Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it seven years ago, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering college and professional sports, which are the fantasy worlds of finance. His work has been published by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, among others. His interest in sports has waned some, but his interest in never reaching for his wallet is as passionate as ever. Bill can be reached at [email protected]
To this catalogue of circumstances that tend to the amelioration of popular systems of civil government, I shall venture, however novel it may appear to some, to add one more, on a principle which has been made the foundation of an objection to the new Constitution; I mean the ENLARGEMENT of the ORBIT within which such systems are to revolve, either in respect to the dimensions of a single State or to the consolidation of several smaller States into one great Confederacy.
Don't be afraid to use a portion of your savings to pay down high-interest rate debts. Using cash reserves for debt repayment is a smart decision because you will stop accruing interest on those large balances. Although it may feel comforting to have some extra cash sitting in your bank account, the truth is that those funds aren't really working for you — not with today's record low interest rates. Don't deplete your savings entirely. If you're sitting on a pile of cash, do use some of those funds to eliminate your bills.

You might want to talk to the collector at least once, even if you don’t think you owe the debt or can’t repay it immediately. That way you can confirm whether it’s really your debt, and if it is, you can find out from the collector more information about it. In talking with a debt collector, be careful about sharing your personal or financial information, especially if you’re not already familiar with the collector.
A better idea? Freeze your card in a block of ice that you keep in your freezer. That will prevent impulse purchases with your credit card while keeping it available for emergencies or more thoughtful purposes. As long there are no fees for keeping the account open (or a minimum interest charged per month), there’s no harm in keeping the card in your freezer.
HOW IT WORKS: A credit counselor asks questions about your income and expenses to see if you qualify for a debt management program. If you enroll in the program, you agree to have InCharge debit a monthly payment, which will then be distributed to your creditors in agreed upon amounts. In return, credit card companies agree to lower interest rates to around 8% (sometimes lower), which results in lower monthly payments.
Unpaid medical bills can quickly turn into collection accounts. Whether you’re facing collections because of insurance gaps you didn’t know you had or out-of-pocket expenses that your insurance didn’t cover, you need to be proactive if you want to avoid credit damage that medical debt can cause. Learn about new credit reporting rules related to medical debt and what you can do to solve these challenges.
Consumer debt is debt that is owed as a result of purchasing goods that are consumable or do not appreciate. As of the third quarter of 2019, U.S. consumer debt reached a new high of just over $14 trillion, about $1.3 trillion more than the previous record, set during the 2008 financial crisis. The rise has been attributed to soaring student and auto loans, along with total credit card debt. Options for mitigating consumer debt include speaking with a creditor about debt-relief measures, such as restructuring loans, or loan forgiveness or declaring personal bankruptcy, which are both forms of debt settlement.
Credit.org has a stellar reputation spanning more than 45 years in operation. Also known as Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, this service offers non-profit financial coaching for a wide range of credit and debt concerns, including housing (foreclosure, reverse mortgage, pre-purchase), bankruptcy, student loans, and debt relief. The BBB rates credit.org as an "A+" accredited business across all of the services provided. Additionally, credit.org is accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).
With government debt consolidation programs, you’ll consolidate multiple loans into a single new loan, with a new interest rate and payment terms. With just one check to write each month, you’ll find it easier to keep track of your loan payments. Additionally, a government debt consolidation plan can lower your monthly student loan payments by increasing the amount of time you have to pay back the loan and giving you access to other repayment options. If your original student loans have variable interest rates, government debt consolidation programs can convert your debt to a fixed interest rate, providing more predictability and possibly a lower monthly payment.
Still, it’s important to note that these debt reduction strategies won’t solve every debt problem in just any situation. Once you read this page and understand what you need to do, run some calculations. See how long it will take to repay what you owe and how much it will cost. If those numbers don’t make you happy, consider alternative options for debt relief.

When we talked about how to pay off debt with the snowball method, we kept reiterating the psychological boost. That’s what the debt snowball is all about. The debt ladder method is much different. Even though this method allows you to pay off debt fast (keep in mind, this is total debt), it might take you a while to actually close an individual account in full. In our example, we did it quickly, but this won’t always be the case. Let’s be honest, closing an account in full is extremely rewarding for consumers who are figuring out how to pay off debt. Each time you close an account, you’ve reached a milestone. Just know that with the ladder method, this might not happen as quickly.

