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Credit/Debt Management: Most Popular Articles

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10 Things You Didn't Know Could Hurt Your...
Who knew three little digits could be so fickle. Check out a list of 10 things you probably didn't know could hurt your credit score.
40 Things You Shouldn't Do When You're Broke
When you're broke, there some things you just can't afford to do. Changing your spending habits is the best way to turn your finances around.
Credit Card Paid Off? Here's How a \$0 Balance...
Having a zero balance on your credit card may affect your credit score, but it depends on whether your credit report shows a zero balance.
How to Remove a Charge-Off From Your Credit...
Taking care of charged-off accounts helps improve your credit score, but paying a charge-off usually isn't enough to remove it from your credit report.
Four Steps to Rebuilding a Bad Credit History
After repairing bad credit, you need to rebuild it, prove to your creditors that you can pay your bills on time. Learn what it takes to rebuild bad credit and improve your credit score.
How to Rent an Apartment When You Have Lousy...
Renting with bad credit can be easy or hard depending on where you're looking. Find out how to get around the credit check and rent an apartment even with bad credit.
4 Ways to Get Your First Credit Card
Getting your first credit card is a big step and, like many first steps, it's not always easy to take. Here are some tips on how and where to get your very first credit card.
Need to Send a Pay for Delete Letter? Use This...
Use this sample pay for delete letter to negotiate removal of negative collection accounts and charge-offs from your credit report. Customize the letter to fit your situation.
Ducking Debt? Here's the Statute of Limitations...
Each state has its own statute of limitations on debt - the amount of time you can be sued for a debt - that can help you decide whether to make a payment or arrangement with a debt collector.
Had a Debt Cancelled Last Year? You May Owe...
When a lender cancels your debt, you may have to report this as taxable income on your federal income taxes, unless there is an exception. If you're required to report the cancelled debt, the lender will send IRS Form 1099-C to you.
12 Possible Reasons Your Credit Card Applicatio...
There are many possible reasons a credit card application could be denied. Your credit card application could be denied because of your credit or because of something that's not even on your credit report. Here are some possible explanations for your credit card application being denied.
10 Things That Don't Affect Your Credit Score
Making late credit card and loan payments will definitely hurt your credit score, but there are some late payments that will never see your credit report. Learn what things won't hurt your credit score.
Know the 3 Major Credit Bureaus That Control...
In the US, there are three major credit bureaus that collect your credit information. You can get a free credit report from the three bureaus each year.
How Can I Find Out Which Collection Agency I Owe?
There are a few ways you can find out which collection agency you owe. If you can't find them, they'll eventually find you.
Are You Familiar with the 7 Types of Loans?
There are many different types of loans. When you're shopping for a loan, it's important to know the types of loans that are out there.
How to Ask a Lender to Remove Negative Credit...
Customize this sample goodwill letter to ask creditors to remove negative information to from your credit report.
How Long Can You Be Sued for Debt in Florida?
The statute of limitations on debt in Florida limits the amount of time a consumer can be sued for a debt.
How to Use Goodwill Letters to Remove Negative...
You can use a goodwill letter in credit repair to request a creditor make a courtesy update to your credit report. Learn how to create your own goodwill letter.
10 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your...
Bad credit isn't permanent. There are things you can do right now to improve your credit score. Get tips to raise your credit score from bad to good.
6 Ways to Prove You're Credit Card-Worthy
Credit card issuers have criteria they use to decide which applicants qualify for a credit card.
Get to Know the Law That Allows Old Debts to...
The statute of limitations on a debt keeps debt collectors from winning a lawsuit. The limit varies by state and depends on the account's last date of activity.
Simple Tips for Repairing Bad Credit
Credit repair isn't a secret skill or process only available to credit repair companies. You have the power and the right to repair your own credit.
15 Things That Could Hurt Your Credit Score
Your credit score moves up or down based on the information on your credit report. Here are some actions that can hurt your credit score.
What Does Your Credit Score Really Mean?
