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Using Credit Cards - Credit Reports & Scores

Welcome to the Credit Cards and Credit artricles archive. The main informational articles here are sectionalized into four categories:

  1. Credit Card Basics: This is your introduction to the most basic facts about plastic. A starting point to orient yourself even before selecting a specific Visa, MasterCard, Discover or other offer. Understand what standard terms and jargon mean.
  2. Credit Cards in Depth: This is the section for learning how to manage cards. Keep your financial house in order, or else, if it is in dissarray, get helpful pointers on how to fix things corrctly.
  3. Credit Report Basics: It seems so simple, but there are some nuances to understanding this topic that one must get right quickly. The key is learning what it takes to have a good credit history and to keep it that way.
  4. Credit In Depth: Here, we have information for protecting your credit profile and how to recover from damage to this. many articles have links to external resources which offer additional advice and helpful services.
Further below, we also list specific Offers that we have reviewed.

Credit Cards: Basics

> Balance Transfer Cards
It's a popular activity to look for these and to switch from a high interest account to a lower interest one. Here is what you need to know.

> Credit Cards for Bad Credit
The subprime crisis is creating a downward spiral for many people who are now making the mistake of looking for easy credit through some of these offers. Be careful! Learn which types of cards to avoid.

> About Student Cards
Obtaining one of these is a basic right of passage. Many good and favorable offers available. Start here and be on the road to good personal financial health.

> Differences Between Secured & Unsecured Credit Cards
Learn the main differences between the two major types of plastic. Secured cards are not as bad as you might think. Learn why.

> Advantages and Disadvantages of Credit Cards
There some obvious pitfalls one has to keep in mind, but there are other less obvious ones as well.

> Tips on Maintaining Your Credit Card Account
A simple, itemized list which clarifies your obligations and makes it easy to keep track of what you're doing right and what you need to add to your financial habits

Credit Cards: In Depth Articles

> A Guide to the Credit CARD Act
Details and information on the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.

> Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit
One of the most common uses of these cards is to re-establish your credit history.

> What Credit Card Numbers Mean
You know there's a code and logic to these, but you're not quite sure what it is. Now learn how this works.

> Gas Rebate Credit Cards
The present downturn in the economy and the reality of high fuel prices have made these offers very popular. We take a look at the advantages of these and review specific favorable offers.

> Credit Cards for Poor Credit
We distinguish between secured credit cards and the now popular subprime unsecured offers, some of which come with wildly exploitative rates and fees.

> Cell Phones as Credit Cards
Keeping up with technology: the trend towards transferring basic financial services to the all-powerfull cell phone.

> Prevent Credit Card Fraud
A massiv societal problem. Credit Cards are so convenient and used so pervasively that the opportunities for fraud are many. Know what you can do to be safe and know how safe you can expect to be when others who have your personal information.

> Secured Vs Prepaid Cards
Both are easy to obtain and provide the convenience of use of plastic at places which take card payments. But there are major advantages to one over the other.

> Those Preapproved Credit Cards
They are everywhere and you've had your fill of those offers in your mailbox. Is there more to worry about than jus tthis minor nuisance? What should you be careful of?

> Alternatives to Visa and MasterCard
Discover and American Express are just two other options out there. We take a look at what makes these distinct.

> Debit Cards, Check Cards and ATM Cards
Banks now offer these routinely. But they do not improve your credit history as they are not a form of unsecured credit. Learn more.

> Lost Credit Cards
A common nightmare for consumers. Find out what to do when it happens to you.

> Prepaid Credit Cards
Really mostly geared towards the subprime market and those seeking giftcards for youngsters. What are their particularities?

> Credit Cards and Bankruptcy
Declaring bankruptcy represents the financial abyss. Is it possible to obtain desent offers after this? And at what cost?

> Understanding those Credit Card Fees and Charges
They can sneak them up on you. Some are standard and necessary. Others are exploitative and a clear red flag. Learn what is reasonable and what is not.

> Using Credit Cards Overseas
It's a big world and depending on where you are traveling, the level of alertedness you muct observe and the level of convenience you can expect will vary.

> Using Credit Cards for Hotels, Car Rentals, Airfare & Travel
These are some of the greatest conveniences of having plastic. They are examples of services that are almost impossible to obtian without a credit card.

Credit Report Basics

> Credit Report Information: The Basics
Start here for a general overview of what a credit report is

> The FICO Credit Score
There are different algorithms for calculating a score. Why is this the one you see used the most? What exactly is FICO?

> Check Your Credit Report
You are told you need to do this and you see offers to have these done everywhere. But you've also heard that doing this the wrong way can have negative effects. What is the real answer?

> Credit Reports: A Primer
A look at the history and origins of this now indispensable part of your profile. What's in it and who is allowed access to it?

> Who Are the Credit Reporting Agencies?
Three companies, each operating independently, but all necessary for putting together a complete picture of your financial profile.

> The Federal Trade Commission
The consumer's best friend, this federal organization puts your tax dollars to use safeguarding your personal financial interests and keeping in check those who can cause undeserved problems for you.

> The National Foundation for Consumer Credit
A non-profit consumer agancy with affiliates spread throughout the country. An immensely useful organization which is a needed alternative to those credit repair companies you see advertizing all over.

In Depth Articles on Credit

> Credit Report Details
Details on how to keep track of verious aspects of your report.

> Life Lock: A Closer Look
Has burst on the scenewith an audacious promotional campaign recently followed by some controversy. We take a look at an industry upstart.

> Raise Your Credit Score
This has to be done with care. No gimmicks here. How to reorder your personal financial habits to gradually cause this to happen organically.

> Understanding Credit Scores
They are derived from algorithms which differ from company to company. What does a particular score mean and who exactly values this particular number over an alternative number from another company?

> Preventing Identity Theft
Important safety tips.

> Coping with Collection Agencies
They can be a trial. But as a consumer, you have protections and rights that these companies are in no hurry to tell you about. Find out what these are and where to get more help if you need it.

> Credit Repair Companies: What Should I know?
They have a bad reputation deservedly. Should you ever engage the services of one of these? Find out here.

> Credit Tips for Women
A few handy ideas that may not have occured to you.

> Credit & Debt
There is such a thing as good debt. But you have to be careful. Debt should generally be used to obtain more wealth, not for irresponsible spending or short term financial damage control. Learn what useful and inadvisable types of debt are.

> Fix Your Own Credit Problems
A step by step guide. Know your rights and avoid companies that charge you a lot of manoey for things you can do yourself.

Offer Reviews

> Washington Mutual
Offering both a checking account and a savings account as well as the popular ESPN Credit Card.

> Disney Reward Card
From Chase Manhattan. This card is perfect for families with younger children. Versatile rewards program.

> Capital One (Page 1)
Capital One offers a wide array of cards, most notably its No Hassle line of consumer plastic. We look at the most popular of these.

> Capital One (Page 2)
More offers from this industry giant including it business MasterCard line.

> Equifax
Various Credit Report offer packages are available from this bureau. We list these here.

> American Express Credit Card
The industry leader is quite exclusive, but its cards offer a range of perks found nowhere else. See them here.

> Tribute Credit Card
One of the few unsecured subprime offers we feature, due to its popularity.

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