Category: Financial Tips

Erasing Bad Credit is Possible – Sort Of

There are so many reasons you’d want to erase bad credit – some of them are financial (because you need decent credit to borrow money for important things like houses, vehicles, and education), and some of them are personal (because let’s face it…having terrible credit is embarrassing – it makes you feel like a second class citizen). Advertisers know how desperately people want to be able to repair their credit, and saying “you can absolutely make all your credit blunders disappear!” has a lot of appeal in the marketplace. There’s only one problem: it’s just not true.

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has come right out and said that it’s actually not possible to get bad credit erased completely. Your best hope is to go through the normal process of cleaning up and repairing your damaged credit. Basically, there’s no quick fix, no matter what the advertisers would have you believe.

You might read that and say “But I thought I could dispute incorrect information on my credit report and get it removed?” Yes, you definitely can. But just the process of disputing a blemish on your credit history won’t make it disappear. The only way to get something completely erased from your credit history is to dispute it, which leads to an investigation, which if successful gets the negative item removed by the various reporting agencies. It’s a relatively long process and requires plenty of follow through and follow up on your part. There is no guaranteed the credit bureaus will do this though. Which takes us back to the advertisers and their promises.

You should be fully aware that no matter what a credit repair company tells you, they can’t force or require the credit tracking agencies to remove anything from your credit report at all. Of course they’re going to make such claims…how else would they get you to pay their fees if you didn’t believe you were guaranteed to get a great result?

The fact is that erasing a bad credit score is really difficult, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to go through the credit-repair process. If you contact the FTC and ask them about non-profit credit clean-up organizations they’ll direct you to those with a proven track record of getting people’s credit in the best possible shape without having to pay really high fees.

Do your homework, and resist the urge to look for a quick fix. The more you look for a quick fix the more likely you are to fall prey to hyped up advertising that will cost you way too much money and not even deliver the improved credit score you need and want.

Debt Negotiation Options You Can Live With

Anyone planning to go through the debt reduction negotiation process can hope to accomplish a few things:

  • eliminating all debt over a three to four year period, in spite of being months behind on payments with large balances
  • getting the ball rolling by negotiating a 40%+ reduction in principle balances with debtors
  • avoiding bankruptcy as well as expensive debt consolidation loans

All of these objectives are possible, but they’ll come at a price. You’ll have both the hard dollar cost of the debt settlement negotiation as well as the resulting damage to your credit score (which may not be much of a concern for anyone who’s in deep enough that they’ve reached this point).

So what do debt negotiation companies actually do for you?

This process is geared toward all of your unsecured debts – everything from credit cards to personal loans to medical bills. Think of it this way – the debt settlement and negotiation process is designed to relieve you of debts that don’t involve a purchase or product that can be repossessed by the lender. A credit card company obviously can’t take back the vacation you bought with your Visa, nor can the hospital repossess the care you received when you had your gall bladder removed. Since there’s nothing to sell to repay your loan, and the lender has nothing they can take back from you, there are only a couple of options left:

  • the borrower files for bankruptcy and walks away from most or all of the loan balances
  • the borrower and the lender – with the help of an intermediary – settle on a reduced principle balance and interest rate that restructures the debt, allowing the borrower to make payments and complete the loan

Neither case is idea for lender or borrower, but one scenario is better for both. Settling on a reduced loan amount and interest rate allows the lender to recover at least some of its money, while the borrower gets to see a light at the end of the debt tunnel as well as avoid bankruptcy.

Do-it-yourself negotiation of debt reduction?

Absolutely. You don’t have to go through this process with the aid of a company. I have a good acquaintance – a woman whose ex-husband had buried her in debt – who worked with every one of the creditors on an individual basis to get her payments and balances to a level she could pay off in a reasonable period of time. When all was said and done she had gotten an average of 50% of her principle balances reduced, and although she’d still have to pay for a few years, she would eventually be free.

The diy method of reducing debt has two benefits: it saves you the fees a company would charge you, and it gives you the added sense of accomplishment that comes from fighting your way out of a totally unmanageable debt situation. Being extremely deep in debt crushes your self esteem, and negotiating your way out of it can be a real boon to your self image.

However you approach the process, negotiating your way out of seemingly insurmountable debt is absolutely a smart thing to do. This country has far too many people willing to walk away from their obligations. Asking your creditors to take huge losses on your debt isn’t an idea scenario, but it’s better than bailing out on your commitments entirely.

Will a Credit Card Company Accept a Payoff of a Certain Percentage?

Usually, when a credit card company sees that a person is close to going bankrupt, they will allow a credit card holder to pay off a percentage of the amount they owe on their balance. This is only due to certain factors that the credit card companies take into consideration. There are certain qualifications and requirements that a card holder must meet before the credit card company will allow them to arrange a settlement.