Many credit scores range from 300 to 850, but what does your credit score mean? Learn how to read your credit score.
8 Reasons Your Credit Score Just Dropped
Trying to figure out why your credit score dropped? These are some possible explanations for a drop in your credit score.
6 Ways to Get a Credit Card Without a Credit...
Getting a credit card with no credit history is tough, but not impossible. Find out how to get approved for a credit card when you have no credit.
Got Bad Credit? You Can Still Get a Credit Card
If you're suffering with bad credit, you're not alone. Many people with bad credit have a hard time finding a credit card. Here's how you can get a credit card even if you have bad credit.
5 Ways You Can Get Your Student Loans Forgiven
Student loans are a heavy burden for many college graduates. There are many student loan forgiveness programs that might eliminate some or all of your student loan debt.
How Do You Remove Debt Collections from Your...
Technically, debt collections are supposed to stay on your credit report for seven years. But, there are a few ways to remove debt collections before that time comes.
Understanding Your Credit Card Billing Cycle
The period of time between your credit card billing statements is called a billing cycle. Billing cycles may not necessarily line up with calendar months.
7 Ways to Protect Your Credit Score
Once you make your way to a good credit score, keep it is important. Here are seven ways to maintain a good credit score.
5 Ways to Pay Off Debt Collections
Before you pay off a collection account, first negotiate with the debt collector to have your credit report updated to something that works in your favor. As you work with debt collectors to negotiate a payment, keep in mind what you and the collector want from the deal.
What Is a Written Contract?
A written contract is an agreement made on a printed document that has been signed by both the lender and the borrower.
Tips for Removing Negative Credit Report...
Being able to rid your credit report of negative credit report information can help improve your credit score by dozens of points or more. Here are some techniques for removing negative information from your credit report.
How To Freeze Your Credit Report at Each Credit...
You can prevent identity theft by freezing your credit report. You must freeze your credit report at each credit bureau as there’s no centralized way to freeze all three credit reports.
What is a Credit Card Issuer?
Many people mistakenly think Visa or MasterCard is their credit card issuers, but that's not the case. Who is your credit card issuer?
Will a Bank Overdraft Hurt My Credit Score?
Payment history is 35% of your credit score, but does that include bank overdrafts? Learn whether overdrafting your bank account will hurt your credit score.
Why You Should Visit CreditKarma.com for Free...
I've been using Credit Karma for years to get my free credit score. I've never given my credit card number and never paid for the free credit score. Learn how you can get yours.
Why a Charge-Off is Terrible News for Your Credit
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >If you're wondering
What are Open-Ended Credit Accounts?
An open-ended account is an account that has a varying, revolving balance, like a credit card, for example.
8 Costly Consequences of Ignoring Debt Collectors
Collectors hassling you for payment? There are consequences to ignoring their attempts to collect. Learn what happens if you don't pay a collection.
Regret Cosigning That Loan? Here's How to Get...
Find out how to remove your name from a cosigned loan, even if your name was forged on the loan.
How Do You Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report?
Credit report errors can hurt your credit score. Dispute credit report errors with the credit bureaus to clean up inaccurate information on your credit report.
3 Ways a New Credit Card Can Hurt Your Credit...
Opening a new credit card account may have a negative effect on your credit score. However, the point loss may be temporary.
Before You Pay a Debt Collector, Ask Yourself...
Debt collectors don't always follow the rules. Here's some information that will help you deal, or not deal, with collection agencies.
How Does Debt Validation Work, Exactly?
Debt validation is your right question the validity of a debt collection. If the collector can't validate the debt, they can't collect from you.
8 Sample Letters for Dealing with Your Biggest...
Here are a variety of sample credit letters you can tailor and send to credit card companies, debt collectors, and other credit bureaus.
The Safer Alternative to Credit Cards
Prepaid credit cards are simply Visa, MasterCard, or American Express branded gift cards that are loaded with money and used as credit cards where credit cards are accepted.
