Credit Building

Additional Resources

Credit  Builders Alliance

Credit Builders Alliance is a non-profit organization creating innovative solutions to help non-traditional financial and asset building institutions serving low-to-moderate income individuals build credit and financial access in order to grow their businesses and/or personal assets. 

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act). CFPB's mission is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans - whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products. Some wonderful tools include: Submit a Complaint and Know Before You Owe (for credit cards, mortgages, and student loans). 


PowerPay is a free, personalized, self-directed debt elimination tool. Save money by paying off debt (specifically credit card debt) using the PowerPay method. Other tools available include a spending plan and PowerSave.

Asset Platform

Asset Platform is a resource for staff at nonprofit organizations and agencies that provide financial education, coaching, asset development and other support services. The Asset Platform has tools for counselors regarding budget, savings, debt, credit score, and insurance. A couple of tools to check out include: Medical Debt, Auto Resource Road Map, and the Financial Products - Credit Union locator.

Counselor Tools

Justine PETERSEN Credit Building Training

Is your orgnaization thinking about starting or expanding your credit building department? Justine PETERSEN offers in person and on-line credit building training designed to build your capacity in helping clients understand the best way to increase their credit score.

Below are a list of resources and links to various tools and websites that can be helpful to Credit Building counselors or coaches working with clients towards financial stability: 

Credit Report Basics and Definitions

Credit Report Basics and Definitions: Learn more about basic information on a credit report and important definitions. Topics include:

  • Who Reports to the Credit Bureaus
  • Statue of Limitations on Debt
  • Types of Inquiries
  • Definition of an Active Line of Credit
  • Payment History
  • Definition of a Collection vs. a Charge Off


Credit Score Basics

Credit Score Basics: Learn more about the different scoring models, including the difference between FICO and the VantageScore.Also check out the following resources.  


Disputing Inaccurate Information

Credit Bureau Dispute Letters: The Federal Trade Commission estimates that one in four consumers have errors on their credit report and found that 5% of consumers had errors that were directly impacting their credit score. 

  • How to Dispute to the Credit Bureaus: Learn the different ways to complete a dispute. 
  • Sample Basic Dispute Letter: Use this letter template for writing a dispute letter.
  • Verification Letter: Any creditor or debt collector is required by law to tell you certain information about the debt. If your client believes they don't owe the debt or it doesn't belong to them, then they can request formal verification of the debt. This letter is sent to the creditor (original or collection agency) that claims to own the debt. This letter was furnished by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). 
  • Experian Online Dispute process: Watch this Experian video of how to dispute online. Completing a dispute online tends to be a little faster of a process than doing a dispute by mail. 



Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Credit Building and financial counselors are not lawyers and should refer clients to lawyers for advice on bankruptcy and legal issues. It's important for counselors to know the basics of bankruptcy. 

  • Basics to Bankruptcy: Learn the basics of the 2 main types of personal bankruptcy and what to consider when meeting with a client. 
  • Ask Experian - Bankruptcy. Experian's Public Education expert Maxine Sweet answer Frequently Asked Questions about how bankruptcy effects credit scores and report. 


Identity Theft

Identity Theft happens when somone uses someone elses personal information including name, address, social security number and/or date of birth. Below are some resources on how to combat identity theft.