Joshua Heckathorn

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Joshua Heckathorn

Joshua Heckathorn is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past twenty years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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Recent Blogs

Can Medical Debt Hurt My Credit Scores?

YES! Unpaid medical debts can most definitely hurt your credit scores. Paying your medical bills on time and in full, however, will do nothing to improve them. Doesn't sound fair to the consumer now, does it? Well, it isn't, and lawmakers have even looked at legislation in the past which was written with the intention to wipe consumers' credit reports clean of "paid" medical debts that were delinquent at one point in time. The bill unfortunately never passed the House, so the issue remains unresolved.

Ask Creditnet: How Long Should I Use a Secured Credit Card?

Dear Creditnet: I got a secured credit card from Capital One over a year ago so I could finally begin rebuilding my bad credit. Since then, my FICO scores have risen from the low 500s to around 675, but I still don't have any other credit cards or loans in my name. My question is how much longer should I continue to use this secured credit card? Is it time to finally try to get a better card? -Ryan P. from MI

Credit Myth: Employment History Impacts FICO Scores

Every so often an old credit myth I haven't heard in awhile will pop up again during a conversation with some friends. This past weekend it happened during a chat with a colleague about unemployment and its effect, or lack thereof, on FICO scores. Contrary to what many people think, you can be unemployed for a long period of time and still maintain excellent credit scores. The truth is the FICO credit-scoring model doesn't consider your employment history in any way, shape, or form. Like the level of your income, it's a complete non-factor.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Card Review: 25,000 Point Bonus

If you're interested in the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card, but missed out on the big 50,000 point sign-up bonus that quickly came and went last year, Southwest hasn't left you completely hanging.  There's still a 25,000 point bonus to be had after making your first purchase on the card. This is actually the same deal Southwest and Chase were offering new cardholders back in August of 2011, so it's nothing we haven't seen before.  And as I said when I've previously reviewed this card offer, it certainly isn't a bad deal for a $69 annual fee, but it's not superb either. In addition, based on what we've seen in the past, I think it's fairly safe to say that we'll continue to see sign-up bonuses for the Rapid Rewards Card bounce back and forth between 25,000 and 50,000 points in the coming year. We may even see it bounce back up to 50,000 before the end of 2012, but that's just a guess on my part.

Ask Creditnet: Are Credit Builder Loans a Scam?

Dear Creditnet: My credit scores are in bad shape and I've been researching ways to start rebuilding my credit so I can eventually get an auto loan at a decent interest rate. It turns out that the credit union I use offers a "credit builder loan" that is supposed to help my credit scores. How does a credit builder loan work, and will it actually improve my FICO scores? It kind of seems like a scam to me because the interest rate is pretty high, but I've used this credit union for a long time and have always been happy with their products and customer service. - Justin T. from MA