• Updated
  • 0

MoneyTips

Congratulations! You've just finished paying off your mortgage – probably the largest debt you'll ever have in your life. Should you expect your credit score to increase as a result? Not necessarily.

Your credit score is calculated from your credit report, a history of all of your borrowing and payment activity. While your mortgage was probably a huge part of that history, it's just one part. Credit reports also consider other installment loans, your credit card payments, and any payments for non-borrowing related charges (like cable or utility bills) that have gone into collections. Every account matters and contributes to your credit score.

Consider the factors that go into calculating a credit score, starting with payment history – the most influential factor. Mortgages require regular payments for a long time. With those payments removed, that's one less regular payment that proves you...

How To Accelerate Mortgage Payments

Video: When To Accept Mortgage Prepayment Penalties

Understanding Mortgage Prepayment

More

AP
  • 0

Turf grass is the groundcover of choice for many property owners, mainly for its rich, carpet-like appearance. But grass is thirsty, demands frequent maintenance and provides little wildlife appeal.

AP
  • 0

Smart phones that respond to signals from plants? Laptops that coordinate irrigation at dozens of vineyards? Remote weather stations programmed to text frost alerts?

AP
  • 0

Felder Rushing is not a man to be hurried. This former county extension agent turned folklorist, author and lecturer is an advocate of slow gardening — emphasizing the process over the product.

AP
  • 0

Grass isn't always the best groundcovers for a yard: It's thirsty at a time when water is becoming scarce; it attracts fewer pollinators; it requires expensive chemicals to maintain, and it must be disposed of if you bag as you mow.

AP
  • 0

Take a look at new shoots growing on a favorite shrub or vine and you'll see that the bases of these shoots may be beginning to toughen up, their once soft, green outer layer turning brown and woody.

AP
  • 0

Along with the sunscreen, book, toys and snacks we haul to our waterside of choice this summer, we need a beach towel or two.

AP
  • 0

Plants need water to keep cool, pump minerals up to their leaves and grow. And in many regions and many seasons, they can fend for themselves getting water.

AP
  • 0

Tomato seedlings that were planted neatly near garden stakes are already beginning to take matters into their own hands, and if allowed to grow willy nilly will turn into a tangled mass of vines with tomato fruits — many of them rotting — hidden in a dark jungle of stems.