A College Student’s Guide to Building Credit

How College Students Should Build Credit

Whether you’re in college or just graduating, chances are you don’t have much credit history. And that’s not a bad thing. You haven’t needed credit up to this point, and this is the time when most people start worrying about things like credit scores and credit cards. But now that you’re in your 20s, it’s […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

Does Paying Rent Improve Your Credit Score?

Renting an Apartment

Photo: sincerelyhiten Not too long ago, paying rent didn’t have much to do with your credit score. Not paying rent could (and still can) wreck your credit score. If you were behind enough to have your account sent to a collections agency, your past-due rent would likely be reported as negative information to the credit […]

Published or Updated: May 1, 2013

How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Credit

Time for fico credit score to recover

Photo: 401 (K) 2013 How long does it take to improve your credit? That’s a great question. Unfortunately, the answer is, “It depends.” It depends on what your credit score is now, and why. And it depends on how much you want to improve your credit score. Serious credit problems — foreclosures, collections records, etc. […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

How to Correct an Error on Your Credit Report

Photo: 401(K) 2013

Even small errors on your credit report can cause big problems. A typo in your home address could make it difficult for you to pull a copy of your credit report, for instance. A larger error, such as a creditor misreporting your financial information, could cause more serious issues. This is why it’s essential that […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

How to Protect Your Credit During a Divorce

Divorce Can Be Expensive

Photo: EssG Divorce, whether nasty or amicable, can be an emotional roller coaster. It can be a financial roller coaster, as well. Not only can divorce hurt the finances of both parties, but it can be particularly difficult for the spouse who did not handle the money during the marriage. The good news is that […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

How Late Payments Affect Your Credit Score

How Late Payments Affect Credit Scores

Photo: TheTruthAbout Late payments may be the bane of your credit score perfection, or they may just be part of your overall credit mediocrity. How late your payments are, how perfect your score is otherwise, and a host of other factors all play into how much a late payment (or multiple late payments) will affect […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

A Simple Plan to Establish Credit for the First Time

As my children move into adulthood, the question of establishing credit for the first time is arising. Does a bank account affect your credit? Will a prepaid debit card establish credit? Should I get a credit card? As I work through these issues with my children, it seems like a good time to cover this […]

Published or Updated: March 13, 2014

A DIY Guide to Rebuilding Your Credit Score

Repairing Credit

You can rebuild your credit score by following a few simple steps Photo: 401(K) 2012 A reader named Amber e-mailed me recently and asked the following question about repairing her credit: I just settled all of my debt and got my credit score (not good) and printed off my credit reports. They all show that […]

Published or Updated: December 20, 2012

Free Credit Report – Sometimes You Get What You Pay For

Credit-Report-Excerpt

Sometimes I think Google has a sense of humor. I don’t know if the sense of humor is programmed into its search algorithm, added by Google’s search engineers, or just a fluke, but it’s definitely there. And a good example of it can be found if you search on the term “free credit report.” When […]

Published or Updated: October 13, 2012