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

Citi Forward Card Rewards Financial Responsibility

Citi Forward Card

I've heard a lot of hype during the last few days about Citi's new Forward card, so I thought I would take a closer look at what benefits the card really offers to consumers. I must admit that after a quick review of the details, it seems as though the card can actually be quite rewarding. And it has no annual fee! I especially like that part of the deal.

Amex Offers Cash to Get Rid of Customers

American Express won't share the juicy details behind how it chose the select few, but Reuters recently reported that the credit card giant is actually offering some U.S. cardholders $300 to pay off balances and close their accounts. My, how things have changed, eh? A short time ago credit issuers were stepping all over each other trying to become the card of choice in everyone's wallet, and now they're willing to pay cash to just get out before the economy gets any worse.

Fannie and Freddie Twist the Knife in Our Backs

Operating under federal control and still burning through cash like it's going out of style, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have decided it's the perfect time to twist the knife in our backs and make it even more costly to get a home loan in this horrific lending environment. Effective April 1st, the dynamic duo plan to implement a new set of mandatory loan fees based on tighter down-payment and credit scoring rules.

Perfect timing guys! Just what our economy needs to pull itself out of this seemingly never-ending slump. And while I can understand their desperate need for additional revenue-generating fees, it just doesn't make any sense to penalize future buyers that come to the table with solid credit scores and sizable down payments for the sins of the past. That's not going to improve the situation for anyone but Fannie and Freddie.

Experian Ends Partnership with Fair Isaac

Unless Experian and Fair Isaac can figure out a way to reignite the fire in their marriage before Valentine's Day, we will no longer have the ability to access FICO scores based on Experian data. Creditnet.com received notice last week that Experian sent a termination letter to Fair Isaac in mid January that will apparently end the rocky relationship between the credit bureau and the developer of the 800-pound gorilla of credit scores. Equifax and TransUnion FICO scores will still be available at www.myfico.com; however, Experian FICO scores will no longer be accessible from myFICO or anywhere else for that matter.

Consumers Pay the Price of Loyalty

I confessed in an earlier post, "Use 'Em or Lose 'Em", my obsession with stockpiling reward points and airline miles. There's just something strangely comforting about hoarding hundreds of thousands of points and miles to redeem whenever the urge arises.

The problem is all these points seem to be losing value faster than my stock portfolio lately! And it looks like reward programs will continue to be a prime target for more aggressive cuts in 2009. So, if you've been hoarding points for years in preparation for that "big-ticket" purchase, it's time to rethink your strategy.

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