If you want to understand credit reporting and credit scoring or learn how to repair your credit, clean up your credit report, rebuild credit, or protect your good credit in the future, start with these consumer-friendly websites.
Nolo's Credit Repair for Bad Credit Section
True to Nolo style, this section provides clear, concise information on credit, repairing credit, and staying out of credit trouble. Articles cover topics such as how to protect your credit, understanding credit reports and credit scoring, and how to rebuild your credit after running into financial trouble. You can also find step-by-step instructions on how to clean up your credit report yourself.
Visit this site to order your free annual credit report from all three credit bureaus. Also has information about reporting credit fraud, placing a fraud alert on your account, and disputing information on your credit report.
For a small fee, you can obtain your FICO score, understand the factors affecting it, and learn how to improve and protect your score. MyFICO has lots of information on auto loans, credit cards, student loans, and mortgages.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
The NFCC website provides information about credit counseling and has a national directory of local member agencies -- nonprofit credit counseling agencies staffed by NFCC-trained, certified counselors. Counselors can provide pre-bankruptcy counseling as well as counseling regarding debt, credit, and foreclosure issues.
Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA)
Use the "Find a Credit Counseling Agency" search tool at the top of the web page to get a list of member credit counseling agencies in your state.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre13.shtm and www.consumerfinance.gov
The FTC's online credit repair fact sheet alerts consumers to credit repair scams and provides information on how to repair your credit yourself. The CFPB has lots of information for consumers, including FAQs on credit reports, credit scores, and credit repair, among other topics.
Nolo's Debt & Collection Agencies Section
If your credit problems are the result of overall debt trouble, turn to this website for information on what to do if you can't pay your bills, how to handle debt collectors, and your options for digging yourself out of a financial hole.