The criteria that must be met before you can get a credit card to settle for a percentage of your debt will differ from company to company. Each credit card company will evaluate you and your credit situation differently, and may very well give you very different offers. Here are a few of the things that would qualify you for, or sway the creditor’s opinion on whether or not you meet the requirements to arrange a debt settlement.

1. Credit Crisis

The main thing that credit card companies look at when you request to make a percentage payoff is what kind of trouble you are in with your credit. If you owe a bunch of money on your credit card, and you have a credit history that reflects bad payment habits, they will be more likely to accept your request.

This will also determine what percentage they allow you to pay off. This plays a huge role because if you have had an easy time making your payments on time, you havea great payment history, and you have been easily paying your other creditors as well, the credit card company you are requesting a settlement from will assume automatically that you can just as easily continue to make the payments you are currently making.

2. Income and Assets

Credit card companies will take into consideration what kind of money you are making, and what items you have within your possession that are of a descent value. They do this, because, in the worst case, if they were to sue you for not paying your credit card bills, they would want to know how much they would be able to get. They may compare that to the amount you would pay them if they were to allow you to pay just a certain percentage of your debt. It is a morbid thought, yes, but it is still possible.

3. On the Verge of Bankruptcy

What credit card companies often see is that you are at a high risk of going bankrupt. Because credit cards will often choose not to sue, they would like to choose a debt settlement over bankruptcy. This is because, if you pay a percentage of your credit card debt, though it may not be the full amount, it is better than the amount they would get from you if you went bankrupt. If you chose bankruptcy over a debt settlement, they would not end up getting any money from you. So naturally, they would rather that you paid a partial amount of the debt you owe than none at all.

Can You Do a Balance Transfer From Someone Else’s Credit Card?


Transferring someone else’s balance onto a card that you carry is possible, but not always wise. It can either be very helpful for the person you are transferring the balance for, or it can be very hurtful to you if you take on the responsibility of someone else’s debt by transferring the balance from their card onto yours. Here are a few pros and cons.


Some of the things you can get out of a balance transfer from someone else’s credit card to yours is that they have a much better annual percentage rate. Their credit card interest will go down considerably with a credit card balance transfer. The fact that you have paid your bills on time and have a good credit score and credit history will also be advantageous to them in more ways than one, especially if they have had a bad credit history themselves.

If the person that has recently been added to your credit card has a good credit history and is responsible with their spending, it will be a great benefit for you as well. Their good spending habits will reflect on your credit report as well as theirs, because the card is originally under your name. It is important to know if someone can be of benefit to you in this way before you allow them to transfer the balance of their debt onto your credit card.


The biggest risk you are taking when you allow someone to transfer their debt onto you credit card is if they spend on your card unwisely and build their debt problem back up to where it was before. A lot of the time, when people get in trouble with interest rates because they have bad spending habits, it is very difficult for them to change those habits in order for it not to happen again. The part that makes the situation even worse than it was before is that it is YOUR credit card, and YOU are going to suffer along with them.

If you have bad spending habits, this will rack up their debt and interest rates as well. Say you just got a brand new credit card with a great APR, but you have had some trouble paying your bills in the past. The people you allow on your credit card are going to want to know about this in order to decide whether or not they will really benefit from joining their balance with yours. Just like they can ruin good interest rates for you, you need to be certain that you will not leave them stuck with higher interest rates than they had on their first credit card.


You finally decide that it’s safe to do the transfer. Now what? Just like shopping for any other card with low interest rates, you need to be careful of what cards you settle for. Be sure to get one with a low fixed rate, and know how much it may increase, when, and why.

Will Your Credit Score Improve if You’re an Authorized User On a Credit Card Account?


Maybe your credit score is kind of lacking a high number, and you wish to do something about it. In fact, you want to know everything you could possibly do to help it get back into the high range as soon as possible. But how do you do that?

One way you could help improve your credit score is by signing as an authorized user on a credit card along with someone else. Though the good credit they currently have will not reflect yours, the fact that they will keep paying their bills on time will reflect on your score and make it improve. That is, only if you do not use that credit card account unwisely yourself.

If you were to sign with someone on a credit card, it is important that both of you agree to have good credit behavior. If you sign on with someone who is great with credit cards and has an awesome score, their good habits will reflect back onto your credit score simply because you share the same account. But if you use that credit card in a bad way, it will not only make your credit score even worse, but it will decrease theirs as well.

Being an authorized user allows you to gain a better credit score, but when it all comes down to it, you are not responsible for the debt. So, really, if you messed the credit card account up for the person you are signed up with, it is their responsibility, not necessarily yours, to pay the debt. Still, no intelligent credit card holder with a good credit score would allow someone who would inevitably ruin their credit and drag them into debt to be an authorized user of their credit card account, so you have to be trustworthy and try to break your bad credit habits.

You will not want to stay on these accounts any longer than you have to, especially if you are applying for a home loan. Though it improves your score, it can decrease your chances of getting approved for a home loan. So when you are signed on as an authorized user of someone else’s account, stay on only as long as it takes to improve your score enough to be on your own again.

