Understanding and managing credit is crucial to building a strong financial future. If not handled carefully, credit can cause a lot of trouble, quickly. Work with a CCCS counselor to understand and build your credit.
Credit Card Debt Relief
If you need help with your credit card debt, CCCS is here to help. As a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, our counselors are trained to help you with your credit. In fact, most of our clients are able to pay off their credit card debt in five years.
Our counselors will take a look at your complete financial picture, examine all of your options, and help you work to create a personal budget and a plan for moving forward. It is possible to get out of debt, and we can help. Get in touch to learn more today.
About Credit Cards
Just because you receive a credit card application in the mail doesn’t mean you should apply for it. Credit cards are a way of borrowing money that must be repaid, and any money that is not repaid within a month will have interest added to it.
If you do apply and receive a credit card, follow these best practices to avoid credit card debt and poor credit:
- Check your bill for any questionable charges
- Do not spend more than you can afford on a monthly basis.
- Pay off in full monthly. Do not only pay the minimum payment.
- Keep your PIN secure.
- Pay your bill on time to avoid any late fees and interest charges.
- Do not use the cash advance option.
- Do not exceed your credit limit.
- Limit the number of credit cards you get.
- Obtain a card that has no or low annual fees.
- Understand the terms and conditions of your credit card.
If you are dealing with credit card debt or need help setting a monthly budget, you are not alone, and our counselors can help.
Building your Credit
Credit history is a way to show that you are reliable and can be trusted, and it is required for securing loans, renting an apartment, getting insurance, and sometimes finding a job.
Our certified counselors can look at your financial situation and help you find the best ways to establish a good credit history. You will need to have at least one account open for six months, with the creditor reporting your activity to a credit bureau, in order to establish a credit score.
You can build your credit by:
- Applying for a secured, student or store credit card
- Receiving credit on rent, cell phone, cable TV payments
- Having a loan co-signer
- Applying for a credit-builder loan
- Becoming an authorized user on someone’s credit card
Understanding your Credit Score
Your credit score is a summary of your credit history in the form of a number. It’s a quick way for lenders to see whether letting you borrow money is a risk they’re willing to take. A score of 700 is considered good, and 800 is excellent. Most credit scores fall between 600 and 750.
Your credit score can impact loan amounts, interest rates, credit card approval, home and apartment approval, car insurance rates, job offers, students loans, and more. That’s why maintaining good credit is so important not only for your financial stability, but your quality of life.
At CCCS, our counselors can help you examine your credit score and credit history to find ways to improve your credit and financial future.
Maintaining a good credit score requires:
- Paying all of your bills on time and avoiding being sent to collections
- Checking your credit reports to be sure they are accurate
- Not opening too many credit card accounts
- Not closing existing unused accounts
- Avoiding overspending
- Paying off your credit card each month
The best way to learn more about building and maintaining good credit is to get personalized advice from one of our certified counselors.