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

Ask Creditnet: What Credit Limit Will I Receive?

Dear Creditnet: I have good credit scores and plan to apply for a new cash back credit card sometime this month. I've already chosen the card I want, but how can I get a feel for what kind of credit limit I'll receive? I'm worried about canceling my old card if my new credit limit won't be high enough to support my regular spending habits. So is there any way to find out what credit limit I'll get beforehand, or is it always a shot in the dark?

What's a Bad Credit Score?

A few weeks ago I wrote about what "fair credit" means in the credit-scoring world, so I thought it would be a good idea to follow up on that post with a brief explanation of what "bad credit" means as well. After all, there's often a very fine line these days which separates the two categories. If you have bad credit, you're probably aware of the fact that your credit isn't stellar. But just how bad is it? Is it bad, poor, fair, or just below average? Well, to answer these questions you first need to take a close look at your real FICO scores.  I'm not talking about all the so-called "free" credit scores you can get your hands on by signing up for some random credit monitoring product or paying a few extra bucks to the credit bureaus after pulling your free credit reports.  Those scores are practically worthless and should only be used if you can get the scores for free too.

Why Your First Credit Card Shouldn't Have An Annual Fee

Next to payment history and your credit utilization ratio, "length of credit history" is the most important factor in determining your FICO credit scores.  In fact, it accounts for approximately 15% of your overall credit score, so it's definitely something you can't ignore. So what does this have to do with choosing your first credit card?  A lot!   You see, your length of credit history is primarily determined by the amount of time that's passed since your first credit card was opened, which means you want to keep your very first credit card open for as long as possible. That may sound easy in theory, but it's actually quite difficult for many credit card users.

AMEX Prepaid Increases Gift Card Bonus to $25

A few weeks ago I wrote about Amex giving away $10 complimentary gift cards to cardholders who signed up for a new Amex Prepaid Card in July and loaded it with $50. Well, we recently received word that Amex has just upped the ante in August for those who are willing to load their new prepaid card with $200 at the time of order. Here's how the new deal works:

Credit Card Rewards: Are They Taxable?

We've seen some great credit card sign-up bonuses hit the market so far this year. In fact, some have been worth more than $500 to new cardholders.  Hopefully you've been able to take advantage of at least one and are expecting either a big cash back check or a free holiday vacation using all the rewards points you've banked. If you are expecting a large cash back check from your credit card company, you may also be wondering if Uncle Sam will want his piece of it next tax season too.  After all, if there's anything the government claims it needs more of these days, it would be tax revenues!  So, does the IRS actually consider your credit card rewards to be taxable income?

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