One bad thing about being an authorized user on someone else’s account is that you put yourself at risk of being joined with someone who may not have the greatest credit history either, and who may not use the credit wisely. This will end up costing you even more of your credit score and leave you in a worse predicament than you were in to begin with. This is all usually determined by your judgement of the person who you are planning to share the account with, so you must be careful of who you associate your credit score with.

What Should a Letter to Close a Credit Card Account Include?


Perhaps you have had your credit card either lost, or it has been stolen. Maybe you just do not feel that you need this credit card anymore, and you want to close it out so that you do not have the hassle of it anymore. Either way, you need to know how to properly cancel that credit card account.


First you should call the credit card company and request that you have your credit card account closed out. This is the surest way to ensure that what you want gets done, because you can talk to a representative yourself and confirm through them that it has been done. Still, this is not the only step you should take.


To ensure that your account gets closed, you should follow up your phone call with a closure letter to the credit card company. Make this as formal and professional as you can. Here are a few things that the letter should entail so that you can maximize the service you are given and make sure that what you request gets done right the first time.

The Basics

You should include the most important and the most obvious details in your letter, like your name, address, phone number, and credit card account number. It is the lack of this basic information that makes things difficult for the credit card company, and therefore for you, in getting your account closed as soon as possible. If the company knows who you are and the detailed information concerning your account, the faster, and the more smoothly this process will go.

Talk About the Phone Call

In your letter, you should state that you called their company to cancel your credit card, and when you do this, you should include the date on which you called and the representative you talked to. That way they can refer to that representative and that date, making the process of finding the information much faster. If you write a letter that makes it easy for them, they will make it easier for you.

State Your Request

If you want your credit report to say that you have cancelled out that credit card, tell them that. They should not have to guess what you want. Ask them specifically to make sure that your credit records reflect that you have closed out that specific credit card account and that it is no longer active.

If Your Card Was Stolen

Specifically, if your credit card was lost or stolen, you should make sure that they know that in the letter that you write to them. This will increase the speed at which they close your account so that no one who may have your card can make any charges on it that you do not want. If you requested over the phone to have that credit card account closed but a new card issued, you should include that information in your letter.

Should You Get a Secured Credit Card?


When you get a credit card, it pretty much changes your whole life because it shows you how well you can manage the money you have, and even the money that you don’t have, but that you have to come up with eventually. Better yet, it determines how financially stable you will be in the future, because managing your credit card debt either wisely or unwisely can make or break how well off you are. So how exactly are you supposed to protect yourself from all the risk you are taking when you apply for a credit card? After all, a credit card is something most people really can’t live without in today’s world.

There are two types of credit cards to be considered when shopping for the right one: Secured or unsecured. Secured is basically one that you have to put money down on so that they can use that money if you do not make the monthly payment. An unsecured credit card goes completely on collateral, without any secure amount of money that ensures that you will pay it all back. Depending on who you are, what your spending habits are, and what type of credit history you have, you may be better off getting a secured credit card rather than an unsecured one. Here are a few things to know about secured credit cards that will allow you to know if you fall into that category.

The main thing you would need to ge a secured credit card for is if you have a bad credit history and need to repair it. Secured credit cards are a way to make punctual payments on a credit card and get rewarded for it by having your credit score go up, but this is only possible if your credit card company is willing to report your timely payments to the major credit bureaus. Make sure, when you get a secured credit card, that the company you are going with will report the payments you make on time, otherwise there is really no point in having a secured credit card.

A deposit is required for a secured credit card, as I said before. You must put a certain amount of money into a deposit where the credit card company has access to it, so that if you fail to make payments on more than one occasion, they can sometimes resort to getting it out of your deposit to ensure that it gets paid, one way or another. This is a bit more safe than an unsecured credit card, but with either one, making late payments will not improve, but hurt your credit score even more.

There are a few requirements that come with a secured credit card. These requirements can be things like your age, income, or whether or not you have some sort of bank account. Still, it is easier to get approved by a secured credit card than it is to get approved by an unsecured credit card.

How is Your Credit Card Balance Calculated to Figure Out the Finance Charge?


You get your credit card bill every month, review it, and see that the interest has changed, yet again. You wonder how on earth they ever decide how the interest rates are figured into your expenses. Is it all a scandal or do they really havea formula for this type of thing?

Believe it or not, they do have some rhyme and reason for the differing amount of interest they charge you each month. It is based on the type of balance that is being figured. Here are a few of the types of balances that are important factors when it comes to calculating the finance charges that are charged by the credit card company you are with.

Average Daily Balance

First, your credit card company takes all the money you spent in one day and averages it out. After that, they average all the days of the month together so that they have the average daily balance for that certain month. Once they have that, it is multiplied by one twelfth of your APR. That is one method of coming up with the finance charges on your credit card balance.

