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

Pay Up or Forget About Paying with Plastic

Have you ever thought about how much you would pay to keep your credit card? Years of no annual fees, favorable grace periods, and reasonable interest rates probably kept you from pondering such a question.

Recurring Transfers: Will Your New Bank Drop the Ball?

Juggling balls I used to have an online savings account with a popular national bank. Now, my account is with a different bank I happen to despise due to several poor customer service experiences. Of course, I didn't choose to take my business to this new bank. My old bank happened to tank in grand fashion and its competitor gobbled it up before things got even worse. I should just be happy that all is well and my savings are safe, right?

Signs of Life in the Credit Card Industry?

[/caption] While most mailboxes are enjoying a respite from the daily deluge of credit card offers, major credit issuers are clearly still interested in dropping big bucks to pursue one type of consumer - those with top-notch credit and big-time spending habits. I've seen ads everywhere lately for premium credit cards, such as the new Visa Black or Chase Sapphire card, and it's no secret their marketers are hitting mailboxes around the country pretty hard as well. According to a recent press release from Comperemedia, a firm that tracks direct marketing strategies, credit card issuers continued last year's trend into the 2nd quarter of 2009 by cutting their direct mail offers to consumers "as a whole by 8%." However, of the offers that were delivered, they also sent "28% more offers for premium cards than they did the quarter before."

Piggybacking: What's the Deal?

Piggybacking, a technique often used to build credit by paying to become an authorized user of a stranger's credit card account, has been under fire since it first gained widespread popularity in 2007. In practice, the loophole in the credit scoring system works great, which is perhaps why it's ruffled the feathers of so many people that find it unfair and sleazy. Should it really be so easy to dupe the system? Instead of slowly building my credit history one on-time payment after the next, I can simply pay someone to add a credit card with a high credit limit, low balance, and a clean payment history directly to my credit report. And voila - I instantly have stellar credit and thus a higher credit score. Millions of people have benefited from artificially boosting their credit scores this way, and there's no doubt in my mind that many credit repair agencies have made a nice profit from connecting buyers and sellers of trade lines as well.

Should I Save or Should I Go?

Photo by Kevin Collins

The US personal savings rate has been in the news a lot recently because Americans seem to be saving more than ever.  According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal savings rate reached a 15-year high in May at 6.9%.  This means that for every dollar an American earns, he or she is putting a whopping $0.069 in the bank for a rainy day.

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