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

DR 072: What Credit Score do You Need to Buy a Home?

Credit score needed to buy a home

When it comes to mortgages and credit scores, there are two really important questions to ask: What credit score do I need to qualify for a mortgage? What credit score do I need to get the lowest interest rate on a mortgage? These different but related questions are important if you are looking to buy […]

Published or Updated: June 3, 2014

How To Get Your REAL Credit Score – The One That Lenders See

Real Credit Score

A reader recently wrote in asking about credit scores. She wanted to understand why the credit score she received from the credit bureaus was different than the score used by her bank. Here’s her question: Q: I enjoy reading your blog. I have one question regarding the credit scores. I checked my credit scores with […]

Published or Updated: April 24, 2014

5 Factors to Consider Before Using a HELOC for Your Emergency Fund

A reader named Brian asks whether it’s a sound move to use a home equity line of credit as an emergency fund: Rob, I enjoy your podcast, and I have great respect for your approach to personal finance. The 31-Day Money Challenge actually had me looking forward to my daily commute. I have a simple […]

Published or Updated: April 15, 2014

Credit Score Piggybacking Survival Guide

Credit Score Piggybacking

Getting the ball rolling when building (or rebuilding) credit is a classic catch-22. You need credit to build credit. If you have absolutely no credit history – or if you have a bottomed-out credit score – then lenders are less likely to extend the credit you need to start building your FICO score. You may […]

Published or Updated: March 17, 2014

DR 042: A Complete Guide to Hard and Soft Pull Credit Inquiries

question mark twn

The formula thet generates a FICO credit score is made up of several components. Some of these components you would expect to see, such as paying your bills on time. But there is one component that takes a lot of people by surprise: credit inquires. A credit inquiry is a record of every time somebody […]

Published or Updated: April 1, 2014

DR 018: Interview with Experian Credit Expert, Maxine Sweet

Credit Reports

This is the eleventh day in our 31-Day Money Challenge. Over 31 days we’ll publish 31 podcasts, each designed to help you move closer to financial freedom. Yesterday we looked at credit score basics. In today’s podcast, we welcome to the show Experian’s credit expert, Maxine Sweet. Sponsors: The 31-Day Money Podcast is sponsored by […]

Published or Updated: January 13, 2014

DR 017: Credit Scores 101

Credit score needed to buy a home

This is the tenth day in our 31-Day Money Challenge. Over 31 days we’ll publish 31 podcasts, each designed to help you move closer to financial freedom. Yesterday I answered reader questions on everything from timeshares to social security. In today’s podcast, we look at the importance of credit scores and how they are calculated. […]

Published or Updated: January 13, 2014

What are FAKO Credit Scores And How Do They Stack Up to FICO Scores?

How to Build Credit for the First Time

One of the most important aspects of your finances is your credit score. This three-digit number sets the tone when you apply for loans, determining whether you are approved and what terms you can expect. On top of that, some insurers use your credit score to set your premium payments, and some landlords ask for […]

Published or Updated: December 12, 2013