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Personal Finance Blog

Catch up on the latest credit.org news and personal finance trends.

Find your financial freedom and partner with our experts by reading the latest in personal finance advice and tips!


Here at Springboard, a former client was excited to tell us that her credit score was 723. That’s a respectable score, and much higher than she expected given her credit history. Another consumer who had recently been the victim of identity theft checked her credit and was ecstatic to learn that her score was right at 800, which is as high a score as anyone needs.

Unfortunately, they had both been misled. Their scores weren’t nearly as good as they thought.

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Parents across the country are having the talk with their young adult as he or she heads out the door to college. This year, however, the talk isn’t about sex, drugs and rock and roll. Instead, it’s about whether or not the student should apply for a credit card before the new regulations go into…

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Two important sections of your credit report are the “Public Records” and “Inquiries” sections. Knowing what personal and public information that is on your report is an important factor to taking control of your finances. It is also important to know what companies have requested a copy of your report.

The third step in this series is to review all of the information contained within the public record section of your annual credit report. Public information and inquiries are usually the last sections to appear in your credit report, though each credit report company does things a bit differently.

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Personal information may be the first thing to appear in your credit report, though each credit report company does things a bit differently.

While this personal information has no direct impact on your credit score, it’s very important that everything reported here be accurate and up to date. The credit bureaus use this information to verify your identity, and if anything here is incorrect or outdated, your security may be compromised.

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Let’s begin with the Account History section which may not be the first thing you’ll see when you open your credit report, but it is the most important. It’s usually the largest section of the report, as well. When calculating your credit score, FICO gives more weight to your payment history than any other category.

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During hard economic times, unforeseen circumstances may prevent us from meeting every financial obligation on time. While we all strive to pay all of our bills promptly, sometimes we are forced to choose which payment to make with limited funds on hand.

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For an individual, a debt ratio describes the percentage of your income that goes to debt payments. You’ll often see this described as a Debt-to-Income Ratio.

Your ratio is usually calculated based on your gross income. So if your salary is $3,000 per month, and your total debt payments every month are $300, your debt ratio is 10%. (3000 divided by 300 is 10).

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Whether you are requesting a loan modification or a short sale, your lender will most likely ask you to submit a hardship letter. The purpose of the letter is to describe, in the homeowner’s own words, why the homeowner is not or may not be able to make his or her mortgage payments. A key thing to remember is that it is important that you include actual reasons for the hardship and any plans you have for the future.

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If you are facing financial difficulties and are seeking to renegotiate your mortgage, you will have to write a hardship letter. This letter explains your situation to your lender so they will fully understand why you are unable to make your mortgage payments as agreed.

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We are committed to promoting financial literacy, and we offer a lot of free, online education courses designed to help meet that goal. But what does it mean to be financially literate?

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