Programs that provide assistance for people who want to improve their understanding of the consumer credit lending and collections systems, and maximize their skill in using credit. Services may include help in completing credit application forms, understanding how credit information is analyzed, choosing the best credit cards and/or interest rates available, determining how many credit cards can be managed, protecting one's credit information, communicating with creditors, improving poor credit reports and associated credit scores, eliminating credit card debt and dealing with other credit card issues.
Programs that help consumers obtain their personal credit reports, one copy of which is available at no cost from each of the national credit reporting agencies annually.
Organizations that maintain credit history records and make available to prospective lenders, insurers, landlords and employers (as well as to consumers themselves) reports that document the individual's past borrowing and repayment activity including information about late payments and bankruptcies. Information in credit reports is used to calculate credit scores (a numerical representation of the likelihood that a consumer will meet future financial obligations) which are used to determine the interest rate people receive on their mortgage, car loan, credit cards, auto insurance and other forms of credit.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.