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Dragging yourself out of debt is not an easy task -- it takes sacrifice, willpower and a plan. First, you need to gain an understanding of how you got there and your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act as well as with the "big three” credit reporting bureaus.

Improving your credit score can actually save you money and help you reduce your debt. Better scores mean lower rate loans and, therefore, the ability to pay off your existing debt faster and easier.

Recovery also often requires yet more education -- to enable you to recognize and distinguish between honest, reputable firms and agencies offering assistance and scam artists looking to push you further into debt.

Establishing and committing yourself to a sensible spending plan and adopting an aggressive payment plan can reduce your burden in time.

The road to recovery

Your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act -- Problems with your credit card? If it's a billing error, the law is on your side -- if you know how to use it.

Debt negotiators can crush your credit -- Some firms will leave you worse off than when you started with them.

5 ways to improve your credit -- So, you've made mistakes. These steps will help you restore the luster to your credit rating.

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Can you read your credit report? -- OK, you got your free credit report. But can you make any sense of it?

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

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

Top credit-repair scams -- An up-to-date look at the current popular scams aimed at people trying to fix their credit.

No credit is easier to fix than bad credit -- It's not a good situation, but having no credit is better than having bad credit, advises Steve Bucci, who provides valuable tips for fixing both.

Three little numbers that can run your life -- A FICO score, practically unheard of a few years ago, keeps growing in importance for your finances.

15 signs you need debt-reduction help -- These signals let you know it's time to call in a financial fitness expert.

8 ways to consolidate your debts -- Always worried about the debt you're carrying? Consider these 8 ways to dig yourself out of that hole.

The dangers of debt consolidation -- Are you tempted to take out one big loan to pay off all those other nagging debts? Before you bundle your bills, check out the pros and cons of these consolidation options.

10 biggest debt consolidation myths -- Debt consolidation has gotten to be big business, but the growth has not come without its share of charlatans.

Top 7 questions on debt and credit counseling -- Our experts examine the most frequently asked questions such as when you need it and how to find it.

How to pick a credit counseling firm -- You're going to be letting them handle your money. Choose wisely.

'05 Debt Credit Guide
 Credit in our lives
 Road to ruin

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