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Credit and Loans

Decisions about credit and loans involve lots of factors, including how much money you need, what terms you’re offered, and who is behind the offer. If you are choosing a credit card or wondering whether offers of credit and loans are on the up and up, these tips can help.

Getting Credit

Credit Scores

Your credit score affects how much you'll pay for loans or insurance.

Setting Out on Your Own

Here’s how to create a basic budget.

Understanding Your Credit

It’s important to understand what your credit is and how to protect it.

Your Equal Credit Opportunity Rights

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits credit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because you get public assistance.

Credit Reports

Credit and Your Consumer Rights

What to know about credit laws that protect your right to get, use and maintain credit.

Disputing Errors on Credit Reports

Accuracy is important when it comes to credit reports. Here’s how to order a free credit report, and dispute errors.

Fixing Your Credit

What to know about how to fix errors on your credit report and avoid credit repair scams.

Free Credit Reports

How, why, and when to order copies of your free annual credit report.

Sample Letter for Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report

Use this sample to draft a letter disputing errors on your credit report.

Sample Letter for Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report with Information Providers

Use this sample if you want to write a letter disputing certain information provided to credit reporting companies.

Credit and Debit Cards

Automatic Debit Scams

Learn what can happen when you give your checking account number to a stranger who calls you.

Credit Card Interest Rate Reduction Scams

Want to lower the interest rate on your credit card balance? These tips can help.

Credit Card Loss Protection

Your liability for fraudulent credit card charges is $50, but that doesn’t stop scam artists from peddling “loss protection” services.

Credit, Debit, and Charge Cards

Before you pay with plastic, learn the differences between credit, debit, and charge cards, and get tips about how to shop for a credit card.

Disputing Credit Card Charges

Here’s how to resolve billing errors on your credit card accounts.

Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards

Federal law limits your liability if your credit, ATM, or debit card is lost or stolen, but your liability may depend on how quickly you report the loss or theft.

Prescreened Credit and Insurance Offers

Companies sometimes solicit new customers by sending “pre-screened” offers. Find out how prescreening works and what happens when you opt out.

Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud

Use these tips to keep your credit card accounts safe from crooks.

The Lowdown on So-called Gold, Platinum, and Pre-approved Credit Cards

Be skeptical of gold, platinum, or pre-approved card offers that promise to get you a major credit card or improve your credit rating.

Using a Credit Card

It helps to know your rights and responsibilities when you use a credit card.

When a Company Blocks Your Credit or Debit Card

Learn how to avoid holds on your money or credit.


Advance-Fee Loans

Some advance-fee loan and credit card offers have tell-tale signs that can help you avoid getting ripped off.

Car Title Loans

What to know if you're considering a car title loan.

Co-signing a Loan

What are your obligations if you decide to co-sign on a loan for a friend or relative?

Credit Insurance

If you apply for a mortgage or a personal loan, you may hear the term credit insurance. What is it and do you need it?

Dealing with a Weather Emergency: Getting Back on Your Feet Financially

List of contacts and practical steps to help you regain your financial footing.

How to Organize Your Finances in Times of Disaster

Tips for organizing and safely storing your financial and personal papers, and how to replace important missing documents.

Online Payday Loans

Online payday loans are expensive — and can be outright scams.

Payday Loans

Payday loans can be a very costly way to borrow money when you factor in the interest rates and fees.

Pension Advances: Not So Fast

If you’re looking for a way to generate cash to make ends meet, a pension advance may pique your interest. But before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.