How to Get Your Free Credit Score (with no credit card)

Quizzle

Not too long ago, the only way to get your free credit score was to sign up for a seven or 30-day trial. You had to enter your credit card, and if you forgot to cancel the membership, they started charging your card. Today there are several ways to get your credit score for free […]

Published or Updated: April 1, 2014

What Happens To Your Credit After a Divorce?

Divorce

Divorce is painful. In addition to the emotional and familial challenges, divorce can also affect your finances. And that brings us to a question I’ve heard from a number of people: How does divorce affect your credit? First the good news. Divorce itself does not have a direct effect on your credit, credit history or […]

Published or Updated: August 3, 2012

Reader Question: Can You Refinance a Mortgage with Bad Credit

In the world of personal finance, there are easy questions and not so easy questions. Today’s reader question from Debra falls into the latter category: I would like to know if and where it is possible to refinance your mortgage from 5.25% down to the current low with bad credit and $70,000 equity. Don’t qualify […]

Published or Updated: July 17, 2012

Credit Scores and Fannie Mae–What You Need to Know

FICO Score Distribution

Here are three facts about mortgage applications that at first glance are difficult to reconcile: Fact 1: Mortgage rates are at historic lows. Fact 2: Real Estate prices have fallen substantially over the past few years. Fact 3: The number of mortgage applications over the past 2 months are DOWN. So what’s going on here? […]

Published or Updated: October 28, 2012

A Rare Glimpse Inside the FICO Credit Score Formula

FICO Score Factors

Like the formula for Coca-Cola , the FICO credit scoring formula is a closely guarded secret. The Fair Isaac Corporation, however, does give us a glimpse into the secret sauce from time to time. For example, Fair Isaac has disclosed what factors go into its scoring model and the weight to be given each factor: […]

Published or Updated: April 30, 2012

Which FICO Scores Do Mortgage Lenders Use?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been on a refinancing binge. My wife and I have refinanced our home twice in the last 12 months, and my business partner and I are doing the same with three rental properties. With mortgage rates at an all time low, these deals were just too good to pass up. […]

Published or Updated: April 18, 2014

FICO vs. FAKO–Does it Matter?

Recently a number of readers have dismissed free credit score services like Quizzle and Credit Sesame, noting that these services don’t provide you with your “official” FICO score. The argument goes like this. These FAKO scores, as they’re called, don’t show you the actual credit score that lenders will use. Therefore, the scores are worthless. […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

Minimum Credit Score to Qualify for an FHA Loan

My sister recently signed a contract to buy a home. Given the market and interest rates, she got a great deal. And she’s financing the purchase with an FHA loan. So it seemed timely to talk about the minimum credit score you need to qualify for an FHA mortgage. As a quick review, an FHA […]

Published or Updated: February 9, 2012

Cash or Credit – How Should You Pay?

Using Cash

Photo: Rareclass Trying to figure out the best way to manage your money takes some careful thought. One money management question we face everyday is deceptively simple–should you pay with cash or credit. On the surface the choice between paying with cash or using a credit card seems straightforward. Many of us make this decision […]

Published or Updated: January 17, 2012