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Credit/Debt Management: Most Popular Articles

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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Should You Fear a Lawsuit Even After the...
The statute of limitations limits the amount of time you can be sued for a debt, but it's up to you to prove the SOL has actually expired.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When You Want a Lower Rate, But Your Creditor...
There's only one situation where a creditor is legally required to lower your rate. Other than that, it's up to you to negotiate.
What to Do When You Can't Pay Back Money You...
Borrowing money from a friend or relative can be tricky, even more so if you can't pay back the loan by the time you originally agreed. Here's how to handle the situation and keep your relationship in tact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 are Open-Ended Credit Accounts?
An open-ended account is an account that has a varying, revolving balance, like a credit card, for example.
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.
8 Valuable Lessons to Teach Your Child About...
Set your child up for credit success by giving them critical lessons about credit cards well before they get a credit card of their own.
Easy Debt to Income Ratio Calculator
Use this free debt-to-income ratio calculator to tell whether you have too much debt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Basics of Personal Loans
Personal loans are unsecured loans that have a fixed amount, interest rate, and repayment period.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4 Reasons to Pay Your Credit Card Bill on Time
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Missing credit
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.
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.
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.
10 Hacks for a Better Credit Score
Here are a few more ways you can improve your credit score.
How to Recover from the 2 Worst Credit...
Work to rebuild your credit after a serious delinquency like a collection or charge-off.
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.
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.
Closing a Credit Card: Does It Help Or Hurt...
Credit cards play a major role in your credit score. If you close a credit card will it help or hurt your credit score?
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.
These Credit Cards Will Help You Rebuild Your...
Finding the right credit cards for rebuilding bad credit is key to improving your credit score.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finance Charge Calculator
Use this calculator to calculate your monthly credit card finance charge.
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.
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.
What is a Promissory Note?
A promissory note is a written contract that includes a specific promise to pay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quick Definition of the Statute of Limitations
the amount of time a creditor or third-party debt collector can sue you for a debt
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.
These Are the Days and Times That Debt...
The FDCPA is a Federal law that dictates when debt collectors can legally call you.
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.
Sample Letter For Closing Your Credit Card
You can use this letter to close your credit card.
This is How You 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.
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).
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.
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.
Free Debt Summary Worksheet for Organizing and...
This free, printable debt summary worksheet allows you to organize and prioritize your debts for improved finances and to pay off your debt.
Expect This Helpful Letter If Your Credit or...
Federal law requires you receive an adverse action notice whenever you have an application denied because of information in your credit report.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
3 Ways to Deal with Time-Barred Debts
Time-barred debts are those that are no longer collectible through the court because the statute of limitations on these debts has passed. Creditors and debt collectors can still try to collect time-barred debts.
What Are 'Finance Charges' Anyway?
Most credit cards come with a monthly finance charge. Learn more about this common credit card fee.
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.
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.
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
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.
Pros and Cons of the Capital One Classic...
The Capital One Classic Platinum Credit Card is for people with weak credit. It charges relatively low interest rates but a high annual fee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Surprising Truth About Oral Contracts
an oral contract is an agreement that was made verbally
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.
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.
Step by Step Guide to Credit Card Transactions
Learn the key players in every credit card transaction.
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.
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.
Just Moved? Four Ways to Ensure Your Statements...
When you move, make sure to change your billing address with your lenders and credit card issuers. Missed billing statements can lead to missed payments, fees, and damaged credit.

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