John’s information is spot-on, providing consumers with timely and relevant financial education tips in a user-friendly manner. In the increasingly complex world of personal finance, John Ulzheimer is a consumer’s dream come true.
Gail Cunningham, VP of Public Relations National Foundation for Credit Counseling
If you want the inside scoop on credit scores and bureau reports, John is simply the best.
Craig Watts, Public Affairs Manager, Fair Isaac Corporation
You’re the best teacher on the subject (credit scoring) I’ve ever had.
Jean Chatzky, Financial Editor for NBC’s Today Show and featured money coach on Oprah’s “Debt Diet” series.
John is a world-class expert. His knowledge is broad, as well as deep, and he makes complex topics simple with plain-speak and a sense of humor. If you’re experiencing credit-related issues, then you have to spend time with John.
June 24th, 2011 • by admin • Comments Off on How does closing a credit card impact my scores?
John – I want to close an old credit card but I’ve heard it will lower my FICO scores. Why?
Answer – When you close a credit card, assuming the balance is $0, that card will no longer count in the calculation of your revolving utilization percentage, which is an important component of your FICO scores. Add up all of your credit card limits and balances. Divide the total balance figure by the total limit figure. That’s your utilization percentage. Now, pretend you’ve just closed an account. Back out that lost credit limit and recalculate. It’s almost a guarantee that your utilization percentage just went up. And, it’s possible your scores went down as a result.
June 17th, 2011 • by admin • Comments Off on Should I Let My Dad Add Me to His Mortgage?
John – My dad wants to add me to his mortgage loan. Will that screw up my credit? I’m 21.
Answer – It doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or 121, what your dad is suggesting is a horrible idea. When your name goes on the loan you’ll become just as liable for the debt as he is. It’s also going to screw up your debt to income ratios and that will come back to haunt you when you want to apply for a mortgage someday. If he wants to do this to help you build credit then suggest that he add you as an authorized user on one of his credit cards.
June 8th, 2011 • by admin • Comments Off on Can A Lawsuit Ruin My Credit?
John – I was in a car accident and the driver of the other car hired an attorney who sent me a demand letter for $20,000. They have threatened to sue me if I don’t pay. Can this ruin my credit if I get sued?
Answer – A lawsuit will not have any negative affect on your credit reports or credit scores. Lawsuits are not picked up by or reported to the credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and if it’s not on your credit reports then no credit impact. Now, if the other driver does sue you and wins then you’ll have a judgment against you. Judgments are often picked up and reported by the credit bureaus so if that happens then yes, it will impact your credit. They stay on your credit reports for 7 years from the filing date.
May 24th, 2011 • by admin • Comments Off on Do Settlements Hurt Credit Scores?
John, does having the statement “Settled for less than full balance” affect your FICO score?
Answer,That’s what’s referred to as a “narrative code.” It’s text that accompanies the account on your credit report and provides additional details about the account. That particular narrative code, obviously, goes on an account when it has been settled. And yes, it is considered negative by the FICO credit scoring system. How negative depends on what else is on your credit report. If that’s the only negative item on your credit reports then it’s having a profound negative impact. If, however, it’s one of many negative items then the impact is much less.