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How to Choose the Best Balance Transfer Credit Card

Credit card companies desperately want the opportunity to just get a place in your wallet.  In fact, they're often willing to offer free money in the form of 0 percent interest credit cards and sign-up bonuses in hopes that they can convince you it'll be worth giving their new card a try. In addition, credit issuers know that many Americans are making a continued effort to pay down high-interest credit card debt, and one of the best ways to do that is by transferring old balances to no interest credit cards in order to pay off the debt while avoiding unnecessary interest charges. That's why you will always find a significant number of competing offers when comparing 0 percent interest credit cards online. Demand is high!

Tired of Secured Credit Cards? Take Your Credit To the Next Level

Secured credit cards are a great way to rebuild credit for those who want to avoid the higher fees and interest rates that often accompany unsecured credit cards for bad credit.  But what's the next step on the path to excellent credit after you've managed to pull your FICO scores out of the dump and into the average credit range? You really shouldn't use a secured credit card for one day longer than you absolutely must. Unfortunately, many people tend to hang onto them for way too long because they're worried about using unsecured credit again. This is a mistake and will only cost you more time and money as you work to get your credit scores back where you want them.

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Is Credit Card Approval Ever Certain?

The time has come to ditch the old debit card and add a new rewards credit card to your wallet, but how can you be certain you'll get approved for the card you want? Is it even worth your time to fill out the application? I get these questions quite often from readers, and the answer is a simple one. There's absolutely no way to know. However, you can certainly improve your chances of getting a big thumbs up from the credit card company by making sure you know where your FICO credit scores stand before completing a card application. Once you pull your FICO scores and determine where you fall in the bad, fair, good or excellent credit range, you can then make a better decision regarding which credit card offers would be the best fit for your credit profile. Unfortunately, you're not entitled to free FICO scores each year like you are free credit reports, so you may have to settle for an estimate from a site like as CreditKarma if you're not willing to shell out cash for your scores.

Ask Creditnet: How to Help My Child Rebuild Credit

Dear Creditnet: My college-age son had good credit, but then he got sick and was unable to work for a long time. He got behind on all of his obligations, so my husband and I are attempting to help get him back on track and rebuild his credit. We would like him to have a credit card in his name that we will be responsible for paying, but we're not sure what kind of card he could get approved for with bad credit. We would rather not co-sign unless it's absolutely necessary. What do you suggest? - Mary B. from CT

Tax Form 1099-C: IRS Implications of Charged-Off Credit Cards

If you’re anything like me, your stomach drops when you receive any form of communication from the IRS. That’s because if they’re sending you something in the mail, it's most often because you owe some clams to Uncle Sam. Inevitably, the government finds ways in which to squeeze revenues from as many angles as possible, especially with today’s trimmed public budgets and high government debt. In fact, credit card holders have often been the recipients of such attempts at increasing the public coffers.

How to Choose The Best No Annual Fee Credit Card

Choosing the right credit card is often all about keeping life simple, and for many consumers this means picking a credit card with no annual fee.  So what exactly should you be looking for when comparing all the no annual fee credit cards out there? There are certainly a lot of different cards to choose from. The first thing you should look for are credit cards with no annual fee that also offer some type of rewards program. What's there to dislike about no annual fee credit cards that offer rewards too? You get to use the credit card for free, and in return you'll receive miles, points, or cash back for every dollar you would have spent anyway. As long as you use the card responsibly, you really can't go wrong! It's an amazing perk for those with good credit.

Why Prepaid Cards Won't Rebuild Credit

The first thing we should clear up in this discussion is the fact that there's no such thing as a "prepaid credit card".  It simply doesn't exist.   If anyone references a prepaid credit card in a conversation with you, what they actually mean is a "prepaid debit card". The terms unfortunately get mixed up all the time, even though "debit" and "credit" mean very different things, but the fact is all of these cards are debit cards.  So now that we've got that confusing point cleared up, let's move onto how these prepaid debit cards work and how they affect your credit scores. Prepaid debit cards are actually quite simple financial products.  They basically work just like a debit card that's linked to your personal checking account, only there's no checking account to worry about.

Ask Creditnet: What Credit Limit Will I Receive?

Dear Creditnet: I have good credit scores and plan to apply for a new cash back credit card sometime this month. I've already chosen the card I want, but how can I get a feel for what kind of credit limit I'll receive? I'm worried about canceling my old card if my new credit limit won't be high enough to support my regular spending habits. So is there any way to find out what credit limit I'll get beforehand, or is it always a shot in the dark?

What's a Bad Credit Score?

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 first need to take a close look at your real FICO scores.  I'm not talking about all the so-called "free" credit scores you can get your hands on by signing up for some random credit monitoring product or paying a few extra bucks to the credit bureaus after pulling your free credit reports.  Those scores are practically worthless and should only be used if you can get the scores for free too.

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