10 Kinds of Credit Cards (and How to Use Them)
Don't be confused by all the different credit cards. Get familiar with the different types of credit cards to choose the right one for you.
Credit One Bank Visa Platinum: Is This...
The Credit One Bank Visa Platinum Card charges high fees and high interest rates. It is aimed at people with poor credit or limited credit history.
Here's a Sample Letter You Can Use to Stop Debt...
To stop debt collection calls, you must send a cease and desist letter. Use this cease and desist letter template to stop debt collection calls.
9 Things That Boost Your Credit Score
If you don't like your current credit standing, check out this list of things that can boost your credit score.
Find Out How Long Negative Information Stays On...
How long does negative information stay on my credit report? The credit reporting time limit keeps negative information on your credit report for a minimum of seven years, with some exceptions.
5 Credit Cards You Should Never Close
Closing a credit card might seem like a solution for a problem with your creditor or the card itself. But closing the wrong card could hurt your credit score.
How to Stop Those Annoying Calls from Debt...
Debt collection calls are usually unwanted and can border harrassment. The FDCPA, a federal law, give you rights that help you stop debt collector calls.
How Credit Card Skimming Works
Credit card skimming is a type of credit card fraud that can be difficult to detect until fraudulent charges have been made. Learn how to avoid credit card skimming.
Understanding Your Annual Fee (and How to Avoid...
Not every credit card issuer charges an annual fee and some let you get the fee waived. Don't automatically walk away from a credit card with an annual fee - the cost may be worth it.
The 10 Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Using Credit...
Guidelines for using credit cards the right way. Learn the way to use - and not to use - your credit card.
Do You Have a Good Credit Score? Find Out
A good credit score has a big impact on whether you get approved for credit cards and loans and how much you pay for the money you borrow.
How Your Creditors Calculate Finance Charges
The average daily balance method is one of the ways your creditor might calculate your finance charge. Find out how the calculation works.
Here's a Printable Monthly Budget Worksheet (PDF)
Download this free budget worksheet to create a plan for your money each month. There's a color and an ink-friendly black and white version.
Is Your Credit Card Still Active? How to Find Out
If you haven't used your credit card in a long time, you may wonder if your credit card is still active. Here's how you can find out whether your card issuer has deactivated your credit card.
Finance Charge Calculator
Use this calculator to calculate your monthly credit card finance charge.
Why Your Charge-Off May Be Sent to the IRS
A creditor may send your charge-off to the IRS if the debt is cancelled. You may have to pay taxes on a charge-off that's send to the IRS.
Steps to Removing Old Debts After the Credit...
Follow these steps to remove old, outdated information from your credit report after the 7- or 10-year credit reporting time limit has expired.
101 Ways You Can Get More Money to Pay Off Debt
Funding your debt plan might be hard if you depend on your current income. Here are some ways you can come up with extra money to get out of debt.
7 Smart Ways to Build Good Credit
Your credit history affects everything from buying a home to financing your education and even getting a job. Do these things to build good credit.
Is There a Minimum Age for Credit Cards?
The minimum age to get a credit card is an important thing to know. Technically, you can get a credit card at 18, but you may have to wait a little longer than that.
Here are The 5 Best Credit Card Debt Calculator...
A credit card debt payoff calculator can help you figure out a strategy for paying your debts. Here's a list of the five best credit card calculators.
2 Bankruptcy Options Every Consumer Should Know
The two major types of personal bankruptcy for consumers are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 allows you to discharge debt after some assets have been liquidated. Chapter 13 allows you to discharge debt after completing a payment plan.
The Simple Way to Avoid a Finance Charge On...
A finance charge will be added to your credit card balance when you carry a balance on your credit card. Learn how you can avoid paying credit card finance charges.
How Do Collection Accounts Affect You and Your...
How worried do you have to be about a call or letter from a debt collector or a debt collection on your credit report?
4 Reasons to Pay Your Credit Card Bill on Time
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Missing credit
Beginner's Guide to the Credit Card Billing...
