Debt Management

There are many ways to keep debt down and your credit score up. In Credit & Debt Management, topics include credit reports, bankruptcy, how credit cards work and new technology.

Some people are so deep in debt they feel hopeless like there's not way out. But one agency helps people take control of their finances, wipe out debt and budget for a new home.

Sometimes, try as you might, the bills just don't get paid on time, and debt collectors come knocking. That's when you need to know your rights.

Credit counseling and debt settlement services are supposed to help you conquer debt. Who makes sure they look after you like they should?

If you're trying to work your way out of debt, consumer credit counseling might be a good step to take. What happens during, and after, the counseling session?

Your personal debt may seem like an enormous burden, but these pictures will help put it into perspective and remind you that even entire nations struggle to maintain a balanced budget.

You've seen TV commercials and pop-up ads promising free credit reports. But are these offers legit? And if credit reports are free, why don't more people request them?

When you swipe your credit or debit card through a reader, you start a process that involves the store you're at, your bank and ultimately your financial well-being. How does that little stripe send so many messages?

Bankruptcy chapters can be really confusing -- there are specific chapters for both business and personal filing. What do they all mean?

With all the media attention the subprime mortgage crisis is getting, you may be wondering how your own line of credit is faring. What common mistake might be wreaking havoc on your credit?

Many people wonder where they've gone wrong with their credit score. Was it charging a pack of gum with a credit card? A steep mortgage? Where does everyone else stand in terms of credit?

Life without debt sounds good. Can debt consolidation, or taking out one new loan to pay off all your other loans, help you reach that lofty financial goal?

A low credit score can prevent you from getting the car, house or job of your dreams, but there's one surefire way to boost that three-digit number.

Do you pay just the minimum on your credit card balance each month? If your credit limit keeps getting raised, beware: You might be a revolver.

Credit reporting agencies collect your credit history from credit card companies, banks, mortgage companies and other creditors to create an in-depth credit report. But how is that report used?

The world is drowning in debt, and experts fill the airwaves with doomsday predictions. What exactly is this monster called debt that's sucking up all of our income, ruining our credit scores and making politicians sweat?

You saved up your money, got a home loan, got the keys and moved in. But now you've lost your job and you can't pay up. What happens to your house? Maybe foreclosure -- but there are ways to avoid it.

Interest-only loans let you afford a nice house and make low payments. But there's a catch -- once you have to pay up, circumstances may not be in your favor.

These days, more people buy with credit than with cash, and most of them have the credit card debt to show for it. Learn all about credit cards, from the magnetic stripe to how you can get rid of that high-interest balance.

Tired of all that time-consuming swiping at the register? Credit cards using contactless technology allow you to pay for stuff by holding the card near a special reader instead of handing it to a clerk or wondering if you slide it with the stripe facing up or down.

Do you know your credit score? If not, you should find out -- and we'll explain why. In this article, we'll examine how your three-digit credit score is used and how it affects what you pay for credit, insurance and other life necessities.

Like it or not, your credit score is a major factor in your financial well-being. But what do those numbers on your credit report really mean? And how will they impact your financial future?