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How Credit Scores are DevelopedLearning the rules of credit isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. Sometimes, doing something you might think would be great for your credit score can actually have an unintentional negative impact.

The first step in understanding what affects your score is to know where you stand by pulling your free credit report once annually from each of the credit bureaus from AnnualCreditReport.com. If you’d like to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis, you can also get your free Credit Report Card.

Once you know where it stand, it’s all about vigilance and keeping your eye out for the surprising things that could ding your score. Here, we rounded up some of the most unexpected things that can affect your credit.

Late Library Books

You might not think that the overdue copy of “50 Shades of Grey” that you checked out of the library would have an impact on your credit score, but that bill could be sent to a collections agency.

“Collections that can seriously hurt your score can arise from parking tickets and library fines, as much as from medical bills and credit card charge offs — with the impact to your score being similar,” says Barry Paperno, a credit industry veteran and Credit.com’s Community Director.

So, get those books back when they’re due or the librarian won’t be the only one coming after you.

[Credit Score Tool: Get your free credit score and report card from Credit.com]


Getting divorced involves dividing your assets as well as your debts, but just because your ex takes on the mortgage payments doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook.

“The account remains on their credit report and remains their responsibility until it is paid and closed. And even then it won’t be removed from their credit history,” says Gerri Detweiler, Credit.com’s Director of Consumer Education. “Plus if your ex declares bankruptcy, creditors will come after you for balances on any joint accounts.”

Free Credit Check & MonitoringClosing an account

Many people think that getting rid of a credit card that they don’t want, need or actually use is a good idea since it will show they’re not credit-dependent. However, this can be a bad idea for two important reasons.

“This can (but will not always) raise your utilization percentage, and a closed account is often purged from your credit report sooner (7-10 years) than an open one (remains indefinitely) causing you to lose all of the positive credit history associated with the account,” Paperno says.

One important note on closed accounts that might surprise you — it doesn’t matter if you close the account or if the issuer closes it, the effect on your credit score will be the same.

Just a single late payment

This isn’t like high school where the teacher might give you a slide if you turn in a homework assignment late only one time. If a credit issuer reports a late payment on your account, it will impact your credit score.

As we recently highlighted, this problem will affect those with excellent credit more negatively than those with credit that’s just fair or average.

[Related Article: How Much Will One Late Payment Hurt Your Credit Scores?]

Having credit cards, but no loans

An important component of your credit score is the diversity of accounts. This means that lenders are looking to see if you can handle both revolving and non-revolving types of credit. While having only one type of account can have a negative affect on your score, Paperno warns that it’s not worth taking out a loan just to improve this aspect of your score.

Disputing an account

If an account appears on your credit report erroneously when you do your annual credit check-up (something personal finance experts highly recommend), you should dispute it. Disputing it won’t take it off your report automatically; the credit reporting agency will usually need to check with the source to determine whether it is accurate. While that is happening, it may be listed as “under dispute” on your credit reports. Some people have been told to dispute negative items in order to game the system and get a loan.

“Disputed accounts do appear on credit reports, but in some cases are excluded from credit scoring, which can have the effect of raising your utilization if the disputed account(s) have lower utilization than the ones still being counted,” Paperno says. Of course, if information is wrong you will want to get it corrected, but if you are in the process of getting a mortgage or an important loan, understand that the dispute can affect your credit scores in unexpected ways.

Applying for credit (even when you aren’t rejected)

Every time you apply for a line of credit, a hard inquiry is placed on your credit file that will lower your score. Although, don’t worry about getting hit twice — once for the inquiry and once if you’re rejected.

“When you’re turned down for credit, the fact that you’ve been denied doesn’t appear anywhere on a credit report, resulting in no impact to the score — other than from the inquiry resulting from the application,” Paperno says.

Renting a car

This isn’t a universal. Renting a car will not always ding your credit score, but some rental car companies will do hard inquiries on your credit that will affect your score.

Dollar Rent a Car is one of the major brands that does this as a practice. It will do a credit inquiry when drivers ask to use a debit card to rent a car.

[Free Resource: Check your credit score and report card for free with Credit.com]

Image: Irargerich, via Flickr

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  • mikee ramos

    Hi i just get a car from honda 2 weeks ago and i am the one named in the finance without cosigner. Can i change my name of the finance? It is gonna affect my credit score?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Not sure what you mean by being “named in the finance.” Do you mean you want to add a co-signer? Applying for credit affects your credit score (it causes a small, temporary drop in your score). But applying for credit and then paying a car loan off as agreed is likely to help.