Get a better understanding of how the credit card billing process works from making purchases to making payments.
Three Ways to Figure Out Your Credit Card Due...
Knowing when your credit card bill is due is important to paying on time. Here's how to know when your credit card issuer expects your payment.
Three Quick and Easy Ways to Check Your Credit...
Checking your current credit card balance has never been easier. You can do it quickly and conveniently online, over the phone, or with a mobile app.
Simple Tips for Getting Credit for the First Time
How to apply for credit for the first time. The steps you should take and what to watch out for.
Here's a Free Printable Bill Payment Checklist...
A checklist can help you remember to pay the bills each month. Check off each bill as you pay them and you can easily recognize which bills haven't been paid.
How to Check Your Credit Card Available Credit
Before you make a credit card purchase, check your credit card available credit to avoid going over your credit limit.
How to Recover from the 2 Worst Credit...
Work to rebuild your credit after a serious delinquency like a collection or charge-off.
How to Give Less Money to the Credit Card Company
There are generally two ways to avoid paying interest on your credit card. You can avoid paying interest if you pay the balance in full at the end of the month or if you have a zero percent interest rate promotion.
Easy Debt to Income Ratio Calculator
Use this free debt-to-income ratio calculator to tell whether you have too much debt.
Basics of Personal Loans
Personal loans are unsecured loans that have a fixed amount, interest rate, and repayment period.
What to Do About Bogus Charges on Your Credit...
If you spot unauthorized credit card charges, you should report them immediately, regardless of the amount, even if you haven't lost your credit card.
These Credit Cards Will Help You Rebuild Your...
Finding the right credit cards for rebuilding bad credit is key to improving your credit score.
Use This Letter to Dispute a Debt Collection...
Writing a debt validation letter can keep you from paying a bonus debt collection. Here's a sample letter you can use to request debt validation.
10 Ways Bad Credit Ruins Your Life
Since so many businesses now judge you based on your credit score, having bad credit can make life extremely difficult from getting a job to getting a place to live. Here are some of the most common side-effects of bad credit.
15 Things Debt Collectors Aren't Allowed to Do
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, FDCPA, dictates how debt collectors can act when collecting a debt from you. Find out what debt collectors can and cannot do.
3 Ways Borrowing a Loan Impacts Your Credit Score
Taking out a loan can impact your credit score. Even applying for a loan can reduce your score. Learn how borrowing a loan affects your credit.
Save a Stamp. Here's how to pay your credit...
If you're still writing a check for your credit card payment, consider switching to online credit card payments. It's easier and faster to pay your credit card bill online.
Credit Utilization: The 2nd Biggest Factor In...
Credit utilization is the ratio of your credit card debt to credit limits. It has the second biggest factor influencing your FICO score.
Here's How Paying a Charge-Off Will Affect Your...
A charge-off causes serious damage to your credit score. You may hope you can improve your credit score by paying it. That may not happen.
The Big Reason You Should Keep Credit Card...
Your credit card balance has a big impact on your credit score. Learn what happens when you have a big balance and find out the ideal credit card balance for a good credit score.
Why Your Debt-to-Income Ratio is So Important...
Your debt to income ratio indicates your level of debt. Learn how to calculate and analyze your debt to income ratio.
What is a Promissory Note?
A promissory note is a written contract that includes a specific promise to pay.
Should You Pay an Old Debt Collection?
Whether to pay an old debt is a common dilemma. If it's still on your credit report, there are more reasons to pay the old debt than there are to not pay it.
Quick Definition of the Statute of Limitations
the amount of time a creditor or third-party debt collector can sue you for a debt
Simple Steps to Check Your Credit Card...
Most credit card issuers give you the ability to check your credit card statement online. Here are the simple steps to viewing your electronic billing statement.
Here's How to Calculate Your Own Finance Charge
Here are detailed instructions to calculate your own finance charge. You just need to know the balance, interest rate, and billing cycle (if it's shorter than one month).
