Debt Management Tips, Tools & Advice
Find the Best Way to Avoid Debt or To Manage Debt You Have
American consumers carry over $2.5 trillion in debt. Struggling with debt is stressful. Bills.com provides you with tools and resources that you need to help you manage debt and find the best path to debt freedom.
Debt comes in different forms. Debt can even be healthy, when taking on debt allows you to pay for an important expense that you couldn’t afford otherwise. For instance, who has enough money to buy a house without taking on debt?
Your goal should be to plan carefully, taking on debt at the lowest possible costs and paying it back as agreed. Bills.com has information and tools to help avoid debt problems.
Life doesnt always go as planned. Sometimes, debt gets out of control. Thats why Bills.com provides you with resources and solutions for different debt problems. We can help you learn about your options for dealing with credit card debt, IRS tax debt, or student loan debt.
Use our debt calculators and tools to see how much your debt actually costs you. Review the ways you can reduce your debt and save money.
We developed Debt Coach, a free, easy to use tool that helps you find the best debt solution for your individual situation. Debt Coach lets you compare up to five ways of dealing with your debt, side-by-side, and gives you detailed information and data on the pros and cons of each debt solution.
Know All of Your Debt Options
There are five main programs to manage debt, and Bills.com has a debt-hub for each one of them to help you out: Debt Consolidation, Refinance Loans, Debt Settlement, Credit Counseling, and Bankruptcy.
If youre struggling with debt, you can receive a free debt consultation and debt relief quote, without obligation, from one of Bills.coms pre-screened debt providers.
Debt Help Services
Debt Help Services Overview and Tips
Pay Off Loans
Help to Pay Off Payday & Credit Card & All Loans.
Debt Coach Finovate Interview
Debt Coach Interview at Finovate Spring 2011
Advice and Strategies to Get Out of Debt
Apply for Debt Consolidation
Will applying for a debt consolidation loan be looked upon negatively if applying for a home mortgage?
I am trying to reach a settlement with Citibank for credit card debt. How can I convince Citibank to settle for less than 60%?
CareOne Credit Counseling
I need debt relief fast. What can you tell me about CareOne Credit Counseling?
Debt Help Information
Debt Help & Debt Consolidation Help to Help Solve Debt Problems
Debt Relief Boot Camp: Basic Training
Debt Relief Information: All About Debt
Credit Counseling Information
Consolidate Debt - Tips on How to Consolidate and Save
Consolidating Bank of America Debt
My Biggest Debt is With Bank of America. What is My Best Bank of America Debt Consolidation Option?
Mortgage Refinance Tips and Tools to Help You Learn and Manage the Refinance Process.
Debt Loans to Consolidate Debt
Advice and Tips to Help You Evaluate Debt Loan Options and Debt Services.
Bad Credit Loans, Debt Help, and Advice to Improve Credit
Chase Credit Card Debt Consolidation
I am Drowning in Credit Card Debt. Chase is My Largest Creditor. Is there a good Chase Debt Consolidation Program?
Consolidate My Debt
Consolidate My Debt - Tips and Advice
Bill Consolidation to Consolidate Bills and Save
Buy a Home with an FHA loan
Learn How An FHA-Insured Loan Can Benefit You, When You Are Looking to Buy a Home.
Tax Debt Relief Options
Tax Debt Options and Help Information
Hardship Based Loans
Can You Help Me With Getting a Hardship Based Loan?
Debt Consolidation Loans
What is the Best Kind of Debt Consolidation Loan?
Pay Off Loans
Where can I find help to pay off my payday loans?
Consolidate Bills the Best Way
Lexington Law Review
I recently hired Lexington Law firm to help fix my credit and do credit repair. Are they good and can you please review them?
Best Debt Options
What is best debt consolidation option for us to get rid of our $20k in debt?
Personal Finance Tips
Take the Right Steps to Get Out of Debt, Improve Your Credit, and Build a Strong Financial Future
To Pay Credit Cards or to Save?
Should I save or try to pay off my credit cards?
Frozen Bank Account
How long does it take for an out-of-state judgment-creditor to freeze a bank account?
New Jersey Lien Foreclosure & Sale
Can a credit card issuer foreclose on my NJ home?
Refinance Vehicle Loan
My husband lost his job and as a result we cannot afford our vehicle loan. Is a vehicle loan refinance an option?
Old Judgment Collection
My wages are being garnished for a debt that is over 16 years old. How did this happen? What about the statute of limitations?
Negotiate Mortgage Collection Account
How do I negotiate a charged-off mortgage debt?
Capital One Balance Confusion
Capitol One is reporting two amounts on my credit report, and the small of the two on its Web site. Which amount do I owe?
Summons for American Express Debt
I just received a summons for American Express debt. Should I negotiate with the law firm or American Express directly?
How do we sell a timeshare we can no longer afford?
Minnesota Family Law
Is a new spouse responsible for the other spouse's debt upon marriage in Minnesota?
What Kind of Judgment Can I Expect?
I am being sued by my creditor what kind of judgment can I expect?
Harassment by Debt Collectors
What can I do about debt collectors harassing me?
Judgment Won Against Me
What can I do if a judgment was won against me but I don't owe the debt?
If I Default on Everything What is the Worst That Can Happen?
If I default on all my accounts what is the worst that can happen?
Can I inherit credit debt?
Can I inherit debt from a parent who dies owing creditors?
Can I consolidate debt on a purchase home loan?