  • sickprofits

    Good article on the fraud from the credit cards. It would be nice if a decent lawyer would shut them down, but no, we want to stick to the little guy. Over and over again. Fraud, lies and stupidity. Thanks for what we already knew.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    What really hurts your credit score in the situation you describe is being so close to (over, even) your credit limit. One of the factors determining your score is the amount of credit you use relative to the amount of credit you have (your credit limit). It’s a good idea to keep that number under 30% (under 10% is even better). Any higher than 30% though, and you should expect your score to suffer. You can find more information here:
    5 Ways Your Credit Card Can Ruin Your Credit
    Tips for Improving Your Credit: Your Amount of Debt
    What Is My Credit Score? How Is It Calculated?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Ah thank you – that’s a helpful comment. It isn’t clear what we were trying to convey there, and that is the fact that if an account is listed as “disputed” on your credit report (which can happen during the time period it is being disputed) then it will be treated differently by the scoring system. But you are correct that if it is not confirmed by the furnisher (company reporting the information) or if it is confirmed then it will either be removed or simply remain on the report.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Whether or not it affects your credit score depends on your overall credit utilization. We’ve written about how that works here:
    Credit 101: What Is Revolving Debt Utilization?

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    In many cases credit card issuers will often close accounts that aren’t used for long periods of time simply because they loose money when a card is inactive. To avoid this scenario, it may be worth using your card periodically, otherwise the issuer may choose to close the account due to inactivity. It sounds crazy, I know, but using your card from time to time can actually help you avoid having the issuer close the account or lower the credit limit, which is what’s happening in your case.

    If you want to keep the card and the credit limit, consider charging something small (and something that you’d generally buy anyway), and then paying off the balance as soon as the statement comes in. You don’t have to charge significant amounts, and you just want to make sure you use it every few months if you can. It’ll keep the account active, and you’ll still avoid paying interest if you pay the balance before the grace period.

    As far as how lowering your credit limit could impact your credit score, it depends. If they lower your credit limit significantly (or close the card altogether) it could cause your revolving utilization percentage to spike and lower your score. It really depends on how much debt you’re carrying on other credit cards and your overall credit card utilization. To find out how this could impact your credit scores, and how to calculate your revolving utilization yourself, the following resource can help:

    I Have Too Many Credit Cards. What Do I Do?

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Great question, and one we get quite frequently. You can find a detailed look at the question and the answer here:
    How Long Does It Take to Rebuild My Credit After a Short Sale?

    Keep in mind, too, that short sales are just as damaging from a credit perspective as a foreclosure. Having said this, the following resources may help give you a more solid picture of what you can expect –qualifying after a short sale or foreclosure will depend greatly on the type of loan and your individual financial and credit situation. These resources can help you determine how to get back on track as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t take several years versus a couple of years to recover:

    Foreclosure vs. Short Sale: What’s Worse for Your Credit?
    How Soon Can I Get a Mortgage After Credit Problems?

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    It can if the collection is sold from one collection company to another. When this happens, one collection can spiral in to several collections on your credit report — which make them even more damaging. For more on how to address multiple collections on the same account, the following resource can help:
    Credit Report Double Jeopardy Means Double Damage

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  • flemenco

    Paid off my mortgage. Have one student load that is current – never late. One credit card which is also never late. My credit score went down by 20 points. Credit bureau reports I have more than one past due payment in the last 60 days. Does paying off my mortgage equal a late payment ???? I live within my means. Don’t max out said credit card. Now you go figure this one out.

    • Scott

      Paying off your mortgage may actually lower your score, even though its a good move. Closed lines of credit = lower credit line = lower score. If you utilize more than 30% of your credit limit on the card that you don’t “max out”, that can lower your score as well. As far as the accounts being listed as being late, you were either late or there is an error on your report. Either pull your report to find and dispute the error, or don’t burry your head in the sand and catch back up on the payment.

