Credit Scores

Credit Scores

10 Ways to Destroy Your Credit in 2012

I think I might vomit if I have to read one more "10 steps to financial freedom in 2012" blog post. They all say the same things.  Make a budget, track every penny you spend, build an emergency fund...blah, blah, blah! Don't get me wrong.  Those are each important parts of personal finance, but aren't you bored of reading the same old stuff?  I certainly am.  So I'd like to take a different spin on things for my first post of 2012. Want to destroy your credit this year?  Here's 10 ways to make it happen:

Dash to Goodwill Before Ringing in 2012

[caption id="attachment_5920" align="alignleft" width="500" caption=" "]happy new year 2012Photo by Creativity103[/caption]

You probably have a list of 50 things to do today as you prepare to ring in 2012 with friends and family, but I'll bet most of them will cost you money.  Here's a quick task to add to your New Year's Eve list that will actually save you some money in 2012.

To save on your 2011 tax bill, take an hour this afternoon and rummage through your closets for old clothes, toys, and household items that are just taking up valuable space.  If you come across something and it hasn't been used in 6 months, get rid of it.  Don't try to talk yourself into keeping it around because there's the slight chance you might need it at some point in the future.

Trust me, if you haven't used that old t-shirt you won at the state fair 3 years ago, you're never going to need it.  Donate it to someone who will, and earn yourself a little tax break.

Top Three Holiday Credit Mishaps

The holiday season is in full swing, and regardless of which holiday(s) you celebrate, gift giving is exciting, expected, and expensive. While it's certainly ok to share your hard-earned cash with loved ones through gift giving this holiday season, keep in mind the three most common credit mishaps as you fit in your last-minute shopping. After all, 'tis the season to be jolly! 'Tis not the season to be tricked, scammed, or sold into destroying your holiday and your credit for years to come.

Top 6 Ways to Reduce Identity Theft

This past week, I've heard the phrase "I never thought it would happen to me" more than ever before. A rather crafty scam artist took a list of names and phone numbers and started sending multiple phishing texts and phone calls to my clients and others across the nation. Because of the timing and persistence of these points of contact, many people were tricked into entering their card number and pin. Now before you go thinking you would never provide such information to somebody, let me tell you that the methods of this scammer were quite convincing in many instances. Luckily, we are positive the list was not secured via our database, so no sensitive information was compromised, but the growing risk of identity theft has never been more apparent to me.

Your Beacon Score: Is It Something To Worry About?

beacon score scale

A few days ago, a client came to my desk asking, "A Beacon score? What in the world is that!?"

This client has spent the last few years building his credit through responsible use of student loans, no interest credit cards, and a car loan. He now wants to capitalize on record-low interest rates and purchase a home, but he recognized that by ignoring his BEACON Score he might have missed something that could potentially cost him tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

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.

Credit: What's Love Got to Do With It?

Live, Laugh, Love. Three simple verbs, yet many have deemed them the motto of their life. I used to think it was pretty cheesy, but when I took a second to think of the deeper meaning behind these words, I realized it’s not such a bad motto to use.  So what does it have to do with your credit? Well, everything.

Short Sales and Foreclosures Have Same Effect on Credit

Are you confronted with a possible short sale or foreclosure on your home? If so, you may be wondering how long it will take your FICO scores to FULLY recover after one of these bombshells hits your credit reports. It's a great question, and it happens to be one that we receive emails about every day. Well, now we have some hard data from FICO that finally helps clear up all the confusion around FICO scores, short sales, and foreclosures.

Give the Gift of Good Credit This Valentine's Day

[caption id="attachment_2706" align="alignnone" width="500" caption=" "]valentines day candyPhoto by HurricaneMaine[/caption]

You have amazing credit. Your Valentines's credit stinks.

It's a common occurrence these days, but did you know it's one that you can easily do something about?

Forget about the overpriced stuffed animals, waxy chocolate, and expensive dinners this Valentine's day, and give your partner something that will really change his/her future forever. Lend your excellent credit score! Here's how:

Ask Creditnet: Beacon vs. FICO Scores

FICO credit scores Dear Creditnet: I recently applied for a home loan and was completely caught off guard by my credit score. I subscribe to a credit monitoring service, so I thought I knew my scores before I began the application process. Boy was I wrong! I thought my Equifax credit score was 668, but the score my banker pulled was 618. He told me they use the Equifax Beacon 5.0, so why is there such a difference? They're the same scores, right? Unfortunately, this 50 point swing is costing me an extra 1.5% in interest. Ouch!


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