Joshua Heckathorn

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Joshua Heckathorn

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten 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

Dash to Goodwill Before Ringing in 2012

[caption id="attachment_5920" align="alignleft" width="500" caption=" "]happy new year 2012Photo by Creativity103[/caption]

You probably have a list of 50 things to do today as you prepare to ring in 2012 with friends and family, but I'll bet most of them will cost you money.  Here's a quick task to add to your New Year's Eve list that will actually save you some money in 2012.

To save on your 2011 tax bill, take an hour this afternoon and rummage through your closets for old clothes, toys, and household items that are just taking up valuable space.  If you come across something and it hasn't been used in 6 months, get rid of it.  Don't try to talk yourself into keeping it around because there's the slight chance you might need it at some point in the future.

Trust me, if you haven't used that old t-shirt you won at the state fair 3 years ago, you're never going to need it.  Donate it to someone who will, and earn yourself a little tax break.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card $500 Bonus is Back

*Update* December 2011: This card offer is no longer available.  Check out the current details of the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card instead. Citi ran a great promotion in October on a few sites, including Creditnet, which ended up only lasting a few weeks before it was pulled offline. Well, it's back! The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card is once again offering new cardholders the opportunity to earn up to 50,000 bonus points during the first year of use.  If you want to read all the details about the pros and cons of this credit card, check out my original post:  Citi ThankYou Preferred Card Review: 50,000 Bonus Promotion.  For a brief update, read on.

Ask Creditnet: Do Lenders Use PRBC Credit Reports & Scores?

PRBC

Dear Creditnet: I just read Creditnet's article about the credit bureau, PRBC, and it sounds like a great thing...long overdue. My question is, when applying for a loan or credit cards, do most (or any) lenders check with PRBC along with the 3 major credit bureaus?

Also, does the PRBC report information to any of the big 3, and if not, can we request that they do so?

Answer: Since the PRBC, which now stands for "Payment Reporting Builds Credit", is another credit reporting agency, they don't actually report any information to the other big 3 credit bureaus- Equifax, Experian, and TU. What the PRBC is doing is independently verifying "nontraditional" payment data, such as rent and cell phone bills, and then providing this information in their own separate credit report that lenders can use to supplement the underwriting process when applicants have otherwise "thin" credit reports.

Saving For College with 529 Plans

We’ve all heard the seemingly exaggerated expectations for the cost of a college education in 20 years. “A four year college is going to cost you $500,000 (if our currency still exists then) and one hovercraft!”  Seriously...hovercrafts? It seems ridiculous, and I’m certainly hoping that something is done to stem the dramatic increase in tuition costs and our future dependence upon hovercrafts as currency.  But given that both of these things seem out of my hands, I wanted to be as prepared as possible to help facilitate my kids’ college education.

Ask Creditnet: Secured Credit Cards and Interest Rates

credit cards Dear Creditnet: I have interest in applying for a secured credit card. I found one that I really like and it says that for every 3 months I pay my bills on time my interest rate will be reduced. The confusing thing is that there is also a 7-month 0% APR period. My question to you is will my interest rate be reduced during that 7-month introductory period as I make payments on time?

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