  • m.g.b

    people, i’m a 50 yr. concrete mason. through the years of ups and downs I have taken a lot of shortcuts. I have not produced a lot of savings, and resolved to myself that I am going to be working up to and quite possibly past the date of my death. but I am going to let you in on a little secret…if you don’t owe ( owe =own ) get it! they can’t tell you how to live. granted you may have to wait on that new truck or car to keep up with the jones’s. but really if you look around the jones’s are trying to sell their vehicles right now. live within your means…back in the day, if you don’t have the cash, don’t get it. maybe they didn’t have a whole lot back then, but then they didn’t have a whole lot of debt either. remember if they (Big Business) don’t have control, they cannot dictate! Big Business might have put us in this recession, but we gave them the power to do so. Please! lets take the power back…For our kids sake…just saying

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      So true! Living debt free can offer a great deal of freedom and flexibility.

    • Miki

      My family put me through college on a Student Loan and I purchased a new car as a long-term investment, but after those are paid off, it’s no more loans for me.

  • mike goeke

    Its all favored towards big business and making it difficult to have higher scores. Because big business want people to have lower scores so they can make more money off them! Im sure congress has passed laws favorable to big business too, because they get paid from big business to do that.

  • Gary

    Well folks all I can say is welcome to the real world. I was born poor and never been able to get ahead. Wifes Dr. bills I did ok but then I got hurt Ins co. didnt have to pay. got screwed out of workers comp. havent been able to hold a job. since about to loose my home and no place to go.Ive allways paid bill until I got hurt afterwards I was offered credit cards when I couldnt afford them . All IO know to do now is wait own the LORD GOD

    • Scott

      Good call Gary. Just pray about it… Seems to work out for all those cancer patients, so why not you?

  • http://Yahoo JLabonte

    The problem with credit scores is that the credit companies control them and determine what’s good and what’s bad based on what’s good or bad for the credit companies. Why is it bad to not have any loans and to pay everything with cash? Doesn’t that mean you’re living within your means? It’s only bad because the credit companies aren’t making any money off of it. The other problem with credit scores is that now EVERYONE looks at them, from prospective employers to rental car companies to satellite T.V providers. So if they look at them and having people look at them lowers your credit score then it’ll be hard to keep a good credit score.

  • Anne

    How long should one late payment remain on your credit report? As I review my report, I continue to see one late payment from 2002, I intent to dispute this.

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  • Yvonne Wiggins

    Have an insurance broker that finds the best insurance rates for my cars and home
    insurance yearly. Noticed on my credit report many of the insurance companies
    are listed when checking my credit. Does these inquiries count toward credit

    • Cheltzie

      It’s considered a soft hit when they pull your credit history. Long story short, it’s shows up on your soft hit inquires but does NOT impact your score.

      -licensed insurance broker 🙂

  • itchie graham

    i am 67 yo.
    when young had debt.
    learned my leason.
    if you don;t have the cash don’t buy it.
    my top salary was $550,000 per year.
    my house was worth $120,000 on a good day.
    i saved a lot of money.
    my biggest problem now is the number of people i must support
    who do not save for the future.
    if you pay people with a check from the government, why work?
    i am old enough that i should be dead, before the usa goes down.

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    hi robert i like the way how you explain in every situation, THUMBS UP FOR YOU! keep up the good job.

  • robert jones

    hi , i have a bill with a coll , how do i bargain with them too low the bill so i can pay the acct off , the bal is 900 , any ideas ?

  • Robert E Denker

    If you live within your means & follow them, 6 to 12 month savings for emergencies, you should never get in these situations. Massive medical overload is the only exception. You must treat that savings as mandatory with as high of importance as making your mortgage or car payment. Sell them boats, waverunners, extra cars,(you may have to be a one car family for awhile), motorcycles & any other toys or wants BEFORE you get into trouble. Declaring bankruptcy is an escape from your responsibilities & reality. Everyone else pays for all the irresponsible people in this world. As I said before, massive medical bills would be the exception. You do not have to have the latest smart phone, ipad, computer, TV etc. Do you see where I am coming from? Those are wants, not needs. Food, clothes, shelter, health, education & transportation are needs and many of you need to get real & get rid of your big, gas guzzling tanks for vehicles like the Hummers, Suburbans, Expeditions, full size pickups, etc or any vehicle that is obvious over kill or gas guzzlers. There is so much you can do to help yourselves if you just sit down understand the difference between wants & needs. My god, how did we live 20, 30, 50 yrs ago without having all the stuff we have now. 2, 3 4 TV’s. Every game imaginable for your kids or yourselves & who knows what else. Loaners & credit card companies are like the hangman’s noose. They give you all the rope you want until you hang yourselves. A majority of you are responsible for getting yourselves into these messes, then blaming the economy or someone else for your problems. SPEND WITHIN YOUR MEANS! If you decide it is more important to go party or eat out at an expensive restaurant than put that $50-100 in your savings, then that is where the problem lies.