Previous Balance

Some credit card companies will charge you more interest based on how much of a balance you carry over from month to month, rather than paying off your credit card debt completely. The beginning balance and the ending balance are both shown on your bill, and you will see how much you have left that you did not pay last month, or the last time you were billed. This amount of money from the previous month and the amount that billed to you this month combined will be what determines your finance charges for this specific month.

Daily Balance

The company will take the amount that you spent each day within the specified month and, rather than multiplying it by one twelfth of the APR, which fraction represents the months in the year, they multiply it by 1/365th of the APR. This, of course, represents each day in a full year. This method is based on how much you actually spend in a day, and therefore is more precise because it has more detail than an average daily balance, which only takes into account the possible average amount spent in a month.

Two Cycle Balance

This type of calculation of your finance charges is basically the same thing as your average daily balance, but instead of involving one month, it takes into account the last two months or billing periods. This can be difficult to handle if you carry a balance over each time. The interest rates build up and climb with each billing period.

What Will Happen if You Don’t Pay Your Credit Cards?


Your credit card has helped you buy things you never would have been able to have proper to you receiving it. It has gotten you through some rough times and has allowed you to get things that are essential but expensive. So you faithfully make your payments each month, no questions asked.

So you bought something pretty expensive on your credit card with a good feeling that you could pay for it. To your dismay, the credit card bills come and you discover that you not only owe money immediately if not sooner, but that you do not have the means right now to pay it on time. So what do you do now? How are you ever going to pay for this credit card bill if you can’t help but just get deeper and deeper into debt?

There are several options, none of which are extremely pretty. But depending on your circumstances, you may be able to lessen the consequences, put them off, or even perhaps avoid them altogether if you decide on the right option for you and your credit card company.

Consult the Company

Your creditors, if you call them and explain your circumstances, may be willing to make a special arrangement for you that will allow you to get your bills paid. If you tell them why you cannot pay them on time, and explain to them that you still intend to pay the bill, they may be willing to give you a different payment plan that will allow you to pay it in smaller increments over a longer period of time. That way, your income may be sufficient enough to get you through, but it will take you longer to pay the money owed.

Ignore it Completely

The thing about creditors is that they cannot threaten to put you in jail just because you will not make your payment. You could ignore the creditors completely, but that would only buy you time and get you into more trouble. Eventually, the credit card company could take you to court, and if you have no good argument to go on, they will win a lawsuit against you and gain permission from the court to take the money you owe out of your assets. This option is not only a bad idea because it just prolongs the grief, but it ends up costing you more in the end.

File for Bankruptcy

One way out of debt is bankruptcy. This is when all of your assets are liquidated and given to your creditors to satisfy your debt. You could lose several things like extra cars, furniture, and perhaps even things you bought with the very credit card that got you into this mess. The important thing is to just manage your credit wisely in the first place. You just have to make sure you can pay your debt in full and on time, and spend nowhere beyond those boundaries.

What is the Fair Credit Report Act?


The Fair Credit Report Act is a law that protects and prohibits the distribution and use of your credit information. It protects you from the possibility of your credit history and other credit information getting into the wrong hands. It also prevents the wrong people from changing or manipulating your credit information.

There are several factors that allow your credit information to stay safe, but there are a few people who have access to it when it is necessary. Most of the time it is used to evaluate whether or not you are worthy of getting a loan or a contract similar to that. Here are a few examples:

1. Companies where you have credit can access your credit report so that they can monitor your credit. This way, they know whether or not you are capable of paying back what you owe on credit and how well you can make your payments on time. However, no one is allowed to give out your credit information in these situations except you.

2. Insurance companies are allowed to check your credit report for generally the same purpose. They need to know if you will be able to pay your insurance bills on time. By checking your credit report they can see your payment history and evaluate whether or not you can make the correct payments punctually.

3. Anyone who is allowing you to get credit from them. Whether you get credit by applying for a credit card or for a loan, those who will be your lenders are allowed access to your credit information. The very factor of your credit score and the details on your credit report determine whether or not you get credit in the first place. This allows credit lenders to find out how faithfully you will pay them back.

4. Your employer has the opportunity to look at your credit information, but in this case, it is only your consent that can grant them access to it. The previously mentioned cases may check your credit score whether you want them to or not, but possible employers, when considering you for a position, must have your permission before they see any of your credit information.

The Fair Credit Report Act also protects you from identity theft. Your credit information entails a lot of information about you, including important details like your social security number, date of birth, phone number, etc. Because it protects these details so intensely from getting into the wrong hands, it protects you from other dangers like identity theft.

The Fair Credit Report Act also gives you the right to take action on part of your credit information and request information about it. If you have a problem with your credit report, you have the right to dispute the mistake that you feel was made. If you want to know what your credit score is, you have the opportunity to request a free credit report once a year.

How Do I Write a Credit Dispute Letter?


You have discovered a mistake on your credit report that you are absolutely sure that you had nothing to do with. You want to get it fixed, because it is doing damage to your credit score. But how exactly do you go about getting that repaired?

