Good point. Thanks, Lisa.
No it will not as long as you keep your balance lower than 30% of your overall credit limit and pay on time
No, I don't believe it will. Making on-time payments and keeping your balances low relative to your credit limit are more important, Jennie.
Student debt is definitely a tough issue these days. Look forward to seeing you then, Mike.
Mike, Jane is a real expert on this and will be able to give you lots of good advice.
To expound on Lisa's point, that is why some very responsible people don't have perfect scores. They have paid off their mortgage and don't have car loans so they don't have a mix of credit, which lowers their score a little.
Note that the amount of debt you have compared with credit limits counts in your score overall as well as on individual cards.
Interesting. Your credit score sounds like a very tricky equation!
Next up, we have a question from Beth.
But in the end the rules are very simple--pay your bills on time and keep down your debt!
Beth, it would be better for your score if you were using a company card so you wouldn't be using up all your credit. However, since you pay it off each month, the impact isn't as great.
If you must use your own card, Beth, try asking the issuer for a higher limit.
A credit score is a snapshot in time. It reflects your outstanding credit then. It doesn't know you plan to pay the bill tomorrow. It is a predictor of whether you will repapy your debts, which seems less likely if you are spending all your available credit.
Then try Lisa's suggestion about getting a higher limit
Credit scores are a popular topic today! Here's another question from Mike
Mike, have you ever tried contacting the credit bureaus to report and correct this?
Mike, if you haven't contacted the bureaus, you'll need to file a dispute with each bureau that shows the bankruptcy on its report. Gather evidence that the bankruptcy did not go through--such as any documents related to the case--to submit.
There is nothing you can do about the fact that it was processed if that is what happened. I would check with the lawyer and make sure that it must appear. You can always write a lettler of explanation to go in your file. However, if it was 7 years ago, it should disappear very soon. That is how long bankruptcy information remains.
Another tough question from Paul. This one's on identity theft.
Paul, have you put a freeze on your credit report? That means you will have to give permission in case anyone appllies for credit in your name.
Yes, I was going to suggest a credit freeze, too.
I'm skeptical in general of identity theft protection services. I don't think they offer much for the money. Remember you are entitled to free credit reports. I would just keep monitoring all your accounts - checking, credit card, etc. regularly.
Then I think you're in good shape. You should also continue to monitor your credit card statements to make sure nothing fishy turns up.
Alright, looks like we have time for one or two more questions. Here's another one from Mike K.
It's best to pay off your cards each month if you can. If you carry balances, tackle highest-rate debt first.
It doesn't matter as far as your credit score is concerned if they are small enough. Just remember you are paying interest on those balances so I recommend paying them off if you can afford it.
I don't think it matters for purposes of your credit score. It's a matter of personal convenience for you. And we at Kiplinger's always advise paying your balance in full if you can.
Right. There's no point in paying interest if you don't have to.
Alright, before we run out of time and finish up by giving away a few more free copies of our Top 100 Money-Saving Tips, Janet, do you want to talk a little bit about what they have to offer? While we’re giving away free PDF versions here, these tips originally came from our new, popular iPad app.
Exactly. Our iPad app, Kiplinger's Top 100 Money-Saving tips, has all of our best advice on budgeting and saving, credit, college, retirement, investing, spending and much more. You'll find it in the Finance section of the App Store, and it costs $1.99. Such a bargain!
It's been one of the best-selling iPad finance apps for several weeks now.
It has great tips and looks fabulous too
Lots of fun bells and whistles, including a neat credit quiz.
Paul, Mike K and Beth, to receive your free copy of our Top 100 Money-Saving Tips, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll send you instructions on how to download your free copy. We hope you find it helpful! And thanks for the great questions!
Alright folks, we're out of time for today's chat.
Thanks for all the great questions!
A big thank you to Janet, Joan and Lisa for taking the time today to offer some great advice!
Yes, lots of good questions today!
You all seem to be on track with your finances. Keep it up
I'm happy to talk about credit any time
We'll definitely have another chat like this in the future! It's a popular topic.
And thanks to all of our readers who joined us today! We hope to see you next Thursday for our live chat on student loans with in-house expert, Jane Clark. Enjoy the rest of your day!