Credit Scores: What You Need to Know

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension,

If credit reports are like receiving a “report card” in school, credit scores are similar to a grade point average. They are a three-digit number, ranging from 300 (lowest) to 850 (highest), used to measure the risk that borrowers will become delinquent or default on their debt obligations. Credit scores are based upon information contained within credit reports. Thus, consumers will likely have different credit scores from each of the three major …

What You Need to Know About Your Credit Report

Man looking at his credit report

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension,

Remember those report cards that told you (and your parents!) how you were doing in school? Maybe you thought those days were over, but they’re not. Every day, millions of people are “graded” with credit reports. The better your “grade,” the better your chances of obtaining a loan or credit card and obtaining lower-cost credit that can save thousands of dollars of interest. Credit information is also used in setting rates for …

Credit Card Rules for Young Adults

Credit Card Rules for Young Adults

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension,

teen with packages

There was a time, up until February 22, 2010, when college students and other young adults under age 21 were “easy targets” for credit card offers. In exchange for inexpensive freebies, such as T-shirts, pizza, hats, and highlighters, young adults were actively (and often aggressively!) sought after to sign up for credit cards. “Plastic for pizza” (or some other incentive) was widely practiced. Not anymore.

As …



What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a proceeding in a federal court in which a debtor who owes more than his or her assets can receive debt relief by transferring his or her assets to a trustee or agreeing to reorganization of assets and liabilities. Usually, at least two years must elapse from the discharge of the bankruptcy before lenders will consider making a loan to someone who has declared bankruptcy.

When is Bankruptcy an Answer?

Bankruptcy may be an answer …


Credit Cards

Welcome to PowerPay: PowerPay is a system designed to help you eliminate debt in the fastest possible way. PowerPay works when you are willing to:

  • Make a commitment to stop borrowing or buying with credit.
  • Systematically pay off debts.
  • Absolve each debt and continue to apply that debt payment to the next debt obligation.

Total monthly payments don’t change, but the distribution of those payments changes and the overall debt will generally be retired sooner and with considerable savings to …

Financial Security: Consumer Credit

Credit can be a successful financial management tool. Using credit allows you flexibility in managing your budget to purchase goods and services when they are needed the most, not when you have the cash on hand to pay for them. You are offered credit because people trust you to repay them within a stated period of time.

Example of credit cards, (c)
“Credit Cards” by, CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Consumer credit takes many forms, including installment loans, credit cards, department store revolving charge accounts, home …