Credit Reports

Good credit score secrets

Good credit score secrets
Even though it's more important than ever to be familiar with your credit score and what affects that crucial number, experts say a lot of Americans don't know nearly as much as they should about what they do that can impact their score. WalletPop got on the phone with John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at Credit.com to find out more. We also caught up with Barry Paperno, consumer operations manager for FICO, via email to ask him to

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Direct Marketing Associates settles FTC charges of misleading car buyers

Direct Marketing Associates settles FTC charges of misleading car buyers
Direct Marketing Associates, which solicited potential car buyers using credit reports, settled charges lodged by the Federal Trade Commission that the company lied to consumers with low incomes and poor credit by telling them they had been approved for loans. The company and its owner were penalized $157,000, but that fine was suspended due to its inability to pay, the FTC said. In its complaint filed in federal court, the FTC said Direct Marketing

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Save Your Credit Score With These Five Steps

Save Your Credit Score With These Five Steps
If you're an even semi-regular WalletPop reader, you know the importance of a good credit score. Not only is it your golden ticket to getting better rates for things like mortgages and credit cards, it also may help you get lower rates for auto insurance, rent an apartment and even get a job. But with lenders continuing to tighten their standards even as the credit crunch eases, Americans have to keep close watch on their scores. Even a small slip

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Identity fraud: Can your credit report keep you safe?

Identity fraud: Can your credit report keep you safe?
Have you ever gotten one of those letters from your employer, creditor, municipality or school that includes the words "your data has been compromised?" It's usually followed – I know from experience – by a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. New data from Javelin Strategies shows that's one of those gut instincts you'd do well to listen to. No surprise that 2009 – plagued by a tough financial scenario all around –

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Why do college students need to be building credit? They don’t!

Why do college students need to be building credit? They don’t!
The credit card bill that President Obama signed earlier this year will result in sweeping changes in the way that college students interact with credit card companies. Among these changes: Starting in 2010, the companies will be barred from offering free Frisbees, pizza etc. to college students in exchange for filling out applications -- but only when the offer is made on or near a college campus or at a college event. Anyone under the age of 21

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New Fed Guide Gives Consumers Credit Report, Scoring Info

New Fed Guide Gives Consumers Credit Report, Scoring Info
This week, the Federal Reserve published a new, online guide for consumers that explains a lot of the confusing things about credit reports and credit scoring. A lot of regulatory changes have been made recently when it comes to financial regulation and consumer protection, so this new document is meant to help consumers know their rights and how to exercise them. Your credit score is obviously a very important number if you want to buy a home, finance

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How many mistakes can really hurt your credit score

How many mistakes can really hurt your credit score
This isn't quite the falling of the Berlin Wall, but in the credit scoring world, it's close. Apparently, for the first time ever, FICO, the company that has its famed credit scoring model, has released details on how a financial goof-up actually affects your credit score. First, before I go on, credit for making credit scores a little less mysterious goes to Liz Pulliam Weston, a prolific and well respected columnist with MSN Money. She asked FICO

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Auto insurance premiums tied to credit score

Auto insurance premiums tied to credit score
You might expect a plunging credit score to affect your ability to qualify for a car loan or how high the interest rate on your credit card will soar. But too often Americans don't realize a plunging credit score can cost them big bucks on insurance premiums. One of the biggest mistakes insurers say people make is not realizing when their credit score is tanking. "Credit scores factor heavily into your rate," says Ashley M. Hunter, a construction-risk

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Freeze your credit? It’s one way to cut out the con artist

Freeze your credit? It’s one way to cut out the con artist
Many Americans these days are understandably worried about the prospect of identity theft in which a scammer opens up a credit card or other loan in the victim's name, runs up all kinds of charges and then disappears. The victim is left with the huge headache of trying to clear his or her good name with lenders and credit bureaus alike. This scary prospect may have you considering a credit freeze, but there are some important considerations to keep

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Lenders use new tactics to dig up financial dirt on potential borrowers

Lenders use new tactics to dig up financial dirt on potential borrowers
Back in the old days (a.k.a. a few years ago), banks would determine if you were worthy of a loan by looking at your credit score and your income. Now, with defaults at near-record levels, lenders are much more cautious about who they give money to, so much so they're willing to violate your privacy and employ sneaky tactics in order to determine whether you're a deserving borrower. In fact, banks and lenders examine many aspects of your financial

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