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
Should You Use a Credit Repair Service?
Credit repair services address errors that could be hurting your score, but you can do the same things for free.
Identity Theft: What It Is, How to Prevent It, Warning Signs and Tips
ID theft is when someone illegally poses as you, usually to get money. Know these warning signs and prevention tips.
What Is a Debt Management Plan?
A debt management plan groups several credit card debts into one payment, cuts your interest rate and creates a 3- to 5-year repayment plan.
What Is a Bad Credit Score? How Can I Build It?
A bad credit score is usually below 630 on a scale of 300-850. You can take steps to build it to get better deals.
How Does a Mortgage Affect Your Credit Score?
A mortgage is likely to boost your credit if you make payments as agreed.
How to Build Credit If You Have a Small Income
Focus on paying on time and using little of your credit limits. An emergency fund can help avoid score damage too.
Will Carrying a Balance on Credit Cards Help My Credit Score?
Paying credit card bills in full every month won't hurt your credit — and it's the most economical way to use plastic.
I Have a Credit Card but Never Use It. Should I Close It?
Not using a credit card doesn't hurt your score, but closing it might. Know how to decide when it’s worth the hit.
What Is a FICO Bankcard Score 8?
FICO bankcard scores are specialty scores that focus more on your credit card behavior. They use a 250-900 scale.