Personal Finance: Organize, Manage, Research, and Invest Online
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Credit cards and loans are a great convenience, but you need to manage debt carefully. Staying attuned to your own financial situation and knowing the facts about credit can keep you on the right track. The Web offers many tools that will help you ensure that your credit never becomes a problem.
However, if you do find yourself in a difficult situation, help is available if you know where to look. For example, debt consolidation can lower payments significantly, and there are organizations devoted to helping people get out of debt. Research your options on the Internet and find out what you can do to change your current situation.
- Find out your credit score before you try to improve it. You can order a free copy of your credit report online.
- Even if you have good credit, you can still improve it. Scour your credit report for inaccuracies or credit accounts that you can close.
- Sometimes all it takes is a phone call to your credit card company to persuade them to lower your interest rate by a point or two. Calling to cancel a card almost always results in an incentive offer to keep the account open.
- In addition to Web sites devoted to debt, reading online financial newspapers is a useful to way to get tips.
- More information about loans and debt can be found in the section of this guide entitled, "How do I get a mortgage or loan?"
- Many Web sites that offer home loans and refinancing also offer debt consolidation loans.