Your Credit Score by Liz Pulliam Weston

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I’ve always been a big fan of Liz Pulliam Weston, not because she’s taken the time to answer several reader questions about simplifying your finances in the past, but because she’s so good at taking complex personal finance topics and translating it into terms that ordinary people like us can understand. We live in an imploding world where financial alchemists are turning sub-prime adjustable rate mortgages into solid gold rated bonds, it’s refreshing to know that at least one of the anointed personal finance experts is able to talk to us like regular people. And that’s exactly what Liz Weston has done in her latest book about a three digit number that has the potential to “shape your financial future.”

I received a copy of the newest edition (the 3rd edition) of Your Credit Score: Your Money & What’s At Stake last week and had a chance to look it over during the weekend. The book does a good job of giving you a complete picture of your credit score, how it’s used, how you can improve it, the history behind its use, new developments (like VantageScore and FICO08), and where the future of credit scores will likely go. There’s a fair amount of preventative advice (how to maintain your credit score, identity theft) as well as prescriptive advice (how to handle a credit crisis, how to properly improve your score), so that anyone in any situation will find value in this book.

If credit score information is widely available on the internet (it is, just do searches in Google), why should someone borrow or buy this book? I think this book is valuable because of how the data is presented. You get the whole credit history and score picture in one book, with a good organizational structure, and written in language that is understandable to the average person. The information has been vetted for correctness (it’s published by Financial Times Press), something you are almost never assured of online. Put that all together and you get a book worth relying on as a resources.

In the next few days I’ll publish a Q&A with Liz Weston on some very timely credit related question.

{ 4 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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4 Responses to “Your Credit Score by Liz Pulliam Weston”

  1. That’s pretty cool, Jim. Hadn’t even heard of this book until now (although I’m familiar with the author). Do you think the book is good for college students and 20-somethings who are just starting out and beginning to establish their credit? Or is it geared toward an older audience?

    • Jim says:

      I think it’s good for any age and any credit awareness level, the first few chapters explain credit, how it’s used, how it’s determined, and how you can establish and improve it. Whether you’re a 20-something with no credit or a 40-something with no credit (perhaps a divorcee who never established his or her own credit), age isn’t as much a factor.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think people can save themselves money and just visit the MyFico forums instead of purchasing this book. The advice contained on the forums is much more detailed than what is in this book. Contrary to what people selling advice may want you to think, the FICO scoring model is not at all complex and is an easy game to master.

  3. Victoria says:

    Another good reason to purchase this book is that it would be a good way to keep up with your scores once or twice a year if you are watching them closely for a major purchase (a house, etc).
    I’ve been watching mine for two years now but would have to hunt to find out the ups and downs
    of the past two years.

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