Credit Scores

Credit Scores

Ask Creditnet: Settling vs. Paying in Full

Dear Creditnet: I have cleaned up my credit for the most part, but I still have a few old credit cards with balances that are reporting as collections on my credit reports. I could pay these off in full now, but the creditors are offering me settlements for about 30% of the actual balance. Will it help my credit scores more if I pay these off in full, or should I just accept the settlements and save the extra money? - Angela M. from AZ

Ask Creditnet: How Rapid Rescores Work

Dear Creditnet: I'm trying to buy a house this summer and my credit scores are just a bit too low to qualify for the best possible interest rate. My mortgage broker is suggesting we do something called a "rapid rescore" in order to quickly improve my credit before we close, but I don't understand how this works. Can a rapid rescore actually improve my credit scores, and how can I be sure that it will help me get approved for the loan? - Max S. from OR

Credit Myth: Employment History Impacts FICO Scores

Every so often an old credit myth I haven't heard in awhile will pop up again during a conversation with some friends. This past weekend it happened during a chat with a colleague about unemployment and its effect, or lack thereof, on FICO scores. Contrary to what many people think, you can be unemployed for a long period of time and still maintain excellent credit scores. The truth is the FICO credit-scoring model doesn't consider your employment history in any way, shape, or form. Like the level of your income, it's a complete non-factor.

Ask Creditnet: Will a Loan Modification Hurt My Credit Scores?

Dear Creditnet: I'm thinking about applying for a loan modification so I can hopefully continue to afford the mortgage payments on my home, but I've heard it will really hurt my credit scores. Is that true? If so, what kind of hit can I expect my scores to take? -Wendy in CA

Get Free FICO Scores with Walmart Credit Card

We're always on the hunt for new ways to get your hands on free FICO Scores. Not the "FAKO" scores that credit bureaus and free credit report sites will try to pawn off on you, but real FICO scores. You know, the ones lenders actually use to assess your risk as a borrower.

Credit Scores: Does Your State Have Good Credit?

Check out this infographic to see how your state stacks up against others in terms of average credit score.

How To Manage Student Loans

Hallelujah! My wife and I just finished paying off another student loan. Two down, and one more to go! This past year, nearly seventy percent of undergraduates finished school with outstanding student loans.  In fact, the average student loan debt in 2010 totaled around $25,000 per person! If you take the average of 16-18 years to repay these loans, at the standard 6.8% interest rate of unsubsidized, Federal Stafford loans, that $25,000 would equate to over $40,000 in total payments! And don’t forget, these numbers only account for bachelor degrees; graduate school is often two or three times more expensive. So what's the best way to manage your student loans so you can quickly pay them off and move on with your life?  Here are some ideas to help you get started on the right path.

Ask Creditnet: Do Lenders Use the Same FICO scores?

Dear Creditnet: Are the FICO credit scores I can buy at just an estimate of the scores actual lenders use? I'm getting ready to apply for a mortgage and want to make sure there are no surprises when potential lenders pull my credit.

10 Steps to Home Ownership

First-time homebuyers face an uphill battle when applying for a mortgage in today's real estate environment.  The days of no-credit and no-money-down loans are definitely over—at least for now. There are, however, a number of steps every first-time buyer should follow in order to make the homebuying process as smooth as possible. Here are 10 steps to guide you into homeownership: