Joshua Heckathorn's blog

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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!

Discover More: 0% Interest Plus No Balance Transfer Fee!

Discover More credit card Every now and then a really great offer comes on the market for consumers looking to finally get rid of their high-interest credit card debt. This is one of those offers folks! Why is it so great? Well, one of the easiest ways to pay off nagging credit card debt that you just can't make headway on is to transfer the balance to a no interest credit card and devise your own plan to pay it off during the promotional period.

Best Travel Rewards Credit Card of 2010

 

Travel rewards programs suffered major cutbacks in 2010 as credit issuers faced a slew of new federal regulations, lower profits, and customers who were reigning in credit card spending. As a result, many cardholders, including myself, began ditching their travel rewards cards for those that offered cash back at a fixed percentage. And while I certainly love getting a fat cash rebate check at the end of the year, there's just something extra special about hopping on a flight to the other side of the world for free. It makes vacationing all the better! I miss that, and I'm sure others do too.

Ask Creditnet: How Student Credit Cards Affect Credit Scores

 student credit cards Dear Creditnet: I have nine years of credit-history and while my credit is "good", it's not "excellent". I'm currently interested in applying for a top-notch rewards credit card, but my chances of getting approved seem to be much higher if I apply for the student version of the card. So my question is will a student credit card have the same effect as a regular credit card on my credit score? And what about rebuilding my credit-history? Will a student credit card help improve my credit just as much as any other credit card?

Dirty Money - Germs & Contaminants on Paper Currency

How many germs and contaminants are on money? A whopping 92% of all dollar bills have traces of cocaine, which bonds to green dye.

Making Saving Sexy

As I was driving back from my recent vacation to North Carolina, I did something I’ve never done before—I bought a lottery ticket. The jackpot was $137 million and as I talked to the woman behind the register, I could tell she was amused by my clear naïveté in this venture. I chose my numbers, paid a dollar and got back on the road. I viewed the dollar I’d just handed over as, at worst, a donation to the state of North Carolina or, at best, the luckiest dollar I’d ever spent. My wife and I passed the next hour of driving discussing what we would do with the money if we won. Would I keep my job? How much would we give away? Would my friends and family judge me if I insisted on riding a gold Segway everywhere I went?

How to Shop Cyber Monday on a Dime

Okay, well you'll obviously spend more than a dime if you bust out the credit cards during this weekend of shopping bliss. But the object is to just save as much as you possibly can, right?

So if you were in too much of a turkey coma to hit the stores at 4 a.m. on Black Friday, don't fret—you can still redeem yourself today. Cyber Monday is in full swing and my inbox has been blowing up all day long with last-minute deals.

Why not skip out on that boring monday-afternoon meeting and take advantage of the best online bargains you'll find all year long? Get started by checking out the following 3 sites to not only help navigate all the madness, but also quickly cash in on some sweet Cyber Monday deals.

Holiday Credit: 5 Steps to Prepare for Shopping Season

Holiday Credit I purchased my first gallon of eggnog today, which officially marks the beginning of the holiday season in my mind. Let the overspending and overeating begin! Chances are you'll kick off the holidays this week with a tradition or two of your own. And if you're anything like the majority of people in this country, at least part of the excitement will include shopping like a crazy person. But before you hit the malls on Black Friday or your favorite websites on Cyber Monday, you may want to follow these 5 steps to make sure you're well prepared for the full-frontal assault your wallet is about to take.

Ask Creditnet: Credit Cards without Foreign Exchange Fees

Dear Creditnet: I know Capital One credit cards don't charge foreign exchange fees, but I'm frankly not a big fan of Capital One. Are there any other credit issuers offering the same perk with a no annual fee credit card? I travel overseas a lot for both play and work, so a credit card with no foreign exchange fees would save me a lot of dough.

How to Protect Your Credit from Identity Theft

Black Friday is just around the corner!  And whether that conjures up feelings of intense excitement or the urge to lose your lunch, the fact is you'll probably spend more time over the next few months than any other season wandering through crowded malls and surfing the web for the perfect gift. To an identity thief, this means one thing—extra opportunities to nab your credit card information and put a real damper on your holiday cheer! So be a smart shopper this year and take some additional precautions to protect yourself from identity theft and ensure your bank accounts, credit reports and credit scores stay safe and sound.

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