Managing Debt

We want to help you get control of your debt. Get advice from our experts on strategies for paying down your debt without hurting your credit score, negotiating with lenders, and managing interactions with debt collectors. We also explain bankruptcy options, your rights as a borrower and what you can and cannot do with student loan debt. Also, get inspiration from other readers who have managed to go debt-free.

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?

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?

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

How Not to Blow a Financial Windfall

How Not to Blow a Financial Windfall

How Not to Blow a Financial Windfall

The Wall Street Journal recently published a story about two people who were awarded substantial financial settlements for injuries and hardships, only to lose it all not long afterward. In each case, the person had sacrificed a good portion of his structured settlement — recompense that’s typically designed to be paid over time — to… Read More

10 Least Affordable Places to Rent

10 Least Affordable Places to Rent

10 Least Affordable Places to Rent

In most of the country, you can afford a median-priced home if you make the median household income in that area. That is completely untrue in San Francisco. Just meeting the mortgage payments on a median-priced home in San Francisco County (assuming a 10% down payment), would take 101% of the median household income. Yep: 101% of… Read More

Feds: Millions Targeted by ‘Phantom’ Debt Collection Scheme

Feds: Millions Targeted by ‘Phantom’ Debt Collection Scheme

Feds: Millions Targeted by ‘Phantom’ Debt Collection Scheme

A Georgia firm called millions of consumers attempting to collect on “phantom” debts, and tricked consumers by citing personal information purchased from payday loan lead generators, federal investigators allege. A lawsuit against Universal Debt and Payment solutions and a host of related companies was revealed Wednesday, alleging the firm’s tactics included purchasing personal information from… Read More

How to Turn the Tables on Your Debt

How to Turn the Tables on Your Debt

How to Turn the Tables on Your Debt

No one really wants to talk about debt and certainly no one wants anyone else to know they have debt. The reality is that most people have debt and that debt is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, you can use debt as a tool to help you get what you want in life…. Read More

3 Dangers of Borrowing Against Your Pension

3 Dangers of Borrowing Against Your Pension

3 Dangers of Borrowing Against Your Pension

For consumers who are entitled to a steady stream of future payments, like a pension or structured settlement after a lawsuit, they may find themselves eligible for a lender offer on an “advance” lump-sum, upfront payment on that money. It’s kind of like taking out a loan on money you’ve already been promised. Since the… Read More

Will Your Next Debt Collector Be a Robot?

Will Your Next Debt Collector Be a Robot?

Will Your Next Debt Collector Be a Robot?

Are the days of debt collectors sitting in cubicles “dialing for dollars” numbered? Debt collection, like many sectors of the economy, is starting to go digital. So if the idea of talking with a debt collector automatically puts your stomach in knots, you may be in for a pleasant surprise: In the not-too-distant future, your… Read More

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