The Health Of Our Credit Scores

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What’s in your credit score? Millions will get a bump next month. We’ll look at why, and at Google's anti-trust troubles in Europe.

When was the last time you checked your credit score? (Pixabay)
When was the last time you checked your credit score? (Pixabay)

Heads up. American consumer debt has reached a new all-time high. $12.7 trillion. Higher than at the height of the credit bubble in 2008. And this week, word that our credit scorekeepers are loosening the way they keep score. Bumping up the scores of maybe 12 million people. What’s in that score matters for individuals and households. It may steer the way you live and borrow. This hour On Point: American consumer debt now, and what’s in your credit score? -- Tom Ashbrook


Liz Weston, columnist at NerdWallet. Certified financial planner. Author of five books, including the best-selling "Your Credit Score." (@lizweston)

Mechele Dickerson, professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where she studies consumer debt. Author of "Homeownership and America’s Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescriptions." (@amdickerson)

Klint Finley, reporter for WIRED. (@klintron)

From Tom's Reading List

New York Times: Your Credit Score May Soon Look Better — "About 12 million people will get a lift in their credit scores next month as the national credit reporting agencies wipe from their records two major sources of negative information about borrowers: tax liens and civil judgments. The change stems from a lengthy crusade by consumer advocates and government officials to force the credit bureaus to improve the accuracy of their reports, which are often speckled with errors and outdated information. Those mistakes can limit borrowers’ access to credit cards, auto loans and mortgages, or saddle them with higher borrowing costs."

NerdWallet: 2016 American Household Credit Card Debt Study — "Debt is a way of life for Americans, with overall U.S. household debt increasing by 11% in the past decade. Today, the average household with credit card debt has balances totaling $16,425, and the average household with any kind of debt owes $135,924, including mortgages."

WIRED: Google's Big EU Fine Isn't Just About The Money — "Today the EU's executive branch, the European Commission, also ordered Google to change the way it displays search results from its online shopping tool. When you search for a product, Google has long shown results from Google Shopping in a box that floats above its regular search results. The commission ruled that this preferential treatment of its own content is illegal and anti-competitive."

How To Build, Rebuild And Protect Your Credit Scores

This program aired on June 28, 2017.


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