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.

How an Old Checking Account Can Come Back to Haunt You

How an Old Checking Account Can Come Back to Haunt You

How an Old Checking Account Can Come Back to Haunt You

Tis the season of haunting zombies, and being scared by something you thought was dead. That can be a pretty good description of how the debt collection business works sometimes. You might think an old checking account is long dead, but there are ghoulish ways those accounts can come back to haunt you. Here’s a… Read More

Strange But True Stories of Debt Collection

Strange But True Stories of Debt Collection

Strange But True Stories of Debt Collection

In 2005, our reader who goes by the screen name “frustrated in California” stopped paying on one of his credit cards. Now, nearly 10 years later, a collection agency is suing him and claims he made a payment of $200 in October 2010. He wrote: I know I did not make any payment, and under pressure, (the… Read More

How One Marine Is Getting Out of Debt Before Retirement

How One Marine Is Getting Out of Debt Before Retirement

How One Marine Is Getting Out of Debt Before Retirement

M. Sgt. Rachel Gause knows a bit about discipline and focus from her military career, but when it came to finance, something was going wrong, and she knew it. She wants to be debt-free when she is eligible to retire (that will be August 2016), so when she realized a few years ago that retirement was on the… Read More

How I Paid Off $50K of Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How I Paid Off $50K of Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How I Paid Off $50K of Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Graduating from college debt-free feels really good. When Ja’Net Adams got her degree from South Carolina State in 2003, she was one of those fortunate students who started her adult life without debt, and things went along really well for her. She got married. They bought a house. They bought a new car. They had their… Read More

What a Debt Collector’s Day Is Really Like

What a Debt Collector’s Day Is Really Like

What a Debt Collector’s Day Is Really Like

When I saw the recent New York Times article “A Debt Collector’s Day,” I was obviously intrigued to read it. Having worked nearly 4,000 days as a debt collector, I was looking forward to reading an article that actually depicted what we do for a living so readers would get a glimpse at what a… Read More

Can a Debt Collector Collect on a Second Debt Without My Consent?

Can a Debt Collector Collect on a Second Debt Without My Consent?

Can a Debt Collector Collect on a Second Debt Without My Consent?

If you’d been faithfully sending checks to a collector and hadn’t been getting acknowledgements for your payments, you might understandably wonder what your balance was or how close you were to having the debt satisfied. Imagine how you’d feel if you discovered that the collection agency was now applying your payments to a second debt… Read More

The High-Tech Ways Debt Collectors Get You to Pay Up

The High-Tech Ways Debt Collectors Get You to Pay Up

The High-Tech Ways Debt Collectors Get You to Pay Up

It sounds like science fiction. A lender sitting in an office who wants a payment clicks a button on a screen, and suddenly, the borrower’s car is disabled on the side of the road. “Pay now or you’ll never drive again,” is the clear message. It’s not a movie script. Car “ignition interrupt devices” are… Read More

They Beat Cancer, But Can They Beat the Medical Debt?

They Beat Cancer, But Can They Beat the Medical Debt?

They Beat Cancer, But Can They Beat the Medical Debt?

Cancer survivors diagnosed at a young age or during later stages of their diseases were much more likely to need additional financial support during treatment, according to a new report from the Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions. About a third (32%) of all survivors said they needed help with money during treatment. Simply put:… Read More

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