Todd Ossenfort's "The Credit Guy" columns appear Saturdays on CreditCards.com. Ossenfort has been chief operating officer for Pioneer Credit Counseling since 1998. Pioneer Credit Counseling is a nationwide 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA) since 1997. Ossenfort was elected as a vice president of the FCCA in 1999 and served in that capacity until June 2003 when he was elected as a trustee. He continues to serve as a trustee, and he chairs the FCAA Compliance Committee.
Ossenfort lives in Rapid City, South Dakota, with his wife Laca and has three grown children. He is very active in his local community and served two terms as a Ward 2 city councilman for Rapid City.
Todd Ossenfort's "The Credit Guy" columns on CreditCards.com.
Q&A: Removing myself from credit card I share with my ex -- Removing yourself from a credit card that you've shared with your ex for many years can have mixed effects on your score, depending on the account's standing and payment history ... (See Ex)
Q&A: What to do if you suspect someone opened a card in your name -- If you suspect someone opened a credit card in your name, check your credit reports first. Then you have several options to address the possible consequences of identity theft ... (See ID theft)
Three errors that could cause a 100-point score drop -- Reckless activity on joint credit cards can affect negatively all account holders' scores, regardless of who overspent. ... (See Score drop)
On disability, can't pay card debt: Is garnishment a possibility? -- Disability income is exempt from garnishment by federal law, except in a few cases. But if you receive funds from another source, those might be subject to garnishment. ... (See Disability)
Being authorized user on a maxed-out card: Does it help or hurt score? -- Removing yourself as authorized user from a nearly maxed-out card can have mixed effects on your score, but you should do it and start building credit on your own ... (See User)
Q&A: If I get married, will spouse be responsible for my old card debt? -- If you have old credit card debt, your spouse won't be responsible for it, but a frank conversation about finances with your soon-to-be spouse might be in order ... (See Married)
Q&A: Should I take offer to settle my card debt? -- Taking a settlement offer for a delinquent card might sound like a good option, but it will damage your score. Try to find a way to pay your debt in full instead ... (See Settlement)
Easy ways to use cards to boost score, get a home loan -- Pay bills in full and on time, keep credit utilization low to get best lending terms ... (See Score)
Pay as you charge to boost credit score -- Making several payments throughout the month to keep credit utilization low is a wise strategy to build credit with a low-limit credit card. ... (See Payments)
How quickly can I raise my score after years of inactivity? -- Raising your credit score after years of credit inactivity takes time and consistency. Start by opening a new credit card and using it for daily expenses, like groceries and gas ... (See Inactivity)
Can late payment on one card cause APR hike on another? -- The Credit Card Act of 2009 banned the practice of universal default, but there are some loopholes ... (See Rate hike)
4 options to tackle credit card debt in retirement -- A good credit counselor can help you find the best possible path out of overwhelming credit card debt -- including a debt management plan or even filing bankruptcy. ... (See Debt)
Will I be declined for an installment loan with a fair credit score? -- An installment loan with a low APR could help you pay down high-interest card debt, but it could also damage your score if you are declined. Consider transferring balance to an existing 0-percent card instead. ... (See Loan)
Cancel new card to minimize impact on score -- If you applied for a card offer received in the mail and shortly after you changed your mind, time is of the essence to close the account in order to avoid hurting your score. ... (See New card)
Planning to buy a house soon? Keep unused cards open -- Don't let the issuer close it, especially if you are planning to make significant purchases in the near future. ... (See House)
Can I transfer my own credit card to my partner's name? -- Have an authorized user who charges on your card more than you do? While you can't transfer the card to his name, you still have options, such as transferring any debt he may owe to a new or existing card in his name. ... (See Transfer)
Side gig can be best debt-payoff option -- Taking on a part-time job to pay down thousands of dollars in credit card debt is smart; make the best of it by carefully considering your payment options. ... (See Side gig)
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