What ‘So Money’ Host Farnoosh Torabi Wants You to Know About Credit Scores

Do you know your credit score?

Better question: Are you sick of hearing us tell you over and over how important it is to check your credit report and know your credit score?

It may seem like we’re beating a dead horse, but the truth is, you can’t ball on a 450 credit score, and we’re committed to putting more money in your pocket so that you can be the baller you’re meant to be.

A survey released by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore suggests the advice is working. The percentage of respondents who said they’ve obtained their credit scores in the past year rose from 49% in 2014 to 57% in 2018.

Credit expert Farnoosh Torabi, who hosts the “So Money” podcast, says she isn’t surprised.

“There’s been momentum building ever since the recession,” she told The Penny Hoarder.

News coverage of rising interest rates impacts lending, which trickles down into people’s credit lives and wallets.

Another aspect fueling the rise is easy access to credit scores.

“I’ve been covering personal finance for all of my career, and back in the late ’90s and early 2000s, there was no go-to place to get your credit score as a consumer,” Torabi said. “But now, there are more ways to access it.”

Great, You Know Your Credit Score. Now What?

Knowing your credit score is nice and all, but it means very little if you don’t do anything about it.

But you all are doing something about it.

The number of people who’ve checked their credit score has increased, and so has the number of people taking steps to increase their scores, according to year-over-year findings from Chase Slate’s 2017 credit outlook survey.

These steps include paying off debt, keeping credit usage low and making an effort to pay down credit statements in full.

We can all agree it’s easier to take the initial steps to improve your finances when you know what’s going on and exactly what you need to do.

A Lot of People Are Still Confused About Credit

The Consumer Federation study showed large majorities could correctly identify three key factors used to calculate credit scores:

  • Missed payments, 86%
  • High credit card balances, 81%
  • Personal bankruptcy, 79%

But significant minorities incorrectly thought that age (41%) and marital status (38%) are used in this calculation.

“Some people think the older they are, the better their credit score will be,” Torabi said. “I think they confuse that with the length of their credit history.”

A lot of people also incorrectly believed tax liens (64%), medical collection accounts less than 6 months old (62%) and civil judgments (63%) are used to compute credit scores.

Most people knew steps to take to improve your credit score, but little more than half (56%) knew all of them.

Here’s Why Credit Scores Are So Important

“Largely we think of credit scores and their ties to qualifying for homes, loans and credit cards, but there’s other stuff, too,” Torabi said. “I think if [people] knew the extent to which [their] credit score actually makes an impact, it would make people more interested to see what their credit score is, and learn how to improve it.”

When you sign up for cable plans or insurance, providers will often do a credit check to make sure you’re paying your other bills on time. And if you’re renting, landlords and property managers will also run a credit check and review your credit score.

But the biggest reason to know your score has nothing to do with what you want to do in the future. It’s all about what you’ve done — or rather, haven’t done — in the past.

Credit reporting mistakes and identity theft are common occurrences, and they’re not going away anytime soon.

So even if you’re not planning on buying a house, financing a car, or opening a credit card in the near future, it’s still super important to know your credit score and monitor your credit report.

At The Penny Hoarder, we publish no shortage of articles telling you why you should check your credit score, how to improve your credit score and how amazing life has gotten since so-and-so raised their credit score.

Maintaining healthy credit is just like maintaining a healthy body.

“If you’re trying to stay healthy in your physical life, you should get on that scale and face that number, as hard as it can be,” Torabi said. “Numbers don’t lie. [Your credit score] will give you the honest truth, and from there, you can improve.”

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money saving and debt payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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4 Essential Tips On How to Improve Credit Scores In 2018

If you have a credit score that you are not proud of then you are not alone. According to Experian, approximately 1/3 of Americans have a “not so good” credit score. In fact we take our credit and credit cards so seriously, one report says more than 7 million Americans have hidden a bank or credit card account from their spouse or partner. This breaks down to approximately 4.4 million men and 2.8 million women. And if you fall in that number of Americans with poor or fair credit, don’t be alarmed. Here are four tips that are not outdated, on how to improve your credit score.

1. Check your credit annually

First, it is important to see what is actually on your credit report. Keep in mind, you don’t have to pay for a copy of your credit report but you can obtain a free copy of all three reports at annualcreditreport.com. However, in order to receive your credit score, you may have to pay a nominal fee. Taking time to review your reports is essential. Determine if there are any inaccuracies and if so dispute! This way, negative reporting items could possibly be removed, thus maximizing your overall credit score.

2. Add the positives to your credit score

If you review your credit report and find that an account in good standing has not been reported, take action! In some cases, there may be instances where an account that can actually help boost your credit score was omitted from your report. Consider contacting the creditor and request the information is added. Doing so can also help improve your overall credit score.

3. Use a credit calculator

If you are thinking of making changes to your credit situation, consider using an online calculator first. Credit Karma has a cool calculator to answer “what if” scenarios, such as:

What if I pay off a credit card?
What happens if I increase my line of credit?
What changes will be made to my score if I charge on my credit card?
How many points will my score decrease if I miss a payment?