  • Robert E Denker

    For anyone considering Credit Counseling or anyone else of that nature, DO NOT DO IT! They are there to make money off your misfortune. Why else would they do it. They cannot guarantee you anything but misery. For those who already use Credit Counselors, you must stay in communications with them and make sure they get those payments syncronized so that you are not getting dinged unnecessarily. Many do not care.
    For those who are not in trouble yet but are going to, because of medical or job loss, you must be proactive. Try to work something out ahead of time. Every credit company or lender has a hardship department that can work with you. I was in the same boat, 2 heart surgeries & knee replacement within a year & had to quit my job. They all worked with me doing a combination of things like eliminating my interest rate for up to a year, lowering minimum payment, freezing your account & some did lower my limit. The key here is being PROACTIVE. When you talk to them, be kind, nice & polite, bite your tonque a bit, swallow your pride & accept you are responsible for creating too much debt. Keep detailed records on payments, debt & spending habits. Keep ALL purchases down to absolute mandatory needs only. Many can pull themselves out of their hole on their own, without bankruptcy or debt relief agencies and your credit scores will improve much quicker. Review all 3 credit score agencies & dispute anything that is not right. Everyone needs to be saving up for a rainy day, (at least 6 mo of your net income & do not blow it on wants!) Never let it get to debt collection agencies. That is when your real headaches begin! Everyone needs to quit spending & using the credit cards as a bottomless money pit. Use them to your advantage Do not cancel cards, use their rewards programs to your advantage & pay them off every month. Use them only for emergencies or only enough that you can pay them off in full every month. Selloff all your extra clutter around the house. Have a yard sale.

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  • Pinky Collie

    We must know not to borrow more than what we cannot afford to pay in the next six to twelve months or lifetime. Of course, we are told to dream big, live big and/or live as a hedonized pig? How? of course, you noticed that everytiime we get paid, things have to be paid for; such as bills, activities. Denying? I am not denying myself. After reading this article, I realized I have finanical issues and it need to be resolved as soon as possible.

    We have to admit ourselves that we borrowed more than we can afford. Optimistic and rich people, bet you are looking away after the previous sentence. There is no trace of old money within my family’s history. Three years ago, I was poor with access to loans and credits. Today, I am “prospering”, but with debts, isn’t that poor too?

    • Denise Garcia

      I agree Pinky, we are poor. No matter how much we work, the lure of having more and more does not stop. With that, comes the more and more in debt we become. It is like that song says, “More money, more problems”.

  • luis

    why do they take so many points away when someone checks your credit?
    i had a credit rating of 761 then dropped to 743 on one and 703 to 663on another.this is not fair. Why have a good credit score if they just take it away all at once

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  • C R Smith

    I had pristine credit. Then I got laid off when the economy tanked and have only been able to make minimum payments on my credit cards. I was still on time with every payment. I was not diversified because I owned my car and had no other loans or debt. The problem came to light when I got a letter stating that one of my cards was going to lower my credit limit. Why?? Then I got other letters. When I called I was told that when the credit card company does their regular review of my accounts (they said every 6 months) they look at how much I am paying as compared to the minimum payment amount. Nevermind that I have made absolutely no new purchases. Prior to my layoff I could have charged a house. Today they have lowered all of my limits to somewhere between $500-$1000 above what I owe–and they keep lowering them as I pay on them. Today it looks like I have maxed out my credit cards when I originally owed less than 30% of my available credit. My biggest problem is that I have no health insurance because I am still looking for permanent work (I am the textbook long-term grossly underemployed that is not included in the national statistics) and have recently needed money for a sudden major medical problem. There is absolutely no help for me because it seems that I was too good with my money before my layoff–I do not qualify for any help at all. Instead of benefitting from that diligence now, I’m paying for it dearly (and not just in interest!).

