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Love and Debt: Why you need to talk about money

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

Create a plan to deal with medical debt

Options for Higher Education

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

Q. I recently heard that credit bureaus will no longer be reporting judgements and that this will increase a person’s credit score. I’m looking to boost my credit score so I can get a better rate on a car loan. Can you tell me what to expect? 

A. It is true that a change when into effect in July that will affect credit scores. The three national credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) stopped reporting certain negative information on civil judgments and tax liens. A civil judgment is when the court awards monetary damages against a losing party in a civil dispute, while a tax lien is placed on a property or business when a person fails to pay his or her taxes.

Civil judgments and tax liens previously had a negative effect on a person’s credit scores. Still, the majority of people will not see a change in their credit score based on the new changes. As for whether or not you will be offered better interest rates when you buy a car, this depends on what your scores were before and what, if any, change will affect your score.

There’s a little more to consider when it comes to loan rates. Lenders lend money to be repaid with interest.  They are not in business to make loans that do not get repaid. Each lender has their own policies and standards on how they calculate the interest rates, and there is no standard that every lender must follow.  Having a certain credit score does not guarantee you the same interest rate or the same loan with every lender.

In addition to looking at your credit scores, lenders will also take into account your ability to repay a loan, whether or not you have collateral and the value of that collateral. If lenders experience too many losses, they will modify the rates they offer and change their qualifying guidelines.

If you have a civil judgment or tax lien filed against you, it may no longer appear on your credit report, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t have to pay what you owe. So if you apply for more credit because you believe your credit score has increased, you need to be sure you can make the payment on the new loan in addition to paying your civil judgement and tax lien. You do not want to put yourself in a situation where you are unable to make your payments.

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.