National Credit Education Month

Why it pays to check your credit report

When was the last time you checked your credit report? Because access to credit is such an important aspect of everyday life, money-management experts recommend that everyone should check their reports at least annually.

In simple terms, a credit report is a summary of the credit accounts you have and how you’ve used them. When you have a loan or a credit card, the lender tracks how you make payments, and then shares that information with what’s known as a credit reporting agency. The credit reporting agency keeps that information up-to-date, and when you apply for a new credit card or loan, the lender will review your credit information to see if you make payments like you’re supposed to and use credit wisely. The information in your credit report is also used to create your credit score. Continue reading

Have you checked your credit cards lately?

When we buy shoes, or car tires, or razor blades, we know that they’re not going to last forever. At some point, they won’t provide the performance we expect, and we’ll replace them with new ones.

But what about credit cards? The cards themselves may not wear out, but is that credit card you obtained several years ago still the best one for your needs?  Credit cards change over time. Interest rates fluctuate, and the terms may be different. The credit card industry is increasingly competitive, and card issuers are constantly changing the deals they offer. Continue reading