Authors

Curtis Arnold
Curtis Arnold, Editor-in-Chief
Joe Taylor
Joe Taylor Jr., Reporter
Amber Stubbs
Amber Stubbs, Managing Editor

Building Rebuilding Credit

  • Should you get a credit card after bankruptcy?

    If you've recently had a bankruptcy discharged, your mailbox may be filling with new credit card offers. Although it seems counterintuitive, some companies actually seek out and market their cards to recently bankrupt individuals. That may be due in part to the fact that once you've declared bankruptcy, the law limits how quickly you can [...]

  • What's a credit builder loan?

    Looking for a quick way to re-activate or build credit without a credit card? Consider a credit builder loan. "A credit builder loan is actually a loan. It just happens to have the by-product of helping to establish or re-establish credit," says John Ulzheimer, credit expert at CreditSesame.com. "You might pay $100, $95, $75 a month, [...]

  • Sworn off credit cards? It could hurt your credit

    Up until age 40, Ian Levinson had credit. "I had credit cards and I maintained perfect credit on credit cards for personal and business use," says Levinson, who owns Cloud House Pottery in Delray Beach, Fla. Levinson, who grew up in Southern California, opened a new bank account after moving to Sedona, Ariz., in 2006. He used a [...]

  • Co-signing a loan? Better be aware of the consequences

    So you have excellent credit? Good for you. A credit score of 700-and-above makes it easier and less expensive for you to buy a home, lease a car, start a business, or obtain any other type of financial credit. But you can degrade or even ruin that credit -- or take a big hit in the pocketbook [...]

  • The Freshman $1000: How to help your college student with credit card debt

    Instead of gaining the infamous freshman 15 of extra pounds, your student has fallen prey to the Freshman $1000 by quickly running up credit card charges soon after arriving on campus. But unlike other mistakes that your student is bound to make, getting into debt and missing payments can affect his future for years to [...]

  • Running up the credit score

    Valerie Howard of Nashville started planning her financial life at age 14. Now, at age 22, she has two credit cards, a car, a house, a healthy 401(k), and a good credit score. A good credit score is something you may not think about -- until you need it to get the best credit card, buy [...]

  • 8 tips for better credit and better health

    Do you wish you and your family had leaner bodies and fatter wallets? You might think accomplishing either one of those would involve a lot of grueling work, but that's not always the case. The good news is that making some simple changes in your life can improve both your physical and financial health. Here are [...]

  • Best credit cards after bankruptcy

    More than 1.4 million Americans claimed bankruptcy during the preceding year as of September 2011 (the latest statistics available), punctuating the frustration many Americans felt at the height of the economic crisis. Filing for bankruptcy protection under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 requires overcoming extreme emotions. We fear the social stigma of being classified [...]

  • How $5 ruined my credit score

    CardRatings.com asked readers to tell us how they helped or hurt their credit scores. This story from reader Melinda Graham of York, Pa., shows how a little bill can cost you big money. In the fall of 2008, I got a flu shot at my doctor's office. A few weeks later, I got billed $5 for [...]

  • Rebuilding credit with the best credit cards

    According to federal court records, Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings outnumbered Chapter 13 filings more than two to one during 2011. Home foreclosures and insurmountable medical bills topped the reasons why many Americans are seeking this last resort for debt relief. Even if you've been dutifully paying your credit card bills every month for years, defaulting [...]

  • 5 financial Band-Aids that can make the bleeding worse

    You've resolved to improve your financial situation this year. Maybe you want to pay off a loan, knock off some credit card debt or boost your credit score. Way to go! As you set out to accomplish your goal, beware and avoid options that seem like quick fixes. Often, they only help at the surface temporarily, [...]

  • Square one: how to build credit after divorce

    Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful and emotionally draining experiences of your life. Your credit score is probably the last thing on your mind, but you do need to make sure you're working towards a healthy financial future in the midst of the separation from your spouse. Some people are left [...]

  • 12 steps to credit recovery in 2012

    If your 2011 financial history involved a string of late payments, dealing with foreclosure, or having accounts go to collections, your credit score probably took a beating. Still, it is possible to restore your credit if you're willing to make a consistent effort. You'll need to modify your spending, adopt healthier payment practices and tweak a [...]

  • The truth about bankruptcy and your credit score

    If you've ever filed for bankruptcy, or considered doing so, you probably worried about the impact of a bankruptcy filing on your credit score. That concern is understandable. After all, a bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for 10 long years. But choosing bankruptcy protection doesn't mean your overall credit rating has to suffer for a decade. [...]

  • 5 credit score serial killers

    When we're kids, those shirts in the bedroom closet can look like lurking monsters. Without a nightlight, the dark can seem ominous and chilling. When we're a little older, our fears turn to horror movies, roller coasters and pop quizzes. But for grownups, there's nothing quite as dark and creepy as a steadily dropping credit [...]

  • Best credit cards if your credit is in the doghouse

    As the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis spread to credit card issuers in 2010, as many as 11 in 100 credit card accounts fell so far behind that banks charged them off as noncollectable. Though that ratio has dropped by half since then, you may be one of the many consumers who now face [...]

  • 6 Things to Know Before Applying for a Secured Credit Card

    If you're looking to rebuild a damaged credit history or if you're trying to establish credit for the first time, a secured credit card might be just what you need. A secured credit card can help resolve a catch-22 problem that torments consumers in these situations: How do you get a credit card when you [...]

  • How to Rebuild Your Credit History After Bankruptcy Using Secured Credit Cards

    Several months ago Tom, a member of CreditBoards.com, filed for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Now he is in the process of rebuilding his credit history. It's a task that is not easy, but with patient persistence he is seeing progress already. Daily he checks his credit score and is slowly seeing improvement.1 In addition to [...]