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New credit scoring model may boost some borrowers' scores

Even the most responsible borrowers slip up sometimes. Maybe a utility bill went unpaid after you moved and the missed payment went into collections. Or, perhaps there are unpaid library fines or parking tickets in collections that are hanging onto your credit history and affecting your FICO credit score, which is widely used by lenders to evaluate your ability to repay a debt.

With the newest version of the FICO credit-scoring system, however, minor delinquencies are now overlooked in calculating creditworthiness.

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Cash-for-Clunker Appliances

Cash for clunker automobiles has seemed to give a boost to the auto industry. Now the Feds are encouraging people to replace your old appliances.

A $300 million cash-for-clunkers-type federal program to boost sales of energy-efficient home appliances provides a glimmer of hope for struggling makers of washing machines and dishwashers, but it's probably not enough to lift companies such as Whirlpool and Electrolux out of the worst down cycle in the sector's history.

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How Your Credit Score Affects You (and Your Wallet)

The use your credit score is no longer limited to banks and creditors making loan decisions or determining the terms and interest rate you will be charged on a loan. More often, credit scores are being used by a vaiety of of businesses including merchants, utility companies, phone companies, insurance companies, landlords, and even employers.