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.

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

Who Will Inherit Your Debt When You Die?

Who Will Inherit Your Debt When You Die?

Who Will Inherit Your Debt When You Die?

Most of us would love to be able to leave a nice inheritance to our spouse, kids, grandkids or other loved ones. However, many baby boomers who have seen their net worth dip below zero in recent years will instead leave a very different kind of legacy: debt. Who will inherit your debt if you… Read More

What Order Do You Pay Bills When You Can’t Pay Them All?

What Order Do You Pay Bills When You Can’t Pay Them All?

What Order Do You Pay Bills When You Can’t Pay Them All?

An illness or job loss can overwhelm a household budget that had been working just fine. You think you have all the bases covered — and then something goes horribly wrong and suddenly there are more payments due than there is money. Which bill do you pay first? First, you’ll want to ensure that you… Read More

Can a Debt Collector Get Into My Bank Account?

Can a Debt Collector Get Into My Bank Account?

Can a Debt Collector Get Into My Bank Account?

Can a creditor or debt collector seize money from your bank account if you can’t pay your debt? It’s a terrifying scenario to someone who is just getting by and needs every penny to put food on the table, gas in the tank, and to pay their essential bills. Several of our readers have expressed… Read More

Is This Legal? 40% of My Paycheck Is Being Garnished

Is This Legal? 40% of My Paycheck Is Being Garnished

Is This Legal? 40% of My Paycheck Is Being Garnished

Jennifer’s paystub is downright depressing. It’s bad enough that she earns less than $11 an hour as a single mom in Wisconsin. Her gross pay of roughly $800 every two weeks would challenge anyone trying to run a household, but that’s not the half of it. Jennifer is one of millions of Americans facing wage… Read More

Help! 2 Debt Collectors Are Calling About the Same Debt

Help! 2 Debt Collectors Are Calling About the Same Debt

Help! 2 Debt Collectors Are Calling About the Same Debt

Receiving a notice from a debt collector is generally unpleasant. Getting two such notices is even less enjoyable. Getting two collections letters from different companies regarding the same debt? Not only is that frustrating, it can be extremely confusing. If multiple companies contact you about a single debt, there are a few things you should… Read More

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