It simplifies your finances. Debt consolidation loans combine multiple debts into one monthly payment. The loans have fixed rates and a set repayment term, so your monthly payments stay the same and you know when the debt will be paid off. Credit card rates are variable, so your monthly payments differ, depending on your balance, and it’s hard to know when your debts will be paid off.
You pay a percentage of your total debt usually between 18-25% of the total debt. So if you owe $50,000 and the company charges 20%; you pay them $10,000. These are typically included in your monthly payment. However, most won’t tell you exactly how much of your monthly payment is going towards your debts and how much is actually being deducted as their “fee.”
Before you apply, we encourage you to carefully consider whether consolidating your existing debt is the right choice for you. Consolidating multiple debts means you will have a single payment monthly, but it may not reduce or pay your debt off sooner. The payment reduction may come from a lower interest rate, a longer loan term, or a combination of both. By extending the loan term, you may pay more in interest over the life of the loan. By understanding how consolidating your debt benefits you, you will be in a better position to decide if it is the right option for you.
After the first month, we have almost closed the Macy’s account. While we have still been paying interest on other debts, we are doing so at a lower percentage than the Macy’s account, saving us money in the long-term. As you can see, next month we will pay off the Macy’s account in full. Once we account for interest, we will spend $66.23 on Macy’s and will have a $223.77 surplus to put toward the next account—our private student loan. Our private student loan will go from a balance of $809.21 to a $767.98 after interest and our minimum payment. But, since we closed the Macy’s account, we still have a surplus of $223.77, and our student loan will drop to $544.21!
For example, let’s say you owe $3,000 on three accounts. You open a balance transfer card that offers 0% APR for 12 months with a fee of $3 per transfer. You’d pay $9 to transfer the three balances, giving you a total balance of $3,009. To pay that balance off during the introductory period, you’d need to make payments of at least $250.75 per month.
Technically, these are spreadsheet templates that can be used with Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, or Google Sheets. With a template, you get a ready-made spreadsheet with the right formulas to do all of the calculating for you. All you need to do is download the template and plugin a few numbers—the spreadsheet will do all the math. Some of the choices listed also present schemes for dealing with your loans, a multiple credit card payoff calculator, and recommendations for paying down other debt.
Chase is encouraging customers to use the Chase Mobile app and Chase.com whenever possible, and to call if anyone needs assistance due to COVID-19. The bank says to use the number on the back of your credit or debit card, or on your monthly statement, but to be aware of longer-than-usual wait times. If you need help with more specific requests, take a look at Chase’s coronavirus page for more resources.
The debt snowball is the method we used to pay off our in debt quickly. We listed our debts in order from smallest to largest and then listed the minimum payments alongside them. We focused on paying off the smallest debt first while we made minimum payments on everything else. Any extra money we got throughout the month from working extra hours or selling stuff would go toward that smallest debt.

If you have good credit or better, you may be able to qualify for a balance transfer credit card. These cards typically offer low or even 0% APR promotions, ranging from six to 18 months. You transfer your existing card balances to your new card, and then pay off the balance interest-free. After the 0% introductory period, though, the rate will jump to the card's regular APR, which can be high.


While there are a variety of methods countries have employed at various times and with various degrees of success, there is no magic formula for reducing debt that works equally well for every nation in every instance. Just as spending cuts and tax hikes have demonstrated success, default has worked for more than few nations (at least if the yardstick of success is debt reduction rather than good relations with the global banking community).
The little store of sovereigns in the tin box seemed to be the only sight that brought a faint beam of pleasure into the miller's eyes,--faint and transient, for it was soon dispelled by the thought that the time would be long--perhaps longer than his life,--before the narrow savings could remove the hateful incubus of debt. A deficit of more than five hundred pounds, with the accumulating interest, seemed a deep pit to fill with the savings from thirty shillings a-week, even when Tom's probable savings were to be added.
It’s a frightening time for many Americans and their wallets, particularly for people with piling debt and accruing interest. That’s why we spoke to Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at Creditcards.com and Bankrate, who shares insight on how to effectively manage your credit card, particularly the fees and payments that come with it, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He maintained that the poverty of Russia arises not merely from the anomalous distribution of landed property and misdirected reforms, but that what had contributed of late years to this result was the civilization from without abnormally grafted upon Russia, especially facilities of communication, as railways, leading to centralization in towns, the development of luxury, and the consequent development of manufactures, credit and its accompaniment of speculation--all to the detriment of agriculture.

When considering using a balance transfer card to consolidate debt, make sure the combined amount of debt you're transferring is lower than your credit limit. And don't forget to account for transfer fees and read the card's fine print. You may find that the APR for new purchases is different from the balance transfer rate, which could end up costing you if you make new purchases on the card. Typically it's best to use a balance transfer card only to pay your existing debt without incurring new debt.
Pros: A credit counseling organization may work with your creditors to set up a debt-management plan on your behalf, which requires you to make a single monthly payment to the credit counseling organization each month. The organization then uses the money you provide to pay your creditors. Your credit counselor may also work with your creditors to negotiate lower interest rates or waive certain fees.

