• Equifax Settlement Chart
    Credit Scores

    Equifax Settlement Payouts Will Be “Nowhere Near $125”

    A few days ago, I wrote about the Equifax Data Breach Settlement. Those affected by the breach could file a claim for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation for up to $125. The Federal Trade Commission now says that due to overwhelming public response, “up to $125” will actually be nowhere near $125. The FTC has had millions of claimants visit their site in the first week. Because the total amount available for the Alternative Reimbursement Compensation is $31 million, each person who takes the money option is going to get a very small, disappointing amount. The FTC is encouraging claimants to choose the free credit monitoring instead, which they say provides a “much…

  • Basics,  Credit Scores

    10 Strategies to Increase Your Credit Score in 2016

    Do you have big travel plans next year and want to apply for credit cards that offer rewards to help you get there for free? Or is 2016 the year you plan to become a homeowner? Then now is the time to spruce up your credit score. Here are 10 strategies you can use to get instant approvals on those rewards cards or the lowest possible rate on your mortgage. Check for Errors on Your Credit Report The first step to a better credit score is knowing what’s in your credit report. There are three companies that report on your credit: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Visit for more information on obtaining…

  • Basics,  Credit Scores

    Understanding your Credit Score–TIMES THREE!

    When most people start on the journey to understand their credit score, they’re usually expecting to have just one number to deal with. You might be surprised to learn that you don’t have just one FICO Score, you have THREE! And they’re all different! While that seems unnecessarily confusing, and perhaps a bit daunting, here’s the good news—the same strategy can be used to boost all three scores, all at the same time. In this post, I’ll briefly explain why you have 3 credit scores, and why they’re all different, so that you can have a better understanding of my next post, which will give you the tools you’ll need…

  • Basics,  Credit Scores

    The Real Value of Good Credit

    We’ve all seen the television commercials about the importance of knowing one’s credit score. But how much is good credit actually worth?  The answer may surprise you. A low credit score is symptomatic of poor financial habits–habits that can cost you BIG TIME, in addition to any exorbitant interest you may be paying on your monthly credit card bills. How much more could it cost? Let’s say you’re buying a $200,000 house with a 20% down payment. On a 30 year $160,000 mortgage, having a credit score of 650 instead of 750 can cost you nearly $35,000  in additional interest payments over the life of the loan. Check your Credit Report for free The first step to…