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BBB Release: CREDIT: Make It, Don't Break It


BBB Provides Credit Management Basics

Anchorage, Alaska – May 18, 2010 – 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. Creditcards.com estimates that 54 million households carry credit card debt, which averages $15,788 per household.

Bills: 28 percent 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 percent of Americans—roughly 148 million—have not ordered a free credit report in the past year. Nearly one-third (31 percent) 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 and business owners can visit

www.bbb.org/credit-management 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 overwhelmed 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 and try to pay off the credit balance in full each month.
Improve your credit score. Understand how a score is calculated and 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 annualcreditreport.com.
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



About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:
Your Better Business Bureau is a not-for-profit organization funded by Better Business Bureau Accredited Businesses. The BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. For more information about the services and products provided by your BBB, call 206-431-2222 or 253-830-2924 in Washington, 503-212-3022 in Oregon, 907-562-0704 in Alaska, or visit our website at

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