Credit Scores: How Do They Work?

FICO credit scores determine whether you’ll qualify for a loan or credit card, and if so, what your interest rate will be. A low score can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of a mortgage To help you learn more about this vital piece of information, I cover what goes into your scores and what you can do to fix them. How Credit Scores Are Determined…
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That DOESN’T Make Me Stabby: Mandated Free Credit Scores

Finally, the US consumer is close to winning one. The US Senate has just passed an amendment that would give consumers free access to their credit scores under certain circumstances, such as denial of a loan or a job due to your credit score. (This is currently the law for credit reports.) If passed by the House, it would go into law as part of the Wall Street reform package.…
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a pcture of credit card and a laptop for the article "who uses vantageScore

The VantageScore: Another Credit Score?

This is the first of five posts relating to credit scores and credit history. Today we'll talk about what and who uses VantageScore. If you ordered a credit score along with your Experian credit report, you probably got a VantageScore and wondered “what the heck is this?” It’s a new credit score developed by the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) to compete with the FICO score.…
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Which Factors Really Affect a Credit Score?

You’ve probably heard that hard pulls on your credit report can ding your credit score and keep it low for a few months. Since I’m now applying for my third mortgage in eight months (one purchase, two free re-fis), I’ve actually gotten free peaks at our credit scores and watched how quickly they recover. Hard Pulls Last About a Year We first started having our credit pulled in February of…
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When Are You Entitled to a Free Copy of Your Credit Report?

As I mentioned in the post about credit monitoring, you can get a free credit report every year at The best approach is to access one of the three free reports every four months. That will give you a year-round view of your credit for free. However, there are other occasions where you can get a credit report for free, even if you’ve already received your free annual report…
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Is Credit Monitoring Worth the Cost?

I now return to my series on credit history and credit scores. Monday, I covered the VantageScore. Today, I focus on credit monitoring. FICO, the three credit bureaus, banks, credit card companies, and many other independent services try to use scary warnings about identity theft to try to convince you monitoring is a necessity. So what exactly is credit monitoring and is it worth the cost? What Is Credit…
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