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What You Don’t Know About Your Credit Score Could Hurt You

[Thursday, July 7th, 2016]

There are lots of sayings that hold a kernel of truth in them. For example, “out of sight, out of mind,” is an apt way to express the fact that we don’t tend to think about people when they’re not around. Or maybe “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a more accurate saying as far as you’re concerned.

But there’s one saying that definitely isn’t true most of the time, at least when it comes to one thing: credit scores. That old chestnut, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” isn’t accurate at all when it comes to credit. In fact, a bad credit score can certainly hurt you, in many more ways than you may realize. Whether you are aware of it or not, poor credit can affect whether or not you’re approved for a loan, what kind of interest rate you’re offered on a mortgage, and much more. Here are a few reasons you should absolutely know your credit standing: and how to improve it, if need be.

You need a great credit card. There are so many amazing credit cards available these days. Whether you want a cash back card that gives you 4% off all your gas purchases, or one that pays you back 6% for grocery trips, you can actually earn money when you shop. Not only that, you can get frequent flyer miles, free hotel stays, move to the front of the line at the gate on your next plane trip, check bags for free, and get extended warranties and purchase protection on items you buy with your credit card. But you can’t get the best of these things if you don’t have a good credit score.

You want a low-interest mortgage. Banks offer you an interest rate on your mortgage based in part on your creditworthiness. The higher your score, the lower the rate you’ll be offered. So if you’re in the market to buy a home, or to refinance your current one, you need to have the best possible credit score for the best possible mortgage rate.

You’re applying for a job or an apartment. These are other times when people will be looking at your credit score to determine whether or not you measure up. Prospective employers and landlords want to see that you have a solid track record of paying your bills and keeping your debt level under control. So if you are, or might be, in the position of looking for a new career or new place to rent, make sure you know what your credit score is.

If you aren’t sure what your credit is like, you can order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year. To keep your credit in good shape, make sure you make all payments on time, keep balances low, have a mix of types of credit, don’t apply for too much new credit in a short period of time, and keep your accounts open so you’ll establish a nice long credit history.

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How To Get Your Credit Card Issuer To Raise Your Credit Limit
[January 16th, 2018]

It’s happened to the best of us: you want to buy something using your credit card and find you don’t have enough available credit to complete your purchase. When you want to take advantage of low interest rates, high value credit card rewards, and the chance to pay off a purchase over time, it can be frustrating to be faced with a lower credit limit than you’d like.

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Here’s How To Keep Your Credit Card Safe From Fraudulent Charges
[August 31st, 2017]

If you’ve ever gotten a call from your credit card issuer asking you about an unfamiliar charge, you know the particular sense of dread that goes through you when you think your card may have been compromised.

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3 Mistakes People Make When Applying For A Credit Card
[June 23rd, 2017]

It might not seem like applying for a new credit card is very complicated. After all, millions of people have credit cards, and most households have more than one. Still, people do make mistakes when applying for credit cards. Here are three of the most common blunders folks are prone to making when they sign up for that amazing new rewards credit card…

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