Credit Rating

Welcome to the 2018 home-buying market. Rising demand and an extremely tight supply of homes, especially in the critical starter-home market, make it difficult to realize your goal of home ownership. In this buyer’s market, you’ll need two important things to land your dream home – more money and a higher credit score. Data from
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We know the stereotype of the unmotivated millennial, living at home with their parents without any long-term plan or concern about their situation. Is that a fair representation? Do millennials disproportionately live with their parents? If so, is this from necessity, lack of motivation, or part of a grander strategy? It’s logical that younger generations
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President Trump promised changes in Washington upon his election. Whether you are a Trump fan or foe, there’s no question he’s succeeded in that goal. Sometimes the change is precipitated by the President’s choice to lead an agency, as in the case of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was born out of
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Which is the worst first-date mistake – talking about an ex, eating food off your date’s plate, or mentioning that you are heavily in debt? We have no idea, but we’re guessing that a second date is unlikely in all those cases. A new survey from Finder.com suggests that in the case of excessive debt,
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Subprime Loans are Back Since the housing crisis began over a decade ago, subprime mortgage loans basically disappeared – thanks to regulatory actions from government and self-preservation for both lenders and borrowers. The effects of borrowing more than you could safely afford to repay became obvious to all parties. Subprime mortgage loans have been making
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By Kelly Hartog It’s been more than seven months since the credit reporting agency Equifax revealed in September 2017 that 143 million Americans’ personal data – including Social Security numbers, addresses and birthdates – had been accessed. Several weeks later, they announced that number was actually 145.5 million. Even though the data breach occurred between
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Your credit score may not be good enough to allow you to qualify for a home at a reasonable interest rate, but can a less-than-stellar credit score also keep you from finding a good place to rent? “Credit scores aren’t just about mortgages,” says Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at the credit bureau Experian.
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When your identity is stolen, you have so many potential issues to deal with — changing passwords, closing accounts, dealing with fraudulent charges, and placing fraud alerts with the credit bureaus — that you may forget about potential tax fraud. Armed with your personal information, identity thieves can file a fraudulent tax return in your
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By Eric Olsen Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm According to the Kaiser Foundation, almost half (21 million) of American seniors have incomes below 200% of the poverty line. Many have debt they can’t afford to pay. When debt is not paid, collectors call, send demand letters, and sometimes file a lawsuit. Being served legal
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Computers and the Internet have become mainstays in virtually every area of American life in the 21st century. There are tremendous benefits and conveniences to this, of course, but there are also some downsides — such as the increased risk of identity theft that arises as we share more of our personal information online. In
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The news seems to be filled with stories about hackers and identity theft these days, and rightly so. According to the Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, there were 16.7 million victims of identity theft in 2017, racking up a total of $17 billion in damages. Identity fraudsters successfully netted 1.3 million
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The Equivalent of Debtors’ Prison Is there such a thing as a modern-day debtors’ prison? Not literally, as debtors’ prisons were outlawed by Congress in 1833. However, a recent ACLU report on the criminalization of private debt points out that some private debt collectors are creating the equivalent of debtors’ prison via the courts. The
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Given all the data breaches and hacks these days, it’s best to assume that your personal data has already been exposed and is in the hands of criminals – either preparing to sell your data to other criminals or planning to use it themselves. However, there’s more to good identity hygiene than just protecting your
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Do you ever feel like you are drowning in debt? Have you ever considered simply not paying your debts? What’s the worst that can happen if you refused to pay them back? Unless you owe that debt to the “unregulated” end of the high-risk loan market, nobody named Vito is going to show up and
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Thanks to large-scale hacks such as the Equifax and Yahoo breaches, identity thieves have no shortage of information to use in their criminal pursuits. Is your information among them? “Identity theft can trash your credit score because there’s the risk that somebody takes your name, your Social Security number, and your solid credit rating, goes
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Western Union has served as a reliable method for rapidly sending money over long distances since the late 1800s. Once known for telegraphs, it currently offers services to more than 200 countries across the globe. Unfortunately, Western Union is frequently used by scammers, thanks to convenience, speed, and limited means of recovery for fraudulent transactions.
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Have you ever made payments only using your voice? Most people have at least given their credit card number out over the phone or have used automated phone payment menus – although the latter often leaves people shouting “REPRESENTATIVE!!!” at their phone attempting to interface with a human being. Significant advancements in voice recognition technology
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Credit scores are somewhat like IRS tax codes: we know they’re important; few folks fully understand them; and failing to successfully deal with either can cost you a lot of money. While most of the factors determining your credit scores, such as payment history, number of open accounts, and type of accounts, take months or
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What’s the best time of the year to rent a home? That depends on what factors are important to you, and how much time you have to act. People don’t always have the luxury of taking their time in renting a house or apartment. They often have to assess a market in a fairly short
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It’s that time of year when the leaves change colors, pumpkin flavoring is crammed into everything imaginable (who needs Eye Drops with Pumpkin Spice?), and scary things come out on Halloween – but will you open your door on October 31 and be confronted by anything scarier than these hair-raising financial horror stories? They Stole
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Where do lower-income Americans turn when faced with immediate bills and no money with which to pay them? Most turn to the payday loan industry, which offers short-term loans in exchange for fees and high interest rates. These loans are generally $500 or less and are called “payday” loans because the borrower is expected to
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Has your rental application just been rejected? Determined to make lemonade out of lemons, you resolve to find out why you were rejected and change the situation so that your next application is approved. Assuming that you filled out the application correctly and made no obvious mistakes such as bringing your pet rattlesnake or a
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Normally you are on time with your payments, but somehow you managed to miss one this month. What are the consequences of a missed payment, and how do you minimize their effects? Missing a single credit card payment may not seem like a big deal, but, as Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst at CredtiCards.com observes,
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It’s tough living on the lower end of the credit score scale. If you have a credit score below 640 or so, you are generally given “subprime” lending offers for any form of credit that you request. From credit cards to auto loans and mortgages, you will be hit with higher interest rates and potentially
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With more and more information stored online, more bad guys are just a password away from our personal data. As hackers have stolen financial information from large corporations like Equifax, Yahoo and even the Internal Revenue Service, identity theft is on the rise. “Identity theft can trash your credit score because there’s the risk that
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Have you ever seen ads for “Get Rich Quick” books? We suspect the only person getting rich quickly is the author selling his book! Perhaps the first page of the book reads, “The secret to quick riches is to publish and sell a book on getting rich quick.” At MoneyTips, all of our eBooks filled
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