    • liagcg

      Same thing happened to me. When I saw where the economy was heading I was making 55k a year but got a second job to pay off credit card debt. Then i lost my job and was only able to make mininum payments. The credit card companies lowered my limnits to $500 above my balances or closed the ones with no balances so it looked like I was barely making it. I purposely paid them off so I can be underemployed comfortablely knowing I did not have these high credit card balances. Boy was I wrong. It didn’t help my credit just gave me peace of mind. Now that I am gainfully employed again my credit is bad because of my high credit card balances. Go figure.

    • D. Barr

      Me and you are riding the same vehicle. My story and yours almost mirror one another when it comes to handling credit. I, too, handled my revolving credit with great care, as much care as my standard debts, like automobiles, utillity bills, etc. Always on time or early, same on credit cards, and always paying far above minimum payments. I kept a clean good and strong 780-810 score. I could buy anything on any of my credit cards (but I didnt, got really low rates on straight loans) Then, inevitably, I ran out of work. Right before the economy tanked, I had bought a new truck, for my work, and then had met a lady whom I eventually “married”. Resigned my position at my company, moved to a new location, with a new job. Then it all went down, seems like it all happened in a matter of three months. The “wife” I had turned up to still be married (even she didnt know, the divorce papers were “bought” off internet, guy just wanted two “wives”, Bigamy) This, and the fact she wouldnt deal with her issues with her ex husband and her child custody right, caused me to get out, quick! By this time, I had dropped my first job (fired for getting hurt on job!, of course , I sued) , so I was down to making less than half my “normal” salary, had to live out of savings, after my move had eat substantially into them also. Wound up cashing out my ira (rolled over 401k) , just to pay the bills, Gasoline had surpassed 4.00 a gallon, and I was driving 60 miles one way to work in a jacked up 4 wheel drive, or running the new truck , (if she wasnt using it), niether got good mileage, the new truck was much better (2 wheel drive standard cab mid size) , the 4 wheel drive got all of 13 mpg on the highway (with a v-6 engine, Ford Ranger, 4.0 with std 5 spd, and 3.73 gears 3″ lift with 32″ x 11.50 PRO COMP off road tires) Wound up having to sell that truck (and it was paid off), get an el cheapo mitsubishi mirage( at least it gets great mileage), which isnt worth anything, except for a good work ride. Needless to say, after all this happens , plus 3000.00 on getting away from her, then having to move back to my original home ( in my fathers place!) It has been a long, and very educating ride, to say the least. Forget about being proud of the way you handle debt. There is only ONE WAY, get rid of all you can. It will, if you come to be in my shoes, take a long while, a lot of doing without, and even still having to deal with debt to income issues. But, after that debt is gone, no more! I will never have more than one credit card, with a very low limit, and it will only be used in emergency situations ( like gas, hotel, hospital entrance, etc. ) and will be paid off asap, like that month if possible. I will never carry the unsecured debt load I have for so long. That has a name, it called living above your means. I would rather live in a shck in the woods or mountains, no steady electricity ( generator only, and only when needed) and be a “drop out” as far as this society is concerned. All I need is enough to survive on, forget the rest. I was not born to accumulate money nor things, so I will quit participating in the worldly ways of living, after all, what do I really need? Thats what I want. The rest is just foolish time consumption , not to mention , resource waste. Thank you for sharing your story, as I sometimes forget , I’m not alone in this problem.

  • http://Comcast.net Gerald F. Robinson

    have large credit card debt, have funds available now to pay off 90%, should I seek a payoff discount or forgiveness ?

  • Danita Marrs

    Sorry, Saxon was the Fannie May lender. OCWEN is the one that’s not. They won’t lower the rate or take off the chapter 7 off though I re-affirmed the debt with them, and have paid every month. They will not show all my payments. Sorry for the confusion. HELP!!!

    • Diane K

      Hi Danita,
      Predatory companies need to be exposed. Call the Business Bureau for sure and
      possibly your local news station.
      You can also glean information from logging on to SuzeOrmon.com. She is
      an experienced financial consultant and comes on CNBC every week (on Saturdays here).
      You might be able to send her a message on twitter or facebook but you can also
      send her an e-mail. You can find her books at the library or you can go to
      Barnes & Noble and read them there.
      The more educated you become on managing your finances, the better off you’ll be.

      • Mari

        agree that SuseOrmon.com is a great source. agree to contact the Better Business Bureau.

