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Columnist Kim McGrigg

Kim McGrigg

Kim writes the Credit Care column for CreditCards.com, answering one reader's question each week on a variety of credit-related topics.

She is the community manager for Money Management International, the largest nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency in the United States. You can find more money management advice on Blogging for Change and MMI's Facebook page.

Kim McGrigg's stories at CreditCards.com

Kim McGrigg: Old accounts in good standing won't hurt your credit score -- Don't worry about removing old card accounts from your credit report, as long as the cards were in good standing when they were closed ... (See Credit report)

Kim McGrigg: Be wary of getting more credit when student loan comes due -- With a $14,000 student loan coming due soon, a reader wonders if getting a new department store credit card was a bad move. Our expert's answer: It depends. ... (See Credit cards and student loans)

Kim McGrigg: Bad credit and living on disability: Is a new home out of reach? -- A new home may not be out of reach just because you have bad credit and live on disability payments, our expert says. But don't expect it to come easily either ... (See Bad credit and mortgages)

Kim McGrigg: Can you apply for credit after Chapter 13 bankruptcy? -- Even if you just want to use it for emergencies, a new credit card can be hard to get following Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, you may have options ... (See Chapter 13 and new credit)

Kim McGrigg: What to do when collectors pursue your time-barred debt -- Your debt may be really old, but that may not stop debt collectors from trying to get you to pay. Our expert lays out what to do if this happens to you ... (See Time-barred debt)

Kim McGrigg: How to cope with massive family credit card fraud -- When family members commit fraud against you, it can be devastating. Our expert lays out what your options are ... (See Family credit card fraud)

Kim McGrigg: Yes, your card payment can be rejected if it's too small -- It may be shocking, but a credit card issuer can refuse to accept your payment if the amount is smaller than the minimum that you owe ... (See Minimum payments)

Removing yourself from shared card account may be tough -- Want to get your name off one of your credit cards? How easy or hard it is will depend on whether you're a joint account holder or merely an authorized user ... (See Removing yourself from a card)

Kim McGrigg: How late can a payment be before it dings your credit? -- If you're just a few days late with your credit card payment, will it show up on your credit report? Maybe. It depends on your card issuer's policy, says our expert ... (See Late payments)

Kim McGrigg:Mortgage trumps title when it comes to foreclosures, credit -- Your name may no longer be on the title of your foreclosed house. But, our expert says, if it's still on the mortgage loan, there's still going to be a black mark on your credit ... (See Foreclosures and credit)

Kim McGrigg: How to prioritize debt payments when your income falls -- It's all too common these days: A down-on-his-luck cardholder struggling to make ends meet confronts more bills than he can pay, and needs help prioritizing them ... (See How to prioritize debt)

Kim McGrigg: Your credit card agreement trumps your divorce decree -- Even if your divorce decree says your ex takes responsibility for all your joint debts, it may not matter. That's because your credit card agreement takes precedent over your decree ... (See Debt and divorce)

Kim McGrigg: How to eliminate card debt without hurting your credit -- It's a common question: When you've paid a card off, should you close it? Our expert tells a confused reader what the choice would be for her credit ... (See Debt and credit scores)

Kim McGrigg: New rules force banks to protect funds from garnishment -- At least part of Social Security income is protected from wage garnishment, and a new rule means banks must take steps to safeguard it ... (See Garnishment rule)

Kim McGrigg: Can't pay your debts? Why you should still care about your credit -- As appealing as it may seem to put your fingers in your ears and not worry about debt, there are lots of reasons that's unwise ... (See I can't pay and I don't care)

Kim McGrigg: Are you liable for your late spouse's card debt? -- The death of a spouse can bring with it many financial questions, including whether you are liable for paying his or her debts. The answer, sadly, isn't so simple ... (See Debt and death)

Kim McGrigg: Don't worry if resold loan appears twice on credit report -- The same loan may appear multiple times on your credit report -- once with the original lender and again with the collector -- but it only impacts your credit once ... (See Credit report)

Kim McGrigg: How much can a debt collector take from your paycheck? -- If you have a written deal with a debt collector to withdraw a set monthly amount from your bank account, the collector can't take a penny more. If he does, spring into action ... (See Debt collected from your pay)

Kim McGrigg: Paying more than the minimum must decrease your credit card balance -- A reader is frustrated that the portion of her credit card debt with a high interest rate doesn't seem to be falling, even though she pays more than the minimum ... (See Credit card debt)

Kim McGrigg: Declared bankruptcy? You can still be an authorized user -- A reader wonders if he can still be listed as an authorized user on his wife's credit card account if he declares bankruptcy ... (See Credit after bankruptcy)

Kim McGrigg: Bank must shield your Social Security money from garnishment -- A reader's bank account, which only contains Social Security funds, has a levy against it. Our expert says a new law requires bank to make sure those funds aren't touched ... (See Social Security funds)

Where to get alternative, specialty free credit reports -- Specialty credit bureaus collect consumer data on such things as rental history, insurance claims and checking accounts, and they're required to provide consumers a free report annually ... (See Specialty credit reports)

Kim McGrigg: How to revive your credit score after foreclosure -- A reader who recently suffered a foreclosure wonders how she can raise her FICO score and how long she'll have to wait to get her next mortgage ... (See Credit after foreclosure)

Kim McGrigg: To raise credit score, pay delinquent debt? Or declare bankruptcy? -- A reader so deep in debt she's weighing bankruptcy wonders how to get good credit in a year. Years plural, says our expert. ... (See Bankruptcy)

Kim McGrigg: Will card debt hold up my Australian visa? -- A reader ran up credit card debt in Australia, left, and now wants to move back. Will the debt jeopardize his return? ... (See Card debt and visas)

Kim McGrigg: Debunking a myth about wage garnishment and student loans -- A reader who defaulted on her student loan has heard that paying any amount of money on a debt can help stave off wage garnishment. Our expert debunks the myth ... (See Student loans)

Kim McGrigg: How to protect yourself from email phishing attacks -- Scammers are after your personal information. Armed with these tips, you won't make it easy on them ... (See Fend off phishing)

How to rent property when you have bad credit -- A frustrated reader keeps getting rejected when applying to rent property. Our expert tells him to improve his score -- and how to land a place now with his current bad credit ... (See Renting with bad credit)

Kim McGrigg: Replacing lost credit cards won't impact credit score -- A reader worries that his credit will take a hit when he replaces credit cards that he recently lost. Our expert says he need not worry ... (See Lost credit cards)

Kim McGrigg: Debt on his late mother's credit card haunts son -- He was only an authorized user on his late mother's card, but a mistake lays his mother's charged-off debt at his feet, hurting his credit score ... (See Authorized user)

Kim McGrigg: Why families shouldn't share credit accounts -- An adult daughter who shared a credit card with her mother wonders if she is liable for the $10,000 balance on the account ... (See Family credit cards)

Kim McGrigg: Are 'free miles' really free? -- Frequent flier rewards cards usually carry annual fees, so that free flight isn't truly free, but if you handle your card right it can be pretty close ... (See Frequent flier)

Kim McGrigg: Good credit no longer wins automatic credit limit increases -- Today, with credit card lenders still skittish, even good payment history may not win an easy credit limit increase ... (See Credit limit increase)


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