Joshua Heckathorn's blog

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Keeping Cash on Hand for Emergencies

The earthquake in Japan scared the crap out of me, and I was simply sitting in the comfort of my home nearly 5,000 miles away. I would find myself up late at night watching video clips on CNN over and over again thinking, "Did this really just happen?" The footage looked like something straight out of an apocalyptic movie. Really scary stuff!

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.

Ask Creditnet: Should I Cut My Credit Limit?

Dear Creditnet: My wife and I have excellent credit scores, but we used to only have one no annual fee credit card with a limit of $10,000 (balance is paid off each month). I recently opened another credit card with better rewards and it has a $20,000 credit limit.

I've been told not to close out our first credit card account, but should I lower the credit limit on it to somewhere around $500 since we won't be using it? Or will our credit scores be negatively affected by lowering our available credit limit from $30,000 to $20,500?

Will St. Patrick's Day Break the Bank?

But that's not to say that St. Patrick's Day isn't mighty. March 17th is about celebrating a nation's heritage as much as it is to indulge in a pint or two (or three). St. Paddy's is often overlooked in favor of such blockbuster boozing holidays as New Year's Eve and the 4th of July. But does it deserve to be stuck in the minor leagues of spending?

Don't Miss Out on Your Q1 Chase Freedom Bonus

If you're a Chase Freedom card user, you should already know that you can get 5% cash back on purchases in certain categories that fluctuate every quarter. But did you know that you need to activate this free benefit every quarter?

Capital One Venture Card Now Matches 100,000 Miles

 UPDATE: This offer is no longer available. If you're a fan of flying Southwest, you're probably also a fan of their easy-to-understand frequent flyer program— Rapid Rewards. Fly 8 roundtrips anywhere, and get one roundtrip free. Couldn't have been much more simple than that! Unfortunately, as of March 1st, Southwest's frequent flier program just got a lot more complicated. The major change is that they will now issue points instead of credits, and your points will have different values depending upon what type of fare you choose for your award. I'm not a big-time Southwest flier, but I think it's safe to say that a lot of their customers won't be happy with this change. I've had several friends already talk about getting rid of their Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards since they are moving to a new points-based system too. What I've been telling them is that if you're looking for a new airline rewards credit card, you should really check out this huge promotion that Capital One is starting today for its Capital One Venture Rewards card.

New Credit Card Rules Shun Stay-at-home Moms

[caption id="attachment_2894" align="alignleft" width="231" caption=" "]stay at home moms[/caption]

I was raised by a full-time mom. She was incredible. In fact, my Dad used to always say that she deserved a salary much higher than his for all she accomplished around the home.

Of course, that doesn't mean he put her on payroll, but she always had what she needed to spend on food, the kids, and herself. His income was her income, and that worked for us, as it does for millions of other families.

Ask Creditnet: What to Do When You Have "Too Much Open Credit"

discover credit card
Dear Creditnet: I recently applied for a 0% interest credit card and was declined because I apparently have "too much open credit." What exactly does this mean?

I have good credit and pay all my bills on time, so I was really surprised when I got declined. What should I do next?

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: Credit Card Use on a Fluctuating Income

Dear Creditnet: I need some expert advice. My credit score is in the low to mid 500's...sad i know! I have 7 credit cards that I use all the time, but they have low limits under $1,000. My work is commission only too, which often causes me to make late payments and then get hit with big fees. How can I better manage my credit cards and improve my credit scores?

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