Say you owe $5,000 on a credit card with an 18% APR and a minimum payment of $100. It would cost you $4,311 in interest if you just paid the minimum. But what if you cut your monthly expenses by $25 and made a $125 payment each month instead? You would save $1,618 in interest charges and almost three years of payments. If you could find an extra $50 in your monthly budget, you would save $2,328 in interest and pay your debt off four years faster.
Thank you for the informative article, I really enjoyed reading it. My husband and I both have very poor credit scores. No credit cards or credit card debt, but various past accounts that have gone to collections ranging from cable and phone bills to a storage facility. For the last year we have been living with my parents to save money so we can buy a house. With our recently received tax return, and the money we’ve saved so far, we’d like to pay off everything at once. A clean slate if you will. How do we go about doing this? Is this a good idea? Will our credit scores go up?
When that happens, consolidation may be a good option for getting your debt back under control. And, helpfully, there are a number of solid options for consolidating credit card debt. In the article below, we’ll take a look at some of our choices for the best credit cards for consolidation, including 0% APR offers, no fee balance transfers, cards for fair credit, business credit cards, and personal loan options.
Fortunately, there are several methods to reduce credit card debt – and maybe even eliminate it – in a consistent and logical manner. This can be done on your own, if you have discipline, but it’s often beneficial to partner with financial professionals, who can negotiate lower rates with lenders, refinance homes or create budgets that keep you on the right course.
Starting your own business has never been easier! Do you have a knack for making things? Sell your products online. Are you an animal lover? Take up dog walking or pet sitting. Do you have a good eye and a nice camera? Start taking on clients for photo sessions. Christy Wright’s Business Boutique is a great resource to show you how you can turn that hobby into a serious money-making machine!
If you decide a quick fix isn't in the cards, don't despair. There are several debt relief options to check out. We've focused mainly on credit card debt, but here are a few options that help you deal with other types of debt as well. For example, you might have medical expenses you incurred from a sudden illness. Medical debt can be difficult to pay off without some type of assistance.
Hi Donna, I would suggest seeking advice from a nonprofit credit counselor as well as a reputable bankruptcy attorney. Clearpoint offers free credit counseling through Money Management International and you can reach us at 877-877-1995. If you need referral to an attorney I would start with you local legal aid, as you may qualify for assistance. You can get in touch with them by using Google or contacting your local United Way 2-1-1 and asking for legal aid. If you do not qualify, you can get a referral to an attorney via your local bar association as well. Once you have talked it over with both of these, you can make an educated decision. Good Luck!
SoFi, short for "Social Finance", bills itself as a modern personal finance company, and its clean, crisp, easy-to-use website definitely matches that description. And, with more than $11 billion in loans funded to date and 165,000 borrowers (described as "members"), they're clearly making an impact in the lending industry. SoFi currently has a variety of products, including personal loans, mortgage loans and refinancing, student loan refinancing, and more.

We are a nation that pays far too much attention to education for the young, but not financial education, just all the subjects one needs to have a well-rounded understanding of the world and our place in it. Why not give our children the financial tools for them to succeed while their minds are most formative, so they can be prepared to be entrepreneurs at an earlier age? This may be the one thing we are missing which could change our entire future as a nation.
My wife and I hit a debt crisis about three years ago as a result of a lot of poor decisions early in our marriage. After some research, I found InCharge. Honestly, I was incredibly skeptical of a credit counseling company, but we were desperate. In the three years we worked with them, they were awesome, giving us the help we needed. I can happily say as of today my credit accounts are paid off and we just purchased our first house! Could not have done it without the help from InCharge.
Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Real-time quotes provided by BATS BZX Real-Time Price. Market Data provided by Interactive Data (Terms & Conditions). Powered and Implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings estimates data provided by Zacks. Mutual fund and ETF data provided by Lipper. Economic data provided by Econoday. Dow Jones & Company Terms & Conditions.
This is a very interesting scenario and you’ve raised some good points and questions. If I were you, I would be very concerned about the $3,000 loan. I would probably want to pay that off as soon as possible. Sure, you may lose a hint of efficiency in the process, but you’ll be saving against A LOT of risk. You absolutely do not want that to go up to 29% if you can help it–it’s not going to have safety nets like your student loans (if they are federal) and you never know what might come up unexpectedly. Once that’s out of the way, you could return to the student loans as normal, using the ladder method.
If you are struggling to make your monthly credit card payment, or can’t catch up with your past-due payments, we may have solutions for you. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can determine what help may be available. We will review the nature of your hardship and your financial information to determine what payment solutions you may qualify for.
×