July 24, 2004

Credit can be an effective money management tool and like most tools, you have to learn how to use it properly.

The new web site http://www.libredeudas.org contains tips and facts to help you become a better money manager.

According to a recent survey conducted by Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., a national nonprofit credit counseling organization, many people still have a lot to learn when it comes to using credit wisely.

The survey of nearly 5,000 individuals revealed the following:

-- They reported that they save only about one percent of their income.
-- Over half, 58 percent, said that their credit cards are at or near their maximum.
-- Over one third, 37 percent, have taken cash advances from one credit card to make monthly payments on another card.
-- Fifty-nine percent pay only the minimum due each month.

“About 190 million Americans have credit cards and, on average, they spend $1.22 for every dollar they earn,” said Lupita Ramirez a debt specialist at Consolidated Credit. “It’s easy to get into trouble with debt—getting out can be much more difficult. Whether you have financial problems due to buying a new home, having a baby, an illness, or any other situation, the important thing is that you take steps to get free from debt.” Ramirez continued.

As part of a campaign to educate consumers on credit, Consolidated Credit has posted information on how to use credit wisely, how to start and stick to a budget, restoring credit, and advice on choosing a credit counseling agency. Consumers can also call 1-800-250-4439 for a free budget analysis; to learn how to pay their way out of debt and how to use credit wisely.

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