Like it or not, FICO scores have become extremely important numbers in our lives. So much so that I often refer to them as our "personal reputation" in the financial world. Disregard your FICO scores, and you may find it extremely difficult to get approved for anything from apartment rentals, auto loans, and home loans, to a new rewards credit card. Even insurance companies are taking a look at your FICO scores these days to determine if you're a risk worth taking, so there's no doubt that keeping your scores in tip...
written on Aug 27, 2012 by Joshua Heckathorn
written on Aug 13, 2012 by Joshua Heckathorn
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...
written on Aug 10, 2012 by Joshua Heckathorn
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...
written on Jul 30, 2012 by Joshua Heckathorn
Your credit scores aren't horrible, but they aren't spectacular either. And while there's no denying you've had some credit issues in the past, at least you've finally taken the necessary steps to get your personal finances back on track. Things are definitely heading in the right direction. So where should you begin looking when you're ready to get a new credit card that'll be a good fit for your current credit situation? You know you want to avoid credit cards for bad credit unless there are no...
written on Jul 20, 2012 by Joshua Heckathorn
Even if you know relatively little about how FICO scores work, you've most likely heard that when your credit is pulled it hurts your scores. I've actually found this to be the primary reason people avoid applying for new credit. In fact, friends often ask me how I manage to apply for so many of the rewards credit cards I rate and review on Creditnet.com. Shouldn't all those credit inquiries be killing my FICO scores? Well, they haven't, and I...
written on Jun 23, 2012 by jeffg
I believe that all of us can conquer our credit scores. And while an 800+ credit score might not be on the immediate horizon, a “good” credit score on the other hand is certainly attainable. Unfortunately, most of us have all lied to ourselves once or twice about getting out of debt and improving our credit, even though we know that honesty is the first step to financial security. Here are some...
written on Jun 01, 2012 by Joshua Heckathorn
[caption id="attachment_5359" align="alignnone" width="400" caption=" "]Photo by Brent Moore[/caption]
If you didn't already get the memo,...
written on Apr 30, 2012 by Joshua Heckathorn
Spring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. For many, there's just something about the spring season that makes us want to declutter life and move forward with a fresh start. This might include scrubbing the entire house from floor to ceiling or finally getting around to cleaning out piles of junk from the old attic. But what about all the financial clutter that makes its way into our lives? Shouldn't it get some attention too?
written on Apr 25, 2012 by Joshua Heckathorn
It's true that too many credit inquiries can have a negative effect on FICO scores, but my experience has been that most people focus WAY too much on this small factor in the FICO credit-scoring model. In fact, I receive emails quite often from both readers and personal friends who are concerned about something as simple as applying for a new airline miles credit card because they're planning on financing a new home or a car in the next 12 months. Their reasoning is they don't want to risk...
written on Mar 10, 2012 by ELISABETH CHAN
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.