Credit is a term that signifies your ability to borrow money with the promise to pay it back. In America, we use credit to buy everything from clothes and groceries to cars and condos. Unfortunately, many people also struggle with credit. If you’re one of the many Americans battling poor credit or an overwhelming pile of bills, we have the information and tools you need to manage your credit and take control of your finances.

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Average FICO Credit Score


Total U.S. Consumer Debt

$11.4 trillion

Credit Cards

Credit cards are a fast and convenient way to spend money, which also makes them one of the easiest ways for American to get into debt. When fees and interest charges start to pile up, it can seem nearly impossible to pay your bills. Learn how to manage credit cards and what to do if you are in over your head.

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Credit Scores & Reports

Your financial health is often expressed by one number – your credit score. Credit scores are an assessment of your credit history and how well you handle money, and they are used by lenders to determine interest rates, credit limits, and more. Discover how to beef up your credit score and how to keep it high.

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Loans & Credit

Loans and credit work hand in hand. Car loans, home loans, student loans and small business loans are all based on credit. Some loans are unsecured, others are backed by collateral, but all loans leave borrowers in debt. Learn how to establish good credit and pay your loans off faster to avoid long-term debt.

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More on Credit

How does credit affect me?

If you have poor credit, even some of life’s routine demands can be extra challenging. You could find it hard to pull out of tough financial situations: paying doctor bills or paying for a needed repair on your car or truck. Bad credit can also hurt you in bigger ways: it can limit your ability to borrow money for a higher education degree or a home. These are just a few reasons why it is important to know how the credit game is played in America – and how to win it.

Fast Fact

Although the concept of credit dates back thousands of years – to the merchant classes of late Renaissance Italy – the modern credit card first appeared in the United States in the 1920s. By 2010, there were 576.4 million U.S. credit cards in circulation.

Al Krulick


Al Krulick

Staff Writer

Al is an award-winning journalist with dozens of years of writing experience. He served as a drama critic, high school teacher, arts administrator, theatrical producer and director. He also dabbled in politics, running twice for a seat on the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida. Al is a Certified Debt Specialist with the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators and specializes in real estate, credit and bankruptcy advice.

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