Tagged With credit

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Most people's eyes glaze over at the words "credit report." Sure, it's boring. It's confusing. But ignoring it can make your financial life difficult. And it can badly affect your love life, too - from lowering the chances of finding a date to increasing the likelihood of divorce.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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As we march forward into a new financial year, many Australians are beginning to wonder what their credit reputation is like -- something that isn't always 100% clear. This infographic from Credit Savvy breaks down the dos and don'ts that can affect your credit rating over the course of a year.

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I have pretty good credit -- right now my score is close to 800. Awesome, right? Sure, except that awesome credit has actually been pretty useless, even when I recently bought a home. Don't get me wrong, bad credit has a big impact on your finances. It's strange, then, that excellent credit doesn't really matter.

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It sounds crazy, but yes, personal finance can be exciting. Not like, "we're going to Disneyworld!" exciting, but more like, "how exciting, I finally have control of my debt." Problem is, sometimes we get so excited about getting control of our money situation, that following the rules too closely can backfire.

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Dear Lifehacker, I moved to Australia from California last year, and I'm wondering how to protect our identity and credit here (beyond changing passwords, shredding documents, and so on). In California and many other states, you can elect to lock down your credit file, meaning that nobody can get credit in your name without a PIN, regardless of how much information they have. Is there anything like this available in Australia? We have credit monitoring services there of course, but they are basically a profit machine for the credit card companies, and are a retroactive tool at best. Thanks, California Dreaming

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Budget blog Wise Bread discusses financial products and deals that almost everyone should avoid, and at least one of them has been offered to likely every single reader of this blog—store-branded credit cards, often with a same-day savings pitch. But even if you pay off that purchase the minute you arrive home, it's generally a bad idea:

Do not be enticed to sign up for these cards even if the store gives you 30% off on the day you sign up ... These are different from a cobranded credit card that can be used anywhere. An example of a co-branded credit card is the Costco Amex Card, which can be used outside of Costco. Co-branded cards generally have better rates and better internal controls than store specific cards.

As noted by BankRate.com, each store card opened automatically knocks 20 points off your credit score, making a discount on one sweater not as appealing. Hit the link for five more items to keep your distance from.

Six Horrible Financial Products You Should Avoid

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US-centric: After just four weeks of their public beta, financial management web site Mint is already boasting over 50,000 members and managing over $2 billion of their money, and early next week Mint is launching several new features intended to improve its already impressive all-in-one money management tool. There's no question that this snazzy web application deserves of much of its hype, but is it ready for your money?