Writing a credit dispute letter should not have to be so difficult that you would rather have the mistake on your credit report rather than go through the hassle of having it fixed, but sometimes it may feel that way. A credit dispute letter, if done correctly and professionally the first time, will get you the change that you need on your report to gain well deserved points on your credit score. But is there anything that would possibly improve the format and the content of your credit dispute letter, therefore giving you greater chances of having the errors corrected, and having it done quickly?

In fact, there is hope. You deserve to have your credit report reflect the good credit spender you are. Here are a few tips on what kind of things you can do to draft and improve a credit dispute letter:

1. Get right to the point.

Being up front about your complaint is a factor that will get the correction made faster. Being blunt and completely clear will allow them to recognize the problem, find it, and fix it in a more timely manner than they would be able to if you give them only a vague description of your problem.

2. Use proof of the error.

Get as many files as you can from outside sources that prove to the creditors that there has been a mistake made, such as court files or documentation of your payments. Having a sort of map or proof of what the problem is and where things went wrong will speed the process up and give you a better chance of getting the problem fixed with few questions asked.

3. State how it should be.

Do not just show them where the problem is and expect them to know how you want them to change it. Make sure that you tell them why it is an error, and how you know it should be instead.

4. Communicate clearly.

You need to be able to make your letter completely black and white, with no gray areas that creditors may not understand. State that there is a problem, state the problem, state a possible solution, provide documentation, and end it. Simplicity and clarity will allow for the letter to be easily read and more quickly responded to.

Nobody wants their credit score to suffer for some mistake that they didn’t even make. Having a good credit score is something worth fighting for. You should not be cheated out of the credit score you have, and writing a clear credit dispute letter can allow you to get the needed changes made to uphold that right.

Can Your Spouse’s Bad Behavior With Credit Cards Affect Your Credit Score?


Before the Marriage

So you have fallen in love, and you believe that you have finally found the one that you were always meant to be with. The have all the qualities that you could ever possibly want in a spouse, and you can’t believe you have actually found them. But wait… are there certain things about this love of your life that you should know about before taking the plunge?
Probably the last quality you are going to search for in a companion is their money management skills. Perhaps you do not even know how well he or she can manage their credit until after you are married. But getting to know this side of your fiance will be of more benefit than you think.

If the love of your life has a horrible credit score and a bad credit history, you should probably talk it over. Getting into a marriage that will cause you financial heartache will be a burden that may not be necessary to bear. No, you don’t have to cancel the wedding just because your fiance has money management problems.

Having a spouse will not affect your own personal credit score. However, when people get married, usually they eventually get their credit cards, loans, and other forms of credit merged to make it less of a his and her’s sort of thing. It is important to know what your future spouses credit card behavior is like so that you can determine whether or not this type of merger is a good choice.

During the Marriage

If your spouse has a horrible habit of not paying his credit card bills on time, perhaps a combination of your two accounts may not be such a bad idea, for the reason that you could help build his or her credit score. If you take on the entire responsibility of paying the credit card bills and you are the most responsible out of the two, both your credit scores will thrive. However, there are a few risks you take on when you join your credit card accounts into one.

If You Get Divorced

Despite the idea you had of a lifelong love when you first got married, perhaps the relationship did not work. The last thing you need is another burden like being concerned about your credit score. However, the damage that can be done to your credit score because of their credit card spending habits is an uncontrollable factor that will create problems and even more heartache down the road.

All of the things that are done on your joint account show up on each spouse’s credit report. Because of this, after a divorce, one person’s bad habits will be reflected on another’s credit score, even if that person has good habits. You should get all of your joint accounts dissolved by either paying them off and closing them, or taking one person’s name off of the account, leaving the other solely responsible for that account.

Lowering Your Credit Card Interest Rates: All You Have To Do Is Ask


The greatest thing about credit card interest rates is that you can call the company and ask them to lower your interest rate. It’s as simple as that. But there are a few conditions. Allowing just anyone to call up and lower their interest rates would be just ridiculous, and it would probably cost the companies quite a bit of money, considering all the irresponsible spenders out there. But this attribute can act as a reward for those who are disciplined in their use of credit cards. Here are a few of the conditions that must be met before your credit card company will lower your interest rates.

1. Have a good credit rating

Maintaining a good credit score will increase your chances of getting an interest rate reduction. Your credit score is what will determine the company’s trust in you, and it will increase or decrease your chances of getting a lower interest rate, depending on how good or bad it is. Having good credit says to the credit card companies that you are dependable, therefore because you are a good customer with good credit, you deserve to have your interest rate lowered.

2. Don’t have a big balance

Having a large balance on your credit card account will lessen your chances of changing your interest rates for the better because if you are deep in debt, credit card companies may believe that your potential to get further into debt is greater. The deeper into debt you get, the more likely you are to fail to pay your bills on time. This will in turn not only disqualify you for a decrease, but it will actually increase your interest rates.

