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Financially Fit

Building Better Credit Habits

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U.S. consumers are once again increasing their collective credit card debt, which now exceeds $1 trillion.

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act protections, which went into effect in February 2009, require card issuers to disclose rates and other information more clearly. This should make it easier for consumers to monitor what they owe. But, regulations can't prevent people from making poor debt management habits.

Here's some advice for controlling credit card use:

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Financial Literacy Quiz

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How financially literate are you? Do you have the skills and knowledge to spend money wisely, save for emergencies, use credit cards sensibly, and protect your identity from being stolen?

This short quiz will help you test your financial literacy to see where you need to focus to improve your financial future.

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Six Rules for Managing Credit Card Debt

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If you want to be the master of your credit card debt load, follow these key rules:

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How To Build Credit Without Credit Cards

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It's a frustrating contradiction: You can't qualify for credit without a credit history—and you can't build a credit history without borrowing.

Borrowing is the most common way to build a credit history, but it's not your only option. Use these tactics to demonstrate to borrowers that you're a reliable credit risk:

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