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.

Why 8 Million Baby Boomers Are Struggling to Pay for Food

Why 8 Million Baby Boomers Are Struggling to Pay for Food

Why 8 Million Baby Boomers Are Struggling to Pay for Food

A hungry stomach doesn’t call you demanding money, but a debt collector going after your unpaid medical, utility and loan bills will. So maybe you choose to pay the bills instead of buying groceries — that’s the kind of dilemma facing millions of baby boomers, according to a survey from Feeding America and the AARP Foundation…. Read More

Is a Debt Collector Allowed to Know My Medical History?

Is a Debt Collector Allowed to Know My Medical History?

Is a Debt Collector Allowed to Know My Medical History?

If you’ve received medical care anytime in the last few years, you’ve no doubt been given medical privacy forms to sign. These forms, required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly referred to as HIPAA, are designed to help protect the privacy of sensitive medical information. But what happens when you owe a… Read More

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hide From Your Debt

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hide From Your Debt

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hide From Your Debt

Debt may have become so ingrained in your life that it seems natural. Maybe your plans to pay off debt have failed and you’ve even begun to ignore it. Maybe it’s because your debt is so long term (like a 30-year mortgage), it feels like you will never be without it. It’s important, though, to… Read More

The Secret Way to Get Rid of an Old Debt

The Secret Way to Get Rid of an Old Debt

The Secret Way to Get Rid of an Old Debt

Resolving a collection account can feel like lifting a weight off your shoulders: You can finally move on. But what happens when it comes back to haunt you again? Can you ever really put a bad debt behind you? A reader with the screen name “Frustrated” shared their story on the Credit.com blog: We used a… Read More

Can a Bill I Never Received Wreck My Homebuying Chances?

Can a Bill I Never Received Wreck My Homebuying Chances?

Can a Bill I Never Received Wreck My Homebuying Chances?

Imagine getting ready to deploy halfway around the world. You want to be absolutely certain that nothing goes financially haywire while you are away, and so you make sure you take care of business before you go. Your cellphone’s not going to work in Iraq, so you put that account on hold. And now deployment… Read More

The Little-Known Texas Law that Can Save You From Medical Debt

The Little-Known Texas Law that Can Save You From Medical Debt

The Little-Known Texas Law that Can Save You From Medical Debt

Five years ago, Julie was taken by ambulance to the emergency room. “At that time I provided all my info including insurance information,” she wrote on the Credit.com blog. “One year later I received a threat from the ambulance company that my account was going to be sent to a collection agency. I immediately called… Read More

7 Ways to Avoid a Painful Dentist Bill

7 Ways to Avoid a Painful Dentist Bill

7 Ways to Avoid a Painful Dentist Bill

A trip to the dentist can result in a big bill you hadn’t budgeted for. Or maybe things have been so tight that after you’ve paid other bills, dental care doesn’t even make the list. While cleanings, check-ups and X-rays have fairly predictable costs, any problems detected may result in significant bills. We did a bit… Read More

Debt Collectors vs. Debt Buyers: What’s the Difference?

Debt Collectors vs. Debt Buyers: What’s the Difference?

Debt Collectors vs. Debt Buyers: What’s the Difference?

A consumer may not know the difference between a debt collector and debt buyer, but the fact is they are quite different – and consumers can benefit from knowing which is which. While debt buyers have been around for awhile, over the last decade they have become much more prevalent in consumers’ dealings with bad… Read More

12 Times You Can Sue a Debt Collector

12 Times You Can Sue a Debt Collector

12 Times You Can Sue a Debt Collector

It’s every consumer’s worst nightmare: You’re busy at work, mired in debt, and your cellphone keeps ringing. You’re doing your best to pay off that bill, but the unknown number flashing on your phone’s screen is a dismal reminder you haven’t. “Most people want to pay their debt, they just run into bad situations where… Read More

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