Editor's Note: Do you have a question about your finances? Crosswalk.com welcomes financial columnist, Deborah Nayrocker. Deborah will be answering selected readers' questions in her monthly column. To submit your question, email us at: moneyquestions@crosswalk.com.

Dear Deborah,

Q: How do I add my husband’s name to my mortgage, and is it a good idea? Before we were married my name only was on the mortgage.

Also, I need to rebuild my credit score. How do I do that? I was very sick and my husband got laid off at the same time, and things went down hill from there. We are no longer sick or unemployed, but financially we are a mess because we are robbing Peter to pay Paul, and everything is being paid late. Thanks. – Cooky

A: Why do you want to have your husband’s name on the mortgage? To do this, you’ll need to pay off your current mortgage and get a new mortgage. It seems your credit and your husband’s credit isn’t in great shape. This will make it difficult for you to get a new loan at this time.

Which leads into your second question: How can I rebuild my credit score?

It’s good that your health has improved and both you and your husband are employed now. This will make it easier for you to rebuild your credit and improve your financial situation.

Two quick things you can do to raise your credit score:

1.      Pay everything on time.

2.      Pay off a balance.  

Two big ways to hurt your credit score:

1.      Send your credit card or loan payments late.

2.      Have your balance go above 30% of your credit limit.

To help your score, mail your credit card or loan payments as soon as you receive them. Keep your loan balance under 30% of your credit limit.  

FICO scores range from 300 to 850, the higher the better. If you’re unsure of your score, you can get a report. For a free credit report from the major credit bureaus, go to annualcreditreport.com.  

Copyright 2009 Deborah Nayrocker. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint required.


Deborah Nayrocker is the author of The Art of Debt-Free Living and Living a Balanced Financial Life. Her Web site is http://www.artofdebt-freeliving.com/.