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Authors

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

Credit Scores

  • A tale of two nations: The best and worst states for credit conditions

    How is the economy doing? It depends on where you look. In some states, people are practically choking on credit problems, while in others, serious financial difficulties are relatively rare. For example, more than one out of every 500 homes in Florida is in foreclosure, while foreclosures are virtually unheard of in North Dakota. Similar differences [...]

  • Yes, credit score and credit report are two different things

    Many people use the terms credit score and credit report interchangeably. Everyone from journalists to consumers often refer to a credit score when they mean credit report and vice versa. Credit reports and credit scores contain different information, are used for different purposes and are accessed by different companies. What is the difference between a credit [...]

  • 6 reasons credit scores aren't always fair

    Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life. If it's too low -- say, under 640 -- you'll struggle to qualify for a mortgage loan. And if you do get a loan, you'll have to pay higher interest rates.And here's the unfortunate truth: Your credit score can be low even [...]

  • Want to improve your credit score? Think like an insider

    There's little doubt that Americans with higher credit scores get better deals on core consumer items like mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. So why do so many U.S. consumers know so little about their credit scores? According to the Consumer Federation of America, 40 percent of Americans didn't know that credit card companies use credit scores [...]

  • I've got a great credit score. Now what?

    You have spent the last few years working hard to increase your credit score. And you finally have reached the magic credit score number of at least 760. But instead of just resting on your accomplishments, take this opportunity to turn your high score into more money in your pocket. By leveraging your credit score [...]

  • Know the score: A guide to the four most popular credit scoring models

    Your credit score is something every smart consumer should know, but with so many credit scoring models to choose from, it's hard to decide which to use. To help you make sense of the credit-scoring industry, we spoke with four major trackers to find out what sets them apart. Some models, like FICO, include anything [...]

  • Bad credit? Time for tough love and no excuses

    Quick, what's your credit score? Don't know? Don't care? You should. If you've been turned down for loans or received high interest rates from lenders, your credit may be, well, bad. The good news? You can fix it. You really can. But there's no magic formula. There are, however, some concrete steps you can take [...]

  • 5 credit report items that won't affect your score

    You probably know your credit score is driven by the information that appears on your credit report. But what you may not realize is certain line items included by the major credit bureaus aren't going to have any impact on your actual credit score. "What goes into the credit score is information that is, first, reliable [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Red states outscored blue under Obama

    It's the classic election year question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? As the primary season gets under way, expect to hear some version of that question with increasing frequency. Your answer may depend on where you live - and how you vote. A CardRatings.com study used financial data from Experian to [...]

  • Do high credit scores guarantee you the best credit cards?

    If you’ve ever been turned down for a credit card, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the lender to tell you which part of your credit profile hit a sour note, whether it was a past bankruptcy or too many late payments. Since the recent economic downturn, the best credit card companies have made their [...]

  • 7 more ways to raise your FICO score

    From our recent CardRatings article "7 ways to raise your FICO credit score", you know the basic moves to improve your credit score include establishing credit early, ditching debt and correcting credit report errors. Now it's time to make your score soar. These seven advanced tips will help increase your credit score even if you [...]

  • Is a zero balance on a credit card bad?

    There's a myth that carrying a balance on your credit cards will help your credit score. Of the Americans who use credit cards, half (about 54 percent) pay their balances in full every month, according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances. But can this practice help or hurt your credit history? In fact, it [...]

  • Can your credit score help the card issuer?

    Everyone knows about the FICO score, but it's not the only thing credit card companies look at when deciding how much of a credit card deal to offer you. You probably won't be surprised to learn that credit card companies consider your revenue, or how much money comes in, when deciding whether to offer you credit. [...]

  • Forget FICO: What’s your application score?

    There's a lot of worry going around about the FICO credit score. It can be like a sleeping giant you don't want to wake. Carry too much debt, and you could wake the giant and see your score plummet. Never carry debt, and the giant won't like that either. Apply for too many credit cards at [...]

  • 7 ways to raise your FICO credit score

    If you want to save big money on a big loan, do your homework, say the experts. Raising your credit score by as little as 40 points could qualify you for a lower interest on a home mortgage or an auto, student or personal loan. Think of it this way--if you take out a $50,000 loan [...]

  • Demystifying your credit score

    Credit card issuers make fast decisions, bolstered by credit scores that boil down the last decade of your financial history into a three-digit score. A difference of a few points can upgrade your credit card rewards program or eliminate a balance transfer fee. However, few of us take the time to understand where our credit [...]

  • How to score a free credit score

    Do you know your credit score? According to industry experts, an estimated 45 to 60 percent of Americans don't have any insight into this important number. Even worse, U.S. consumers scored only 60 percent on credit score knowledge in a January 2011 poll conducted by the Consumer Federation of America. That means a staggering number [...]

  • What your mail says about your credit score

    Once upon a time, letter carriers delivered, well, letters. You could expect cards from Grandma with $5 bills or handwritten notes from friends just saying hi. Much of that communication takes place over email now (except Grandma's dollars, if you're lucky). Today, your mailbox has become the destination of bills, solicitations and, on a bad day, [...]

  • How to raise your credit score 100 points

    If you are preparing to apply for a new credit card or a loan, you'll want to achieve the highest credit score possible. While FICO cannot provide an exact correlation between individual actions and specific points earned because there are so many variables in each credit score, there are steps you can take that will [...]

  • Top 5 credit card books to download on your Kindle

    The interest in eBooks is on the rise. And why not? If you love to read, reading a book on Kindle is a great way to indulge your passion while spending less money than you would at the bookstore. Reading books on Kindle also fits in with our on-the-go lifestyles. Whether you're on a business [...]

  • 5 Common Mistakes That Can Cripple Your Credit Score

    Have you ever been surprised when your FICO score dropped? Most likely, it's because you made one of the five mistakes below. Most people aren't aware of the impact some of these actions have. And what's interesting is that it appears that the higher your FICO score, the greater the drop when [...]

  • Demystifying the Credit Scoring / Rating Process

    Have you ever wondered if you had "good credit" or "bad credit" and how creditors, such as banks, determine if you are creditworthy. If so, you are not alone. For decades the procedure most creditors have used to determine your creditworthiness or rating has been shrouded in secrecy. Fortunately, though, recent legislation in California has [...]

  • 5 Easy Self-Help Steps to Boost Your Credit Score in 2010

    Most Americans like to make New Year's resolutions involving numbers. You may want to lose weight, increase your savings, or boost your stock portfolio. If you're planning on buying a house, financing a car, or purchasing insurance in the next year, your credit score is one more number you'll want to track on your resolution [...]

  • Google Advertising Based on Credit Scores

    If your credit score is excellent (above 720ish) and you use Google, you just might find yourself noticing more luxury product ads under a new pilot advertising program. Why would Google be interested in serving ads based on your credit score? For one thing, credit scores are becoming increasingly important to our financial lives...your credit (or [...]

  • FICO 2008- How the Latest Version of the Popular Credit Scoring Model will Affect Your Credit

    Editor's Note: This article is an interview with Craig Watts, Public Affairs Director at the Fair Isaac Corporation.There is a new sheriff in town. You may not recognize the name, FICO 08, but you should recognize its task--credit scoring. A FICO credit score is a number from 300-850 that is used by lenders and other [...]

  • How is a Credit Score Calculated and How Can I Improve My Credit Score?

    In a world where the fate of your employment, housing, insurance rates, and ability to get a loan is often based on how good your credit score is, it is important to understand the various scoring systems and what steps to take to improve your score. It would be nice if everyone used the same credit scoring [...]