Relevant Information for Consumers

Short Consumer Financial
Literacy Video

Click HERE to watch ACA International's consumer financial literacy message via a two-minute video segment.

Personal Finance Holiday
Tips for Consumers

Holiday season can be stressful for consumers, especially if the prospect of buying gifts will add to an already burdensome debt load. Careful planning and active communication are important tools to effectively managing personal finances, particularly if a consumer is struggling to make payments on their current debt obligations or being contacted by a debt collector.

Plan and Budget: Holiday gift giving doesn't need to break the bank; after all, it's the thought that counts. Determine what you can reasonably afford, create a budget and plan for gifts, and stick to it. Keep in mind that purchases on credit will need to be repaid at some point in the future.

Track your Spending: Keep tabs on how much you spend to help stay within the guidelines of your “holiday budget.”

Protect your Identity: Be careful about giving personal information including a credit or debit card number over the phone and online. Monitor your accounts and immediately report any suspicious or unauthorized purchases to your bank or credit card company. Consumers should monitor their credit and are entitled to a free credit report each year at If you believe your identity has been stolen, contact your local police department.

Communicate with Creditors: Having trouble making payments on an existing debt? Contact the creditor to discuss alternative payment arrangements. It won't eliminate your debt but it can make things more manageable. Communication is particularly important if you are behind in payments to a creditor (e.g., credit card, loan, mortgage, medical) to avoid having the debt appear on credit reports.

Communicate with the Debt Collector: In the event you hear from a debt collector, avoiding a letter or call won't make the debt go away. The reason for the contact cannot be resolved without the ability to communicate; whether it's to pay an owed debt, verify an alleged debt or confirm that the debt collector has reached the wrong person.

Know your Rights: Consumers have important rights when contacted by a creditor or debt collector. For more information about consumer rights in debt collection or to ask questions, visit Created by the ACA International Education Foundation, It's a free resource that does not require log-in or the sharing of personal information.

Important Tips for Consumers to Identify Legitimate Debt Collection Activity

In response to recent news reports about debt collection scams, ACA International offers the following tips for consumers to identify legitimate collection activities.   Read More

Attention Consumer

This is the web site of a professional association serving members located in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. As an association servicing members engaged in the credit and collection industry, we do not collect consumer debt, handle consumer disputes or the correction and/or update of information on a credit report.

To search for a specific member company that collects past-due debt, or has placed a notice on your credit report, try visiting our Member Directory,  where you may search for the company name.

Also, as an additional resource, you may visit KnowMyDebt. KnowMyDebt is the place to find answers to your credit and debt questions

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This information is not to be construed as legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Every effort has been made to assure that this information is up-to-date as of the date of publication. It is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area. This information is not intended as legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. It should not be used to replace the advice of your own legal counsel.


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