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Credit guide should stick more to basics

Book Review: Five-step guide could have been briefer, says reviewer

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  • Written by  Linda Park
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  • Comments:   DISQUS_COMMENTS
The Credit Games: Five Simple Steps, Better Credit for Life, By Jeff Stout, Fink & McGregor, 126 pp. The Credit Games: Five Simple Steps, Better Credit for Life, By Jeff Stout, Fink & McGregor, 126 pp.

When I was first asked to review The Credit Games, I was intrigued. This is a  short (around 100 pages) book with some valuable information about steps to better credit written by a person with financial industry background.

Throughout the book author Jeff Stout has some great quotations that really do hit the nail on the head. But he spends too much of the reader’s time on personal anecdotes. I’d say, leave in the quotes, the steps, the explanations, the hints, and resources. But take out all the personal stories, and reduce the book to great information with half the pages.

Mr. Stout states in the book that he has ten years in the financial industry (among various other careers) and helped thousands. That does sound a little exaggerated.

Buying this book would depend on whether you are a banker or a consumer. (Much of it a bankers knows already.)

Let’s say the book is for the consumer, or being recommended to one who does not have good credit or a great credit score, and who does not know all that is involved; even though the book wanders a bit, and backtracks some, I think Mr. Stout does an excellent job explaining what goes into a credit score, what can affect it, what to watch for, and how to correct it. His section on identify theft is right on, and well done.

I must say, though, that in some areas of his book I would be offended by some of his comments, were I a consumer reading this. The average consumer needing this information may not think that the reasons for a less-than-acceptable credit score is lame. Beware the sweeping sentence, too: Without knowing the whole story, is it really a wise to say that divorce does not affect credit scores? 

Some of  Stout’s information is incomplete. When discussing secured credit cards he suggests checking with credit unions. True, they offer them, but  many banks also offer secured credit cards.

Tagged under Books for Bankers,

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