For Ruth, Getting Out of Debt isn’t Only About Money
It’s also about tension, conflict and controlling your “money blueprint.”
Develop better strategies for eliminating debt to save money and avoid default
It’s also about tension, conflict and controlling your “money blueprint.”
These books can make it easy for you to keep your own books.
Some say he went off the deep end, but he didn’t care.
We paid down $50,000 in less than a year with these frugal living tips.
Tackle your high interest first to save yourself time and money.
A reader has some debt, but no savings. Thankfully, he has several excellent options.
Using scissors, needles, and pie tins, you can earn lots of extra cash.
It took hard work, sacrifice and a lot of sweat.
The economy is showing improvements and Americans are doing something about it.
Just because everyone else is in debt doesn’t mean you have to spend your life paying creditors.
It’s mentally and financially taxing for all age groups.
Did you spend 2017 awake at midnight, worrying about bills? Create a budget and sleep debt-free.
The answer is no, but the good news is: There are powerful options regardless of your disability.
Tired of being haunted by the specter of purchases past? Get rid of debt in 2018 and ditch living paycheck to paycheck.
A reader has heard about “secret government programs.” He might be right.
Hawaii has 539 times more debt than Washington DC.
A reader is deep in debt, but one plan is better than the others.
Debt doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Here’s how to tunnel your way out.
A reader is finishing a DMP but wants to buy a home. Good news awaits him.
As social issues roil the country, some have attacked our basic economics. They’re wrong.
He and his wife realized they weren’t rich, they were broke.
A reader wants to pay off his credit card debt, but he also wants to eat.
Surprisingly, income level doesn’t determine who has a side gig
They’ll also (literally) drive you into the poor house.
A reader wants to buy a house, but his credit score is “in the toilet.”
More Americans living in Southern states can put more money toward their student loan debt since cost of living is cheaper.
A reader wants to know when too much of a good thing is bad.
It has to do with cars, but not really auto loans.
The debt she accrued wasn’t her fault this time, but it was her responsibility.
The number of Americans without an emergency fund is at a six-year low.
The education secretary is being sued for siding with for-profit schools over students. But at least she’s learning from her mistakes.
She put every extra penny toward her student loans and carefully tracked her spending.
Sadly, we’re No. 1 in one of the categories we don’t want to be.
Crippling debt can totally kill our credit history, which makes buying a home or car or even getting a credit card nearly impossible. But some new changes to reporting are going to seriously boost your credit score.
Half-clothed beachgoers give some very serious answers about their thoughts on federal student loans and the debt they cause.
This week: clueless about student loans, passionless about work, passionate about boycotts.
Not saving enough for retirement is a bigger regret than taking on too much debt
It left the Notorious D.E.B.T. writer and her husband hopelessly in debt — but they’re making a comeback.
If you break this Commandment, you’re probably broke.
This week: A reader asks about debt collectors, repo men, and “Fonzi” schemes.
We’re paying off unsecured personal loans faster than auto loans, mortgages, and credit cards and we probably shouldn’t be.
The “student loan crisis” is so massive, we can’t even comprehend it anymore.
It not only helps him stay debt-free, it also protects him.
A reader agrees with her husband: A recession is coming. They don’t agree on what to do about it.
He wants to ditch almost everything that helps students save money and manage debt in order to “prioritize students” and “empower parents.”
A reader wants to know if you need a real job to get real debt relief.
Turns out, the millionaire knows a thing or two about saving.
Most Americans don’t have a plan to deal with an average debt of $37,000.
Sure, it hurts, but he’s been through worse.
Weddings are expensive, but these three thrifty brides had the day of their dreams while continuing to save for happily ever after.
The higher the APR on your debt, the more you must work to eliminate it. Interest charges eat away at every payment you make. And when it comes to credit cards, high interest rates eat up over one half of each minimum payment; if your rates are over 20% that jumps to two thirds of each payment.
