The Little-Known Lifeline for People Drowning in Credit Card Debt

Managing Debt

The Little-Known Lifeline for People Drowning in Credit Card Debt

The Little-Known Lifeline for People Drowning in Credit Card Debt

If you’re struggling to make payments on your bills, you may not know that you have options – including what’s typically called a hardship repayment program. These are programs that banks may offer directly to you, their account holder, if you express how unaffordable payments have become (vocally with a phone call, or behaviorally by... Read More

Beth’s Story: Which Debt Solution Did She Choose?

Managing Debt

Beth’s Story: Which Debt Solution Did She Choose?

Beth’s Story: Which Debt Solution Did She Choose?

This is the fourth and final installment in a series of pieces for people who find themselves unable to continue to meet the minimum payments on credit cards and other bills, and who want to learn about what I sometimes refer to as “debt intervention” options. Don’t worry; this is not one of those interventions... Read More

How to Challenge a Debt Collector & Win

Managing Debt

How to Challenge a Debt Collector & Win

How to Challenge a Debt Collector & Win

A reader, Anthony, wrote to me to share the success he had in dealing with the debt collection issues he faced earlier this year. He started off with the goal of settling an old unpaid credit card, and ended up winning in court and getting his costs covered. He wrote: “Hi Michael, I contacted you... Read More

Beth’s Story: Is Debt Settlement the Answer?

Managing Debt

Beth’s Story: Is Debt Settlement the Answer?

Beth’s Story: Is Debt Settlement the Answer?

This is the third part in a four-part series about Beth, who’s struggling to make monthly payments on her debt. I encourage people struggling with unaffordable debt to use this as a debt relief information guide. The focus of this series assumes your situation is past being able to apply conventional wisdom, like lowering monthly... Read More

Beth’s Story: Can a Balance Transfer Help Me Get Out of Debt?

Managing Debt

Beth’s Story: Can a Balance Transfer Help Me Get Out of Debt?

Beth’s Story: Can a Balance Transfer Help Me Get Out of Debt?

This is part two of my series about Beth, who is dealing with unaffordable credit card bills. In part one, I shared her detailed reader question, and I didn’t know her personal debt relief quest would turn into an online mini-book. In the first installment, I covered why consolidating credit cards without a dependable income... Read More

Beth’s Story: Should I Consider Bankruptcy?

Managing Debt

Beth’s Story: Should I Consider Bankruptcy?

Beth’s Story: Should I Consider Bankruptcy?

For more than a decade I have used a fairly specific approach to help people find their way when struggling to keep up with their bills. I generally focus on six mainstream options to deal with debt, including filing for bankruptcy, debt consolidation loans and negotiations with creditors and debt collectors. Once I gather some... Read More

Can I Bypass a Debt Collector?

Managing Debt

Can I Bypass a Debt Collector?

Can I Bypass a Debt Collector?

When I am assisting people to resolve unpaid bills I’m often asked, “Why do I have to pay the debt collector? Why can’t I just pay my creditor or lender and avoid the collector all together?” A reader recently wrote in with just this question: I have a $5,000 balance on my credit card and... Read More

I’m Worried About Calling a Debt Collector. What Should I Do?

Managing Debt

I’m Worried About Calling a Debt Collector. What Should I Do?

I’m Worried About Calling a Debt Collector. What Should I Do?

Dealing with debt collectors can be a scary prospect. If you have ever dealt with an overly aggressive and abrupt collector, your preference for avoiding a repeat call can be understandable. Perhaps you’ve never had to call a collector, but having done some research online, are concerned you could be subjected to similar experiences that... Read More

How Do I Get a Debt Collector to Negotiate With Me?

Managing Debt

How Do I Get a Debt Collector to Negotiate With Me?

How Do I Get a Debt Collector to Negotiate With Me?

I work with people daily in order to help them better understand their options, and overcome the hurdles that can pop up when resolving collection debts. A woman recently submitted a common concern about being denied any opportunity to negotiate affordable payoff and settlement terms with debt collectors. She is looking for ideas to get... Read More

Can You Get a Debt Collection Account Off Your Credit Report?

Managing Debt

Can You Get a Debt Collection Account Off Your Credit Report?

Can You Get a Debt Collection Account Off Your Credit Report?

Sometimes life happens – late payments, overdue bills and credit mishaps can hurt even those with excellent credit scores. Even the smallest issue can cause your credit score to take a hit and leave a debt collection account on your credit report. Waiting to see credit scores bounce back, or late payments and collections from... Read More

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