Wednesday May 15, 2013
In their third annual survey on consumer knowledge about credit scores, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and VantageScore Solutions found that many consumers still have major misconceptions about what influences credit scores and how credit scores are used. In fact, 54% of people answered they have not checked their credit scores within the past year. (Thirty-seven percent have never checked their credit report.)
Before the bad news, here's a bit of good: 94% of those surveyed realized that timely loan payments can help improve their credit scores.
About one-third to two-fifths of survey respondents did not know:
- Credit scores are used when credit card issuers and mortgage lenders approve applications or determine pricing
- Age and marital status are not considered in credit score calculations
- When they're entitled to a free credit score from their lender
- That payment history - positive or negative - on a joint loan also influences the co-signer's credit score
Only 16% of those surveyed said they had excellent knowledge of credit scores and 39% answered that they had good knowledge of credit scores.
1,022 people were surveyed.
Credit Score Resources:
Tuesday May 14, 2013
The new credit card rules require your credit card bill to be due on the same date every month. This takes some guesswork out of when to send your payment. Knowing the due date won't always make it easier to send your credit card payment, though.
When you're tempted to put off your payment a few days or weeks, think about the consequences - like a lower credit score or late payment fees. Read: 7 Reasons to Make Your Credit Card Payment on Time.
Alex Slobodkin / iStockPhoto
Friday May 10, 2013
Few things are as exciting as a new romance. But, as you may know, the euphoria of budding love may be so overwhelming that your decision making is impaired, e.g. you may spend more money dates than you know you can really afford to.
While you're enjoy dating, don't forget to be smart about your finances, particularly your credit. One of the biggest Don'ts of Credit and Dating is not using your credit card to impress the person you're dating. Think about it: is it really that impressive that you're able to borrow money? Will it be as impressive when you're struggling to pay it back? Will the debt make you resent the object of your affection?
The person you're dating may last or they may not last. The credit decisions you make while dating will definitely last. Make sure they're good ones.
Managing Credit & Relationships
Tuesday May 7, 2013
Offers for free credit scores are all over the internet. Unfortunately, most of these offers are from websites that want you to sign up for a trial subscription to a credit monitoring service.
To get the free score, you have to enter your credit card information and if you forget to cancel the trial, your credit card will be charged. Some people have even reported difficulty canceling these trials and even continuing to be charged after the trial has ended. So the credit scores end up not-so-free. In fact, it can be more expensive than if you simply purchased a credit score.
I've found a few websites that give free credit scores without asking for any credit card information or requiring you sign up for a trial. These sites do recommend certain credit cards, loans, or other services based on your credit score, but you're not in any way obligated to sign up. Check out How to Get a Free Credit Score Without a Credit Card (CreditKarma.com is one of the ways).
Credit Score Articles