Credit 101

Credit.com is here to provide you with a practical, real-world credit education. We’ll teach you credit basics: what is a credit report & score, how to shop for credit & how to understand and compare APRs. We’ll also brief you on the type of credit products available and how to evaluate which one is right for you.


For more personalized credit tips, sign up for a free Credit Report Card.

How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit Report?

How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit Report?

How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit Report?

Advertiser Disclosure Your credit report offers valuable insight into your financial history and affects most of your financial future. Everything from whether you get approved for a mortgage to what your credit card interest rate will be balances on your credit score. Negative information on your credit report can be detrimental for years. Wonder how long hard inquiries stay on your... Read More

How and When to Talk to a Credit Bureau

How and When to Talk to a Credit Bureau

How and When to Talk to a Credit Bureau

Advertiser Disclosure Your credit score can have a huge impact on your life—for better or worse. In many ways, the three major credit bureaus are the keepers of your credit score. They’re responsible for maintaining credit reports, which means you may need to contact them about the information included on yours. While this may seem... Read More

Fall in Love with Your Credit Score

Fall in Love with Your Credit Score

Fall in Love with Your Credit Score

Advertiser Disclosure With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you’re probably thinking about your plans for the big day. Whether you’re celebrating with your significant other or friends, love is definitely in the air. But do you feel that love for your credit score? That’s right—it’s time for you to fall in love with your credit score. And... Read More

Tips for Building Your Credit

Tips for Building Your Credit

Tips for Building Your Credit

Advertiser Disclosure Your credit score can affect many aspects of your life—from getting a loan to getting a job or getting a house. Good credit is necessary for sound finances and many major purchases. But there are no quick fixes or shortcuts to building good credit. You must start by establishing credit, then embrace responsible... Read More

What Does Having a Derogatory Public Record on My Credit Report Mean

What Does Having a Derogatory Public Record on My Credit Report Mean

What Does Having a Derogatory Public Record on My Credit Report Mean

Advertiser Disclosure Since the National Consumer Assistance Plan went into effect in 2017, public records must meet strict requirements in order to appear on consumer credit reports. Civil judgments and tax liens do not meet these new requirements, so they were removed from credit reports. At this point, the only derogatory public record that should... Read More

How Paying Off Debt Affects Your Credit Score

How Paying Off Debt Affects Your Credit Score

How Paying Off Debt Affects Your Credit Score

Advertiser Disclosure With credit playing such a huge factor in our financial futures, it’s no wonder we look for ways to maximize our credit scores. And a common strategy for building our credit scores is to pay off debt, which can help improve a credit score, especially if the card holder is carrying a large... Read More

When an Original Creditor and Collection Agency Show Up on Your Credit Report

When an Original Creditor and Collection Agency Show Up on Your Credit Report

When an Original Creditor and Collection Agency Show Up on Your Credit Report

Advertiser Disclosure   It’s discouraging enough when you can’t pay a debt and you know that it’s going to damage your credit score for years to come. But what about when a single debt multiplies, turning into two, three or even more negative items on your credit reports? A discouraging situation can turn downright miserable.... Read More

Experian Boost vs. UltraFICO: Which is Best for You?

Experian Boost vs. UltraFICO: Which is Best for You?

Experian Boost vs. UltraFICO: Which is Best for You?

Advertiser Disclosure Picture newlywed and honeymoon-bound George Bailey walking into the Bailey Building and Loan with his picture-perfect wife Mary, hard-earned $2,000 in hand. Now see him lending his friends and neighbors all of those dollars to keep the good old Bailey Building and Loan afloat when there was a run on the bank. Fortunately,... Read More

8 Credit Rules Everyone Should Follow

8 Credit Rules Everyone Should Follow

8 Credit Rules Everyone Should Follow

Advertiser Disclosure Credit cards are easy to come by and even easier to use. If you let your spending get out of control or take on too many loans, you could face big money troubles. On the other hand, you want to spend enough to improve your credit and keep it in a good range.... Read More

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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