Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

What Your Debt to Income Ratio Means

An important financial measure that lenders use – and that you can use too – is the debt-to-income ratio. Lenders use the debt-to-income ratio to qualify you for a loan because it tells the percentage of your income is spent on debt payments. If the ratio is too high, you may not get approved because the lender will assume you can’t afford another debt payment. You, too, can use the debt-to-income ratio to gauge your financial...
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Reducing Identity Theft Risk After a Data Breach

Hackers target companies that store sensitive consumer data – like passwords, social security, numbers, and credit card numbers – all the time. Unfortunately, some hackers are successful at dodging company firewalls and stealing customer information. Some of the biggest data breaches of all time have happened in the past few years. Every customer whose data is stolen is at a greater risk of becoming an identity theft victim. According to the National Conference of State Legislation,...
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How Serious is a Wage Garnishment Threat

Wage garnishment is certainly something to fear. If collectors garnish your wages, they take pay directly from your employer, before you ever receive your paycheck. Collectors or other creditors can garnish up to 60% of your income depending on the type of debt. The good news is that garnishment isn’t something a business can do without getting permission from the court. And, you should have ample time to take care of your debt before garnishment happens....
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About the VantageScore Credit Score

Not to confuse you, but there’s another credit score you should know about. The VantageScore was created by the three major credit bureaus to clear up some of the discrepancies in other credit score models. The Fundamentals of the VantageScore The VantageScore is different from the FICO score in the most recognizable ways. For one, the VantageScore is on a 501 to 990 scale, while the FICO score ranges from 300 to 850. In addition, the...
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Rent Payments Included On Your Experian Credit Report

For years, landlords have used consumer credit reports as a way to screen tenants. But, those same tenants haven’t benefitted from the timely payment of their rent, at least not where their credit is concerned. On the contrary, an unpaid balance would wind up on your credit report, affecting your ability to rent again or even get approved for new credit cards and loans. For millions of renters, that’s changed. In 2010, Experian, one of the...
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How Credit Report Inquiries Work

Your credit report includes a record of every business that’s checked it within the past two years. These credit inquiries, typically made when you make an application that requires a review of your credit report, make up 10% of your credit score. Too many credit inquiries can cause your credit score to drop and lead to denied credit applications. Who Can Check Your Credit Report? Usually, a business has to get your permission before checking your...
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No Credit Card Debt Required to Build a Good Credit Score

It’s a widespread myth that you have to carry a credit card balance to build a good credit score. In reality, the opposite is true. Carrying big balances on your credit card could actually hurt your credit score. How Credit Scores Work Credit scores are calculated based on five key factors and some carry more weight than others. Payment history is 35% of your credit score, amount of debt is 30%, age of credit history is...
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9 Things You Should Know About Credit Reporting

Credit reports play a big part in your financial life, but they’re still a mystery to many people. Here’s a complication of some basic things you should know about credit reporting. There are more than three credit reporting agencies. While Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the most mentioned (and largest) credit reporting agencies (better known as credit bureaus), they aren’t the only companies in the United States who compile and distribute credit reports. There are dozens...
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Checking Your Credit Report - What Are You Looking For?

Experts say that you should check your credit report at least once a year. Do you know what you’re looking for when you check yours? Your credit report won’t read like an epic novel, especially if you’ve had numerous accounts over several years. Reading your credit report might confusing at first and possibly a little boring. But you don’t have to read it all at once. Go over a few pages at a time, keeping an...
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Before You Pay a Collection, Make Sure It's Not Fake

Not every debt collector who contacts you is contacting you about a real debt. Even though it’s against the law, debt collectors have been pursuing so-called phantom debts for years. These are debts that are completely fabricated with the intent of scamming consumers out of money. Surprisingly, collectors have been good enough to convince consumers to pay. Or perhaps too few consumers are aware of their rights with it comes to debt collectors. The FTC recently...
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