Credit Counseling Resources
Almost every day, you're involved in some type of
financial transaction requiring an educated decision. This site has
information for you, whether you’re shopping for a mortgage or auto
loan, checking the accuracy of your credit report, dealing with debt
collectors, or looking for ways to protect your personal financial
Credit is much more than a piece of plastic, and the resources on this
site can help you become a more savvy consumer. You’ll also find
compliance requirements for businesses, and information about the FTC’s
recent law enforcement actions.
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If you use credit cards, owe money on a personal loan, or are paying on a
home mortgage, you are a "debtor." If you fall behind in repaying your
creditors, or an error is made on your accounts, you may be contacted by a
You should know that in either situation, the Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act requires that debt collectors treat you fairly and prohibits certain
methods of debt collection. Of course, the law does not erase any legitimate
debt you owe.
This brochure answers commonly asked questions about your rights under the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
For People on Debt Management Plans: A Must-Do List
Reputable credit counseling organizations employ counselors who are
certified and trained in consumer credit, money and debt management, and
budgeting. Those organizations that are nonprofit have a legal obligation to
provide education and counseling.
Your Access to Free
Important information from the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s
consumer protection agency:
www.annualcreditreport.com is the ONLY authorized online source for you
to get a free credit report under federal law. You can get a free report
from each of the three national credit reporting companies every 12 months.
Some other sites claim to offer "free" credit reports, but may charge you
for another product if you accept a "free" report.
File for Personal Bankruptcy: Information About Credit Counseling and Debtor
To advise consumers about the new bankruptcy law requiring credit counseling
before filing for bankruptcy.
For People on
Debt Management Plans: A Must-Do List
Lists must-dos for anyone with a Debt Management Plan, and the steps to take
if the credit counselor handling your DMP has gone out of business. Also
offers a list of questions to ask when choosing a credit counselor.
Ads Promising Debt Relief
May Be Offering Bankruptcy
Urges consumers to use caution when reading ads pitching debt relief. Lists
what to look out for, and offers tips if you’re having trouble paying your
Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy,
fairness, and privacy of
information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many
types of consumer reporting
agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies
that sell information about
check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). Here
is a summary of your major
rights under the FCRA.
Remedying the Effects of Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, Social Security number,
date of birth, or other identifying information, without authority, to
commit fraud. For example, someone may have committed identity theft by
using your personal information to open a credit card account or get a loan
in your name.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you specific rights when you are,
that you are, the victim of identity theft. Here is a brief summary of the
rights designed to help
you recover from identity theft.
Links to the Federal Trade Commission where you can find various
credit related tips and information. If you cannot find the answers to your
questions here feel free to call us and one of our counselors will be glad
to assist you.
For Consumers: Credit Cards & Consumer Loan Information Library
Federal Trade Commission National Resource About Identity Theft
FTC Rules and Acts Link Page
Other FTC Resources
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