  • Danita Marrs

    I got a home equity loan with Saxon mortgage in 2006. I paid on time every month. This was a Fannie May loan. Thwy sold my loan, I kept up with my payments. They sold it again to Saxon. Saxon is not a fannie May so I’m not elegable to lower my rate which is 7.99% because I refused to agree to an adjustable rate. Then I had a hip revision surgery that make me permanantly disabled. I had a good job, and had spent the summer getting 12 hours graduate credit that put me up to $50,000 a year. I was a teacher. I was planning on retiring in 5 years, so I bought a new vehicle for the first time in my life. While waiting on SSDI determination I ran out of sick days. I was late on one credit card, and they ALL went up to 30%. I also had to pay COBRA to keep my insurance. Just for me it was $500 a month. Obama had a plan to pay 60% of it for 2 years, so I paid my credit cards until they went up to 30%. I filed chapter 7, bur exempted my house and car. My car (Toyota Financial was 0% interest) They show my account as current and in good standing. My home loan, bought by Saxon took my payments every month but shows me dismissed on Chapter 7, though I reaffirmed the debt, as I did the Toyota. I called them about this, they said they could do this because I filed bankruptcy. Also they didn’t report my payments I’d made since the bankruptcy, though I did not. Is this true? Can they do this? I think OCWEN is just a predatory lender, though my loan was sold to them. They have been a nightmare to deal with, trying to make me buy their high homeowner insurance, though I had homeowners with State farm. My agent got on the phone with them and threatened to report them to the attourney general. They fixed it fast, and It hasn’t happened again. They are snakes, and refuse to remove the chapter 7 bankruptcy. What can I do? I disputed it, but experian said I had to work it out with OCWEN. They won’t work with me. What can I do?

    • Alex

      Read this post again and again….you will se what is wrong with America. Where to begin ….graduate
      credits but can’t spell eligible….disability because of hip surgery when many work and live productive
      lives after same. File bankruptcy and wonder why the mortgage company is worried. Right,

      • Mark

        Hmmm… Unproductive smart ass spells “SEE” se. I do SEE what is wrong with America, and you are part of the problem D!ck H@$d! If you do not have anything to lend to the conversation, Shut Up!

      • Akiva

        So Alex you are saying that because she had hip surgery and is now on disability she is a pariah to society. She paid in to Social Security which entitles her to disability payments. This hip surgery is not something she planned. She filed bankruptcy for the same reason many people do because of unexpected medical problems. She was five years away from retiring which means she was a productive member of society and planning well for her future but an unexpected turn of events changed her situation. She is asking for help and all you can do is critique her letter and her life. At least she didn’t write off all her debts she actually kept the to that were probably the biggest overall.

        Danita I wish I could offer you a solution but I am not an expert in finances. Hopefully someone will be able to help you.

      • http://MSN S.L.Dowsett

        You are a jealously, judgmental JackA$$. You have based your judgment on the assumption that this person would no longer be disabled due to a surgical revision of their hip. You have no idea as to whether the revision was a success or a partial failure. You have no idea as to the cause of the need for surgery and whether it is secondary to an ongoing condition. I say, in America, you need to keep track of your own backyard and put your judgment where the Sun no longer shines.

      • john

        First mistake is voting for Obama, second mistake is thinking he will help you.

    • Mike

      OCWEN what a horrible company have had 3 loans sold to ocwen everyone has been a nightmare

  • http://msn fran Hansen

    I have a debt of about 25,000 in credit cards…never was late , nevermissed a payment on none of my cards.paid my mortage on time faithfully!.now my childern took my cards a way and put me in a credit counceling.now I pay them a lump sum every month and I noticed on my statements or my e-mail reminders of my due payments they are DUE!.is it possible they make all my payments late? will I have bad credit now?…..

    • htpttyo1

      Yes – I did the same thing, only because I wanted to get a better interest rate when the banks went crazy raising everyones rates, and asked before I signed if I should make an additional payment – was told not to worry – unfortunately here is what happens – you pay them on the 3rd, your bills are due the 10th, they pay your creditors on the 20th –you are late – and every month you are late – in 3 months time my credit score dropped 100 points – if you can get out of this thing or make an additional payment to your creditors so that the payment the “counseling program” makes is a month ahead (sort of) do it.

    • rod

      Talk to the credit counseling agency about changing the credit card due dates to work better with when the payments are sent out. You may need to be the one that calls the card companies, but that would help with the credit cards reporting current each month.

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Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team