3. Send in more than the minimum

When you pay on your credit card, there is a minimum monthly payment you must make, no matter what. If you have the means to pay a little extra on your credit card bills, do it. This will show that you are eager to pay off your debt, so you are less likely to go bankrupt, and more likely to make your payments on time.

4. Pay on time

Getting an interest rate decrease will be much more difficult if you have not paid your bills on time. In fact, one of the consequences of not paying on time is having your rates INCREASED. You must pay your monthly credit card payment each month, even if it is just the minimum, because the rewards are substantial, but so are the punishments.

Getting your credit card interest rates raised is can be a great advantage to you, but just like any other rewards you might get, you must obey the rules before you reap the benefits. You have to use your credit wisely. You must pay your bills on time and keep your balance at a level in which you can pay it off soon and without strain. These, among other things, will help to raise your credit score, allowing credit card companies a reason to give you a decrease on your interest rates.

Is Credit Card Interest Ever Tax Deductible


The end of the year has passed. You have survived the holidays, and now you are ready to move on with another year. After all, time marches on. But there is one thing that you have not yet done for last year that is completely unavoidable. It is your taxes. So you are trying to think of every possible way you could get a tax deduction. Then it hits you. Hey, is it possible that your credit card interest is tax deductible?

Sorry, but no. Unfortunately, unlike the interest you pay on your mortgage, your credit card interest is not tax deductible. But there is a way you can make it tax deductible. Still, there are some risks involved. Whether or not the risk is worth it is completely up to you. For you are the one who knows your circumstances. If you really want your credit card interest to be tax deductible, here is what you do.

Refinance Your Home

Sound ridiculous? If you are doing it just to get a tax deduction on your credit card interest, it probably is. If it is that important to you though, refinancing your home can help. It is possible for you to refinance your home and transfer the balance on your credit card to your home loan. That way, you have basically paid off your credit card and do not have to pay interest on it anymore. Now, instead, you have more interest to pay on your home loan, or your mortgage. That kind of interest is in fact tax deductible. By putting all the money you owe from your credit card onto your home equity line of credit, you allow for the interest on your credit card to change to a different type of interest, making it tax deductible.


You could lose your home. It is kind of a scary statement, yes, but it is in fact true. Not necessarily just because you refinanced it to get your credit card balance transferred, but because it may take longer for you to pay off your home loan. Because it would take you longer and make your balance bigger, it may be difficult to make monthly payments in full and on time.

Whether refinancing your home to get a little extra money from your taxes is the right thing to do is up to you. In my opinion, it is definitely not the wisest thing to do. Better chances of keeping your home is way more important than getting money back from the interest you paid on your credit card. To me, the risk is just too big to take. Having a home loan is burden enough.

Can You Buy a Car With a Credit Card?


Buying a car is a big step for most people. Whether you have done it once or a dozen times, buying and financing a car is an important issue because it determines where a lot of your money will be going for the next several months. It is kind of like having a credit card. You make monthly payments on something that you have, but that you have not paid for yet. Credit, in that aspect, is quite the same. But the kind of credit that you get is quite different.

So can you kill two birds with one stone and pay for your car with the credit card that you make monthly payments on? Yes. It is possible to buy a car with a credit card. For some people this may be the perfect solution, but it depends on the circumstances.

Buying a car with a credit card requires a much higher credit limit than it would if you were just using the card to make random purchases at a clothing or grocery store, depending on the price of the car. Getting high credit limits can be risky. This is because it could possibly hurt your credit score if creditors believe that you may buy something that expensive on a credit card and not be able to pay it back.

Interest rates

One advantage to financing your car on a credit card is lower interest rates. If you shop around and search for a good deal, you could get a credit card that would allow you to pay less for your car in interest than you would if you took out a loan. This, in the long run, will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in interest.

Still, the risk of increased interest rates are greater with credit cards if you make late payments, making it so that you may even spend more on interest. It all depends on the circumstances, and how you will be able to make your payments. It also may depend on the terms of the credit card. Make sure that you know what your introductory interest rates are, if they will change, and what they will change to if they do. Knowing the terms of your contract before you buy a car with that card will make a huge difference in whether or not you save money by taking this route.


If you buy your car using a rewards card, you could get benefits that you also would not get by just paying for it by taking out a loan. Rewards cards give you benefits based on how much you spend. Since buying a car is such a huge purchase for a credit card, it would give you many more rewards than it would if you had just used the card to buy groceries. These kind of rewards can be cashed in for things like gasoline, travel, air miles, and cold hard cash. This is another way you can benefit from your purchase.

4 Things To Teach New Credit Card Holders

New credit card customers, especially teenagers who are planning to apply for student credit cards, need to know the basic rules that will keep them financially safe and secure. Some rules are easier than others to follow, but they are all very important.

