Erin El Issa writes data-driven studies about personal finance, credit cards, travel, investing, banking and student loans. She loves numbers and aims to demystify data sets to help consumers improve their financial lives. Before becoming a Nerd in 2014, she worked as a tax accountant and freelance personal finance writer. Erin's work has been cited by The New York Times, CNBC, the "Today" show, Forbes and elsewhere. In her spare time, Erin reads voraciously and tries in vain to keep up with her two kids. She is based in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
- Education: B.B.A. in accounting from Cleveland State University
- Previous experience: Tax accountant
The latest from Erin
Are Credit Card Convenience Fees Legal?
The fees are legal, but you must first be alerted to them — no surprises allowed. Laws also vary by state.
Should You Pay Your Bills With a Credit Card?
If there's no fee to pay a bill with a credit card, then doing so has benefits. If there is a fee, using credit should be a last resort.
What If the Authorized User or Joint Account Holder on My Card Goes Bankrupt?
You won’t be affected if your authorized user files for bankruptcy. But if your joint account holder files, you could be.
Rate Shopping? Here’s How to Protect Your Credit
Scoring formulas group similar credit checks together and count them as one when you shop for certain loans.
Can Credit Card Companies Tell If You Lie on an Application?
If you knowingly report inaccurate data on a credit application, you’re committing fraud. And while a credit card issuer might not immediately request verification, legally it's possible.
Is There Any Reason Not to Take a Credit Limit Increase?
The potential to overspend and a hard inquiry on your credit report are some valid reasons why you might not want a credit limit increase.
Should I Use My Retirement Account to Pay Off My Debt?
It’s rarely a good idea to withdraw retirement savings early. You may face penalties and endanger your economic stability.
Dealing With Credit Card Debt: How to Get Debt-Free
The average household has thousands of dollars in revolving balances. But that doesn't have to be permanent.