Credit and debt toolkit
Get your credit and debt problems under control with these hands-on tools from Oregon State Credit Union.
You'll gain practical money management skills using worksheets and tips which have been successful in our adult financial education classes.
Debt: Deal with collectors
Your first step is to know your rights and what to do if debt collectors call you.
- Two good sources of information: the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Federal Trade Commission's consumer information article, Coping with debt.
General tips from the FTC's debt collection FAQs include:
- Debt collectors can't use abusive, unfair or deceptive practices. They can't contact you at inconvenient times or places, or before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless you agree to it.
- To stop a debt collector from contacting you: Send a certified letter with a return receipt. Ask for contact to stop. If you talk to a collector, be careful about sharing personal information.
Credit: Repair and rebuild
Improve your credit by taking steps to fix errors and improve your credit score. General tips for taking action include:
- Regularly review your credit reports at annualcreditreport.com, pay your bills on time and reduce your overall credit.
- Use a debt reduction worksheet to help organize and prioritize your lenders, loan balances, interest rates and payments.
Build a budget: easier than you think
Create your budget. It's easier than you think and it can free you up to save and spend the way you want. If you never budget or if you haven't budgeted in a while, use this worksheet to organize and focus your thinking and decisions. To move beyond unbudgeted stress and overspending, download our easy-to-use worksheet here.
Be smart: Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. SMART goals tell you exactly how you're going to reach your goal and manage money with less stress and more success. Download our SMART goal worksheet with examples and blanks that guide you to fill in your details.
Track your weekly expenses. You'll see how this is a key to money management success. This simple worksheet will enable you to record, organize and know exactly what you're spending each week to make better decisions. That's power that you'll gain when you use this helpful tool.
Oregon State Credit Union has a good track record of providing financial education and helping others manage their money.
Let us know if you need help. Send an email to our community financial education department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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