Build and Protect Your Credit Like the Pros

Released today! 

Build your credit profile in the very best way so that you achieve top tier credit, gain respect from everyone you do business with, and save thousands of dollars on everything from auto insurance to a home loan.

Reading this book will take you from beginner status to expert. It starts with the basic of how to get your first credit card and proceeds to insider information not many people outside the industry know. When you finish, it will be like having a college degree in credit, if there were such a thing!

It’s not enough to have top credit. You must also protect your credit and finances, because there are more scams, frauds, and schemes now than ever before. Get the tips you need for protecting yourself from rip-off artists.

Makes a good gift for young adults, immigrants to the U.S., and anyone else who wants to improve their expertise on credit scoring.

Paperback available today for only $8.99. Kindle is $5.99.

Order here.


Collection Companies Charging Illegal Fees, Failing to Validate a Debt, and Other Crimes

Have you (or perhaps someone you know who got behind on bills) been charged an extra money-pay-backprocessing fee by the collection company? Have you been bullied by a debt collector? Has the collector blabbed your personal information to others?

In a report out today, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) reveals that some collectors are guilty of the following:

  • Charging a processing fee on the debt.
  • Lying to consumers that if they don’t pay immediately their credit would be further harmed.
  • Revealing information about the person’s debts to friends and family while trying to track them down.
  • Failing to properly investigate and validate a disputed account.

As a result of these crimes plus illegal practices by some auto loan servicers and student loan servicers, the CFPB has recovered $11,000,000 in damages. This money is to be distributed to 225,000 consumers who have been harmed.

If this is you (or possibly someone you know), contact the CFBP here. Please feel free to post this on social media to help get the word out. You never know who among your acquaintances might be due a nice rebate check.

Now available in paperback and Kindle
Now available in paperback and Kindle

Will Zero Balances Hurt Your Credit Score?

Money Kenya sent me a good question, one that is important for everyone to understand.

Q: “Can keeping my credit cards at a zero balance hurt my score? My score seems to fluctuate with no real changes to my profile.”

A: There are several elements that go into answering your question, Kenya.

First, it does not hurt your credit score to pay off your balance in full every month. It would be unfair to force people to carry a balance from month-to-month and waste money on interest in order to get the best score. The proper use of credit is paying off the balance every month.

However, if you do not use a credit card for more than six months, you will not receive any points for that card. So technically, not using a card doesn’t give a negative hit to your score like a late payment does, but you won’t receive a reward for using that card either. Therefore, for max. credit points, you want to use the card every once in a while. Buying something you’d buy anyway–such as toothpaste and a tank of gas–is sufficient. Having a small balance-to-limit ratio is best for maximum points.

The most common reason for seeing a fluctuation in scores for no apparent reason is using a credit monitoring service. This is because those services are not using the actual scoring algorithm used by the credit bureaus for mortgage lenders. While those scores might be somewhat helpful, they are not to be relied on. In the mortgage business, we don’t consider them to be your real scores.

I doubt that you are having your credit report pulled by a mortgage company every few months; and if you were, I would tell you to stop doing that as it is harmful to your credit.

The bottom line is that you should take those scores with a grain of salt. When your mortgage lender pulls your credit report, your actual scores will be different anyway.

For people who need to restore or repair their credit, take a look here. The information is as relevant today as it was in 2010.