Of all the many different types of credit – for example, retail credit, loans, charge cards, and mortgages – utility credit may be the most important. Utility credit is the credit extended to users of gas, electricity, and water services. Phone service also can be considered a utility. Learn about your rights as a consumer and what to do if you‘re denied utility credit.
Resources & Tools
If you’re not satisfied with your credit score, there are steps you can take to improve it. Actively working to enhance your credit is one of the most effective ways to improve your financial situation.
The articles in this section offer helpful information about ways to improve your credit and what to do when you’re deeply in debt.
When you‘re having trouble paying your bills, your financial situation may seem overwhelming. This guide will help you figure out what to do when you’re knee–deep in debt, including various debt solutions and damage control.
Discover steps you can take on your own to develop a budget, contact your creditors, and manage your debt.
Learn about the pros and cons of dealing with debt through debt negotiation programs.
Learn how a Debt Management Plan can help you to find a faster path out of debt.
Discover the advantages and disadvantages of debt consolidation.
Learn about the benefits of working with a credit counseling agency and about the services they offer.
Get an overview of how bankruptcy works, about the laws governing bankruptcy, and what happens when you file for bankruptcy.
There are many agencies that prey on consumers who are deeply in debt. Before you look for a business to help you manage your debt, learn how to determine which agencies are legitimate and how you can protect yourself from unscrupulous companies.
This guide provides a comprehensive overview of credit: what it is, how to get it, how to protect it, and how to manage it.
Here are a few things to look for in the fine print and disclosures when you’re comparing credit cards.
Discover tips for avoiding identity theft and learn what to do if your wallet and credit cards are lost or stolen.
Get tips on managing your credit card spending, dealing with disputed charges and avoiding fraud.
Learn about the most common paths out of debt, and how to avoid Advance Fee Loan Scams.
Understand how your credit history is built and what kind of information may lead to a lower credit score.
Reviewing your credit report may have confirmed your fears. Although you can’t erase all of the bad information, there are some steps you can take to make the situation better.
Divorces are not only challenging, and complicated, but they can also have a severe impact on your credit. Understand how the types of accounts you hold and the actions you take during divorce can impact your credit score.
Living paycheck to paycheck? Worried about debt collectors? Can’t seem to develop a workable budget, let alone save money for retirement? If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider the services of a credit counselor. Many credit counseling organizations are nonprofit and work with you to solve your financial problems. But beware — just because an organization says it is “nonprofit” doesn’t guarantee that its services are free or affordable, or that its services are legitimate. In fact, some credit counseling organizations charge high fees, some of which may be hidden, or urge consumers to make “voluntary” contributions that cause them to fall deeper into debt.
This list of questions can help you choose the right credit counseling service for your financial situation.
These questions for your credit counselor can help you determine whether a debt management plan will be beneficial for you.
Learn about the truth behind the too-good-to-be true promises made by debt negotiation services.
Use these tips to steer clear of unscrupulous debt negotiation firms.
Learn how a debt management plan works.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a credit card, from interest rates and fees to credit card terms and balance transfer offers. This article offers a detailed explanation of all the terms and terminology related to credit cards. It also provides resources that can help you choose a credit card wisely..
Links to agencies that can help you access your credit report and FICO scores, opt out of pre-approved credit card offers and other direct mail, and get information about credit unions.
Learn about the various features of credit cards and the costs associated with using credit.
Learn how your average daily balance is calculated.
Discover how you can improve your credit report, making it easier to get loans and lower interest rates.
Learn about the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy as a way of managing debt.
Some debt relief companies promise a fast path out of debt, but their solution may include filing for bankruptcy.