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    Ways to Help Clean Up Your Credit

    If you suspect that you cannot get a decent loan because of your credit, or would like to qualify for a better interest rate than you would with a cloud on your credit, there are steps that you can take right now.

    A number of credit services, some funded by debt carriers, offer personalized service to help you organize your funds and reduce or pay off your debts. Depending on the exact nature of your credit problem, you may be able to get quick help, or you may need counseling, assistance, and a plan to follow.

    Taking the first step is the important thing. The worse your credit is, the longer it may take, but you will definitely feel better when you whittle away at your mountain of debt and unpaid balances. The trick is to manage your credit rehabilitation in a way that improves your credit score, one of the means your credit is rated.

    The Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) provide free professional counseling and some low cost services including budget counseling, debt management planning, educational services, housing counseling, and phone and mail counseling.

    Debt management counseling will help you determine how much you really can afford to pay on your bills; arrange affordable repayment plans that creditors will accept; and develop a personalized budget.

    Of particular interest is housing counseling that the service offers. The CCCS is HUD-Certified on the home ownership readiness; default resolution; delinquency and foreclosure prevention, and rent/lease delinquency.

    You can find more help at Debt Counselors of America, which has an extensive list of free editorials and suggestions about controlling debt and offers numerous programs that assist in debt restructuring. They offer a variety of publications and debt restructuring programs, including programs for people who are current on their bills as well as for those who are behind.

    Like the CCCS, the National Foundation for Consumer Credit is funded by lenders, credit unions, community groups and other contributors. This nonprofit network also provides credit and debt education and counseling for repayment and debt restructuring.

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