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ICFE eNEWS #17-13 - April 3rd 2017

Ask Mr G's "How Credit Savvy Are You?"

By Jim Garnett, a/k/a Ask Mr.G, a member of the ICFE's Board of Educational Advisors

  1. T or F Using credit can create the illusion that you are living within your means even if you are presently spending more than you make.
  2. T or F Late payments are no big deal because the average lender allows two late payments per year before reporting it to the credit bureau.
  3. T or F A debit card deducts the amount of your purchase from your checking account immediately.
  4. T or F You can "opt out" of having a credit report if you prefer not to have one.
  5. T or F A good rule of thumb to follow is "having access to buy, means you can afford to buy."
  6. T or F Your payment history is the greatest determination in figuring your credit score.
  7. T or F Bad credit cannot affect your ability to get a job.
  8. T or F To build good credit, make a small monthly purchase on your credit card and pay the balance off when the statement comes.
  9. T or F Your credit score is lowered each time you check your credit report yourself.
  10. T or F When you use a credit card, you are borrowing money, not spending money.
  11. T or F The rate of interest you pay is determined solely by how much money you make.
  12. T or F "AnnualCreditReport.com" enables you to secure your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year.
  13. T or F A judgment remains on your credit report for up to 3 years, then it falls off.
  14. T or F Landlords often check the credit histories of those making application to rent.
  15. T or F If you faithfully pay off your credit card balance every month, the interest rate is not an issue.


(1) True. To find out if you are really living within your means, put your credit cards in a drawer for 2 months and do not use them.

(2) False. Every late payment is reported on your credit history and lowers your credit score significantly.

(3) True. You must therefore have enough money in your checking account to cover the expense.

(4) False. Beginning at age 18, every use of credit will be reported on your credit report, like it or not.

(5) False. We have access to buy much more than we could ever afford.

(6) True. Payment history comprises 35% of your credit score.

(7) True. Employers will check the credit reports of most potential employees. A bad credit history can result in problem situations that carry over to work.

(8) True. Lenders are primarily concerned that you make payments on time.

(9) False. It does not hurt your credit score to check your own credit report.

(10) True. Using a credit card is a similar transaction to taking out a loan.

(11) False. Your rate of interest is basically determined by your credit history, not your income.

(12) True. This is the only place to acquire a free credit report annually, no strings attached.

(13) False. Judgments remain on your credit report for 10 years, and if re-executed by the lender each cycle, can remain an unlimited time.

(14) True. The way you have paid your bills in the past is a predictor of how you will pay your bills in the future.

(15) True. If you pay off the statement balance each month, you will not incur finance charges, so it does not matter the rate of interest.

Correct Answers

15-14 - Good job! You will avoid most credit pitfalls.
13-11 - You will be ok in most credit situations but proceed with caution.
10-6 - You are in great danger of making some big credit mistakes. Educate yourself.
5-0 - Stick to cash transactions.

Ask Mr. G
Jim Garnett, The Debt Doctor
AskMrG Consulting, LLC
2216 SW 35th Street
Ankeny, IA 50023

Paul S Richard PhotoICFE eNEWS is available FREE upon request by visiting our Web site and filling out the contact form, and selecting "Yes" for "Add to Mailing List. Please pass this eNEWS on to your peers and interested others and invite them to subscribe for free. Also, visit the ICFE's new Web site: StudentDebtHelp.org

Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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