Bev O'Shea is a former NerdWallet authority on consumer credit, scams and identity theft. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Auburn University and a master's in education from Georgia State University. Before coming to NerdWallet, she worked for daily newspapers, MSN Money and Credit.com. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, MarketWatch, USA Today, MSN Money and elsewhere. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea.
The latest from Bev
Is Your Credit Disaster-Ready?
Planning ahead not only positions you to recover, it also helps shore up your finances. Your effort will not be wasted.
Does Getting Married Affect Your Credit?
Spouses’ credit scores and credit histories stay separate, but you can work together to build strong finances.
When Is Your Credit Score High Enough?
Practicing healthy credit habits is better than worrying about the perfect score.
Does Divorce Show Up on My Credit Report?
Your marital status is not part of your credit history. But it's wise to check your credit reports before and after a divorce.
What Is a Thin Credit File?
Having fewer than four accounts on your credit reports means you have a thin file, which can affect your score.
Why Do I Have So Many Credit Scores?
The two major credit score companies have several models and use data from three credit bureaus. But all those credit scores will respond to the same good habits.
Why Did My Credit Score Drop? 9 Possible Reasons
Heavy credit card use, a missed payment or a flurry of credit applications could account for a credit score drop.
What Is the Average Credit Score?
The average U.S. credit score is 716 for the FICO 8 score and 695 for the VantageScore 3.0.
How Often Should You Check Your Credit Reports?
Check your credit reports frequently to track your credit health and catch signs of trouble early.
Does Getting Denied for a Credit Card Hurt Your Score?
A rejection doesn’t hurt your score. But your score may drop when you apply for a card, even if you're approved.
How I Ditched Debt: ‘We Have Choices Again’
Their finances started to skid with a job loss in 2009. Despite mistakes along the way, they climbed out of high-interest debt and are now on solid footing.
Will Refinancing a Car Hurt Your Credit?
Refinancing a car can hurt your credit temporarily, but your score should bounce back.
Does Closing a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?
Closing a credit card might hurt your credit score, especially if it’s an older card with a high credit limit.