Weekly Tips

Weekly Tips

Paying Off Car Loan Could Hurt Your Credit Score

It may sound counterintuitive, but paying off your car loan probably won't improve your credit score. In fact, if it's the only installment loan you have, your credit score could take quite an unexpected hit. Here's why: According to the Fair Isaac Corporation, creator of the mighty FICO score, the types of credit consumers use (otherwise know as your "credit mix") accounts for 10 percent of their overall FICO score.

on Mon, 2010-04-26 17:00

CD Laddering: How it Works

If you're like many consumers these days, you're spending less and saving more. And while high-yield online savings accounts certainly make a great place to stash your savings, their interest rates are variable and thus subject to downward movements in the market. So if you're looking for a better way to make the most of your savings, you may want to consider building your very own CD ladder.

on Sun, 2010-04-18 17:00

Closed Credit Cards Can Still Affect Utilization

Credit utilization, which accounts for a large chunk of your overall FICO score, measures how much of your available revolving credit is being used each month. The higher the ratio, the more it hurts your credit score.

on Sun, 2010-04-11 17:00

Don't Tap 401(k) to Pay Off Debt

Are you thinking about tapping your retirement funds to get rid of lingering credit card debt? If so, don't do it, and here's why:

While racking up too much debt on credit cards may be one of the worst financial moves a consumer can make, raiding retirement funds to dig out of debt ranks high on the list of financial "no-nos" as well.

on Tue, 2010-04-06 17:00

Credit Scores That Matter

Credit scores can be confusing enough without having to worry about whether the score you just purchased is a "real" credit score. Major Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) unfortunately add to the confusion by not making it very clear that most of the credit scores sold through their websites will never even be looked at by a lender.

on Tue, 2010-03-30 17:00

How to Activate a Credit Freeze

A credit freeze prevents lenders from pulling, viewing and thus modifying your credit reports. No one, including yourself, should be able to open any type of credit in your name while a freeze is active. For these reasons, initiating a credit freeze has become a popular tool among consumers who are dealing with the aftershocks of identity theft.

on Sun, 2010-03-28 17:00

Watch Your Grace Period

Do you know how long you have to pay your monthly credit card bill before interest starts accruing? If you pay balances in full each month (as you ALWAYS should), chances are your card still provides a 20 to 30 day grace period on new purchases. However, that may not always be the case.

on Sun, 2010-03-21 17:00

Credit Counseling: Will it Ruin Your Credit Score?

It's a common belief that credit counseling can trash your credit score. In fact, some people even claim that enrollment in a credit counseling program is as bad as filing bankruptcy, which can often linger as a big black mark on your credit reports for up to ten years.

on Sun, 2010-03-14 17:00

Put Your Tax Refund to Good Use

If you aren't getting a tax refund this year, congrats—you successfully avoided giving the government an interest-free loan.

On the other hand, if you happen to be one of the millions entitled to a big fat refund check, then you're probably already thinking about what you'll do when the cash hits your bank account. Here are a few suggestions to help you put your refund to good use.

First, set aside a small amount to treat yourself or the family to something fun. Life needs to be more than just saving and paying the bills.

on Sun, 2010-03-07 16:00

Paid Collections: Will They Go Away?

Many consumers are surprised when they find paid collection accounts still sitting on their credit reports. Unfortunately, it's a common misconception that paying off an account in collections will simply cause it to go away. The truth is that's not always the case.

on Mon, 2010-03-01 16:00