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Each week, credit expert Erica Sandberg answers questions from readers. Please note that it may not always be possible to answer every question or respond to individual inquiries.

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When gas prices drop, budget for cash boost

Being suddenly flush with cash as gas prices drop is a good problem to have. Here are ideas on how to handle that extra money best ...

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How to make a balance transfer work for you

Before transferring a card balance, learn how balance transfers can work to your advantage -- or disadvantage ...

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Know your rights with creditors

Do you know your rights when it comes to creditors? Yes, you can tell them to stop calling, but make sure it's a good idea first ...

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Forgotten gym dues likely won't ding credit

After closing a card due to ID theft, a consumer forgets to alert her gym. Even with three months of dues piled up, here's why her credit likely won't be dinged ...

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What is considered a good FICO credit score, anyway?

Your credit score tells lenders, insurance companies and landlords if you are a good risk, but do you know what is "good?" Here's what those numbers mean ...

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No, cards aren't evil; here's why

It's easy to blame credit cards for your bad credit behavior, but plastic is simply a tool that you can use well or badly. Here are the facts about cards ...

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Minimum vs. lump sum payments: Which builds credit?

Managing your credit card to get the best FICO score takes a bit of work. Here are two ways to build your score with plastic ...

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Missed card payments damage your score, credit future

If you've fallen behind on your credit card payments, your items bought with the card won't be repossessed. But there are other lasting effects ...

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When does bad information fall off your credit report?

Have derogatory information on your credit report? Learn how long it will stay there and what you can do about it ...

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