State of Minnesota
More about
Attorney General
Lori Swanson

Minnesota Attorney General's Office

1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

(651) 296-3353
(800) 657-3787

M - F 8 am - 5 pm

TTY:(651) 297-7206
TTY:(800) 366-4812

The Credit Handbook

Chapter 1: The ABCs of Credit

  • The Case for Credit Cards
  • There are Disadvantages, Too

Chapter 2: How to Get Credit

  • Where Do I Start?
  • What's My Credit Score?
  • What if I Get Turned Down?
  • Co-Signers Can Help
  • Try a Secured Credit Card

Chapter 3: The Cost of Credit

  • What Will it Cost Me?
  • Study These Fees
  • How is the Finance Charge Figured?
  • Can Interest Rates Jump?
  • Beware the Minimum Payment Trap
  • Get Interested in Interest
  • Money Saving Tips

Chapter 4: Credit Reports

  • What Information is in a Credit Report?
  • Look at Your Credit Report
  • Contact Credit Bureaus to See Your Report
  • You Can Correct Errors in Your Report

Chapter 5: When Credit Goes Bad

  • I Can't Pay My Bills
  • Debt Payment Plan
  • Talk to Your Creditors
  • Contact a Credit Counseling Service
  • Considering Bankruptcy
  • What is an Automatic Stay?
  • Different Kinds of Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 7
  • What Property Will I Give Up if I File Chapter 7?
  • What Property Will I Get to Keep if I File Chapter 7?
  • How Does Chapter 7 Work?
  • What if I Changed My Mind?
  • When is Chapter 7 a Bad Idea?
  • Chapter 13
  • When Should I Consider Chapter 13?
  • How Does Chapter 13 Work?
  • For More Information
  • Vehicle Repossession
  • Home Loans
  • Warning: Think Twice About Using Your Home as Collateral
  • Garnishment
  • How Garnishment Works
  • How Much Money is Protected From Garnishment?
  • What Can Be Garnished?
  • Who Can Garnish My Property?
  • Can a Creditor Just Take My Wages or Seize My Bank Accounts?
  • How Many Creditors Can Garnish Me at Once?
  • Can I Be Fired for Being Garnished?
  • How Can I Avoid Garnishment?
  • Debt Collectors
  • Student Loans
  • Ask for a Deferment or Forbearance
  • Defaulting on a Student Loan

Chapter 6: Other Issues

  • Electronic Banking
  • ATM Cards
  • Debit Cards or Check Cards
  • Credit Scoring
  • How Can I Improve My Credit Score?
  • Fighting Credit Card Fraud
  • Stop Identity Thieves in Their Tracks
  • Make Yourself Less Vulnerable to Identity Theft
  • The Rent-to-Own Trap

Chapter 7: Credit Laws and Your Credit Rights

  • Truth in Lending Act
  • Fair Credit Billing Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Electronic Funds Transfer Act
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • Consumer Leasing Act
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Chapter 8: Resources

Chapter 9: Glossary

Top 10 Credit Tips

Additional Consumer Information

The Attorney General's Office answers questions about landlord and tenant rights, manufactured homes, health care, cars, credit, unwanted mail and phone calls, and numerous other consumer issues. The Attorney General's Office also provides free mediation to resolve disputes between Minnesota consumers and businesses and uses information from consumers to enforce the state's consumer laws.

If you have a complaint, please contact the Attorney General's Office in writing at:

Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 296-3353
TTY: (651) 297-7206
TTY: 1-800-366-4812

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