Weekly Tips

Weekly Tips

Can the Same Debt be Reported Twice?

Consumers are often surprised when they pull their credit reports and find that one of their old debts is listed twice under different creditors' names. How can this happen?

on Sun, 2011-03-13 17:00

Beware of Debit Card Caps

The new rules haven't been finalized yet, but there's a good chance that "swipe fees" (what banks and card issuers charge merchants when a debit card is used to make a purchase) will be reduced in July. So what does that mean for your wallet?

on Mon, 2011-03-07 16:00

Don't Become a Foreclosure Statistic

There were more than 1 million foreclosures in 2010, according to , a leading online real estate marketplace and publisher of the country's largest and most comprehensive foreclosure database. In fact, banks seized a total of 1.05 million properties, topping the previous record of 918,000 in 2009.

on Mon, 2011-02-28 16:00

Rent Payments Now Included on Experian Credit Reports

Experian recently announced that it began including residential rental payment data on credit reports as of January 2011. In the past, the only way rental payment information would ever show up on your credit reports was if your account was sent to collections or you were evicted. Nothing positive was ever tracked—only the negative marks.

on Mon, 2011-02-28 16:00

Don't Use Retirement Funds to Pay Off Debt

It can be tempting to dip into retirement money when no cash is left in the bank and there are bills to be paid, but you must resist the temptation! Retirement funds are for one and only one thing—retirement. They need to be left alone so you can take care of yourself when you're old and gray.

on Wed, 2011-02-23 16:00

Prepare and e-File Your Tax Return for Free

Tax season is upon us yet again! But before you head out to purchase the latest tax software, did you know that you might be able to get it for free? In fact, if your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) was $58,000 or less in 2010, the Internal Revenue Service wants to help you prepare and e-file your federal tax return completely for free this year. Here's how it works.

on Tue, 2011-02-15 16:00

Missing Accounts on Credit Reports

Did you know that your credit reports may not reflect all your credit accounts? The truth is creditors aren't required to report anything to the major credit bureaus, so many lenders simply choose not to do so. Smaller credit unions, local retailers, student loan lenders, and gas card companies often fall into this category of non-reporting lenders.

on Mon, 2011-02-07 16:00

How Loan Modifications Affect Credit Scores

The extent of a loan modification's effect on your credit score first depends on whether your lender reports the loan to the credit bureaus as a new loan or the same loan with changes.

on Mon, 2011-01-31 16:00

Foreclosure, Short Sale, Deed-in-lieu: All the Same to FICO

Lots of lawyers, real estate agents, and loan officers love to give free advice about credit scores these days. Unfortunately, many of them have no clue what they're talking about.

A common piece of misguided advice often doled out to struggling homeowners is that choosing an alternative to foreclosure, such as a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, will hurt your credit scores less. This just isn't the case.

on Sun, 2011-01-23 16:00

How to Pay Off Debt: Determining Your Best Course of Action

Personal finance gurus love to argue about which debt you should pay off first. Browse the Internet for just a few minutes, and you'll find volumes of painfully long articles rehashing the same old approaches to paying down debt.

If you haven't found the time to read them all yet, there's no need to worry. Here's a summary of what they basically all say in one sentence.

Either pay off the smallest debt one account at at time, or get rid of the highest-interest debt first. Neither of these methods are new. Rather, they've just been given fancy new names.

on Thu, 2011-01-20 16:00