"I'm overwhelmed. I've been researching solutions to my credit problems but I don't know who to trust."
That's one of the comments I hear frequently and that's why I've created this Resources section. Whether you're looking to consolidate debt, borrow cheaply or solve credit problems, I've found the best companies to help you reach your goals!
I chose these companies to recommend because I trust them and honestly believe they can help. I am an affiliate of some of them, which means I may get a referral fee for traffic I send their way. You can read my income disclosure here.
Here are my top picks for you:
Stellar credit is almost like money in the bank. To review your credit reports, start by ordering your free annual credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com
Then visit Credit.com's Free Credit Report Card to get a truly free analysis of your credit score with recommendations. Don't worry, we don't even ask for a credit card number!
Need more help with your credit? Visit Credit.com's Credit Monitoring Guide to find products offering credit monitoring, credit scores and more.
I could write an entire book just on improving credit scores and reports, but fortunately, I don't have to! When you're ready to start rebuilding your credit, here are three excellent books I recommend:
Your Credit Score: How to Fix, Improve, and Protect the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future by Liz Weston, 2nd edition (Paperback)
Credit Scores and Credit Reports 3rd ed: How The System Really Works, What You Can Do by Evan Hendricks (Make sure you get the latest edition)
If you are struggling with credit card debt, I encourage you to talk with a credit counseling agency. They may be able to help you lower your payments and interest rates. The initial consultation will be free and confidential, so there is no reason not to at least find out what they can do for you. For credit counseling (often referred to as "consolidation,") I recommend:
Debt settlement can be an important alternative to bankruptcy if you can't repay your current unsecured debt and you can't, or don't want to, file bankruptcy.
For a free confidential questionnaire and a confidential evaluation of your situation, I personally recommend these two companies:
Offers a free, no-pressure consultation. You can also ask a question and get an answer from Michael Bovee for free here. (He is one of my go-to people and really knows his stuff.)
Also an excellent resource for negotiating your debts. You can download Charles' free guide at his site. It's very informative.
Since 1993, ArcLoan has educated thousands of consumers across the United States on mortgage strategies and programs that help increase savings and reduce debt. Home of the Automatic Rate Cut Loan™ & the ArcLoan Mortgage Management Program™
They are mortgage educators, so you don't have to worry about a high-pressure sales pitch for a loan. Visit them at ArcLoan.com.
They've also been specializing in the HARP program for underwater homeowners since the program first launched. Find out if you may qualify at YouCanRefi.com.
Good Advice Press is a great resource if you want to learn how to pay off your mortgage faster and save money.
A reverse mortgage may help you eliminate your mortgage payment, supplement your Social Security income with tax free money, fund your children or grandchildren's educations or more. Learn more at SmartMoneyReverse.com
Use Credit.com's free Identity Risk Score tool to quickly assess your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Already a victim? Visit the FTC Identity Theft Resource Center
Help protect yourself from identity theft with credit monitoring services.
Find personal loans at Credit.com. Loans are available for up to $25,000 with no prepayment penalties or upfront fees.
The Dollar Stretcher has been my go-to source for money-saving tips and strategies for more than 10 years. You'll find a wealth of information to help you save money and live better on less.
If you are being harassed by debt collectors, you'll want to check out my ebook Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights. You can read the first chapter online for free!
My then-elementary school age daughter changed her tune about spending and saving virtually overnight with the help of Sammy the Rabbit at www.ItsAHabit.com. She and her friends loved the CDs and books.
I am proud to serve as a credit coach for members of the Garrett Planning Network.
These fee-only financial planners can help you with a variety of financial planning services, from creating a retirement saving strategy to getting your budget on track. Their advice is independent and unbiased, and I know from the time I have spent with many of them, they really care!
CallforAction.org - an international network of consumer hotline affiliated with local broadcast partners.
Consumer-action.org - offers list of credit cards and helpful consumer information in many languages.
ConsumerFed.org - is the website of Consumer Federation of America. You'll find consumer brochures on saving money, buying a home and more.
ConsumerWorld.org - is one of the most comprehensive consumer websites available. Sign up for their free newsletter.
DebtConsolidationCare.com is the Internet's first get-out-of-debt community. Get free help from others.
DebtorsAnonymous.org - offers help with chronic debt.
Financial Recovery Institute - offers Financial Recover counseling, a structured process that helps clients transform their relationship with money. It seeks to treat the whole person, including addressing the client's history, and emotions relating to money.
Fraud.org - is the home of the National Fraud Information Center. If you suspect telemarketing or Internet fraud, contact them immediately.
FTC.gov - is the website of the Federal Trade Commission. You'll find consumer tips, statutes and more.
SmartMoney.com - offers extensive information about financial topics including debt and money management.
Steve Rhode answers questions about debt, for free at GetOutofDebt.org
National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
Truth About Credit