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Your Credit Score: How to Fix, Improve, and Protect the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition

28 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132254588
ISBN-10: 0132254581
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Editorial Reviews


"A great credit score can help you finish rich! Liz Pulliam Weston gives solid, easy-to-understand advice about how to improve your credit fast. Read this book and prosper.”  --David Bach, bestselling author of The Automatic Millionaire and The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner

From the Back Cover

"Excellent book! Insightful, well written, and surprisingly interesting! Liz Pulliam Weston has done an outstanding job demystifying an often intimidating and frustrating topic for the benefit of all consumers."

–Eric Tyson, syndicated columnist and best-selling author of Personal Finance for Dummies

"In a country where consumers increasingly pay more when they have bad credit, Liz Pulliam Weston's book provides excellent tips and advice on ways to improve your credit history and raise your credit score. If you just apply one or two of her insightful suggestions, you'll save many times the cost of this book."

–Ilyce R. Glink, financial reporter, talk show host, and best-selling author of 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask

"Your credit score can save you money or cost you money–sometimes a lot of money. Yet, most people don't even know their scores, much less know how to make them better. Liz Pulliam Weston can help you fix that. In this easy-to-understand guide you'll learn how to make sure your score helps you get the best deal on loans and insurance. You can't afford not to read it."

–Gerri Detweiler, consumer advocate and founder of

A complete action plan for improving your credit score–starting today!

Information that could save you thousands on credit and insurance... even help you get your next job!

Explains the rules, explodes the myths!

Up-to-the-minute information on today's radically new credit scoring system from MSN/L.A. Times personal finance journalist Liz Pulliam Weston.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 2nd edition (February 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132254581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132254588
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Liz Pulliam Weston is the most-read personal finance columnist on the Internet, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. She's also an award-winning, nationally-syndicated personal finance columnist who can make the most complex money topics understandable to the average reader.

Her first book, "Your Credit Score," is the best-selling book on credit scoring and was recently published in a fourth edition. Her other recent books include "The 10 Commandments of Money" and the ebook "There Are No Dumb Questions About Money."

Liz's columns run twice a week on MSN Money, which reaches more than 12 million readers each month. Millions more read her question-and-answer column 'Money Talk,' which appears in newspapers throughout the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the Portland Oregonian, Stars & Stripes and others.

Liz has appeared on "The Dr. Phil Show," "The Today Show" and "CBS Evening News with Brian Williams" and is frequently featured on American Public Media's "Marketplace Money" and NPR's 'Talk of the Nation' and "All Things Considered." She was for several years a weekly commentator on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

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 her Web site,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
L.A. Times and MSN Money columnist Liz Pulliam Weston knows money and she knows credit, and in this information-packed, no-nonsense book she gives you just about everything you need to know about that "open sesame," that shibboleth of numbers, that Holy Grail of liquidity--your credit score!

First, what is your credit score and why is it important? It's a three digit number ranging from 150 to 950 (p. 16) that creditors use to determine whether you are a good risk. If it is low, they won't lend you any money, meaning you can't buy a car or a boat or a house unless you pay cash; and if it is somewhere in the middle, you'll pay higher interest rates than those with a higher score.

Second, how can you find out what your score is? As Weston explains there are three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion that calculate "real" credit scores (either FICO or NextGen). You can contact them over the Net or by phone (Weston gives addresses and phone numbers), but here's the rub:

"Congress recently did give US residents the right to get free copies of their credit REPORTS annually from each of the three bureaus. But that doesn't include the right to free SCORES; the bureaus can and will continue to charge for those." (p. 25, my emphasis) The point here is that you can get your credit report for free, but they won't tell you the score!

So I checked out some Web sites and found out that they wanted me to sign up for their credit monitoring services after which I would get my score, or I could get the score by itself for a flat fee. Since I found out my score a couple of years ago when I refinanced my house, I declined the offer.
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98 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Eric William on April 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book only restates what the creedit industry wants you to know. It does NOT give you the truth about many aspects of the credit industry that you need to know.

I am not a lawyer, but I have won cases against the three credit reporting agencies. They paid me over $7,000, and it only required $100 of fees on my part. To do this I needed GOOD information -- which I did not get from this book.

The author Liz Pulliam Weston did not do any hard-nosed investigation to write this book. She has taken the credit industry PR, which is NOT an unbiased source.

Most other books start with what Weston provides, and then gives you the other story. What people really need to know about your credit score, how it can be harmed, and how you can get the reporting agancies to fix errors.

With all due respect, please do not buy this book. Look further. There are BETTER books. I suggest you look at the ones written by Privacy Times (a great unbiased book) or any book on credit written by a laywer (there are many on Amazon).
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Compton on February 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book at the Airport, read it on the plane and then immediately ran my FICO - which was a very sorry 521! Using Weston's advice I was able to get to a much more respectable 680 and rising (over a nine-month period)! For the price, it is a much better guide than those kits (including Suzy's) offered on the Internet.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Liz S. on August 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up because I will be writing an in-depth review of it for a website. I spend a lot of time reading about credit scoring, analyzing it and talking to people about it. I might as well just save my time and hand them this book because it does a far better job debunking myths and explaining good and bad practices than I ever could.

She gives excellent background on the credit scoring industry and an outline of approximately how much each of the major categories affect your score (payment history, etc). Since the formulas are proprietary and there are so many of them, no one can say, "Hey, you just applied for 3 credit cards. That'll cost you 15 points!" The fact is that different activities will have different results for different individuals. Factor in the multiple credit scores and multiple revisions of each of those scores and you have yourself a complicated topic to cover.

One of the things I really liked about it is that she definitely approached it from the credit score improvement end rather than the personal finance end. Many times, they mesh perfectly, but sometimes, there is a difference. The specific example I'm thinking of in the book: always pay down your highest-interest debt first. Well, from a personal finance perspective, this is great advice. From a credit scoring perspective, the best approach is to pay down credit lines that are close to their limits since that will take a big hit on your score. I'm glad to see someone finally make the distinction.

Overall, an excellent book with the right approach to improving your credit.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
One of the most critically important aspects of sound financial planning is the establishment and maintenance of a sound credit rating. But sometimes "things happen" that result in damage to a credit rating. In Your Credit Score: How To Fix, Improve, And Protect the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future, personal finance journalist Liz Pulliam Weston provides the reader with a complete and accessible plan for improving a credit score that has been damaged through error, neglect, or debt load. Readers will learn what a FICO score is and why it's so important to their financial well being both short term and long term. Readers will learn how to lighten debt loads, cut credit card rates, review their credit history, improve their credit rating, save money, and employ a credit rating to their best personal and professional advantage. No personal or community library Money/Finance Management reference collection can be considered comprehensive or up-to-date without the inclusion of Liz Weston's Your Credit Score!
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