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

Spring Clean Your Credit in 5 Easy Steps

Spring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. For many, there's just something about the spring season that makes us want to declutter life and move forward with a fresh start. This might include scrubbing the entire house from floor to ceiling or finally getting around to cleaning out piles of junk from the old attic. But what about all the financial clutter that makes its way into our lives? Shouldn't it get some attention too?

Would You Pay the Mortgage or Credit Cards?

Here are some interesting credit facts to contemplate while you take your Friday-morning coffee break. Prepare yourself, because I know you're excited! According to TransUnion's most recent Credit Risk Index (CRI), the amount of credit risk taken on by consumers is rising for the first time since its peak in 2009, and the driving factor is mortgage delinquency. Apparently the numbers of homeowners who were at least 60-days late on their mortgage began to rise again during the 4th quarter of 2011. Check out the chart below which shows how the CRI has moved since 2005.

New Data Shows Inquiries Have Little Effect on FICO Scores

It's true that too many credit inquiries can have a negative effect on FICO scores, but my experience has been that most people focus WAY too much on this small factor in the FICO credit-scoring model. In fact, I receive emails quite often from both readers and personal friends who are concerned about something as simple as applying for a new airline miles credit card because they're planning on financing a new home or a car in the next 12 months. Their reasoning is they don't want to risk taking any sort of unnecessary hit to their credit scores before applying for a major loan, and I completely understand that. I wouldn't apply for new credit within a month or two of closing on a home loan either.

Ask Creditnet: Should I Close My Son's First Credit Card?

Dear Creditnet: I wanted my son to have a credit card in his name when he went off to college. However, the only way we could get him a card was to apply for one in my name and add him as an authorized user. He used the credit card responsibly for the last four years and upon graduation was able to open a new credit card in his own name. We'd like to close the old one now, even though it doesn't have an annual fee, but we're concerned about how this might affect both of our credit scores. Should we just close it since we don't plan on using the card again?

62% of Adults Don't Check Credit Reports

Each year I look forward to checking out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's Consumer Financial Literacy Survey. The NFCC has been sponsoring this report for six years now, and the results are generally released around the beginning of April in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month. As in previous years, the 2012 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey includes some pretty alarming statistics surrounding credit reports and credit scores. Here's what really caught my eye as I perused the key findings in this year's report.