DIY Credit Help: The New Credit Score Standard Raises The Bar

Credit Karma

680 used to be the credit score consumers were told to aspire to. In this good credit range, a 680 was solid enough to access the great loan and mortgage rates, get you approval for most credit cards, and open up your financial options. With a 680, you could be confidant that you could borrow […]

Published or Updated: October 27, 2010

How Does Debt Consolidation Affect Your FICO Score?

In its most general definition, debt consolidation is when a company or individual takes out one larger debt in order to pay off several smaller ones. A company might do this if it took out several small loans to finance growth and now finds interest rates lower than they were for the original loans. Most […]

Published or Updated: April 5, 2013

How to Refinance a Car Loan Online in 5 Minutes Flat

Money Aisle

Photo: UggBoy UggGirl As I’ve written about many times, one of the best ways to save money is to refinance debt to a lower rate loan. When most people think of refinancing, the home mortgage is the first thing that comes to mind. But you can also refinance credit card debt by taking advantage of […]

Published or Updated: April 5, 2013

DIY Credit Help: What’s Holding Back My Credit Score?

Credit Karma

The question that pops up most often in the Credit Advice Center, Credit Karma’s forum for consumers to ask questions and post answers on credit-related topics, is, “How do I boost my credit score?” But a better question to ask first is, “What could be holding my credit score back?” You’ve probably heard cure-all advice […]

Published or Updated: June 6, 2013

9 Things You Won’t Find in Your FICO Credit Score

FICO Score Formula

Photo: LiewCF Although not the only credit score in use, the FICO score is the best-known and most widely used credit score in the United States.  Creditors use your FICO score (and other scores) to determine your eligibility for loans, credit cards and other types of credit.  Employers will often request your credit score to […]

Published or Updated: April 4, 2013

7 Ways to Prevent New Account Fraud

ID Theft

Identity Theft takes many forms. In some cases, your identity can be used to withdraw money from existing accounts or to use existing credit. One of the more difficult types of identity theft to detect, however, is called new account fraud. With new account fraud, your personal information (e.g. social security number, date of birth, […]

Published or Updated: March 14, 2013

When Is Your Credit Score Good Enough?

So you’ve taken advantage of a free credit score offer. With your score in hand, you may have even done some research on what is a good credit score. But the question still remains, what exactly does your credit score mean. How does your score compare to others? And even more important, do you have […]

Published or Updated: October 29, 2012

When Good Credit Ain’t Good Enough


In both comments and e-mail, a lot of readers have had a similar complaint recently—they have good credit, but the still get denied for a credit card. In some cases, they even have the interest rates on their current cards raised substantially. So what’s going on here? Why do folks with good credit sometimes get […]

Published or Updated: March 14, 2013

Identity Theft Insurance – LifeLock vs. IDENTITY GUARD

Before I went to law school, I was a buyer for a large pharmaceutical company. I worked in a manufacturing facility and my boss was teaching me how to negotiate large contracts. He boiled all the advice you need when it comes to contracts down to one sentence–the big words giveth, and the small words […]

Published or Updated: February 16, 2013