Credit Scores

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Article: Can The Credit Scoring System Be Fixed?

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I was thinking about this question recently for two reasons: 1) the $23 million fine that CFPB handed down to a few credit reporting agencies for deceptive marketing around credit scores and 2) As fewer millennials choose credit compared to debit, the number of credit invisibles increase. So, what can we learn from this article from the Atlantic (approximately 10 minutes in length)?

My notes:

  • Chicken or the egg problem with credit: “If you think about the credit-invisible population in this country, their ability to enter the financial mainstream and access affordable credit instead of payday lenders and pawnshops and check-cashing services is tied to what’s in their credit report,” says Michael Turner, the president of the Policy and Economic Research Council. “They’re caught in the credit catch-22: In order to qualify for credit you have to have already had credit.”
By |January 16th, 2017|Article, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, WebQuest|

In My Personal Finance Life: Want A FICO Score With That Free Credit Report?

It’s a new year which makes it a good time to review your credit report. I went to, answered a few questions to verify my identity and proceeded to my credit report. As I completed my review, I couldn’t help but notice the offer about getting my credit score (can you say cross-selling opportunity?). When I clicked on the button…

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What’s the catch?

By |January 15th, 2017|Advertising, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Current Events, Research|

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Retired Bankruptcy Judge John Ninfo About His Passion For Financial Literacy


What does a retired bankruptcy judge do to fill his “golden years?” If you are Hon. John Ninfo, you write a weekly column and visit hundreds of classrooms in upstate New York to teach young people about what it means to be financially responsible. If that isn’t enough, he also created a non-profit, Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE), to bring bankruptcy professionals into classrooms throughout the U.S. to share their experiences. Storytelling has an important place in the personal finance classroom (it is personal after all!) and John’s years on the bench in western New York provide him with lots of material to share about the causes of financial distress. In this podcast, you will also hear from the CARE team of Anna Flores and Ian Redman about how you can bring CARE to your classroom. Enjoy!


Chart: Why Do Credit Scores Matter When Applying for A Loan?

From Sarah Tavel of Greylock Partners presentation on “Saving People Money”:



Question: What’s the Difference Between Debit And Credit Cards?

Students are often confused about this distinction between debit and credit cards. Here are some resources that help show the ways in which they differ:

Chart: What’s the Cost of Having A Low Credit Score?

Answer: Tens of thousands of dollars when looking at long-term loans like mortgages.

Great chart recently released by (hat tip Motley Fool) demonstrates how current interest rates on mortgages vary based on credit scores:


Here’s a quick mini-activity for students to see how much a low credit score could cost them:

Question: What Percentage of Young People Are Being Declined for Credit?


Answer: About 1 in 5 between the ages of 23 and 27. 

Hat tip to Laura Matchett of NGPF for pointing out this informative Forbes article. As for the reasons why they are being rejected:

Infographic: All You Need To Know About Credit Scores!

Hat tip to Laura Matchett of NGPF for pointing out this awesome infographic from that explains the importance of having a good credit score by demonstrating how the cost of a home loan, auto loan, insurance and credit card interest rates varies based on these three digits. Just projecting this image on a screen (or maybe using as a handout because of the small print) could lead to a great discussion about credit scores: