It's a common misconception that credit scores are united in marriage, says Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma, a credit-score management service based in San Francisco. While you may share financial obligations in marriage, your credit scores will remain separate. But you may find that your spouse's credit habits can affect your credit score, Lin says -- with such details as whether you pay bills on time, or how much of the available balance you use on joint credit-card or joint-loan accounts...
The credit card culture is changing for good, as a result of new regulations. And consumers must learn new rules when it comes to paying with plastic. "Consumers may find it's going to be much harder to get credit if they're on the margin," warned Ken Lin, CEO and founder of Credit Karma in San Francisco.
"There is a small but vocal minority that has never used credit," says Ken Lin, CEO of credit tracking Website CreditKarma.com in San Francisco. Although Lin understands some consumers' decision to totally abstain from credit card debt, he says that when used properly "credit is a fantastic convenience".
Nationwide, the average consumer carried nearly $6,800 in credit card debt in August, the Credit Karma report said. That was down $43 from July.
In conclusion to my little unscientific experiment, Credit Karma's credit scores are reliable. It gives free tools. There is no need for not signing up for the service since it's free.
<strong>Check your credit score:</strong> I know you're itching to see where you stand, and CreditKarma.com offers instant gratification -- a free credit score without the gotchas that make other "free" score offers a pain (like the product trial you have to remember to cancel).
Rebuilding credit after a bankruptcy may take as much as five years of good payment history, said Ken Lin, chief executive officer of CreditKarma.com, a San Francisco-based Web site that allows consumers to monitor their credit scores. A secured credit card, which requires an upfront deposit, is a good way to start, he said.
Preserving your credit history is one reason that Kenneth Lin, CEO of Creditkarma.com, recommends that you don't formally close an account but let the issuer close it for lack of activity. The longer the account stays open, he says, the more you'll add to your credit history and the longer you'll benefit from the additional available credit.
Also, bear in mind that you may have other remedies, says Ken Lin, the chief executive of Credit Karma, a financial information company based in San Francisco. "There are often consumer protection laws at the state level regarding warrantees and refunds," he says.