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Credit Card or Debit Card: The Great Debate. It’s Not Even Close.

Have trouble getting approved for a credit card? Do you have bad credit? Maybe a debit card is an answer. But, not to spoil the surprise, it’s not. So, I’m going to help you to understand why a debit card is a much less form of payment, provides less protection from scams, and does nothing … Read more

I Need Help With Making My Credit Score Better

Question: Dear Steve, I need help with my credit history and payments. I contacted the credit collection companies and started paying on some outstanding accounts. How can I get my credit fixed and remove these accounts to be able to raise my credit score? Sonia Answer: Dear Sonia, This recent podcast talks specifically about how … Read more

I Want to Get Rid of My Fingerhut and Credit One Bank Cards

I Want to Get Rid of My Fingerhut and Credit One Bank Cards

Question: Dear Steve, About three years ago, I acquired three credit cards – two from Credit One Bank and one from Fingerhut. I only applied for these particular ones because I had a bankruptcy in 2011, wanted to build up my credit score again, and could not find any other companies who’d issue me one. … Read more

How Much Credit Card Debt Should I Carry to Not Harm My Credit Score?

How Much Credit Card Debt Should We Carry to Not Harm Our Credit Score

Question: Dear Steve, I have three credit card accounts, all with Citibank. Two of them are closed. The one open account has a credit limit of $1700. I am just $140 below the limit on it. The other two are at about 40% or less. I am getting dinged on my FICO score as they … Read more

Rapid Reader Questions: Walmart, Apartment, Credit Risk, College

Q: Does a credit union have to provide a member in writing the amount of interest paid on a loan for tax purposes? A: Depends on what kind of loan it is. Reporting would be voluntary or required by IRS on certain types of loans. Q: How can a financial company put a charge off … Read more

Rapid Reader Questions, Debt Consolidation, Navient, Credit Score, Fraud, and More

Q: Is it legal for a mortgage company to all of a sudden demand a deferment balance from 10 years ago now, or will they foreclose on the home I am one month behind on the monthly payment? A: That sounds a lot like a balloon mortgage (a mortgage in which a large portion of … Read more

I Received 1099-C Forms on Timeshares But My Credit Report Shows I Still Have a Balance

Question: Dear Steve, I had 2 mortgages from timeshare accounts default a couple of years back. One had the debt discharged in 2018, and the creditor issued a 1099c for the remaining balance. This was included as income in our 2018 return. The second one foreclosed in 2019, and the “credit grantor reclaimed the collateral … Read more

FTC Seeks Comment on Changes, Effectiveness of Five FCRA Rules

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comment on proposed changes that would bring several rules implementing parts of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in line with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). In separate Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs), which will be published in the Federal Register shortly, … Read more