How to Establish Credit After Bankruptcy

The most detrimental thing you can do to your credit is file for bankruptcy.  In fact, your credit report will reflect the bankruptcy for at least for the next 7-10 years.  Often times, however, bankruptcy is the only option you have to square your finances, so ironically, you’re hurting your credit, to save it later. […]

Published or Updated: March 5, 2013

Do Prepaid Cards Help You Establish Credit?

I’ve had several readers ask me recently whether they can establish credit with a prepaid credit card. Most recently, a reader named Lynn asked the following: Please contact me about the availability of a pre-paid credit card to help me establish credit. The topic of building credit can be a confusing one, and whether prepaid […]

Published or Updated: May 22, 2012

My Credit Karma Credit Score is Over 600!

Two years ago, around the time when I had left my full time office job to work online, my credit score was in the tank.  I wasn’t making enough money to support myself and my massive debt load and as a result,  I was late on almost every payment I made.  And if that wasn’t […]

Published or Updated: March 5, 2013

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

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?

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?

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?

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

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

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