4. Pay down balances

It also essential to have an understanding of what comprises your credit score. Amounts owed and payment history comprise 65% of your credit score! So with that being said, it is not only important to make certain you make timely payments but it is also essential to be mindful of your credit utilization.

So what does that mean? If you have a credit line of $ 1,000 and used $ 600 of your available credit, your credit utilization is 60%! Not a good idea. Using 30% or less of your credit lines can help improve your credit score.

Lastly, remember, you can boost your credit score yourself. You don’t have to pay tons of money to get your credit together! Don’t be discouraged, keep pressing and keep pushing and one day you will have a score that works best for you!


The post 4 Essential Tips On How to Improve Credit Scores In 2018 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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France’s 2017 Box Office Scores Third-Biggest in 50 Years

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Steve Harvey Scores Two Daytime Emmy Awards

Steve Harvey

Actor, comic, and media personality Steve Harvey added two more Emmy wins to his portfolio on Sunday at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Harvey took home the Outstanding Game Show Host award for hosting Family Feud along with the Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host Emmy for his syndicated talk show, Steve Harvey. The veteran comedian, however, was not present to receive the awards in person during the live taping, which took place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California.

In addition to hosting those two Emmy-winning shows, Harvey also hosts a string of other programs. The star-studded version of his hit game show, Celebrity Family Feud, will debut on June 11 on ABC and feature stars such as Amy Schumer and George Lopez. Harvey’s own family members are also set to make an appearance on the show, reports TV Insider.

Ironically, his new reality competition, titled Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, will premiere on the same exact day and station. On the show, up-and-coming entrepreneurs will go head-to-head to compete for funding for their business, which will be determined by a live studio audience.

Meanwhile, the Little Big Shots spinoff, Little Big Shots: Forever Young, will premiere on NBC on June 21. Rather than showcase talented children, Harvey will conduct his signature couch interviews with senior citizens with unique talents and big personalities. Just like the original series, Harvey has teamed up with Ellen DeGeneres to executive produce the series.

And, if you still can’t get enough of the original king of comedy, you can also catch him emceeing the upcoming season of Showtime at the Apollo. Harvey will host the legendary music and comic showcase, which has been picked up by Fox, in a weekly series.



Selena HillSelena Hill is the Associate Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and the founder of Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can hear Hill and her team talk millennial politics and social issues every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @MsSelenaHill.


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8 Movie Scores We’ll Still Listen To In 2015

For people who love movie scores — these are real people, we assure you — last year was a peak time. From Steven Price’s Oscar-winning “Gravity” score to smaller ones from Joel P. West (“Short Term 12”) and Graham Reynolds (“Before Midnight”), 2013’s movie scores had a cue for every mood.

Not so this year. The most memorable moments in “Wild,” “Boyhood,” “Whiplash,” “Obvious Child,” “Selma,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The LEGO Movie,” “The Interview” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” to name a few, came accompanied with either an existing track or original song (everything is awesome, you crazy “LEGO Movie”). Which is great for people who also love movie soundtracks — guilty! — but less so for score fans. Sure, Antonio Sanchez’s “Birdman” score is fantastic within the framework of the film, but would anyone want to listen to it during a random Tuesday commute?

With that in mind, here are the eight movie scores released this year that profile as having longevity — aka each will have a permanent home on our HuffPost Entertainment Spotify playlist of movie scores.

Alexandre Desplat, “Godzilla”

No one had a better year than Alexandre Desplat, who wrote three of the year’s most memorable scores (and also the ones for “The Monuments Men” and “Unbroken”). His “Godzilla” theme was so damn loud that even the title has an exclamation mark. Let them fight.

Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”

Desplat’s score for “The Imitation Game” isn’t necessarily deep, but the main theme is as Oscar-friendly as the film itself. It’s the type of track you’d expect to hear play as Benedict Cumberbatch walks up to accept his Academy Award.

Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

There’s that news van again. Desplat’s score for Wes Anderson’s latest film is gave millennials their very own “Third Man” theme.

Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”

Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar” score was no “Inception” (or even “Rush” or “Man of Steel”), but it was haunting and big. If we ever fall into a wormhole, this is what we’ll be thinking about.

Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”

Similar to “The Imitation Game,” Johann Johannsson’s score for “The Theory of Everything” feels expressly written to win Oscars. But who cares when the theme is as beautiful as this?

Alex Ebert, “A Most Violent Year”

Alex Ebert, he of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros fame, wrote 1981’s best John Carpenter score.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl”

The year’s best onscreen moment? We’ll take the Cool Girl montage in “Gone Girl” over many other worthy contenders for one reason alone: this above track, written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Jonny Greenwood, “Inherent Vice”

Working with Paul Thomas Anderson again after “There Will Be Blood” and “The Master,” Jonny Greenwood’s noir-y “Inherent Vice” score sounds like something Bernard Herrmann would like. But then it’s also beautiful and wistful. The above track, “Amethyst,” which plays during the film’s sweetest scene, being a prime example of its power.

BONUS: Nick Thorburn, “Serial”

It wasn’t a movie, but in addition to being one of the year’s most satisfying stories, “Serial” had the most infectious theme. Sorry, Desplat.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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