January 21st, 2014

How Improving Your Credit Health Is Like Making the Perfect Marshmallow

 

How Improving Your Credit Health Is Like Making the Perfect Marshmallow | Credit Karma Blog

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make marshmallows. After all, I had to put that shiny new candy thermometer I got for Christmas to use somehow, right?

And I gotta say… creating those marshmallows was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I’ve never been a fan of cooking, but baking (and apparently marshmallow-making) has always fascinated me, as it’s more of a science than anything else. One mistake and your entire batch could be ruined. Do everything perfectly and you end up with sweets that’ll delight your coworkers.

The title kind of gave it away, but managing your credit health is the same way. If you have an excellent score and miss one payment, your score could tank. But if you’re careful enough, you just might end up with a score good enough to get you the best rates and financial products.

More than that, the journeys to the perfect marshmallow and excellent credit health are remarkably similar. Check out the sweet parallels:

They both require precision.

When I was heating up the sugar/corn syrup/water/salt mix, the instructions told me to stop when the mixture reached 240°F. It was a very precise temperature that I knew was mentioned for a reason, so even when the thermometer told me my mixture was stuck at 230°F for a long time, I patiently waited until it hit the, ahem, sweet spot.

Credit scores are the same way. They’re very fickle and not very forgiving. A few months ago, I logged into my Credit Karma account and was astounded to find my score had dropped 20 points just because I let my credit card utilization slip to 0%. But it makes sense—how can the bureaus accurately judge me if it looks like I’m not using my credit cards?

Now I know better. I keep my credit card utilization at the optimal rate of 1-20% and my score is back to its excellent self.

Preciseness: it does credit a world of good. Be vigilant as you work on improving your credit health. Keep your credit card utilization between 1 and 20%, your payment history at 100%, your number of credit inquiries as low as possible and your derogatory marks at 0. You won’t regret it!

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January 1st, 2014

Top Ten Tips for 2014

Top Ten Tips for 2014

New Years Resolutions aren’t typically successful, so we wanted to give you an extra dose of tips so you can start 2014 off right. Enjoy!

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December 2nd, 2013

How Does Being an Authorized User Affect My Credit Score?

Will Paying Off My Auto Loan Increase My Credit Score? th

In this Credit Karma FAQ video, Bethy and Ezra tackle another commonly asked question in our Credit Advice Center: "Will Paying Off My Auto Loan Increase My Credit Score?" The answer is tricky, as it depends on your specific situation. Check out the video to learn more!

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May 6th, 2013

The Importance of Home Insurance Scores

home insurance

For one out of four Americans, “cash only” is a way of life. 17 million Americans lack access to any type of formal bank account and are classified as “unbanked.” In addition, 51 million Americans do access basic bank services such as a savings account, yet they still rely on alternative financial institutions as well. These individuals might frequent check-cashing joints, fall prey to payday lenders, and often incur exorbitant fees associated with such alternative banking methods.

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May 5th, 2013

Infographic: Average Number of Accounts vs. Average Total Debt

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Last week, Credit Karma kicked off its weekly infographic series to help educate consumers about the factors influencing their credit score in a fun, visual way. This week, we take a look at the percentage of on-time payments within the different credit score ranges. Scroll down to check it out!

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April 28th, 2013

Infographic: Percent of On-Time Payments by Credit Score

on-time payments infographic th

Last week, Credit Karma kicked off its weekly infographic series to help educate consumers about the factors influencing their credit score in a fun, visual way. This week, we take a look at the percentage of on-time payments within the different credit score ranges. Scroll down to check it out!

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April 20th, 2013

Infographic: Credit Card Debt vs. Number of Credit Cards

debt number of credit cards infographic th

Here at the Credit Karma Blog we've talked before about the average national credit score and average debt load. We've taken a look at potential credit score rivalries and how different credit score ranges compare when it comes to debt, on-time payments and number of accounts. We love data, if you hadn't noticed. We are nerds, after all.

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April 5th, 2013

Infographic: The Lifecycle of Debt and Credit Scores

lifecycle infographic th

Here at the Credit Karma Blog we've talked before about the average national credit score and average debt load. We've taken a look at potential credit score rivalries and how different credit score ranges compare when it comes to debt, on-time payments and number of accounts. We love data, if you hadn't noticed. We are nerds, after all.

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April 1st, 2013

10 Credit Myths That Fool the Best of Us

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It’s no April Fools’ joke! Credit myths and rumors are unfortunately spread around all the time, especially on the World Wide Web. We’ve talked about lots of these myths over the years, and today we’re wrangling 10 of the most common credit myths to help set things straight. No foolin’!

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March 28th, 2013

How Does an Eviction Affect My Credit?

eviction

Unlawful detainer. Chances are you don't know what that means, unless you've been expelled from your home. It's the technical term for the legal action taken to evict someone from a property. Unsurprisingly, evictions most frequently occur when a tenant has broken the terms of his or her lease, like when you fail to pay rent. That kind can do a number on your credit health. But there are other types as well. Today, we'll take a quick look at the different types of evictions and then go over how an eviction can affect your credit.

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