April 1st, 2013

10 Credit Myths That Fool the Best of Us

10 Credit Myths That Fool the Best of Us | Credit Karma Blog

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’!

1. “Checking my own credit will hurt my score.”

This is false false false. When you check your own credit (score or report) it’s called a soft inquiry. Unlike pesky hard inquiries, soft inquiries don’t affect your credit at all. Wouldn’t it be terrible to be penalized for being responsible and checking your credit? So feel free to check your score on Credit Karma regularly; it won’t affect your score at all! I recommend checking once a month.

2. “I have one credit score – that’s the one lenders check.”

This is one of the biggest myths out there. Thankfully, more people are being educated on the fact that there are lots of different credit scores that lenders use, not just the FICO score. The credit score your lender chooses to use can depend on lots of factors, so it’s smart to have a good understanding of your overall credit health rather than one three-digit number in mind. Credit Karma CEO Ken Lin wrote an article for the Huffington Post all about this.

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March 28th, 2013

How Does an Eviction Affect My Credit?

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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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March 5th, 2013

5 Things You Can do to Protect Your Credit

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So far for National Consumer Protection Week we've covered 4 Ways to Keep Your Money Safe and How to Spot and Avoid Credit Repair Scams. Today we’re talking about what you can do to protect your credit from things like fraud and errors. Read on for five of our best tips.

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February 13th, 2013

New FTC Study: 25 Percent of Consumers Have Credit Report Errors

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For years there’s been an ongoing debate about accuracy of credit reports. Various studies have claimed that 3 to 25 percent of reports contain errors. The study released in May 2011 by the Policy and Economic Research Council claimed that 19.2 percent of credit reports contain errors, but less than 1 percent of corrected errors led to significant increases in credit scores. The main issue with this study has been that it was initiated and paid for by the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade group for the credit bureaus.

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February 4th, 2013

Why Don’t I Have a Credit Report?

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This is a great question, and one that can definitely be confusing. There are likely two reasons why you might have a hard time getting a credit report. The best-case scenario is easily fixed, while the worst-case scenario will take some time to remedy. And there’s a weird-case scenario that could prevent you from pulling a credit report, too. We’ll get to that one at the end.

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November 6th, 2012

Credit Report Card Break-Down: Percent of On-Time Payments

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Last week we covered open credit card utilization. This week, we’re talking about another important factor of your credit score: your percentage of on-time payments. This percentage shows lenders how often you pay your bills on time. A percentage even slightly less than 100 percent can mean trouble for your credit score.

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October 31st, 2012

Credit Report Card Break-Down: Open Credit Card Utilization

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The first item listed in your Credit Report Card is your open credit card utilization. This factor greatly impacts your credit score. Your open credit card utilization is the percentage of your credit limits that you’re using at any given time. It can be calculated by dividing your credit card balances by your credit limits. It’s a metric used by most credit score models to help assess your creditworthiness.

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October 22nd, 2012

Credit Report Card Break-Down: Introduction

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Earlier this year on the blog we presented The Ultimate Guide to Credit Karma to tell you all about Credit Karma’s features and how to best use them to monitor and improve your credit health. We started with the Credit Report Card, which was created to help you better understand the factors influencing your credit score. Then, we realized there was a lot more to tell.

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September 7th, 2012

Why You Should Check Your Credit Report – Jim’s Story

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The experts always advise that you check your credit reports regularly because you never know when someone may steal your identity or the credit bureau messed something up on your report. The statistics are not on our side.

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September 6th, 2012

5 Steps to Cleaning Up Credit Report Errors

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Now that you’ve learned how to get a copy of your credit report, what do you do with it? It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and clean it up! Your credit report could contain an error, and you won’t know it unless you look. Anywhere from 3 to 25 percent of credit reports contain serious errors. The most common are outdated personal information, mistaken or fraudulent accounts and incorrect account details.

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