limit increase, but it never hurts to take matters into your own hands if you've been pining for a higher credit line. A limit increase … [Read more...]

How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest

BLOG---Credit-and-Loans---Deciphering-your-credit-cards-interest-rates

  It’s no mystery that credit card companies charge interest on outstanding balances. And most credit card users are at least nominally familiar with their credit card’s APR (annual percentage rate). You carry a balance, you get charged interest—simple enough.   Beyond that, things start getting a little murky. How is your APR determined? How do interest charges get calculated? And at what point does your balance start accruing interest charges anyway?   Confusion spells costs when it comes to credit card use. It’s hard to avoid paying interest if you have no clue how and why it’s being charged in the first place.   So if you really want to minimize the cost of credit, you’ll have to understand how exactly credit card interest makes its way onto … [Read more...]

You’re ready for a relationship. But is your credit?

BLOG---Youre-Ready-for-a-Relationship-but-is-your-Credit

If one of your New Year’s resolutions included finding that special someone to settle down with, you need to be ready and able for that special relationship. This includes your credit.   Talking about money issues with a romantic partner can be awkward, but once the relationship gets serious, it’s important to be able to be open and transparent with one another. Having money discussions is a great way to practice this important relationship skill.   Issues related to money are one of the top reasons for divorce, so sorting out all the money stuff before a lifetime commitment or marriage can give your relationship a much greater chance of surviving and thriving.   Now, I’m not a therapist or even a relationship specialist, but I have had relationships myself … [Read more...]

5 Big Credit Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

BLOG---Reports-&-Scores---5-Major-Credit-Mistakes-to-Avoid

When it comes to credit, some people prefer the ignorant bliss method: Don’t look at your credit, don’t worry about your credit, don’t even think about your credit. This method can actually be quite effective for several months or even years – that is until you’re thinking about buying a new home, leasing a new car, financing a new computer, or whatever else you've been dreaming up.   When you’re actually looking for credit, it will quickly become clear that the ignorant bliss method was a mistake. Those financial decisions you carelessly made might actually hurt your FICO® Scores or credit history.   You don’t have to be the type of person that worries about credit constantly (although a periodic review of your FICO® Scores and credit reports is always a good idea). … [Read more...]

3 Easy Credit-Building Steps for Recent College Grads

BLOG--creditanadloans--College grads

Establishing credit when you’re just starting out can be a bit of a catch-22: to establish credit, you need to get credit; to get credit in the first place, you need to have an established credit history. It’s an infinite loop of frustration (one you should get familiar with if you’re a recent grad—to get a job, you need work experience, which you can only get if already have a job . . .).   Luckily, breaking free of this paradox isn’t as hard as it initially sounds if you know where to start and know what to do once you get going. Establishing a credit history right out of college is one of the most important first steps you can take toward your financial future—it can help you get approved for car loans and mortgages and qualify you for better interest rates that will save you … [Read more...]

Understanding how lenders
use credit scores

BLOG-Understanding-How-Lenders-Use-Credit-Scores

You already know that most of the top lenders (90% of them) use FICO® Scores (the top name in credit scores) when making lending decisions (probably because we’re always telling you about it). But what does that actually mean? What really goes down when you apply for a loan? Whether it’s an automated approval process or a 60-day mortgage close, a lender is doing a lot to figure out if you’re going to pay them back on time or not. Here are a few things that might help you understand the approval process.   FICO Scores are designed to help evaluate your risk FICO® Scores aren’t just an arbitrary number provided on a whim. They are based on complex, mathematical algorithms that statistically evaluate a consumer’s credit risk with a point system. Points are assigned for … [Read more...]

Introducing industry-first technology from myFICO

BLOG - Product Launch Announcement

We have a huge announcement to make. Actually, make that four huge announcements. When we introduce new technology and features, we really like to make a splash.   We’ve listened to your requests, complaints, suggestions and praise and developed three new products that we think you’re going to love. In fact, we’re leveraging technology that’s never before been available to consumers. So without further ado, allow me to introduce three new products and more from myFICO.   FICO® 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring For the first time ever and exclusively at myFICO, you can now monitor three FICO® Score — one from each credit bureau — and monitor all three of your credit reports. This intelligent new product will help you get a better understanding of your full credit picture. … [Read more...]

Revolving vs. installment credit: Which type of credit is best for you?

BLOG - Revolving vs Installment credit - Which credit is right for you

  With the economy recovering, consumers are slowly starting to gain more confidence. Many people are beginning to think about expenditures they have been holding off on as they felt less confident about the economy.  You know … getting that roof repaired that has been on the “fix it” list for a while, trading in that 10-year-old car or finally taking a “real” vacation instead of the “stay-cations” you’ve had over the past several years.     While some people will leverage their savings to fund these expenditures, others may want access to new credit.  If you are in this position and plan on applying for credit, now is the time to think through options and determine which is the best fit for your profile and needs. Here’s a few things you should do … [Read more...]

5 Personal Finance Tips for Millennials

BLOG-Personal-Finance-Tips-for-Millennials

So people keep calling you a millennial (some say it with a nicer tone than others). Amongst a variety of other defining characteristics, you have the unique (albeit unwelcomed) experience of graduating into a recession. Cons? Lower starting salaries and a lack of options. Pros? You’ve seen what irresponsible money management can do and you don’t want to make the same mistakes.     You’re also a victim of the tuition bubble, burdened with hefty student loan payments and a 30-year payoff plan that might as well be a mortgage. Now before you get out the violin, keep in mind that your generation is also relentlessly optimistic, savvy and smart, making you a force to be reckoned with in the workplace (conceal your ego though, please). If nothing else, we can assume your … [Read more...]

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Credit

BLOG---3-Things-You-Didn't-Know-About-Your-Credit-v1

Understanding your full credit picture is usually a learning process. One category of common confusion is the why, what and how surrounding your three credit reports. If you don’t understand how all three of your credit reports affect your financial health, you might be facing some surprises next time you apply for a loan. Here are three things you should know:   #1.Your credit reports are fraternal Your credit reports aren’t identical triplets. In fact, the information on each report may vary greatly. That’s because lenders aren’t required to report to all three bureaus—or any bureaus for that matter. Plus, each bureau processes data differently, so the information reported could vary. For example, a small local lender may only report the credit obligation to one of the three … [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.