I Am Totally Helpless When it Comes to Understanding my Credit Report – Janet

“Dear Steve,

I am totally helpless when it comes to understanding my credit report, and making a choice as to what to start paying back first.

What do i need to do to get things straight?


Dear Janet,

The good news is that dealing with your credit report and developing a repayment plan can be a relatively straight forward and simple affair.

I would recommend that you get a copy of your consolidated credit report. While there is a charge to get it I think the benefits far outweigh the cost. The special consolidated credit report will show you each of your credit items, as reported by all three major credit bureaus, side-by-side in an easy to read and color coded presentation.

If you get your consolidated credit report with the credit score option it will also show you exactly why your credit score is what it is and how you can improve it.

Armed with a comprehensive listing of who your creditors are from your new consolidated credit report you can then make some choices about who you are going to pay back first. While paying back the creditor that is charging you the highest interest rate makes the most mathematical sense, I think paying off the lowest balance creditors first makes the best motivational sense.

If you follow the Debt Snowball approach to repaying your creditors, you’ll eliminate people you owe and stay excited about paying people off.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
Steve Rhode
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