The importance of credit and debt

[cred•it] noun: Credit refers to the ability to borrow money. Some forms of credit commonly used by consumers are car loans, home mortgage loans and credit cards. Those who can borrow money at a reasonable rate of interest are sometimes said to have good credit, while those who cannot borrow such amounts at such rates are said to have bad credit. Debt is money owed to someone else.

Credit can play an important role in your life, but it can also lead to a heavy debt load and a bad credit history that takes years to improve. Whether you’re considering different credit options and want to stay on solid financial ground or have already accumulated debt and want to dig yourself out, understanding the basics is important to successfully managing your finances.

[cred•it] noun: Credit refers to the ability to borrow money. Some forms of credit commonly used by consumers are car loans, home mortgage loans and credit cards. Those who can borrow money at a reasonable rate of interest are sometimes said to have good credit, while those who cannot borrow such amounts at such rates are said to have bad credit. Debt is money owed to someone else.

Credit can play an important role in your life, but it can also lead to a heavy debt load and a bad credit history that takes years to improve. Whether you’re considering different credit options and want to stay on solid financial ground or have already accumulated debt and want to dig yourself out, understanding the basics is important to successfully managing your finances.

Credit & Debt Resources

TIP: Follow the 20/10 rule. Credit cards are loans; never borrow more than 20% of your annual net income and don’t let payments on those loans exceed more than 10% of your monthly net income.

Smart Money Community Services (Budgeting)

SmartMoney Community Services is a program initiative of CityLink Center and provides financial counseling and economic education to underserved individuals in Greater Cincinnati Communities. SmartMoney provides CityLink clients with a Comprehensive Financial Literacy package: SmartDollars and Sense workshops and SmartChange one-on-one financial counseling designed to equip participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Greater Cincinnati Urban League (Credit & Debt)

The Urban League’s Business Development & Entrepreneurship programs help create jobs across our region. Our Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Economic Empowerment Center and the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Certification programs serve small businesses and minority-owned businesses.

Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Inc. (GCMI) (Credit & Debt)

GCMI offers a wide range of programs that help you reach your goal of becoming a business owner. If your dream is to own your business the Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative, Inc. can help. GCMI has developed entrepreneurial training classes specifically structured to help you achieve this goal.

Apprisen (Credit & Debt)

Credit is an important tool for reaching financial goals. However, if life changes or personal choices have found you navigating through too much debt, you may want to explore debt repayment options with one of our counselors. One solution may be a Debt Management Program (DMP), which is designed to help you pay off your credit card, medical and other unsecured debt in a timely manner.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Credit & Debt)

Money Matters. Using tried and true strategies for dealing with money—or the lack of it—can make a big difference to your present and your future. Whether you are saving, spending, or borrowing money, the FTC has information you can’t afford to overlook.

MyFICO (Credit & Debt)

The FICO® Score is a number that summarizes your credit risk. Lenders use it to make credit decisions, such as the interest rate you’ll pay when you apply for a loan. 90 of the top 100 largest U.S. financial institutions use the FICO Score to make consumer credit decisions. Make informed credit decisions with MyFICO. Learn more about checking your FICO score and compare products.

AnnualCreditReport (Credit & Debt)

Fight identity theft by monitoring and reviewing your credit report. You may request your free credit report online, request your report by phone, or request your report through the mail.

National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) (Credit & Debt)

As the nation’s largest financial counseling organization, the NFCC Member Agency Network includes more than 700 community-based offices located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. NFCC Member Agencies provide financial counseling and education to millions of consumers each year in person, over the phone, or online.

FDIC (Credit & Debt)

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has information and resources to education and protect consumers. For a listing of Frequently Asked Questions for Consumer Protection, visit their website.

Brighton Center (Credit & Debt)

Budget and Credit Counseling is a one-on-one session to develop a personal budget, money management techniques, repair/establish credit, and help establishing checking or savings accounts.