Posts Categorized: Credit and Debt

Understanding interest rates on a credit card is harder than it seems. What is the real interest rate? How often is it applied, and what does it really cost? Credit cards are usually advertised by their APR (Annual Percentage Rate). What does that mean? Interest is the cost of having access to credit—it’s the fee…

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A credit limit is the maximum amount of money a lender offers to a borrower. Whether it’s in the form of a credit card, home equity line of credit, or other kind of revolving credit account, there is a maximum amount of money available to the borrower, and that amount is his/her credit limit. The…

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To generate your first credit score, your credit report will have to have at least one account on which you make monthly payments. The time it takes for your first score to show up will vary based on the credit score model.  For example, the VantageScore model will create your first score in one or…

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Meeting financial goals as a family can be challenging. But inspiring your family to help and contribute to a financial goal doesn’t have to be a painful process, especially when the result is an exciting family vacation, a new family car, or college savings. In the spirit of America Saves Week, I’ll share some ideas…

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There are three major credit reporting bureaus in the United States: TransUnion™, Equifax™, and Experian™. Each one has its own unique mathematical method of calculating a credit score for the consumer. And each bureau may have slightly different information on how they calculate credit scores that can seem confusing. So, why are the scores different…

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This one number makes all the difference to identity thieves… your social security number. When you apply for a job, the application asks for your social security number. When you apply for a bank account, they want your social security number. When you file a tax return, apply for a loan, get medical treatment, apply…

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Last week, Washington Post reported that Marriott International disclosed a massive data breach in which hackers had access to the reservation systems of many of its hotel chains for the past four years, a breach that exposed the private details of up to 500 million people. This data breach – one of the largest in…

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The use of credit scores goes back to the 1950’s, but it became prevalent during the 1980’s as a way for lenders to quickly and easily evaluate a potential borrower’s creditworthiness. Today credit scoring is used by lenders, insurers, landlords, employers, utility companies, and even judges, to evaluate your credit behavior. There are many types…

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