Credit Reports

Best Free Credit Report Site of 2015

If you’re interested in proactively safeguarding your personal information, understanding your credit report can help you keep tabs on how your data is being used. Luckily, there are a lot of different tools out there to help you obtain a free credit report. Worries about identity theft are well-founded. In 2012, more than 16.6 million …

Seven Things to Know When Filing for Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is often seen as a scary but necessary option. But it’s important to know that even when you’re facing what seems like financial ruin, you have choices. Bankruptcy laws have changed over the past few years and offer benefits as well as drawbacks to filing. If you’ve talked with a lawyer about …

Five Simple Steps to Improve Your Credit

A good credit score and solid credit history are the cornerstone of any lucrative credit card rewards strategy. So if you’re lacking in that department, you might find that it’s difficult to qualify for more than one popular rewards card – or that you can’t qualify at all. If you find yourself in that boat, you’re …

Honey, I Wrecked Your Credit

My husband and I were both in our mid-30s when we married. He was a couple of years into a psychiatric practice, and I had more than a decade of magazine experience under my belt. Each of us had been financially independent for quite some time (although as a freelance writer, my independence was of …

The Best Credit Monitoring Service for 2015

Now is the time to find the best credit monitoring service so you can protect yourself from identity theft. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 18% of adults had some form of personal data stolen last year — up from 11% in 2013. The year was also marked by a number of …

Categories: Credit Reports

It’s Never Too Soon to Protect Your Child’s Credit

Legendary bank robber Willie Sutton is often quoted as saying he robbed banks because that’s where they keep the money. Modern criminals in search of easy cash are more likely to use other means to separate you from your money. In 2011, for example, bank robbers took about $38 million from U.S. banks. That same year, …

The Importance of Your Personal Credit

Even if you have a love-hate relationship with it, credit plays an important role in our lives and economy. It allows us to reach financial, personal, and professional milestones that we might not otherwise be able to achieve. Here’s why you need to take your personal credit seriously, and a complete guide to establishing, building, …

How Student Loans Affect Your Credit

Whether you’re making your payments on time, paying extra every month, or struggling to pay the debt, student loans impact your credit report and score – for the good and the bad. Here’s how: Accentuate the Negative Any time you fail to make a student loan payment on time, this is going to have a …

The Unregulated World of Identity Theft ‘Insurance’

It’s all over the news: celebrity photo hacking scandals, digital security breaches at major retailers, and banks that have misplaced unencrypted backups of confidential customer data. More than 13 million consumers suffered from identity fraud in 2013, according to a study by financial services research firm Javelin Strategy & Research. This is second only to 2012, when …

How to Handle Debt in Collections and Pay Less Than You Owe

Debt collectors often make an already stressful situation — feeling stalked by past debts — a lot worse if you give them the chance. They can be merciless, overbearing, and sometimes downright abusive when it comes to interacting with you about your financial history. But you have rights, and you have options! Before hurriedly sending off a …

Best Credit Report Site of 2015

The Simple Dollar team and I dedicated an extensive amount of time researching credit reporting agencies, credit sites, consumer reviews, national surveys, and other published research to determine the best credit report sites that suit a variety of individual needs and life circumstances. When you’re choosing which credit monitoring company is the best fit for …

How to Fix Your Credit Properly

Sometimes, it seems like you can scarcely turn on your television or radio or web browser without seeing someone offering you a great solution to your credit woes or proper protection against credit worries. Pretty much anything involving the word “credit” is a hot commodity. There are thousands of businesses out there who want to …

Review: Your Credit Score

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. I was about to review the third edition of Liz Pulliam Weston’s Your Credit Score several months ago when …

Personal Finance 101: Why Do I Need Credit At All?

Samantha writes in: I don’t understand why I need credit at all. Credit just gets you into debt and you wind up paying interest to other companies. What’s the point of throwing my money away like that? Samantha asks a really good question here – and in some respects, she’s spot on. Poor use of …

How to Safely Build Your Credit History

I’ve heard from several high schoolers and early college students asking for advice on how to build up their credit history in a safe and responsible manner. One of them is “Jenna”: I’m currently a freshman at Washington University. I know I need to build up some good credit for the future, when I have …

Credit Reports, Credit Scores, and Hard & Soft Pulls

Over the last few days, I’ve received a ton of questions about so-called “hard pulls” and “soft pulls” on your credit report and how they affect your credit score. In order to get the full scoop, I did some extensive research on the subject, and here’s the best information I can find. Let’s start off …

Identity Theft and Family

A reader sent me this heartbreaking story that I feel I need to share with you all. I’m writing on behalf of a friend who just graduated from college two years ago and is trying to get on her financial feet. When she was young her mother used her identity several times to get loans …

Should You Cancel Your Unused Credit Cards or Not?

On a fairly regular basis, I suggest to my readers that they cancel unused credit cards except for their oldest one. In fact, I often suggest that you reduce your credit cards to one or two that you use for regular purchases and your oldest one – cancel the rest. This advice is often criticized, …

Access Credit Report and Credit Score Safely

Whenever you make a significant financial move today that requires financial assistance, it’s often accompanied by a check of your credit report and often a retrieval of your credit score. Lenders (and, quite frequently, other agencies like insurance companies) use this information to help determine a customized offer for you, so it’s quite useful to …

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