Sunday, May 23, 2010

ING creates site for educating kids about money, credit; says keeping low credit balances lowers credit scores

ING was my employer from 2000 through the end of 2001, and it’s good to see ING Direct has a website ("Planet Orange") to educate teachers and parents, and kids, about credit and money -- and at least indirectly, about protecting private information and keeping your identity safe. Here is the site. It calls its members “astronauts”, rather like Geek Squad (Best Buy) calling its techs “special agents”.  I think it's ironic that Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, may have a largely orange surface.

ING Direct also has its own quiz on which behaviors lower credit scores. The link on Yahoo! finance is here. What’s interesting is that keeping a small credit balance can lower your score. Many people (myself included) pay off last month’s bill but typically there are new charges since the last bill. I don’t know if this counts; Fair Isaacs can certainly identify a pattern of paying the due amount. Also, I don’t pay disputed amounts (as long as it won’t become delinquent). It’s normal for me to have a hundred dollars or so of bills in dispute. I wonder if that hurts. Yahoo’s link for the credit behavior quiz is here.

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