Credit & Debt

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Negotiating a Debt Collection Settlement

A debt collector may agree to let you pay less than the total amount you owe on a debt. Although settling a debt shows up as negative information in your credit report, negotiating a settlement indicates [more…]

What Debt Collectors Can’t Do to Recover Your Debts

Knowing what debt collectors cannot do to collect a debt from you may help you deal with and protect you from their approaches to debt collection.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [more…]

What to Expect from Debt Collection against Your Unpaid Bills

Laws govern what debt collectors can do if you fall behind on an unsecured debt. If a debt collector sues you, you will be notified of the lawsuit via a summons [more…]

Filing for Personal Bankruptcy as Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

The founders of the United States foresaw that honest people might suffer severe economic misfortune or make poor choices. So, they provided for bankruptcy in the U.S. Constitution. [more…]

How to Get Out of Debt

If you’re living with a large debt, putting together a budget — an itemized account of income and expenses — is only the first step to getting your financial house in order. You may need to take some bold [more…]

The Types of Bankruptcy

If you’re filing for bankruptcy, your basic choice is between a bankruptcy that doesn’t involve any type of repayment plan (Chapter 7 bankruptcy) and one that does [more…]

The Cost of Bad Credit

Bad credit costs you in more than the extra interest you have to pay. Bad credit can lead to reduced opportunities, family stress, and having to associate with lenders who see you as a mark. Here are some [more…]

How to Defer or Discharge Student Loan Debt

Under special circumstances, you can receive a deferment on the repayment of your federal student loans. You may even get your entire student loan debt forgiven [more…]

How to Dispute Your Debt with a Debt Collector

You’re contacted by a debt collector. You don’t agree that you owe that much — or anything at all! What to do next to save your credit from crashing?

Send the debt collector a letter disputing it within [more…]

Ask Debt Collectors for Proof of Your Debt

When a debt collector contacts you about a debt, he must send a written statement of your right to request written verification of the debt and your right to dispute the debt. [more…]

Look Closely at Your Credit Card Finance Charges

Some credit card companies offer lower interest rates if you transfer balances from another credit card to a new account. And if you write a check to borrow cash against your credit card, that amount can [more…]

Debt Collectors May Try to Cash In on Old Debts

Debt collectors who pursue old debts are not breaking any laws unless they violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or your state’s debt collection laws. Beware fast-buck motives, though! [more…]

How to Get a Debt-Management Plan

If you’re in debt crisis or you’re concerned you may be getting close to it, a debt-management plan from a good credit-counseling agency may be just the solution. For a small monthly fee, the agency handles [more…]

How to Avoid Bankruptcy

You don’t need to file bankruptcy to solve a trivial financial problem or when a more targeted remedy is available. Although you shouldn’t view bankruptcy as a last-ditch solution, you probably shouldn’t [more…]

How to Reduce Your Debt with a Debt Management Plan

Your debt counselor may recommend a debt management plan to help you to pay off your obligations if reducing your expenses and making more money are not possible. Many creditors offer special concessions [more…]

How to Deal with Debt Collectors Who Violate Your Rights

Even if a debt collector violates the law in a relatively minor way, you can file a formal complaint. Take the following steps to protect your rights: [more…]

The Types of Federal Student Loans

Four major types of federal loans are available to students or their parents: Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Perkins Loans, and Consolidation Loans. Each type of loan is aimed at a different set of people [more…]

How to Rebuild Your Credit History with Smart Money Management

The credit history rebuilding process is not difficult, but it takes time. Your goal is to add positive information to your credit history by obtaining a small amount of new credit from a reputable creditor [more…]

How to Control Credit Debt

The first thing to do when you need to get your credit card debt under control is to look over each of your credit-card statements each month. You may be surprised to find charges on your account that [more…]

How to Get Relief after a Debt Settlement Firm Rip-off

Beware of debt settlement firms that may be out to fleece consumers in crisis. If you get taken by a disreputable credit counseling organization or by a debt settlement firm, contact a consumer law attorney [more…]

Distinguish between Secured and Unsecured Debt

Secured debt means that you’ve put something you own on the line in promise of paying what you borrowed. Unsecured debt requires repayment, too, but your lenders don’t have immediate rights to your property [more…]

Comparing Leasing a Vehicle with Buying Your Car

Leasing is a fast and easy way to get a car with little or no down payment. Monthly lease payments usually are less than loan payments for a new car. Additionally, you’ll encounter less paperwork, inspections [more…]

Actively Oversee Your Debt Management Plan

To ensure that your debt management plan helps you get out of debt, you must take an active role in overseeing it. Even when working with a reputable credit counseling agency, problems can develop if you [more…]

Understand Your Credit Consumer Rights

Federal laws and agencies govern lender behavior when you apply for and use credit, protecting you from creditors who engage in illegal or bad credit practices. [more…]

How to Avoid Unnecessary Banking and Credit Card Fees

Even small fees can take their toll on your finances, so try to avoid fees whenever you can. To avoid getting dinged for unnecessary fees, follow this advice: [more…]

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