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FICO vs Vantage – Which score will my lender use?

June 10, 2021 Shawn Lane Consumer Credit Expert You’re probably aware that a high credit score is the single most important factor in securing a loan. But did you know that you have more than one credit score? FICO and VantageScore are the two main credit scoring models used by lenders. They each take a similar, but slightly different approach …

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Using Your Tax Refund to Improve Your Credit

March 11, 2021 Shawn Lane Consumer Credit Expert It’s easy to treat a tax refund like free money – and many people do. When a check for hundreds or even thousands of dollars show up in the mail, who wouldn’t feel like they’ve just won the lottery? But a tax refund is just that – a refund – and because …

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Credit and Couples

February 9, 2021Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s natural to start thinking about all the factors that go into a successful relationship – trust, commitment, passion and a compatible approach to managing your credit.OK, that last one might be a stretch.But while talking about your credit score might seem decidedly unromantic, financial compatibility is a very real factor …

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How to Maintain Good Credit if You’ve Been Laid Off

November 5, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert 2020 has put a lot of people in financial positions they never imagined being in. Entire industries have dried up as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and even the most reliable jobs now carry the risk of being laid off or furloughed.Those who have never been in this situation might be worried about …

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Best Alternative to Payday Loans

June 11, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert Payday loans get a lot of flack – and rightfully so. They have outrageous interest rates and often use predatory practices to lure in financially vulnerable borrowers.  But if you think avoiding payday loans is easy, you’ve probably never been in a situation where you need money immediately. When you live paycheck to paycheck, …

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Credit for Kids

May 21, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert If you take an informal survey of people struggling to manage their finances as adults, they’ll probably have one thing in common. Disregarding any socioeconomic factors, there’s a good chance they had very little personal finance education as children.It’s not surprising that 36% of college students have managed to rack up some amount of credit …

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What is a Credit Builder Loan?

April 7, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert Starting from the bottom is always hard. With no upward momentum, just getting started can feel like a monumental task.That holds especially true for your finances. Money tends to make more money, and good credit lends itself to even better credit. All the best loan products – credit cards, mortgages and personal loans, for example …

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How to Shop for a Mortgage Without Hurting Your Credit

January 7, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert How to Shop for a Mortgage Without Hurting Your CreditWhether you’re buying a new home or refinancing an existing mortgage, shopping around for a good interest rate might save you money. At the very least, rate shopping can help you confirm you’re getting a good deal. But there’s an art to shopping for a mortgage …