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      December 15, 2017

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TopConsumerReviews.com provides unique articles that you won't find anywhere else on the internet. These articles are designed to help you make the most informed decisions possible.

Take Charge of Your Credit Score

The bad news is that youíve come out of the recession with shaky credit but the good news is that poor credit is only temporary. Many Americans have suffered a serious financial setback in recent years. Remember that youíre not alone and itís not as embarrassing as you might think. But, itís time now to own your credit score and take charge of your financial health. Several steps can get you on the road to improving that fledging score into something that is much larger and more powerful in the eyes of lenders.

  • Take a look at the damage. Obtain a copy of your credit report from all three agencies. More often than not youíll find reporting inaccuracies. Hereís your chance to instantly improve your credit score. Dispute any inaccuracies with the respective lender. Often credit card companies are unable to provide proof of the negative occurrences and will be required to reverse the entry with the reporting agencies. Continue to periodically review your credit history to identify inaccuracies and monitor your progress.
  • If you still have any open credit cards look for those with unfavorable characteristics such as being over the credit limit. By bringing balances within the credit limit or preferably lower youíll see an improvement to your credit score. Ideally a credit balance is maintained at 30% of the available credit or lower to get the praises of credit card companies.
  • If you canít afford the minimum monthly payments on your existing credit cards many companies are willing to talk to you about creating a payment plan. This will not improve your credit score but will help stop the bleeding.
  • If you donít currently have any credit cards open in your name look for those that are designed for people in your situation. Secured credit cards that report to all three agencies are going to be your best option to directly improving your current credit score. Of course, thatís only if you spend responsibly and make monthly payments on time every month with no inconsistencies. When choosing a credit card make sure youíre mindful of the fees associated with the application process and any annual charges. Often youíll have to live with fees associated with these types of credit cards but make sure to identify the costs ahead of time.
  • Utilize your new credit card each month but do so in a responsible manner. Youíll get the biggest credit score boast by regularly using your credit card while keeping the spending down and paying off the balance each month when possible. You donít have to buy frivolous goods with your credit cards Ė use them to pay every day expenses such as cell phone bills or grocery purchases.

Taking charge of your credit score, after a rough patch, is a great way to get yourself and your credit history back on the road to financial strength. Consider opening a new credit card to prove to lenders that you can be a responsible consumer if given the chance.

What the Federal Reserve rate hike means for your credit-card debt and savings

Bad news for people with credit-card debt: It's about to get more expensive. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is raising its benchmark federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point to between 1.25% and 1.5% - the fourth increase in a year.

Published:  Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:13:00 GMT



The Worst Credit Card Advice I've Ever Received

If you don't have emergency cash you're setting yourself up for failure. One bad piece of advice I've heard is that it's good to max out your credit card or carry a balance on your card for a few months and pay some interest then pay it off to ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT



Don't Have Good Credit These Credit Cards Still Earn You Rewards

Plus, this card is available to consumers with poor, bad, or nonexistent credit. For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: To open this secured card, you'll need a security deposit of at least $200, and your initial credit limit will equal your initial deposit.

Published:  Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:01:39 GMT



5 Signs of a Bad Credit Card

Searching for the right credit card can be difficult-you're constantly barraged with gimmicks and "special offers" and cards that are too good to be true. To help navigate this process, we've assembled five clear signs that a card offer isn't ...

Published:  Sun, 10 Dec 2017 22:10:00 GMT



Credit card debt is costing you nearly $1,000 per year

But the bad news is that credit card debt is on the rise. Nearly half of Americans carry credit card debt, with an average balance of $15,654, according to an analysis by NerdWallet, based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:05:00 GMT



Here's the Average American Household's Credit Card Debt -- How Do You Compare

The bottom line is that credit cards aren't an inherently bad thing -- in fact, when used properly, they can be a valuable financial tool. However, excessive credit card debt can be a major personal finance disaster, so it's important to keep yours under ...

Published:  Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:07:00 GMT



Credit card price protection feature can be a shopper's ally

And if you are already in credit card debt, charging holiday gifts is generally a bad idea. But a credit card safeguard against falling prices can be a valuable savings tool, according to savings expert Andrea Woroch. How it works: If you buy an item with ...

Published:  Sat, 09 Dec 2017 19:39:00 GMT



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