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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Easy Debt to Income Ratio Calculator
Use this free debt-to-income ratio calculator to tell whether you have too much debt.
10 Hacks for a Better Credit Score
Here are a few more ways you can improve your credit score.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is a Promissory Note?
A promissory note is a written contract that includes a specific promise to pay.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Finance Charge Calculator
Use this calculator to calculate your monthly credit card finance charge.
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.
Basics of Personal Loans
Personal loans are unsecured loans that have a fixed amount, interest rate, and repayment period.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Recover from the 2 Worst Credit...
Work to rebuild your credit after a serious delinquency like a collection or charge-off.
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.
7 Tricks to Stop Using Your Credit Cards
If you have bad credit or have too much debt, it's time to put the credit cards away. Here are some tips to help you kick your credit card habit.
4 Reasons to Pay Your Credit Card Bill on Time
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Missing 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.
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.
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.
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.
Quick Definition of the Statute of Limitations
the amount of time a creditor or third-party debt collector can sue you for a 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.
The Surprising Truth About Oral Contracts
an oral contract is an agreement that was made verbally
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 You Should Know About Wage Garnishment
Federal law limits the amount your wages can be garnished. Make sure your wage garnishment doesn't exceed the maximum allowed limit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sample Letter For Closing Your Credit Card
You can use this letter to close your credit card.
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.
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.
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.
10 Types of Information on Your Credit Report
Ever wondered what all types of information appear on your credit report. Here’s a list of ten things that are on your credit report.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Know When Debt Collectors Cross the Line
The FDCPA is a Federal law that dictates when debt collectors can legally call you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
New York Statute of Limitations on Debt
The statute of limitations on debt in New York limits the time you can be sued for a debt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Michigan Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations on debt in Michigan limits the time you can be sued for a debt
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.
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.
Ohio Statute of Limitations on Debt
The Ohio statute of limitations on debt limits the amount of time you can be sued for a debt.
Georgia Statute of Limitaions on Debt
The statute of limitations on debt in Georgia puts a time limit on the amount of time you can be sued for a 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.

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