Why You Should Never Get a Credit Card Cash...
Your credit card comes with the ability to take out a cash advance, but this type of transaction might be the worst of all. Learn why you should avoid a credit card cash advance.
Is a Secured Loan Better Than An Unsecured Loan?
Secured loans are different from unsecured loans in one key way. Secured loans require you to use an asset to secure the loan.
Bad Credit? Avoid These 6 Credit Cards
The First Premier Bank Gold MasterCard, Centennial Gold MasterCard, Aventium Gold MasterCard, Applied Bank Gold Visa Card, Applied Bank Gold Match Plus Visa Card, and Credit One Bank Visa Platinum Card charge high interest rates and fees to people with bad or poor credit.
The 5 Factors That Determine Your Credit Score
Understanding your credit score calculation can help you use credit wisely. Find out what goes into calculating your credit score.
7 Things You Should Do if Your Credit Card...
Having a credit card application denied is discouraging, to say the least. If your credit card application is denied, here are some things you can do to improve your chances at getting a new credit card.
Here's a Guide to Paying Online With a Credit...
Online shopping can be more convenient than visiting a store, but a credit card is usually required. Here's how to pay for online purchases with your credit card.
Need to Make a Credit Report Dispute? Here's...
Each credit bureau has an address where you can send your disputes. You can also dispute directly with the business who listed the information on your credit report.
How to Remove a Closed Account From Your Credit...
You can remove a closed account from your credit report by disputing it if the account is actually open or if the account includes negative information that's passed the credit reporting time limit.
What is a Good Credit Card Balance?
A good credit card balance is key to maintaining a good credit score and to staying out of debt. Learn about the limits you should place on your balance.
Five Steps to Making a Great Get Out of Debt Plan
Successful debt reduction starts with a plan. Learn how to put together a plan to get out of debt, decide which debts to focus on, and how to create a budget to get out of debt.
Should You Add Your Child to Your Credit Card?
Making your child an authorized user on one of your credit cards can help boost their credit score. Consider these things before you call your card issuer to change your account.
Pros and Cons of the Green Dot Prepaid Credit...
The Green Dot Prepaid Card offers an alternative to bank debit cards and secured credit cards.
This is How You Can Order Your Credit Report
Learn how to order your credit report for free and with a credit card. Discover how to watch out for free credit report scams.
Get a Free Credit Score With No Credit Card or...
Here are a few ways to get a free credit score no credit card, no subscription, no strings whatsoever.
Know the Dangers of Debt Settlement
Even though debt settlement may promise to reduce your debt, they can't promise to keep your credit in tact at the same time. Find out how debt settlement works and why it may not be the best solution.
What to Do About a Lost or Stolen Credit Card
Missing credit cards should be reported as quickly as possible to reduce your liability. Find out what steps you should take when your credidt card has been lost or stolen.
Pros and Cons of the Walmart MoneyCard
The Walmart MoneyCard is a prepaid card with low fees that is accepted wherever Visa cards are accepted.
How to Understand Your Credit Card Billing...
Credit card billing statements differ slightly from each other, but they're all required to contain key pieces of information about your balance, transactions, and required payment.
6-Step Guide to Creating a Budget
Making a budget is the first step to paying off your debt. You won't be able to get out of debt and stay out if you're not good at managing your money.
How to Evaluate Personal Info on Your Credit...
Credit reports aren't very easy to understand. Use this sample credit report to help you learn how to read a credit report.
Five Best Prepaid Debit Cards
The best prepaid cards have minimal fees along with free direct deposit and online bill payment capability. Check out a list of the best prepaid cards.
What Collectors Can and Can't Do Under the Law
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that governs the actions of debt collectors pursuing personal debts.
A Quick Lesson in Debt Types: Secured vs....
Debts can fall into one of two categories: secured and unsecured. It's important to know the difference before you borrow.
12 Must-Have Tips for Buying a Car With Bad...
You can buy a car with bad credit, but it's important to watch out for shady car dealers who get you in an expensive car loan then repossess the car.
