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Credit Help and Tips

What Is an Excellent Credit Score?

For those obsessed with their credit score, I’ll attempt to answer the age old question, “What is an excellent credit score?” For the record, we’re talking about FICO scores, which are far and away the most common and widely used by creditors. The FICO score ranges from 300-850, with higher scores representing a lower risk […]

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Credit Help and Tips

Does a Credit Check Lower Your Credit Score?

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 […]

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Credit Help and Tips

What Credit Score Do You Need to Get a Credit Card?

A frequently asked question in the consumer credit realm tends to be, “what credit score do you need to get a credit card?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t one simple three-digit number, but rather a variable answer dependent on a number of factors. Though a numerical credit score is used in the decisioning […]

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Credit Help and Tips

Is ID Required for a Credit Card Purchase?

Credit card Q&A: “Is ID required for a credit card purchase?” Credit card rules are often gray, what with the fact that multiple companies are operating in the same space. Then you’ve got the merchants’ own rules, which sometimes don’t coincide with the terms of Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, whether they are contractually acceptable […]

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Credit Help and Tips

Paying Your Taxes with a Credit Card

Tax season is upon us once more, and time is running out to get those completed 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 the recent economic turmoil, I’m sure […]

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Credit Help and Tips

Are Credit Card Minimums Legal?

Credit card Q&A: “Are credit card minimums legal?” The other day I was walking in New York City, and because it was so blisteringly cold, I decided to grab a cup of overpriced, hot coffee. I didn’t have any cash on me at the time, just a few credit cards I typically use to make […]

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Credit Help and Tips

How to Stop Receiving Credit Card Offers

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 […]

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Credit Help and Tips

Beware of the H&R Block Emerald Card

So tax season is quickly approaching, and with that comes what many would call opportunistic offers for tax-related services. The most recent advertisement I’ve seen is from H&R Block, which is offering to put your tax refund on a prepaid MasterCard debit card via its “H&R Block Emerald Card.” They’ll even give you your tax […]

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Credit Help and Tips

How Can I Lower My Credit Card Interest Rate?

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?” Credit card issuers aren’t in the business of losing […]

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Credit Help and Tips

Watch Out for Negative Payment Hierarchy

Let’s get one thing straight. Credit card issuers aren’t your friends. They are your business partners, and they’re in business to make money by lending you money. In fact, most credit card issuers set things up so you pay off the lowest interest rate charges first, and the highest interest rate charges last. Read that […]