Learn more about your credit score image

Learn more about your credit score

Finding out your credit score can be a scary thing. The key is to know how to keep it high, and what you can do if it starts to go down.

Get your credit score for free

There are a few ways to get your current credit score but most of them are either hard to understand or don't give you enough info about how it was calculated to be useful.  The three major credit agencies are required to each give you a one free copy of your credit report per year so the old wisdom was to rotate through them once every four months.

Fortunately the age of the internet has made getting your credit score much easier.  The current recommended way to get your score is to use CreditKarma.com.  In addition to telling you your current credit rating score, they will give you your "credit report card" which is a breakdown of all the reasons your credit is good or bad by letter score just like in school.  You can see right away what is bringing your score down so you can work on bringing it up.

Because they access credit reporting agency on your behalf, they will ask you a few questions to confirm who you are but they are a legit site so follow through.  I highly recommend everyone return to CreditKarma.com quarterly to make sure their score is moving in the right direction.

Take some time to click through each attribute of your credit report card and learn what you can do to increase your score over time.

How Opening and Closing Credit Card Accounts Affects Your Credit Score

Ive been taking advantage of credit card bonuses and rewards for over 10 years now, earning thousands of dollars in perks while paying zero interest. I can honestly say that sign-up bonuses have never been larger than today. ...

Average Credit Score and Consumer Debt Loads By Age Group

CreditKarma.com (which provides free credit scores) recently released an infographic The Lifecycle of Debt and Credit Scores that shows both the average credit score and the average amounts of different debt types by age bracket. I notice that mortgage debt jumps significantly from the 30-34 to the 35-39 bracket, and sadly doesnt go back down to those levels until past age 80. ...

Debt, Debt, and More Debt

After seeing this household debt bubble chart, Ive been especially sensitive to news about consumer debt. Here are some recent stats from across the spectrum: Mortgages According to real estate data firm CoreLogic, 22.7% of US homes with a mortgage had negative equity in the first quarter of 2011, meaning the outstanding mortgage amount was greater than the value of the property. ...

Chart: The Household Debt Bubble?

Economist Paul Krugman says that fragile banks are no longer whats holding back economic recovery, its housing and household debt. ...

Why You Shouldn't Use Debt Settlement Agencies

The following is a guest post from reader Daniel Gershburg, Esq., who writes about the inner workings of debt settlement agencies. Daniel is a bankruptcy attorney in New York and New Jersey. Over the past several years, our economy has gone into the tank. Rampant unemployment, underemployment, in fact a near collapse of the financial system have completely reshaped our financial lives. ...