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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 Holiday Shopping Can Affect Your Credit

December 23, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert As the 2020 Christmas shopping season begins in earnest, consumers are likely concerned about how holiday spending will affect their finances. This year has seen more economic turmoil than any year since the Great Recession of 2008 – particularly affecting those in lower income brackets – so it’s understandable if the average shopper has …

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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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Do you need good credit in retirement?

September 15, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert When most people think about financial planning, retirement is the logical finish line. You work hard, live within your means and save enough money to live out your days in peace and comfort.But you don’t stop managing your finances after you retire – and that includes your credit. While your days of applying for …

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Covid-19 and Credit

August 7, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert Credit is a game of trust. Lenders trust borrowers to pay their bills on time, and borrowers trust lenders to make good on the lines of credit they’ve extended. When times get tough, that trust is put to the test. As the economy continues to struggle due to fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, lenders …

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What is Debt Consolidation?

July 9, 2020Shawn LaneConsumer Credit Expert Dealing with multiple sources of debt is like juggling chainsaws. If you’re really good at it, you might be able to avoid getting hurt. If you’re really bad at it, you probably won’t get very far without incident. Either way, you’re one mistake away from disaster.So why not combine your debts into one, easily-manageable …

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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, …