Should You Get a Credit Card to Improve Your Credit?

should you get a credit card to build credit history

Recently, a reader named John emailed for advice on building credit from scratch: “I am 29 years old, I have no debt (never liked debt, pay with debit for everything) and I have never had a credit card. The result is I don’t think I have a FICO credit score, or at least Credit Karma […]

Published or Updated: June 23, 2015

Get Paid to Get Your Free Credit Score

Credit Sesame

It use to be a big deal to get your credit score for free. Many websites offered a free trial, but then began charging your credit card after the trial period ended. Then came along the likes of Credit Sesame, Credit Karma, and Quizzle, which give you access to your credit score for free. Now […]

Published or Updated: July 16, 2015

Quizzle vs. Credit Karma vs. Credit Sesame

Quizzle vs. Credit Karma vs. Credit Sesame

If you’re looking for a free way to find out your credit score, look no further than these three websites – Quizzle.com, CreditKarma.com, and CreditSesame.com. Although they offer similar services, each site has its own nuances and unique perks. But before we get into an analysis of each service, it’s important to understand that the […]

Published or Updated: June 8, 2015

How to Cancel a Credit Card Without Crushing Your FICO Score

Expired Credit Card Debt

A listener to the Dough Roller Money Podcast recently sent in a question about credit scores. He wanted to know how canceling a credit card can affect a person’s credit score. The question comes from a listener named Travis: I was curious how much closing a credit card can hurt your credit score? I understand that […]

Published or Updated: April 25, 2015

DR 142–How to Track All 3 of Your Credit Scores

Capital One Credit Tracker

Your credit scores are never more important than when you are about to buy a home. That pesky 3-digit number can lower or raise your interest payments by tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a mortgage. So it was no surprise when a reader named Kelly sent me the following email: I […]

Published or Updated: December 29, 2014

7 Things that Cause Your Credit Score to Fluctuate from Month-to-Month

Changes in FICO Score

Have you ever paid off a debt only to find that it caused your credit score to drop? That’s exactly what happened to Lakisher, a listener who graciously sent me the following email: “I have a question. I think I know the basics of my credit and credit report but I recently paid off my […]

Published or Updated: May 18, 2015

Should You Consolidate Debt with LendingClub or Prosper?

Debt Consolidation Top Purpose for Loans

LendingClub recently launched a new section of its website that lists statistics about borrowers and lenders. One data point that caught my eye is that about 50% of all LendingClub loans are for debt consolidation. Actually, at one point nearly 60% of all borrowers reported that they intended to use the loan to consolidate debt, […]

Published or Updated: August 18, 2014

DR 097: 3 Key Changes Just Made to the FICO Credit Scoring Formula

FICO 9

The Fair Isaac Corp., better known as FICO, has introduced three major changes to its secret credit scoring formula. The changes relate to items referred to collections, medical debt, and consumers with limited credit history.  Believe it or not, these changes may result in higher scores for many consumers. Here are details on the three […]

Published or Updated: August 10, 2014

DR 080: How to Build Credit When You Are Just Starting Out (the Smart Way)

How to Build Credit for the First Time

It’s official. Credit scores are the most confusing aspect of personal finance. The FICO formula remains largely a mystery. And don’t get me started on the multiple versions of credit scores out there. By one account, you may have 49 different FICO scores, not to mention dozens of credit scores calculated using non-FICO formulas. So […]

Published or Updated: June 24, 2014