Increase Credit Card Limits

Some people believe that increasing your credit card limits is too difficult and can only be accomplished by those with at least an upper middle class income. Surprisingly enough, however, raising the limits of your credit cards can be done by anyone, no matter what type of income you have.

High Credit Score

Another important rule includes securing a high credit score. This not only comes from paying off your credit cards, but also from properly upholding every other credit investment that you become involved with: car payments, mortgages, businesses, etc.

Obviously, maintaining good credit and thus increasing your credit score will make it much easier to gain the trust of credit card companies, who, in turn, will feel more secure in raising your credit limit. This may seem like an easy and even apparent rule to remember, but most people are rejected from increased credit limits because they fail to follow this “simple” rule.

Make Payments On Time

Another way to improve your chances is to maintain a good financial relationship with the credit card companies. Making your credit card payments on time is the first step, but by also consistently making big payments on your credit cards, companies will be more than happy to continue to increase your limits. Consistency in making large payments on time is the key to constantly gaining the approval of enlarging your credit card limits.

Using Rewards Cards

When making ordinary purchases, people mostly use cash and/or debit cards, which is a safe yet unrewarding way to increase personal benefits. If people would simply switch their usage of cash and debit cards for reward cards, their amount of skymiles and other financial rewards would automatically increase. When buying gas, going grocery shopping, getting new clothes, paying bills, and making other ordinary purchases, remember to use your rewards card.

This simple technique will help you earn skymiles that would otherwise not be gained, obviously, with cash or debit cards. Although credit cards can cause people a lot of pain when used unwisely, they can also be very rewarding when used properly and wisely.

Other ways to maximize the skymiles on your credit cards is to apply all your major purchases to the credit cards. Wisdom must be used when this technique is used, but when used properly, it can harvest huge skymile rewards. Such major investments on credit cards include buying new or used motorized machines such as cars, motorcycles, dirt bikes, boats, etc.

A brand new credit card customer can be very naïve and sometimes suffers the unfortunate consequences of credit card penalties. If teenagers simply follow the rules stated above, they will be able to avoid unfortunate late fee charges and actually gain real life rewards and advantages in the credit card business.

How To Raise The Limits Of Your Credit Cards

You have a credit card that you’ve paid off regularly, and you have maintained your debt pretty well ever since you got it. Your credit score is pretty good, and you do not want to do anything to make it go down. You’re thinking you could handle your debt just as well if you had a higher credit limit. But how do you go about raising your credit limit without damaging your credit score? Is a higher limit worth the decrease in your credit rating? Here are a few options you could consider when asking for a higher limit on your credit card.

Just don’t do it

One opinion is that you could avoid a limit increase altogether. Lenders periodically increase your limits for you anyway, if you have a good credit history and are making your payments on time. Why would you need a higher limit anyway when you are not sure you could keep up to the debt you might incur with such high spending possibilities? Really, if you do not absolutely need to have your limits raised, you probably shouldn’t even ask. That way your credit score won’t suffer and you run less of a risk of missing a payment and building up your debt. Increasing your credit limit is risky business…from the first time you apply for student credit cards until you finally have a financial awakening, you’re most likely building up high interest balances that will haunt you for years.

Take it on the chin

Some would think it best to just ask for the credit limit increase anyway, and take whatever consequences come your direction. This may not be too bad of a solution if you have a great credit score. But overall, if you have a good credit score, wouldn’t you want to keep it that way? There has to be another way to do this and not get penalized.

Ask for an account review

This form of inquiry is sort of like asking indirectly for higher credit limits. Lenders do account reviews periodically whether you request it or not. They check the accounts on your credit reports to basically check up on you. They look to see what kind of changes they should make to your account concerning things like interest rates and credit limits. So if you ask for an account review from your lender regarding your credit limit, it sort of pushes them along in raising your limits, if you’re worthy of an increase. This way, there is less of an effect on your credit score, and you get the larger range in which you wanted to spend.

Which Is Better: Your Credit Card Or Your Home Equity Line Of Credit?


So you bought a beautiful mansion with a home equity line of credit about ten years ago on a twenty year payment plan. You are getting nice and cozy in your new dwelling, but you still have ten more years before it is completely paid off. So you sit there and think about how good you’ve got it, at least compared to the early days when you lived in that one bedroom apartment. But do you really have the best deal you could get? Are you paying more than you need to on your home? You could be, and here’s why.

Using a home equity line of credit has been, through the past, the wise thing to do when buying a home. The interest rates on home equity loans were way cheaper back then, but lately they’ve almost doubled from 4% to around 8%. So is there a way you could save a little money on interest while making payments on your house? There very well could be.

Ever thought of using a credit card?

Many people think the mere idea of transferring your loan from a home equity line of credit to a credit card is absurd. But think about it. The interest rates on a home equity loan are higher than many credit card rates. Using a credit card to pay off your home loan could save you money by lowering your interest rates.

When shopping for the right credit card, remember:

The kind of credit card you use is what will determine whether or not you save. If you shop for a fixed low interest rate on a credit card you’ll save.

