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


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

Dish Network and Your Credit Score – What You Should Know

For Christmas we ordered DISH Network for my wife’s parents. They live in the country and don’t have access to cable; satellite service is their only option. In the process of ordering the service, I learned that DISH Network runs a credit check that results in an inquiry on your credit file. Even more important, […]

Published or Updated: May 5, 2011

The Lowdown on the Fair Credit Reporting Act


We’ve all seen the ads about how important credit scores are. They can drastically change the amount you pay in interest. They can make or break your application for a loan. They can even help or hinder your chances for employment. What you may not know is that federal law dictates how credit reporting agencies […]

Published or Updated: April 4, 2013

DIY Credit Help: The 5 Credit Scores You Need To Know

A common consumer misconception is that there is one credit score, when the truth is there are dozens. Many different lenders, credit bureaus, companies, and credit reporting agencies have their own credit score based on their particular brand of credit score model. Every credit score model out there shares two things in common: They use […]

Published or Updated: March 22, 2012

Why Do Different Credit Bureaus Have Different Credit Scores?


As if understanding the complex scoring model that generates our credit scores isn’t difficult enough, we then have to understand why, depending on the credit reporting agency, our credit score is different. As we discussed in a previous article, the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have different names for their credit […]

Published or Updated: April 4, 2013

Your Credit Score: When Good Enough Will Do

In life, some high numbers matter more than others. A higher SAT score may get you that scholarship or that coveted spot at your chosen university. A higher salary is very rarely a negative. And having ended the game with the highest number on the scoreboard makes your team the winner. Having a really high […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

The History of the Credit Score

850 Credit Score

Credit scores became widely used in the 1980’s. Before the credit score was used, human judgment was the primary factor in deciding who received credit. Lenders relied on their past experience at observing consumer behavior as the basis for deciding which consumers warranted credit. This was not only a slow process, but also involved human […]

Published or Updated: April 20, 2013

Getting an Auto Loan? Check Your Credit Score First

Forgetting to check your credit report is one of the easiest and most costly mistakes you can make before shopping for a new auto loan or car refinance. Studies show that about 70 percent of consumer credit reports have errors on them. And when it comes to refinancing an auto loan, those errors can cost […]

Published or Updated: March 11, 2014