Credit score Q&A: “What credit score do you start with?” Questions related to credit scores are always difficult to answer because companies like FICO don’t reveal every detail of their complex and secretive scoring algorithms. Credit scores also happen to be very unique from consumer to consumer, with no two alike. Kind of like snowflakes,… Continue reading What Credit Score Do You Start With?
Credit Q&A:”Does a Credit Check Lower Your Credit Score?” I get this question all the time, and like all things in the credit score realm, it depends. Sigh… There are a number of different reasons to run a credit check, and thus the confusion, but we’ll get to the bottom of it. I promise. Checking… Continue reading Does a Credit Check Lower Your Credit Score?
While it generally makes sense to raise credit lines periodically to increase your available credit and credit utilization, it can also backfire if you aren’t responsible. Some credit line increase requests count as hard credit inquiries, which will be documented on your credit report for two years, and count against your credit score for one… Continue reading Credit Line Increases Can Hurt and Help Your Credit Score
If you generally pay off your entire credit card balance each month, but often have a tough time doing so, you may want to think about timing your credit card purchases. Allow me to explain. Credit cards have billing cycles, typically 30 days or roughly one calendar month. All purchases made during a given billing… Continue reading Make Large Purchases Early in Your Billing Cycle
Tax season is upon us once more, and before you know it time will be running out to get those completed tax returns to the IRS. For those of us who actually have to make a payment, as opposed to simply receiving a refund, that April 15th deadline couldn’t seem any closer. And with all… Continue reading Paying Your Taxes with a Credit Card
Credit card Q&A: “How to stop credit card offers.” Are you sick of receiving pesky credit card mailers seemingly every single day? I was, which is why after several grueling years I finally took action (yes, I procrastinated a couple years). After all, aside from being a general nuisance and bad for the environment, these… Continue reading How to Stop Receiving Credit Card Offers
A friend of mine recently notified me that his credit score plummeted nearly 100 points from the last time it was updated. He is enrolled in a free credit monitoring program, so he receives alerts when his credit scores fluctuate. Naturally, I asked him why he thought his credit score could have dropped so dramatically… Continue reading A Lesson in Credit Utilization
As you probably already know, credit card issuers make much of their money on collected interest and outrageous fees. See how credit card issuers make money for more on that. And it seems everyday credit card companies are coming up with new, innovative fees to charge their customers. Let’s take a look at five common… Continue reading Five Costly Credit Card Fees You Can Easily Avoid
Many consumers are riddled with credit card debt thanks in part to APR that is through the roof, making it very difficult to pay down debts and get back in the black. So you may ask yourself, “How can I lower my credit card interest rate?” Well, credit card issuers aren’t in the business of… Continue reading How Can I Lower My Credit Card Interest Rate?
You may have heard (or read) that the Chase Freedom Unlimited now comes with 3% cash back for the entire first year, similar to the double points/miles Discover offers during year one via cashback match. The biggest difference between that Discover offer and the Chase offer is that it’s not unlimited, ironically, on the Chase… Continue reading Is the 3% Chase Freedom Unlimited Offer Good or Bad?