The credit limit is important too. It is best and most healthy for your credit score if you find a card that will allow you to raise the limit to about double the amount you owe on your home. That way, once you transfer your balance, it won’t appear to creditors that you came too close to your limit.

Once you have the balance transferred

The worst thing you can do is make a late payment on your credit card, especially since you have such a huge amount to pay back. You should always pay at least the minimum of what you owe so that your interest rates won’t get hiked up. Paying late on credit cards allows them to increase your interest rate dramatically, making you pay even more than you would if you had kept it on a home equity line of credit. Not to mention the fact that late payments show on your credit report. It may be wise to keep your home equity line open so that if this happens, you could transfer the balance back.

Whether it’s a home equity line of credit or a credit card that is the best way for you to pay off your home loan is up to you. Depending on your circumstances, transferring your home loan to a credit card could save you a lot of money.

Top 5 Ways To Build Your Credit Score

There are several things you can do to ensure that your credit score improves. Obviously, the higher your credit score is, the more options you have at your fingertips. Here are the top five things that will give you a higher credit score and a long, healthy looking credit history.

1. Pay your bills on time

One of the most important things that creditors see when they look at your credit history is your payment history. This can make or break a good credit score. When creditors see someone who has trouble making payments on time, they see someone who is not dependable with credit cards. Because you don’t appear to be dependable, your score will go down and you will be less likely to receive credit in the future. So if you strive to pay on time one hundred percent, your credit score will not only stay protected from falling, but it will actually increase gradually.

2. Keep old accounts open

In most cases, the older the credit card account, the better it is for your credit score, even if that account is not active. Having an old credit score shows that you have a long credit history, and allows creditors to see how well you managed that credit card for a long period of time. If you have not managed that card well and have made late payments on it, closing it out will not help then either. Having bad records like that will stay on your credit report for several years, whether or not the account is closed. Only time and better credit management can heal the damage done to your credit report in the past.

3. Using credit cards

Just the fact that you have and use credit cards is a step up to a better credit score, though only if you handle them well. If you make your payments on time, and spending only the amount that you know you can pay back, your credit score will benefit from the mere usage of credit cards. Paying off credit cards regularly is a big boost. When you’re still in school, it can be a good idea to to apply for student credit cards just to get things rolling.

4. Keep the number of credit cards low

Sometimes creditors will see someone with several credit cards as a potential risk. When you have a lot of credit cards, you have more of the potential to overspend, and therefore not pay the money back on time or in full. The number of credit cards you can manage and how much of a risk you are at is up to you, but keep in mind what looks good to your creditors.

5. Keep the balance low

When you have credit cards, it’s good to keep the amount you spend within fifty percent of your credit limit. Why? If you keep the balance below half, you will not go over, or even come close to maxing out. When you hit the half way mark, it’s best to pay off your credit card, or at least pay it down to a smaller amount.

Top 3 Pitfalls of Refinancing Your House To Pay Off Your Credit Cards


Some people believe that when you have huge amounts of credit card debt, refinancing their home is a perfect solution it all off. Why not? That would relieve some of your interest rates and a whole lot of your stress, and you are already paying on your mortgage anyway, so what could it hurt? But think about it. Is it really a good idea to put more debt into your home? In the long run, it’s really not too great of a deal. The top three pitfalls of refinancing your house to pay off your credit cards may shed a little light no the subject, and it just might change your mind.

1. More interest

No, not necessarily higher interest rates, but more interest. You already have to pay enough interest on your house as it is. In fact, the first several thousand dollars you spend when you begin to pay for your home is wholly dedicated to paying off the interest. It is not until later that you even begin to pay on the principle. Having this much interest to pay over such a long period of time, may actually extend the time it takes you to pay for your home.

2. Longer payment period

If you refinance your home so that you can pay off your credit cards, it takes a lot longer to pay off your home. Having a home loan is a long and drawn out process as it is. If you add your credit card debt to the debt that you owe on your home, this will increase the amount, and the time it takes to pay that amount off. Sometimes, depending on how much credit card and/or mortgage debt you have, you could end up paying off your loan for the rest of your life… or perhaps your debt could even spill over to a burden your children or successors will have to carry.

3. Putting your home in jeopardy

Transferring your credit card debt over to your home loan can be high risk of greater loss. For example, if you fail to pay off your credit card debt, the worst thing that can happen to you is you lose your good name in credit, you file for bankruptcy, your credit score goes down, and you basically have an extremely low chance of ever getting anything on credit for a really long time. Sure, that’s pretty harsh, but think about your mortgage. If you fail to pay your home loan, you are not only putting your credit at risk, but you also run the possibility of losing your home.

Whether or not it’s best for you to refinance your home to pay off your credit cards is completely up to you. The best thing you can do to help you decide is to know the factors that come along with it. If you know you can successfully pay for your refinanced home, and that you can save money doing it, go for it.