Your Take 
72
comments

Your Take: Common Sense vs. FreeCreditReport.com

Free Credit ReportIf you’ve ever watched a television in the last few years, you’ve undoubtedly seen the FreeCreditReport.com commercials with the guy playing the banjo. In recent months, Experian, the parent company of FreeCreditReport.com, has come under fire because:

  1. The credit reports are free, if you remember to cancel the trial (big if!).
  2. Consumers have been educated by the FTC that they can get a copy of their credit report for free once every 12 months, no strings attached… except they have to go to AnnualCreditReport.com, not FreeCreditReport.com.
  3. Consumers are, knowingly or unknowingly, signing up for the trial service, getting their free credit score and reports, and then not canceling.


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 Credit 
107
comments

Ban Credit Checks for Job Applications

Weathered Help Wanted SignChris at The Consumerist referenced a story this week about how there are 16 states, including here in Maryland, considering a ban on using credit scores to make hiring decisions. Iv’e never personally experienced this or heard of a friend get denied a job because of their credit score, but this happens enough to warrant 16 states barring the practice.

What’s the logic behind credit checks? I’ve read everything from “a higher credit score means someone is more trustworthy” to “someone who has a higher credit score is more reliable,” but I doubt any company can substantiate that with hard data.

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 Credit 
21
comments

How to Improve a Good Credit Score

Credit Card on a KeyboardIn the last few years, the importance of credit scores and the publicity of that importance has shot up tremendously. With the loose credit era behind us, and banks fearful of taking on more under and non-performing loans (ie. loans not being paid on time and in full), your credit score and your credit report have become more important than ever.

So it’s natural that more and more people are asking what they can do to improve their credit score. If your score is low, then there are plenty of things you can do to improve it and plenty of places that will explain what you need to do.

But what if you have a decent or good credit score? What can you do?
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 Credit 
16
comments

New Credit Card Costs ±14 FICO Points

New Credit Applications!We recently purchased a Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 and have been scanning a lot of our documents to reduce the number of documents we retain. One of the documents we came upon were two printouts of my wife’s FICO credit score and credit reports from Equifax, through myFICO. Earlier this year she signed up for the trial to see what her score was and in between the two inquiries she applied for a credit card.

The first report was pulled in mid-March and she had a glowing score of 804. The second report was pulled a month later and her score was 790, still very strong.

The only difference? She applied for and was approved for a new credit card. It cost her fourteen FICO points.

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 Credit 
28
comments

The 10-Second Credit Limit Increase

I logged into my Citi credit card account online today to make some changes to my profile when I decided to try to get an automatic credit line increase. I figured I was already logged in doing other things, a few button clicks to see if I could increase the limit certainly wasn’t going to cost me much time. I swung up to Tools & Services and click on Request a Credit Line Increase. If you recently did this, the option won’t be there.

I clicked on it and this is what appeared:
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 Credit 
30
comments

How to Remove Unauthorized Hard Inquiries

Reader Christine recently left a comment on the What is a good credit score? post in which she asked how she could get unauthorized hard inquiries removed. For her particular case, it’s likely that she agreed to the hard inquiries when she “clicked on a link on some website that I do not even remember now and got phone calls from about 5 lenders. I had very enlightening conversations but decided not to apply.”

Whether you apply for a loan or not, when you request quotes you will have agreed to the lenders pulling your credit report. They can’t give you a rate quote without knowing your credit score and credit history. Reputable companies won’t pull your credit without your permission because it’s illegal (it violates this: Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 1681b(c): Transactions Not Initiated by Consumer).

But there are cases where someone could make an unauthorized hard inquiry and the solution is to send a “remove inquiry letter” to the credit reporting agencies.

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 Credit 
11
comments

MyFICO Coupon Code: SURVEY30

MyFICO is offering a 30% off coupon if you take their customer survey. I’m not sure how long the survey takes but at the end they give you a new 30% off coupon code for myFICO products. If you want, you can take the survey or just keep reading for the code:

SURVEY30

For my thoughts on myFICO, check out my myFICO review. If you just want your credit report, you can request your credit reports for free every 12 months at annualcreditreport.com.

The code is valid until December 30th, 2009.

You can look here for more MyFICO promo codes.


 Credit 
158
comments

What Is A Good Credit Score?

Credit Repair SignEver wonder what a good credit score is? Of course, we all do. It’s one of the most important numbers in our adult life, whether you agree with it or not.

You can check your score at a variety of places that offer free FICO credit scores but how do you really know whether your score is good or bad? Is a 700 good? Or do you need an 800? How’s a 600?

I think it comes down to what you plan on doing with that number.

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