Joshua Heckathorn's blog

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Ask Creditnet: Will Paying a Cell Phone Bill Improve Credit Scores?

Dear Creditnet: I just got a new cell phone and the salesperson mentioned that paying my bill on time each month will help improve my credit. Is this true? If so, will the new cell phone bill have the same type of positive effect on my credit scores as my student credit cards and student loans? - Sandra L. from CA

Ask Creditnet: Help! My Corporate Credit Card is in Collections

Dear Creditnet: I'm currently receiving collection notices from American Express for an unpaid balance on an old corporate credit card. I left the company where I had this card in late 2011. I have combed through all my Amex bills, corporate expense reports and reimbursements, but I've been unable to find any unpaid charges on the card. In addition, because the card was in my name and I incurred all the charges, my former employer takes no responsibility for the unpaid balance even though the charges were made solely for work purposes. Will this affect my personal credit? What should I do now?

Disputing Errors On Credit Reports: How to Think Outside the Box

According to a report released by the Federal Trade Commission in 2013, 21 percent of American consumers have errors on their credit reports. And since the major credit reporting bureaus track the credit histories of roughly 200 million Americans, that means we can estimate some 42 million of us have errors on our credit reports. That’s a lot of errors!

Ask Creditnet: Should I Ever Use a Credit Card Cash Advance?

Dear Creditnet: I've been tempted to use the cash advance option on my credit card more than once, but have always found the necessary cash to scrape by when it came down to it.

Can you explain how cash advances work, and should I ever apply for one if my cash situation gets especially tight? Thanks in advance. - Chris from Austin, TX

Why Pay Taxes with a Credit Card?

Do you have a friend who always brags about how big he expects his tax refund to be and what he plans to spend it on? I do.

Every year I bite my tongue as I listen to him go on and on about the huge check he’ll be getting from Uncle Sam and how he’s already spent the money on a new toy of some sort. I just have to nod my head and say, “Great man, great. I’m really happy for you.”

Infographic: How to Make a 0% Interest Credit Card Balance Transfer

Credit card debt that just keeps on growing is often a product of the high interest consumers are stuck paying on existing balances. Wouldn't it be great if you could just rid yourself of the additional 10, 20 or 25% in interest and start paying down your debt directly?

(The answer is: 'Obviously')

Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®: 1.5% Cash Back and No Annual Fee!

Never heard of Barclaycard before?  Well, you're not alone here in the United States.  Although Barclaycard has been around for over 50 years and serves 36 million cardholders worldwide, its brand recognition still isn't that great in America.

What's a "Good" FICO Score?

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-top shape can save you a lot of hassle and money in the future.

Yet Another FICO Credit-Scoring Myth

Have you ever heard about how you can unlock your car by having someone transmit a signal from a spare remote key via your cell phone? Pretty cool, huh? Well, it doesn't work. Keyless remotes and cell phones operate on completely different frequencies, so don't plan on this trick ever saving the day the next time you lock your keys in the trunk. Regardless, I've heard this urban myth so many times over the past few months that I even started to believe it might work. That is, until I saw it busted with my own eyes on perhaps the greatest show known to mankind—Mythbusters. Seriously, I can't get enough of the Discovery Channel.

Credit Scoring Myths

I’ve been hearing a lot about credit scoring myths these days in our Credit Talk forum. You've probably heard many of the ones I'm thinking of too: "quick and easy ways" to magically add points to your credit scores in a short period of time. Usually they're the same ones that have been circulating around for years, like these two favorites:

  • Close any credit card accounts you don’t use, increase your income, and your credit score will increase too!
  • Just use cash to pay for everything and your credit will be perfect!

I hope you haven’t fallen for any of these. If you have, I’m happy you're taking the time to visit this site and educate yourself about credit cards and how to use them responsibly. It's definitely a step in the right direction.

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