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Personal Finance Blog

Catch up on the latest credit.org news and personal finance trends.

Find your financial freedom and partner with our experts by reading the latest in personal finance advice and tips!


If you’ve got a credit card in your wallet right now, chances are there is a message on the back right under the signature field that says “not valid unless signed.” The major credit card companies, Visa and MasterCard, require an authorized signature before the card may be processed. Of course, not all of us…

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What is a Good Credit Score?

It’s difficult to get exact answers to this important question. Every expert, credit bureau, and loan officer has a different opinion as to where the threshold between good and poor credit lies.

In addition, “good” can be a relative term. Do we mean “good” as in excellent, or “good” as in “good enough”?

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When it comes to personal finance, everyone’s situation is unique. No one has the same bills, rent, debts, or lifestyle. When you’re ready to take control of your financial lifestyle, you need a plan that will answer your specific problems, not your neighbor’s. At credit.org, our trained coaches are ready to review your unique situation…

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What is a financial plan?

We help people set goals and budget toward them. Because we were founded as a credit counseling agency, the number one goal we help people achieve is debt reduction. But we also encourage sound money management and financial planning. What is a financial plan, you ask? When you hear about financial planning in the media,…

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We hear a lot about consumer credit in the news: “Consumer Credit is Up,” “Consumer Credit is Flat,” and so on.  But what is consumer credit? Should you care? In general terms, consumer credit is debt that is taken on by individuals who intend to spend the funds right away. If you borrow money to…

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Many educators and businesses use the SMART goals concept, which was created by Paul J. Meyer and spelled out in his book Attitude is Everything. We think the SMART goals system can be a good tool for debt counseling; any financial goal we recommend should be SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and…

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One tactic that many consumers use to ensure that their credit reports are accurate and up-to-date is to add a 100-word statement to the report. We routinely recommend this action as part of our debt counseling advice. Some critics warn against the 100-word statement. They think consumers who write a statement are handing collectors the…

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Our credit coaching and debt management plan services aren’t intended to improve one’s credit score, but the free financial literacy education we offer can teach you to the right ways to improve your own credit score. The Federal Reserve offers 5 Tips: Improving your credit score, which include: Requesting your credit report and ensuring its…

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Earlier this year, the Department of Education and the Treasury Department released the results of their third annual financial literacy challenge, a test administered to high school students throughout the country. The average score this year was 69%, a sign that today’s students are ill prepared for the financial responsibilities that they’ll face as young…

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