How Active Duty Members can get Their FICO Credit Score for Free

Saving Money on Military Deployment

Having lived in the Washington, D.C. area for 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand the sacrifices military personnel and their families make each and every day. The late night visits to my home when a Marine needs help with his will before heading overseas is a solemn reminder of what’s at stake for these families. So […]

Published or Updated: February 16, 2013

What is Your Vantage Score?

Vantage Score

In case you aren’t confused enough by the multitude of different credit reporting companies and credit scores, here is one more to contemplate: the VantageScore.  This score was created by a combined effort of the three big credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.  Although the VantageScore has been around since March of 2006, consumers tend to […]

Published or Updated: March 15, 2013

Lower Your Credit Score With These 5 Bad-For-You Habits

Getting your credit score above that coveted 800 mark is a tough road.  It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to slowly build your credit score into something you’re proud of.  For anyone not looking to obtain an excellent credit score, allow me to offer you five easy ways to ensure your credit […]

Published or Updated: March 14, 2011

Will Closing Your Bank Account Hurt Your Credit Score?

Account closed

Believe it or not, some banks actually pull your credit history and score when you open a savings account. For example, Ally Bank will check your credit, and it will deny a savings account application if the applicant’s credit does not meet the bank’s undisclosed standards. And that brings us to a question a reader […]

Published or Updated: January 3, 2012

Have You Ever Heard of an Identity Score?

ID Score

Some estimates indicate that identity theft cost consumers and businesses over $50 billion last year. An “identity score” is an attempt to prevent costly, damaging identify theft.  While a credit score is designed to measure your risk as a borrower, an identity score is supposed to estimate the risk that you are not who you […]

Published or Updated: March 20, 2013

Credit Inquiries 101: A Complete Guide to a Hard vs. Soft Pull

Pull

When creditors are deciding whether or not to offer you a loan or a credit card, they look at a copy of your credit report and consider your credit score. Your credit score is a number that quantifies your payment history, current credit, how long your credit has been established, and a few other variables. […]

Published or Updated: March 20, 2013

How and Why You Can Freeze Your Credit

Credit Freeze

Identity theft is an ever-growing criminal industry. Identity thieves can use your identification information to apply for credit cards, open new lines of credit, and run up huge bills. While some safeguards exist to keep identity theft victims from being on the hook for these balances, identity theft can nonetheless dampen your credit. Cleaning up […]

Published or Updated: March 22, 2013

How to Raise Your FICO Score When All Else Fails

A reader recently left a comment about her credit score that I thought was worth sharing. Here’s what she asked: What can i do to build my credit if– 1. I cannot get a “real bank account” due to Chexsystem 2. I got denied for a secured credit card 3. I currently do now own […]

Published or Updated: May 25, 2012

New Laws Mean New Ways to Obtain Your Credit Score for FREE

850

Your credit score is essential financial information, but if you’re like many consumers, you don’t know much about it. Luckily, new laws mean that you can learn about your credit score more easily than ever – and for free! What is a Credit Score? A credit score is a numerical value assigned to you based […]

Published or Updated: July 18, 2013