Your Credit Score, Your Money & What's at Stake (Updated Edition): How to Improve the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future
Product Author Bios
Liz Pulliam Weston is the most-read personal finance columnist on the Internet, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Her twice-weekly columns for MSN Money reach more than 12 million people each month. She’s also the author of the question-and-answer column “Money Talk,” which appears in the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers throughout the country.
Weston appears regularly on television and radio, including NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and “All Things Considered,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace Money,” and “Fox Business.” For several years, she was a weekly commentator on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” Her advice on credit and finance has been featured in Consumer Reports, Elle, O the Oprah Magazine, Parents, Real Simple, Woman’s World, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and numerous other publications. The first edition of her book Your Credit Score was selected as “recommended reading” by The Wall Street Journal Online.
Formerly a personal finance writer for the Los Angeles Times, Weston has won numerous reporting awards. She was part of a three-member writing team that won a Gerald Loeb Award for coverage of the Comparator Systems penny stock scandal in 1997. She was also a member of the Anchorage Daily News team that won a Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1989 for coverage of the alcoholism epidemic among native Alaskans.
She is the author of the books Easy Money: How to Simplify Your Finances and Get What You Want Out of Life (2007, FT Press) and Deal with Your Debt: The Right Way to Manage Your Bills and Pay Off What You Owe (2005, Pearson Prentice Hall). Her advice on budgeting is featured in The Expert’s Guide to the Baby Years (2006, Clarkson Potter).
Weston is a graduate of the certified financial planner training program at University of California, Irvine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. She can be reached via the “Contact Liz” form on her Web site, www.asklizweston.com.
“A great credit score can help you finish rich! Liz Pulliam Weston gives solid, easy-to-understand advice about how to improve your credit fast. Read this book and prosper.”
David Bach, bestselling author of The Automatic Millionaire and The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner
“Excellent book! Insightful, well written, and surprisingly interesting. Liz Pulliam Weston has done an outstanding job demystifying an often intimidating and frustrating topic for the benefit of all consumers.”
Eric Tyson, syndicated columnist and bestselling author of Personal Finance for Dummies
“No one makes complex financial information easy to understand like Liz Pulliam Weston. Her straight-talk and wise advice are invaluable to anyone with a credit card or check book—and that’s just about all of us.”
Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich
“In a country where consumers increasingly pay more when they have bad credit, Liz Pulliam Weston’s book provides excellent tips and advice on ways to improve your credit history and raise your credit score. If you just apply one or two of her insightful suggestions, you’ll save many times the cost of this book.”
Ilyce R. Glink, financial reporter, talk show host, and bestselling author of 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask
“Your credit score can save you money or cost you money—sometimes a lot of money. Yet, most people don’t even know their scores, much less know how to make them better. Liz Pulliam Weston can help you fix that. In this easy-to-understand guide you’ll learn how to make sure your score helps you get the best deal on loans and insurance. You can’t afford not to read it.”
Gerri Detweiler, consumer advocate and founder of UltimateCredit.com
The #1 Best-Selling Guide to Improving Your Credit Score...
Now Thoroughly Updated for the Financial Crisis!
In post-crash America, it’s tough to get credit...and even tougher to get rates and terms you can afford. That makes your credit score more important than ever before. Now, MSN Money/L.A. Times personal finance columnist Liz Pulliam Weston has updated her best-selling book on credit scores to show how you can maximize your score right now—and save yourself a fortune!
Weston reveals the tough new realities of borrowing and credit scoring, and shows why they aren’t going to change any time soon. She rips away the mystery surrounding credit scoring, including the FICO 08 overhaul, and tells you exactly how to use the new system to maximize your score.
You’ll learn how to fight back against lenders who want to lower your limits or raise your rates...bounce back from bad credit and bankruptcy...choose the right credit solutions and avoid options that only make things worse. One step at a time, Weston will help you build (or rebuild) your credit score—so you can get the credit you need and deserve!
Survive a credit crisis, one step at a time
How to protect or rebuild your credit score after a major financial setback
Fix your credit score in as little as 72 hours
Rapid rescoring: what it can fix, what it can’t fix, and how to use it
Don’t let the myths of credit scoring cost you a fortune!
What you’ve been told just isn’t true: how credit scores really work
What drives your score—and what doesn’t
The real impact of credit cards, loans, late payments, inquiries, credit counseling, and more
Table of Contents
About the Author xix
Introduction to the Third Edition xxi
Chapter 1 Why Your Credit Score Matters 1
Chapter 2 How Credit Scoring Works 15
Chapter 3 VantageScore–A Revolution or Just More of the Same? 37
Chapter 4 Improving Your Score–The Right Way 45
Chapter 5 Credit Scoring Myths 65
Chapter 6 Coping with a Credit Crisis 77
Chapter 7 Rebuilding Your Score After a Credit Disaster 101
Chapter 8 Identity Theft and Your Credit 123
Chapter 9 Emergency! Fixing Your Credit Score Fast 145
Chapter 10 Insurance and Your Credit Score 155
Chapter 11 Keeping Your Score Healthy 171
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