National nonprofit ACCC provides consumers with important information about credit during National Credit Awareness month this October.
October 1, 2015
National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling is helping consumers learn more about credit during National Credit Awareness Month this October. ACCC provides five important facts about credit that consumers may not be aware of.
“Credit has a major impact on so many aspects of an individual’s life, from the ability to rent an apartment to buying a car or securing a mortgage,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Despite it’s importance, many Americans not only have trouble managing their credit, but they don’t fully grasp how it works and what it means – particularly when it comes to understanding their credit scores.”
Although many consumers have basic knowledge about credit, there are still some major gaps. More than half of Americans are unaware that credit scores measure the risk of not repaying a loan on time rather than their ability to pay based on their annual salary.
Poor credit scores can lead to a variety of challenges, including higher interest rates and the inability to secure certain types of loans. Consumers can avoid this by simply making their payments on time. If consumers take the time to increase their knowledge about credit, they will have the tools to better manage debt and improve their credit scores.
With October being National Credit Awareness Month, American Consumer Credit Counseling offers five things consumers need to know about credit:
- A good credit score secures financial wellness: Credit is more than just a plastic card you use to buy things—it is your financial trustworthiness. Good credit means that your history of payments, employment and salary make you a good candidate for a loan, and creditors—those who lend money or services—will be more willing to work with you.
- Bad credit scores are fixable: A bad credit history can haunt you for a long time—seven years or more. Make sure you correct any errors on your report. Asking for help from your creditors can go a long way in terms of fixing bad credit. If you have a poor credit score, take the necessary steps to start fixing it by paying down debt where possible and making payments on time.
- Make the right choice: Consider fees, limits, interest rates, and benefits – which can vary substantially among credit card issuers – when opening a new card. Some credit cards that look like a great deal at first glance may lose their appeal once you read the terms and conditions of use and calculate how the fees could affect your available credit.
- Discipline goes a long way: Try to pay your bills on time and in full as much as possible. This will help you avoid late fees, and build a positive credit history.
- All credit scores are not the same: There are three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion), and they each have their own model for calculating your score. They also may not all be using the same information. Each score matters, and different lenders may be using different scores to evaluate you.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. ACCC provides individuals with practical debt solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help them determine the best plan of action to get out of debt and regain financial stability. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.