The best way to accelerate debt elimination is to reduce the interest rate applied to your debt. If you can, then more of each payment goes to paying off the actual debt you owe (principal). You can get out of debt faster even if you pay the exact same amount or even less each month.
Start by calling your creditors or lenders to see if they will work with you to lower your rates. For credit cards, you usually don’t have to open a new account to get a better rate – they can just give it to you. On loans, you would need to refinance to achieve a lower rate.
Debt consolidation is the process of combining multiple debts into a single monthly payment at the lowest interest rate possible. So, you get the benefit of lower rates explained in Tip One, while also simplifying your bill payment schedule. In many cases, consolidation can also lower your monthly payments.
Consolidating debt essentially allows you to pay it off more efficiently. Many debt consolidation solutions either accelerate repayment to lower total cost or lower your monthly payments or both. You can consolidate credit card debt, medical bills, payday loans, federal and private student loans and tax debt. In almost all cases, specific type of debt must be consolidated separately. So, you’d have one consolidation plan for your student loans, another for taxes and a third for credit cards.
People often get the impression that debt settlement is the fast, easy way to get out of debt. It’s not.
The only way debt settlement can be fast is if you already have the funds necessary to make a lump-sum settlement offer. If you had that, you’d probably be making payments already. So, most people generate settlement offer funds by stopping their bill payments entirely to pool the money for a settlement. That takes time.
According to lending statistics, the average settlement case equals out to about 40 cents on the dollar. You basically have to pay back 40% of what you owe. So, if you owe $30,000, then you’ll probably need around $12,000 to settle. If you don’t have that kind of cash just laying around, then settlement still takes time.
Your creditors and loan servicers are not debt collectors – and they shouldn’t be treated like them either. Even if the creditor or lender has an in-house collections department for delinquent accounts, that’s not the same as a debt collector. And it’s in your best interest to talk to these people.
Debt collectors must follow the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act; in-house creditor collections aren’t required to follow the FDCPA. Why? Largely because it’s bad business to abuse your customers. If you fall behind with a creditor or lender, it’s in their best interest to help you catch up – it’s their money and they want to get paid; they also want to keep you as a customer.
So, creditors, lenders and even in-house collection departments don’t usually harass or threaten you. Instead they want to work out a repayment plan. They may be willing to offer forbearance (read more below) or work out a repayment plan (also more below).
Until your debt is charged off by the original creditor or lender and sold to a third-party collector, don’t hide! Talk to them and make arrangements to get back on track. It’s in your best interest and it’s better for your credit and your sanity than dealing with an outside collector.
Forbearance is a financial relief option where the lender agrees to temporarily pause your payments. You can essentially “miss” payments without incurring penalties or credit damage as long as you talk to the creditor first. They agree to let you miss a certain number of payments, which can give you time to recover.
Most people only know about forbearance as it relates to federal student loans. With those, you automatically have forbearance as you go through school. Payments generally start six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. Then you can apply for forbearance if you can’t make your payments after that.
What most people don’t know is that you can ask for forbearance on almost any other type of debt. Even your mortgage lender may offer forbearance if you can’t make your mortgage payments and risk foreclosure.
So, if you lose your job or can’t work for a period of time because of a medical issue, call and ask for forbearance. Not every lender will give it to you, but even getting forbearance from a few would be better than nothing.
If forbearance isn’t an option, often creditors and lenders will work with you individually to set up debt repayment plans if you can’t afford your payments. If you lose your job or have a major life catastrophe that affects your budget, call your creditors to see if you can work something out.
Basically, you want them to agree to a reduced payment schedule for a certain period of time; it’s also beneficial if they’re willing to reduce or eliminate interest charges during that time. In exchange, you may need to agree to make “catch up” payments once you recover; they may also require you to freeze the account if it’s a credit card or open credit line.
If you can’t set up repayment plans on your own, work with a professional team. For example, if you need a repayment plan for credit card debt, you call a credit counseling agency. They can help you set up a debt management plan. Since you’re working with a third-party, creditors may be more willing to negotiate and work with you to catch up.
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