Credit: Make It, Don't Break It

By Southeast Alaska's Island News staff

Southeast Alaskas Island News of Thorne Bay, Alaska

Managing credit can seem like a daunting task, but Better Business Bureau has created a new program to help. Statistics show that the need for financial education is prevalent among consumers with varying levels of credit experience.

Debt: U.S. residents carry a whopping $852.6 billion in revolving credit, according to the Federal Reserve's May 2010 report on consumer credit. estimates that 54 million households carry credit card debt, which averages $ 15,788 per household.

Bills: 28% of Americans nearly 64 million admit to not paying all bills on time, according to National Foundation for Credit Counseling's 2010 Financial Literacy Survey.

Credit Scores: 65% of Americans roughly 148 million have not ordered a free credit report in the past year. Nearly one-third (31%) do not know their credit score, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's 2010 Financial Literacy Survey.

Whether consumers are new to credit or balancing overwhelming financial obligations, BBB offers guidance and solutions to make managing credit less complicated.

BBB introduces a new program:

Managing Credit Made Simpler

Consumers & business owners can visit for free information on how to effectively manage credit. Unveiled in April 2010, this program is designed to give customized guidance to credit users, whether they're: new to credit, balancing credit or over whelmed by credit obligations. Managing Credit Made Simpler shows how to:

Build a good credit record. Create a reasonable monthly budget.

Whenever possible, make more than the minimum payment & try to pay off the credit balance in full each month.

Improve your credit score. Understand how a score is calculated & how to find mistakes. Federal law allows consumers to request a free copy of their credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year through

Get help now. Talk to lenders about overwhelming obligations. If needed, meet with a reputable credit counseling agency.

Protect yourself from fraud. Guard credit cards and pin numbers.

Learn about the Credit CARD Act. Stay informed about new credit card regulations and protections.

BBB offers more free resources and guidance at

Copyright 2010 Southeast Alaska's Island News, Thorne Bay, Alaska. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.
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