Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future

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FT Press, Nov 18, 2011 - Business & Economics - 218 pages
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Today, a good credit score is essential for getting decent terms on credit--or for getting credit at all. But that's just the beginning: Your credit score rating can be reviewed by everyone from employers to cell phone carriers. Now, MSNBC/L.A. Times journalist Liz Weston has thoroughly updated her best-selling guide to credit scores, with crucial new information for protecting (or rebuilding) yours. Your Credit Score, Fourth Edition thoroughly covers brand-new laws changing everything from how your credit score can be used to how you can communicate with collectors. This edition also adds simple graphics revealing exactly how much skipped payments, bankruptcies, and other actions will lower your credit ratings, and how long it takes to rebound. You'll find new information on "FAKO" alternative scores, expanded coverage of short sales, foreclosures, the new FICO 8 Mortgage Score, and when to "walk away" from a mortgage. Learn how to protect yourself against new credit risks from social networking and mobile banking and how to safeguard against unethical or illegal use of credit scores by employers. Weston updates her expert guidance on using FICO 08 to raise your score, fighting lower limits and higher rates, maintaining the right mix of cards and balances, bouncing back from bad credit, choosing credit "solutions" that help, not hurt… and much more!


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1 Why Your Credit Score Matters
2 How Credit Scoring Works
3 FICO Versus FAKOCompetitors to the Leading Score
4 Improving Your ScoreThe Right Way
5 CreditScoring Myths
6 Coping with a Credit Crisis
7 Rebuilding Your Score After a Credit Disaster
8 Identity Theft and Your Credit
9 Emergency Fixing Your Credit Score Fast
10 Insurance and Your Credit Score
11 Can Bad Credit Cost You a Job?
12 Keeping Your Score Healthy

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About the author (2011)

Liz Weston is a personal finance columnist whose twice-weekly columns for MSN Money reach more than 10 million people each month. She writes a money column, "My Two Cents," for AARP the Magazine, the largest circulation magazine in the world with 22 million subscribers, and authors the question-and-answer column "Money Talk," which appears in theLos Angeles Times and other newspapers throughout the country.

Liz is a regular commentator on American Public Media's Marketplace Money and has contributed to NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and "All Things Considered." She has appeared on Dr. Phil, Today Show, and NBC Nightly News, and was for several years a weekly commentator on CNBC's Power Lunch.

Her advice on credit and finance has been featured in Consumer Reports, Marie Claire, Parents, Real Simple, Woman's World, Woman's Day, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, and many other publications.

Formerly a personal finance writer for the Los Angeles Times, Weston has won numerous reporting awards, including the 2010 Betty Furness Consumer Media Award by the Consumer Federation of America, designed to honor individuals who have made "exceptional progress in American consumerism."

Her other books include The 10 Commandments of Money, which the New York Times praised as "a wonderful basic personal finance book...[with] enough counterintuitive ideas to keep even people who know a bit about personal finance reading further." She is also the author of Deal with Your Debt and Easy Money, both published by Pearson.

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,

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