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

Free FICO Scores Coming Soon!

[caption id="attachment_1562" align="alignleft" width="255" caption=" "]Photo by dbking[/caption]

There's a lot of free credit scores floating around the Internet, but as I've written about in previous posts, none of them are actually credit scores that matter. Often advertised by the credit bureaus themselves, these scores may give you a rough estimate of where your true FICO scores stand, but that's about the only purpose they should serve.

If you ever want to know your real FICO credit scores, the ones the vast majority of lenders rely upon when assessing your credit risk, the best option has always been to purchase them directly from myFico.com. And while this is still the case, many consumers will now have a way to get a peek at their FICO scores for FREE.

Don't get too excited though—it's not as great as it sounds. Here's how things have changed.

Ask Creditnet: Switching to a No Annual Fee Credit Card

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Dear Creditnet: I currently have a credit card that expires in August 2010. This card has an annual fee, and I'm tired of paying it every year.

Do I have to cancel my card in order to apply for a different card from the same credit card company with no annual fee?

Minimum Purchase Requirements Stink

[caption id="attachment_1524" align="alignleft" width="300" caption=" "]Photo by Andy Newson[/caption]

Ever stopped by a convenience store to quickly buy a drink with your credit card only to have the cashier point to a tiny sign taped to the wall that says "Sorry—The Minimum Credit Card Purchase is $5"? How inconvenient is that?

I understand all the costs small business owners must endure to accept credit cards, but as a consumer, I think minimum purchase requirements really stink. Credit cards are all about convenience, and businesses that choose to accept them in an effort to conveniently grow their revenues shouldn't be allowed to inconvenience customers by placing restrictions on when they can or can't use credit cards.

Expect the Unexpected

In mid-May, I had an experience that made me think about the importance of being prepared for the worst.  I live in Bangkok with my wife and infant son.  We moved back here a couple of years ago because my work focuses on Asian markets. Of course, we also wanted to live in a cheap, stable, tropical paradise.

Ask Creditnet: Dealing with Closed Credit Card Accounts

 

 

Dear Creditnet: I recently lost my job and won't be able to make next month's credit card payment. So I called the credit card company to discuss my options. Less than a week later, they closed my account without even notifying me. I was told by a customer service agent that it didn't matter whether I closed the account or they did because it affects my credit the same. Is this true? Also, is there a way to get this off my credit report now? Or should I just wait for it to go to collections and then negeotiate a "pay for delete"?

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