The Federal Trade Commission allows an individual to get a free credit report once each 12 month period. Our patron needs to go online to www.annualcreditreport.com. Following the instructions, he will receive a report which will include all the credit cards in his name.
There are many interesting websites dealing with this topic. In the online article at consumerist.com, How To CancelA Credit Card Without Hurting Your Credit Score by Meg Marco Craig Watts, public affairs manager for FICO (Fair Isaac Corp., the company who invented the FICO score) advises readers "To close card accounts without impacting one's credit score, you need to only have zero balances on your credit report for all of your active credit cards. That's because if you have zero balances your credit utilization rate is therefore zero, and you can't raise it — and potentially hurt your score — by closing one or more of the active card accounts.” www.creditcards.com has several articles with advice on canceling cards, as well as a worksheet which includes guidelines to and a sample letter for closing accounts.
We also showed our patron some of the financial materials we have in the library. Two resources they considered were Master your Debt: Slash your Monthly Payments and Become Debt Free by Jordan Elliot Goodman and Survival Guide to Debt: How to Overcome Tough Times & Restore YourFinancial Health by Mitchell Allen.
To assist patrons in making wise financial and purchasing decisions, the Newton Falls Public Library subscribes to the following magazines: Consumer Reports, Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Money, and ShopSmart.