The information below is provided by the American Bankers Association (ABA) in conjunction with Get Smart About Credit Day. Get Smart About Credit Day was developed to help banks provide credit education to our customers and communities.
I pledge to A.C.T.!
- I pledge to Assess my debt. I will request my credit report and add up everything I owe. If it is more than I thought it was, I will be honest with myself and not deny the amount.
Access your free credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com. After filling in some information that will be used to help identify you, your credit report will appear online within a few minutes.
- I pledge to Check my credit report for errors. If there is something on my report that does not match my records, I will contact the credit reporting agency and request a correction. I will inform my financial institution if it affects one of my established accounts.
According to a recent GAO study, more than 40 percent of credit reports have errors. Visit the FTC website and follow the outlined steps to dispute or report an error on your report.
- I pledge to Take what I know and create a plan. I will set up a payment plan that will help me pay down my debt. I will find room in my budget to save.
The American Bankers Association (ABA) website has a series of useful calculators to help you put together a plan to pay down credit. For example, if you owe $5,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 12 percent, it will take you 70 months to pay it off and you will pay $1965.81 in interest. If you add $50 to your monthly payment, you will pay it off in 41 months and save $854.28 in interest.