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Debt Help

The Debt & Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Saturday, February 23, 2008

No News Is Good News: Fico® Score Holds At 803

My FICO® credit score was updated recently:


Updated Chart of My FICO Credit Score - February 23, 2008: 803 - sideways


For the fourth month in a row, my score has moved sideways, which is just fine with me since I'm happy with my score. I'm expecting a small increase soon, since I recently paid off my student loan debt. I doubt I'll get more than a 5 point bump, but that's OK. I paid off my education loans because of the 8% interest I was being charged and not for any credit score benefit that may result.

For those of you who are paying down student loans, I've recorded one of the sweetest things you will ever hear over the phone. Click here to listen to the MP3.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Frugal Living Makes Headlines?

Apparently, living within one's means is so uncommon these days that the New York Times reports a 'cultural shift' moving Americans toward not living like debt is a lifestyle, but like the burdensome financial responsibility that it is. Because of the economic slow down stemming from increasing foreclosures and unemployment, fresh credit is harder to attain, so people are cutting back. That's what the New York Times is reporting.

Is being marginally responsible news now?

What happened to the values that we learned growing up? What happened to saving for a rainy day, not taking more than you needed, exercising restraint? I understand that sometimes people find themselves in a tough spot and often have no choice but to use credit to live, but most of us don't fall into that category. Most of us have financed lifestyles that our paychecks can't justify. Most of us have at some point or another lived as happy contributors to the debt carrying culture we call Western living.

Well, now the chickens have come home to roost. It's time for us to pay up and live like people did before consumer credit became mainstream.

It sounds good to me.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

My Personal Economic Stimulus

With tax season here and Bush's economic stimulus check on it's way (one day), I can see myself buying lots of great things I might not otherwise purchase without a lump sum of money at my disposal.

I think we all have such daydreams -

However, when I come back to reality, I realize that such splurging would be unwise. My husband and I are going to revitalize our savings, take care of some small remaining debts, and then get some necessities for the kids. And maybe a nice meal at a swanky restaurant.

That's it.

Consumer borrowing is up, up, up, and the outlook is so bleak that the Fed is helping banks hit by the mortage lending crisis by auctioning fresh cash so that short term borrowing isn't disproportionately funded by credit card debt. Apparently, many of us are carrying even more credit card debt because home refinancing is down. Strapped for cash, people are just charging it.

However, those of us with growing families, good jobs, and businesses (home businesses, too) should do well during refund season, helping to bring balance back to our personal finances. We are going to be as responsible as we can with ours. That's an economic stimulus that will continue to pay off in the future.

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