Advice on Importance of Credit Rating
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"ICFE Offers Advice on Importance of Credit Rating!"

(As many as one in five credit reports may contain serious errors!)

RELEASE: June 2001
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA.  "Many consumers, especially home buyers, seem to underestimate the value and importance of his or her credit rating" says Paul S. Richard, executive director of the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) based in San Diego, CA., that has publishes a low-cost "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" which aids consumers fully understand the importance of a good credit rating. According to the recent Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, however, about one half of Americans don't seem to fully understand the negative effect bad credit has on their chances to qualify for a home loan.

Over half of the people responding to the survey indicated they think late payments are "a minor problem or no problem at all." "The high number of Americans who don't connect paying bills late with the
potential for problems later when they try to qualify for a mortgage is a new and very disturbing trend and we must find ways of reversing it," said Franklin D Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman.

"If late payments are errors, these and other mistakes could cause unfair denial of a loan, a mortgage, an insurance policy, an apartment or even a job," said Ed Mierzwinski, the consumer program director for
the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) in Washington, D.C.

"Sometimes a file may wrongly list a series of late payments. Checking your credit file for accuracy should be done annually," says Richard. "If you discover mistakes and need help understanding how credit files
work, the ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" is there to help consumers avoid those credit repair firms which are very costly 'credit doctors' have wrongly charged consumers up to $1,500 per credit file to clear so-called mistakes, which often reappear afterwards.

Included in the ICFE's Consumer Credit Guide are step-by-step instructions on the credit repair process, an explanation of consumer credit rights, and a dozen sample letters to use when communicating with
the various credit reporting agencies about credit file questions and mistakes in addition to a credit file request form and special bonus section for first time credit seekers.

The ICFE "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" available for $10 plus $2 postage. Also available for $10 is "Consumer Guide to Good Credit" (in both English and Spanish editions.) The Los Angeles
Times Book Review calls the ICFE Guide "user friendly."

For more information contact:
ICFE U.S. PO Box 3914
San Diego, CA
92163-3914.

Or please call 619-239-1401
or visit the ICFE web site at: http://www.financial-education-icfe.org.

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton - creator of the "certified financial planner” (CFP) designation - is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The years between 1984 and 2000, the ICFE was also known as the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE).

The ICFE is a nonprofit consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. Over one million "Credit / Debit Card Warning Labels” and "Credit / Debit Card Sleeves” are in circulation world wide.

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine (June 9th, 2002) in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the "Money Instruction Book," a course in personal finance, which was completely revised and updated in 2002 and is positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide," now in its Twelfth Printing, is in use by thousands of consumer credit and debt counselors in addition to tens of thousands of consumers. It received a "buy” rating in July, August and November from nationally syndicated financial columnist, Humberto Cruz in his column, "The Savings Game". BottomLine Personal newsletter gave the Guide a "Send For” rating in September 2001. The ICFE and our do-it-yourself approach to credit file correction was featured on NBC Nightly News on 04-30-02. The Spanish edition of the Guide premiered in January 2002. Syndicated columnist, Robert Heady also gave the ICFE Guide a "buy” rating.

The ICFE Web site at: www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with mending spending, learn about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an on-line resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books and personal finance courses.

Consumers may learn more on the Internet about the "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" here, or fill out our request form, indicating your areas of interest.

For more information contact Paul S. Richard ICFE Executive Director at 619-239-1401.

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