CREDIT & DEBIT
Americans have more than $1 trillion in credit card debt, at an average annual rate of 14.9%, although many card users pay rates of 29 percent or higher! Don’t be buried in debt. Use these resources to deal with your debt, find lower rate cards, and get trusted credit counseling. Be sure to track your credit report, and keep your credit safe. Use these links.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
You can trust these agencies to help you work through your credit problems at no charge or very low cost. Counseling does not go on your credit report, but if you need their debt repayment plan it is reported. NFCC should be your first step in solving credit problems.
Get Your Credit Report from Each of the Three Bureaus
Freeze Your Credit!
If you’re worried about credit breaches, contact each bureau to place a freeze on your credit report. You’ll get a PIN to lift the freeze if you are applying for new credit, such as a card or car loan. There may be a small cost, depending on your state of residence and age, unless you have been a victim of a credit breach. Many employers also check credit reports of applicants. Here are the direct links to each of the bureaus:
TransUnion https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze (888) 909-8872
Experian https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html (888) 397-3742
Exquifax https://www.equifax.com/personal/ 800-349-9960
Get Your Credit Score
There are dozens of different credit scores, and CreditKarma offers the Vantage score. It is a good guide to how creditors view you, and how your spending and payment habits affect your score.
Bankrate.com Credit Card Payoff Calculator
Click on this link to find out how long it will take you to pay off your credit card – and how much interest you could save if you could add more to your minimum monthly payments each billing cycle. Those minimums keep you paying on your balance for as long as 30 years, so a little bit extra each month can save a fortune in interest charges!
Bankrate.com – Find the Best Credit Card for You
Whether you need to transfer your balance, find a rewards card that suits your lifestyle, a cash-back card – or even a card that doesn’t require a credit history, use these search tools at Bankrate.com.