The original appeal of credit cards was the ability to make purchases without carrying cash (that could be stolen) and the protection against unauthorized purchases. In short, credit cards aren't necessary, but they are useful.These days, however, these benefits can be achieved with a run-of-the-mill debit card. Besides, if the average person only used credit cards for online shopping, one card - rather than five, or 10 - would be enough.In theory, debt consolidation should not have a major impact on your credit score.

When you’re ready to get out of debt, sometimes it’s hard to know which path you should take.

For some people, debt consolidation will be the best option because it can allow you to group all your debt together, thereby making it easier to manage your debt – and in some cases lowering your monthly payment and interest rate at the same time (see our article on how debt consolidation works).

"I tell you Doris, he was making $150,000 a year and had been working at the same place for a decade and they wouldn't approve his loan!

They told him straight up that no credit history means no loan - all because he didn't have a credit card." It has become a bit of an urban legend, but with the rising prices of houses and the need for almost everyone to carry a mortgage, credit ratings have taken on greater importance.

So you can bet that where competition rules, advertising spin appears.

Here are 10 myths about debt consolidation and the truth about them.

Discover Card is serious about safeguarding your personal information online.

When you access your account and perform transactions on the Discover site we use 128-bit-Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology-the most widely used method of securing internet transactions available today.

You face a series of phone calls and have to wrestle with details that might not seem important now, such as the impact to your credit and next year's tax bill.

"It's not easy," says Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

According to a 2014 Gallup survey, about 29% of Americans don't have even one credit card. In fact, most individuals have more than one credit card, and the average American has 2.7 cards (including those with no cards.