In America, we believe that everyone deserves a second chance. If you’ve seen your credit suffer due to bankruptcy, joblessness, medical bills or just a pattern of poor decisions, there is always a way for your to re-establish your credit.
Home buying can be a whirlwind and, unless you are a lottery winner or heir to a fortune, likely includes taking out a mortgage. Choosing the right mortgage loan for your budget includes assessing your income, lifestyle, credit history and qualifications. But it’s not just a matter of finding an affordable option – it’s also finding the best fit. Here is a list of common borrowing options so you can be an educated homebuyer.
They are the knickknacks of your personal financial lives: those old credit cards you seldom use. You might dust them off occasionally and charge something, but they often remain tucked away in a drawer or wallet, unused and overlooked.
Imagine you’ve been in a car accident. You have health insurance as well as coverage for medical bills through your auto insurance – or through the policy of the person who was at fault – so you aren’t worried about the bills. But to your shock, you find out months later that some of your medical bills have been turned over to collections and your credit has been damaged.
If you go to the store to buy a furnace filter and then get home and discover it’s the wrong size, you can usually return it and buy the one you need. But if you get a credit card and realize it’s not going to do the job you thought it would, you don’t have a similar option. A reader, Rachel, applied for a new card but now realizes she can’t use a promotional offer the way she planned and she doesn’t want the card. But she is worried about what canceling that card and applying for a different one will do to her credit score.
It is not unusual to see a credit card offered in versions for both consumers and business users. In addition, there are many business credit cards that offer competitive rewards and benefits. Therefore, some sophisticated credit card users will carry both business and personal credit cards for everyday use.
Call it naïveté, healthy optimism or a unique outlook on the future — whatever the reason, young Americans are much more confident in what lies ahead of them than their older compatriots are.
It’s a question I get asked more often than you might think: How can I tell if I have a credit score? It’s a basic question, but it’s about a pretty complex topic. It’s not always so easy to understand your credit and how much it can affect our lives these days. So with that in mind, let’s look at some important facts about your credit score, and how to find out if you have one.
Credit is a system of trust, and that trust can only be established through experience. It doesn’t really matter how you get started — a credit card, student loans, a personal loan, asking someone else to co-sign a loan or add you as an authorized user to their credit card — but you have to use credit in order to build it. Why? Because without using credit, you have no payment history, which is one of the major ways lenders determine whether or not they can trust you to repay a loan.
Nearly every retailer wants you to sign up for their co-branded credit card. To entice customers, these offers feature discounts on purchases, interest free-financing options, or both. With the opportunity to save 10%, 15% or even 20% on your purchases that day, what can go wrong? Plenty, if you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
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