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This month, answers all your questions – in under a minute

Every April is Financial Literacy Month, and I’ve written before, it resembles Dental Hygiene Month. Why? Because flossing and saving aren’t fun, even if the results are. After all, we all want to keep our teeth and our money for as long as possible. and many other educational sites – from Money Talks News to Get Out of Debt Guy – can teach you all you need to know to spend less and save more. But this month, I want to quickly tackle some of the most common questions I’ve been asked in more than two decades of counseling Americans on their money.

Not surprisingly, the most common questions are mostly about credit – from credit cards to credit scores. Because I know you’re busy, I’ll answer all of them in a minute or so, sometimes less.

Check out the short videos below, and if you want to know more about any of my answers, click the links right underneath the video player.

How can I lower the interest rate on my credit card?

The average interest rate on a credit card these days is hovering right around 15 percent. That’s 15 times as much as you’ll earn in the best savings accounts. While you can’t just ask your bank to pay you more interest, you can ask your credit card company to lower the amount they charge you…

To learn more, check out Credit Card Interest Rate Negotiation.

What’s the ideal number of credit cards I should have?

My first answer below will shock you, and the second answer might not be what you want to hear…

To learn more, check out How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?

How can the credit card companies raise my interest rate when I’ve paid my bills on time?

The most common cause: You signed up for a promotional rate, and it expired. If your credit score dropped or you’ve fallen behind on your payments, that can also lead to a rate hike…

To learn more, check out A clever and proven way to chop down those credit card interest rates.

What’s the difference between a credit score and a credit report?

They’re not the same thing, but they’re in the same family…

To learn more, check out Mysteries of the great and powerful credit score.

My spouse died and I discovered a lot of credit card debt. Do I have to pay it?

It’s a depressing question, but one I’ve heard all too often in my two-plus decades as a financial counselor: “My spouse died and I discovered a lot of credit card debt. Do I have to pay it?”

If you face this situation, you have my sympathy. You also have my help…

To learn more, check out How Does Debt Affect Survivors After a Loved One’s Death?

How can I get a credit card if I don’t have a credit history?

A few years ago, The New York Times began a story about credit history with one of my employees who had no debt – and couldn’t get a credit card. As I told that reporter, having no credit history can be worse than having no credit history.

Fortunately, this is a Catch-22 you can easily solve…

To learn more, check out 6 ways to build a credit history from scratch and 7 Ways to Build Credit without a Credit Card.

What’s the difference between a credit card, debit card, and a secured credit card?

They’re all made out of plastic, but that’s where the similarity ends. It can get confusing, but let me break it down for you in less than a minute…

To learn more, check out Ask The Expert: Which Secured Credit Card Is Hands-Down The Best?

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About the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Dvorkin is the author of Credit Hell and Power Up and Chairman of

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