The Steps to Getting a Free Credit Report From...
Step by step instructions for get a free credit report granted by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act.
Use This Letter to Dispute Bad Info Your Credit...
A sample credit report dispute letter you can use to dispute information from your credit report with the credit bureaus.
How to Write a Letter to Close Your Credit Card
You can close your credit card over the phone, but a letter gives you proof. Here's a sample letter you can use to close your credit card account.
Capital One Prepaid Card Review
The Capital One Prepaid Card is a prepaid MasterCard with practically no fees.
California Statute of Limitations on Debt
The California statute of limitations on debt limits the amount of time you can be sued for an overdue debt
What is Bad Credit?
Bad credit describes a past failure to keep up with your credit agreements and the inability to get approved for new credit.
Seven Ways to Check Your Credit - Some For Free!
Every person should check their credit at least once a year. At a minimum, you should check your credit using all the free resources listed here.
Debt collectors' mini Miranda: "This is an...
The mini Miranda is a statement debt collectors are required to use when they contact you about a debt. Mini Miranda isn't the official name of this section of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Surprising Truth About Oral Contracts
an oral contract is an agreement that was made verbally
How and When Credit Inquiries Affect Your Score
Not all credit report inquiries have an effect on your credit score. Learn the different inquiries and what they mean for your credit.
2 Ways You Can Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Stumped on how to pay back your credit card debt? Here are two methods that will work.
12 Financial Resolutions for the New Year
Most New Year's resolutions involve improving health or getting rid of a bad habit. Don't forget about improving your financial health and getting rid of your bad credit habits in the new year.
Find Out the Different Credit Score Ranges
There are a few different credit scores with different credit score ranges. Higher scores within the credit score range are better.
The Difference Between Statement Balance and...
Your online credit card account may list two different balances - a statement balance and a current balance. Get help understanding these two balances.
Bad Credit? A Secured Credit Card Can Help
A secured credit card can help you re-establish your credit history if you have bad credit and you find it hard to get approved for a credit card.
3 Convenient Ways to Order Your Free Annual...
Learn the right way to order your annual credit report and avoid free credit report scams that charge your credit card each month.
5 Ways to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Living paycheck to paycheck is an uneasy feeling since you're often worried about how you're going to make ends meet. Learn how you can stop living paycheck to paycheck.
5 Reasons to Never Max-Out Your Credit Card
Maxing out your credit card happens when your credit balance is very near, at, or above your credit limit. Here's why a maxed-out credit card is such a bad thing.
9 Attractive Benefits of a Good Credit Score
Good credit is one of the best things that can happen to your finances. Learn the benefits of having a good credit score.
Help! Someone opened a credit card in my name!
It's against the law for someone to open a credit card in your name. If you discover that a thief or scammer has opened a credit card in your name, have the card closed immediately.
Has Your Debt Reached the Statute of Limitations?
The crucial factor in figuring out whether the statute of limitations has expired is to determine when the clock started ticking.
Learn the Statute of Limitations for Your Debt
The statute of limitations for a specific debt depends on the state where the debt was created and the type of debt.
7 Tips for Renting After You've Been Through...
Some landlords turn down renters with past foreclosures, there are ways to get around it and rent even with a foreclosure on your credit report.
When Can You Expect Your Credit Card to Charge...
One of the biggest costs of having a credit card is interest. Learn how and when interest is applied to your credit card balance.
9 Steps to Managing Your Debt
Whether you have a little bit of debt or a lot of it, knowing how to manage your debt is crucial to your financial health. Learn how to manage your debt.
Find Out How Long It Will Take Your Credit...
When you make positive changes to your credit report, you want to see the update to your credit score as quickly as possible. Here's what you can expect with credit score updates.
The Three Easy Steps to Calculating Your Credit...
Your credit utilization is the percentage of your credit limit that's being used. If your credit utilization is too high, your credit score could be damaged. Here's how to calculate your credit utilization.

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