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Credit/Debt Management: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
10 Bad Credit Card Habits to Get Rid Of
Bad credit card habits can cause serious financial damage that can take years to clean up. Replace your bad credit card habits with good ones that will help, not hurt, your credit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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...
There are three major credit bureaus that compile your credit report information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Best Credit Card Debt Calculators
There are hundreds of credit card pay off calculators on the internet. Here is a list of the best.
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.
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.
Duped by FreeCreditReport.com? Here's How to...
If you want to avoid credit card charges from FreeCreditReport.com, you have to cancel your account before the trial period ends.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Basics of Personal Loans
Personal loans are unsecured loans that have a fixed amount, interest rate, and repayment period.
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.
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.
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
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.
What is a Promissory Note?
A promissory note is a written contract that includes a specific promise to pay.
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.
4 Reasons to Pay Your Credit Card Bill on Time
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Missing credit
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.
How to Recover from the 2 Worst Credit...
Work to rebuild your credit after a serious delinquency like a collection or charge-off.
Should You Freeze Your Credit Report?
Placing a security freeze on your credit report may be a good way to prevent identity theft. Learn how the credit report freeze works.
Finance Charge Calculator
Use this calculator to calculate your monthly credit card finance charge.
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.
Five Best Cashback Rewards Cards
The best cashback rewards credit cards come from Bank of America, American Express, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Capital One and Chase. These best cashback rewards credit cards have generous rewards programs and carry no annual fees.
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.
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.
Quick Definition of the Statute of Limitations
the amount of time a creditor or third-party debt collector can sue you for a debt
Three Types of Debt Without a Statute of...
Certain types of debt do not fall under the statute of limitations rules. A court can force you to pay these debts at anytime no matter how long the debt has been inactive.
Use This Letter to Dispute Debt Collections
Debt validation requests should be made in writing. Here is a sample debt validation letter you can send to collectors.
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.
Debt to Income Ratio Calculator - Calculate...
Use this free debt-to-income ratio calculator to tell whether you have too much debt.
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.
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.
6 Things That Can Bring Old Debt Back to Life
Be careful about taking certain actions on a dormant account. You could restart the statute of limitations and give creditors more time to sue you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These Credit Cards Will Help You Rebuild Your...
Finding the right credit cards for rebuilding bad credit is key to improving your credit score.
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.
The Surprising Truth About Oral Contracts
an oral contract is an agreement that was made verbally
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Statute of...
Answers to some of the most important questions about the statute of limitations on debt and how long certain debts can be collected.
3 Convenient Ways to Order Your Free Annual...
Federal law gives you the right to order a free annual credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. Learn the right way to order your annual credit report and avoid free credit report scams.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Filing for Bankruptcy? Brace Yourself for This
Bankruptcy is notorious for being one of the worst things for your credit, but just how far will your credit score drop if you file bankruptcy?
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.
Sample Letter For Closing Your Credit Card
You can use this letter to close your credit card.
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?
Put a Fraud Alert On Your Credit Report to...
If you have been or fear you could be a victim of identity theft, putting a fraud alert on your credit report with the credit bureaus can prevent further damage to your identity.
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.
What Inactivity Cancellations Do to Your Credit...
If you haven't used your credit card in awhile, here's why your credit card issuer might close your account and what you can do about it.
How to Tell Debt Collectors They're Too Late
Debt collectors might continue to contact you after the statute of limitations has passed on a debt. However, you can stop them from calling by sending a letter. Be careful not to acknowledge ownership of the debt as that can restart the clock on the statute of limitations.
How to Survive a Zombie Debt Attack
Zombie debt is old debt purchased by debt collectors hoping to intimidate consumers into paying the debt. You have several tools you can use to fight back.
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.
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.
What Are 'Finance Charges' Anyway?
Most credit cards come with a monthly finance charge. Learn more about this common credit card fee.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is a Return Check Fee on a Credit Card?
If your credit card payment is returned because of insufficient funds, check cancellation, or account closure, you might get charged a fee from your credit card issuer.
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.
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.
FreeCreditReport.com Review
You've heard the late-night jingles about going to freecreditreport.com. Is it a scam or do you really receive a free credit report?
What Will Happen If I Stop Paying My Credit Card?
Several things will happen if you stop paying your credit card and, in the long run, none of them will be good. Before you stop paying your credit card, look at some alternatives.
How to Know When Debt Collectors Cross the Line
The FDCPA is a Federal law that dictates when debt collectors can legally call you.
What Happens if You Miss a Credit Card Payment?
There may come a month when you don't have enough money to make your credit card minimum payment. Find out what you can do to maintain your credit score, interest rate, and relationship with your creditor.
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.
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.
A Quick, Easy Explanation of APRs
APR stands for annual percentage rate. It's the annual cost of borrowing money on a credit card or loan.
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.
Help! My Wages Are Being Garnished
Wage garnishment is when your employer withholds part of your paycheck to satisfy a court order requiring you to repay a debt. The Consumer Credit Protection Act regulates wage garnishment and limits the amount you can be garnished.
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.
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.
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.
My Debt's Statute of Limitations Has Expired....
Even though the statute of limitations has expired on a debt, you are still legally responsible for paying the debt. However, the creditor or collector no longer has the liberty of using the court to force you to pay.
The Difference Between Charge Card and Credit...
Charge cards and credit cards are two different types of credit vehicles. Charge cards require you to repay your full balance by the end of the month, while credit cards let you repay your balance over a period of time.
10 Tips for Dealing With Medical Debt
You have several options to deal with medical debt that you can't afford to pay in full. Explore your options to avoid filing bankruptcy.
7 Steps to Getting Out of Debt
If you want to pay off your debt but you don't know where to get started, follow these seven steps to get out of debt.
5 Benefits of Paying More than the Minimum on...
The minimum payment is a convenience credit card issuers give, but it can come at a high cost. Paying more than the minimum is always better.
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.
Pros and Cons of the Wells Fargo Secured Credit...
The Wells Fargo Secured Card is for people who don’t have a credit history, have been turned down for credit card or are rebuilding their credit history.
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.
What is the credit score range?
There are a few different credit scores with different credit score ranges. Knowing the credit score range can help you figure out whether you have a good or bad credit score.
The Surprising Impact Marriage Has on Your Credit
Whether you're engaged, already married, or just thinking about marriage, you should know how marriage affects your credit and the credit of your partner.
Beginner's Guide to Using Credit the Right Way
Whether you're building or rebuilding your credit, knowing the right way to make charges and payments will help raise your credit score.
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.
4 Steps to Close a Credit Card Correctly
Learn to close a credit card the right way, by contacting your credit card issuer over the phone and in writing. Follow the right steps to be sure your credit card account is closed completely.
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.
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.

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