Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Valuable book scores in more ways than one
on May 30, 2009
This updated edition (there's an updated Introduction, several references to the current credit and banking crisis, and an explanation of FICO 08, the new version of FICO) of YOUR CREDIT SCORE, YOUR MONEY & WHAT'S AT STAKE turned out to be a lot more valuable to me than I thought. I had a good idea of what went into making one's FICO credit score, but this book debunked a few important myths I believed. As Liz Pulliam Weston explains in the first chapter, "Why Your Credit Score Matters," even a little ignorance about how to make your score higher can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in higher interest payments over the course of a lifetime.
For example, paying your credit card balances in full each month, while a money-saving good idea, has no bearing on your score. What matters is how close your balance is to your credit limit, regardless of whether you pay it in full or not. The biggest myth? That closing accounts will help raise your score. According to Weston, closing accounts will never raise your score and can frequently lower it. There are several other tidbits where those came from!
At the time of this review, the "Search Inside this Book" function is unavailable, so I think it might be helpful to include the chapter listings:
1 - Why Your Credit Score Matters
2 - How Credit Scoring Works
3 - VantageScore - A Revolution or Just More of the Same?
4 - Improving Your Score - The Right Way
5 - Credit-Scoring Myths
6 - Coping with a Credit Crisis
7 - Rebuilding Your Score After a Credit Disaster
8 - Identify Theft and Your Credit
9 - Emergency! Fixing Your Credit Score Fast
10 - Insurance and Your Credit Score
11 - Keeping Your Score Healthy
While not all of the chapters were useful to my situation, and a lot of the information was known to me, I learned something useful in almost every one. I found the chapter about Insurance (how and why insurers base rates on your credit score) to be especially educational.
I got a LOT of use out of this book. It is clearly written and a quick read. It's hard to overestimate how important a person's credit score is to his or her financial life. Highly recommended.