1. Credit And Debt Management: Introduction
  2. Credit And Debt Management: Credit Reports And Scores
  3. Credit And Debt Management: Building Credit From Scratch
  4. Credit And Debt Management: Repairing Credit
  5. Credit And Debt Management: Credit Cards
  6. Credit And Debt Management: Reducing Debt
  7. Credit And Debt Management: Debt Collection And Bankruptcy
  8. Credit And Debt Management: Credit Counseling
  9. Credit And Debt Management: Credit And Relationships
  10. Credit And Debt Management: Conclusion

by Cathy Pareto

America is addicted to debt. Just call us the credit nation, from the highest levels of government all the way down to Main Street USA. America and Americans are obsessed with credit and rely on debt every day. Even as the nation and its consumers struggle under record debt levels, we continue to rack up more.

Like it or not, we need credit. As we have established during and since the global financial meltdown of 2008, credit keeps the wheels of the global money machine well greased. Concepts, such as buying a home, starting a business, or buying an investment property often could not become realities without some form of credit. In fact, utility companies, banks, landlords and even employers often require credit checks before extending services or employment. Consider the following statistics:

  • As reported by the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the size of total U.S.consumer debt grew nearly five times in size from $824 billion in 1990 to nearly $2.2 trillion in 2005.
  • According to Experian, without factoring in mortgages, in 2008 the average American held over $16,635 in debt.
  • According to ComScore, in 2008 55% of Americans maintained a running balance on their credit card accounts.
  • According to Visa and MasterCard, in 2006 alone there were 984 million bank-issued Visa and MasterCard credit and debit card accounts in the United States.
  • Mail Monitor, a credit card direct mail tracking service, reports that roughly 4.2 billion credit card offers were made to U.S. households in 2008.
  • An online poll conducted by CardTrak.com reports that the average rate for bank credit cards reached a whopping 19% in March 2007, whereas the average rate in 2003 was 16.5%.
Credit and its associated debts are a part of our reality, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, and it is up to each individual consumer to not let credit ruin them. Unfortunately for many, it already has. The level of consumer debt has grown exponentially in the U.S., where tens of millions of credit consumers find themselves overwhelmed by their personal debts.

If you find yourself in a credit or debt bind, keep reading. This tutorial will provide an overview of credit and debt management concepts that every consumer should know about so they know how to live with credit.

Learn how avoiding loans can be possible and enjoyable in Can You Live A Debt-Free Life?

Credit And Debt Management: Credit Reports And Scores

Related Articles
  1. Markets

    Time to Accept Credit Card Offers Again?

    How much you could get and whether to respond
  2. Personal Finance

    Use Your Credit Card To Boost Your Credit Score

    Misusing credit cards can blow your credit – but using them well can boost your score. How to grow a history, fix bad credit, make good credit even better.
  3. ETFs & Mutual Funds

    Investing In Credit Card Companies

    This investment requires keeping an eye on consumer indexes and the overall health of the economy.
  4. Investing

    The Importance Of Your Credit Rating

    A great starting point for learning what a credit score is, how it is calculated and why it is so important.
  5. Personal Finance

    Credit Card Debt’s Up: 6 Ways to Eliminate Yours

    If you're part of the new higher credit card debt trend, here's how to get out from under – now.
  6. Personal Finance

    How Credit Cards Affect Your Credit Rating

    The average American household has four cards, but does that mean more is better?
  7. Personal Finance

    6 Ways To Build Credit Without A Credit Card

    It's definitely possible – if a bit more complicated – to build a credit history without traditional credit cards. Just follow these steps.
  8. Personal Finance

    Consolidating Debt: What If You Have Bad Credit?

    Getting a debt consolidation loan is more difficult when you have bad credit. But it could still help put you on the road to improving your credit score.
  9. Personal Finance

    4 Unexpected Things That Lower Your Credit

    It's important to maintain a good credit score. Discover what could be lowering it without your knowledge.
  10. Personal Finance

    4 Common Credit Card Misconceptions

    Many Americans think these credit card "rules" are true. Read on to find out the facts.
Trading Center