Credit card and other debt

There’s no denying that using a credit card can be handy, but it can also come with unexpected and unwanted consequences. There can also be other ways we find ourselves in debt and in need of resources to help understand how we got there and what we can do to resolve it.

Project Money - Credit Cards:
Project Money offers straightforward explanations of what credit cards are and how they work, including charts showing how much interest you will really pay over time. Created by a team of adult literacy learners, this site also includes clearly written information about saving money, setting up a bank account, and paying income tax.

Credit Card Repayment Calculator (en español):
Using the Federal Reserve’s credit card repayment calculator, you can see how long it will take you to pay off your debt if you make minimum payments or specific monthly payments. It will also show you your total interest costs.

American Consumer Credit Counseling:
This national, nonprofit organization is licensed in Oregon to provide free one-on-one counseling to examine your financial situation and figure out a plan for managing your debt.

Annual Credit
This is a centralized service that provides easy access to your credit report  from the three major companies, TransUnion, Experion, and Equifax. You can make your requests online, by phone, or by mail. There is no charge for this service. If someone tries to charge you, do not use their services.

Wisc-online - Buying a Car:
Created by the faculty at the Wisconsin Technical College System, this webpage shows you how to figure out the real costs of buying a car, whether for cash or with a loan. Before you make such a big purchase, it’s useful to arm yourself with the knowledge of what you can really expect to pay. They also have additional learning resources on a range of financial (and other) topics, such as understanding the real costs of rent-to-own purchases.

Northwest Debtors Anonymous:
Based on the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, this group offers free local workshops and support groups to help stop debting.

Consumer Protection Week - Payday Loan Companies (en español):
Here’s a handout from the State of Oregon that will help you guard against predatory unlicensed payday loan companies. Too often, these organizations take advantage of people in tight situations by charging them outrageous interest and fees.

Oregon State Bar - Bankruptcy and Debt:
This site has information to help you determine whether filing for bankruptcy would be helpful, an overview of debtors' rights, and how one goes about filing for bankruptcy in Oregon.

Follow this link for books giving an in depth look at credit and debt in the United States.