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Some debt -- You are far from being buried by your debts, so now is a good time to shed what you have and build some defenses.

Topics: Identify your debt, Know your credit cards, Understand credit reports and scores, Tackle your debts

S O M E  D E B T

Identify your debt
Warning signs of too much debt -- You can live with debt. The questions are, how much is too much, and how can you tell?

Good debt vs. bad debt -- A mortgage is usually good debt. Buying more clothes you don't need on credit is not.

 Know your credit cards 
Credit card's real deal is buried in fine print -- The big letters say "You've been approved!" but make sure you know what you're agreeing to.

Reading a credit card statement -- Not knowing how to read it can cost you money.
PLUS: Figuring finance charges

How to cancel a credit card -- Be careful when closing an account, or it may come back to haunt you.

Late with one creditor? All will punish you -- A trend in the financial industry is for Company X to jack up your rates because you were late to pay Company Y.

 Understand credit reports and scores 
Why you should check your credit report -- If you are applying for a loan or credit, records of your previous dealings with some else's money are vital.

Can you read your credit report? -- OK, you got your credit report just like everyone says you should. Here's how to read it.

Correcting errors on your credit report -- Follow these steps to get errors removed from your credit reports.

13 myths about credit reports -- When it comes to credit information, what you think you know that isn't true can really hurt you.

Contacting the credit bureaus -- Here are the addresses and Web sites for the big three credit reporting agencies.

The future of FICO -- A little three-digit number, practically unknown a few years ago, keeps growing in importance for your finances.

Monitoring the credit monitoring services -- Can they protect your credit, or do they just cost you money?

8 calls to make if your identity is stolen -- This step-by-step guide will help you clear your good name.

 Tackle your debt 
Making a money-smart spending plan -- Do you fail every time you try to budget? Try this: Don't budget, plan your spending.

Debt and marriage -- These strategies will help you work through debt without ending up divorced.

Cures for post-holiday debt remorse -- 8 solutions for dealing with your spending demons.

Yes! Use home equity to consolidate debt -- Bankrate financial expert George Saenz says convenience, lower payments and a tax break all make it smart to tap home equity to consolidate debt.

No! Don't use your home equity to consolidate debt -- Keep your cotton-pickin' paws off your home equity nest egg, says financial expert Dorothy Rosen.

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