Can I consolidate debt I have on a loan I take out to purchase a home?
Sell Forgiven Debt
Can my creditors sell the difference between the original balances and the settled amounts?
Credit Card Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
I live in Pennsylvania and was sued by a creditor. What happens if they win a judgment? Can they take property I own?
Debt to Credit Ratio
How do I increase my amount of available credit and lower my debt-to-credit ratio? Is debt consolidation the answer?
Personal Debt Collection
I am indebted to several credit card companies. How likely is it that a debt collector is trying to collect from me personally?
How to I cut the interest rate on my Target Visa card?
Pension Garnished After Foreclosure
I am being forced to take early retirement and can no longer afford my mortgage. Can my pension be garnished as a result?
Charge Off Credit Union Loan
Can a credit union charge-off a loan if I am less than 90 days late in my payments?
Michigan Spousal Liability for Debt
Can a credit card issuer garnish my spouse's wages if I default on my credit card payments?
+ Are there varying types of credit? If so, what are they?
Yes. There are three general types of credit:
Revolving credit - Where you borrow money up to your credit limit and pay it back in one lump sum or make minimum monthly payments with interest, e.g., Visa and MasterCard.
Charge credit - Where you borrow money up to your credit limit and are not able to make partial payments. With charge credit, you are required to pay back the full amount at the end of the month.
Installment credit - Granted to you to make a one-time purchase. You pay back your debt within a predetermined period of time at a specified interest rate, e.g., mortgage payment.
+ Can a balance transfer help me get out of debt?
Using a balance transfer to manage debt may be a good idea, or it may be a terrible idea - it really depends on your situation. Balance transfers are an easy way to combine all your credit card debts into one, but you have to be careful with them. Usually they come with fees and costs and even if they have a teaser introductory rate that lowers your interest costs and payments, those introductory interest rates can jump significantly after 6 months to a year. If you opt for a balance transfer, make sure that you look into the fees, interest costs and make the decision based on the true lifetime cost of the new account. Also, be 100% certain NOT to run up your old cards!
+ Can I file for bankruptcy myself?
Although you can file bankruptcy paperwork yourself, hiring a bankruptcy attorney is typically a better option. Filing for bankruptcy is complicated and often confusing. By hiring a professional, you ensure that the correct paperwork is filed and that the process will go smoothly. Also, to qualify for a chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, you will need to complete court approved credit counseling course work, which can be managed and explained by your bankruptcy attorney. Learn more at the Bills.com bankruptcy portal.
+ How do I choose a debt consolidation service?
First, make sure that a debt consolidation service is what you need. Do you own your home and have equity? If so, maybe a debt consolidation loan or refinance would be right for you. Evaluate your priorities: is a low monthly payment the most important factor? If so, debt settlement might be your best option. Afraid of collection calls or your credit score impact? In that situation, credit counseling could be your optimal debt consolidation service. And finally, you need to research the debt consolidation service at various consumer protection offices, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This will give you an idea how honest and reliable their services really are. Fortunately, Bills.com has evaluated many debt consolidation services providers and can match you with a pre-approved provider, if you apply though the savings center above.
+ How does debt consolidation help?
Debt consolidation can help you consolidate credit cards into one new program with one payment, with a consolidation loan, or by using a consolidation service that acts as your representative with the creditors to pay off debt faster and for a lower cost. The typical benefits of a debt consolidation program vary between these primary benefits: i) lower monthly payment, ii) lower interest rate, iii) reduced debt, iv) shorter time to debt freedom, and v) convenience. Each type of debt consolidation program varies and offers a sub-set of these benefits, so use Bills.com and do your homework!
+ How does debt consolidation work?
Usually done in consultation with a counselor or loan officer, a consumer consolidates all of his or her debts into one loan or one repayment plan. Now, varying benefits and features of different debt consolidation type programs exist, so understand how all debt consolidation programs work, including refinance loans, credit counseling, debt settlement and debt consolidation.
+ What will debt consolidation do to my credit?
Debt consolidation loans typically have a minimal effect on your credit. In most cases, you apply for a home refinance or debt consolidation loan and use the proceeds to pay your other debts. Although you will now have a single larger debt on your credit report, several small debts will be eliminated, lowering the credit utilization of those accounts. Other forms of debt consolidation services, including debt settlement or credit counseling will hurt your credit rating for the life of the debt resolution program, and potentially even longer.
State of insolvency of an individual, business, or organization. Bankruptcy is a legal term for a process that is supervised by the bankruptcy court. The court determines eligibility for bankruptcy and what kind of bankruptcy will apply.
+ Chapter 11 Banrkuptcy
Reorganization bankruptcy. Chapter 11 is commonly used by businesses.
+ Chapter 13 Banrkuptcy
Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy for individuals. In Chapter 13, the court orders a repayment plan, restructuring the individual's debts to repay the creditors over time, sometimes at a reduced rate.
+ Chapter 7 Banrkuptcy
Liquidation bankruptcy. Under chapter 7, assets are sold and the proceeds are used to pay debts. This chapter is also for people without assets.
+ Collection Agency
A company hired by a creditor to collect a debt that it is owed.
+ Consolidate Debt
Debt consolidation can mean a loan, sometimes a refinance loan, that combines several debts into one new account with a lower interest rate and lower payments. 'Debt consolidation' is sometimes used to refer to credit counseling or debt settlement. Since the various options can be confusing, check out the consolidate debt page at Bills.com for more info.
+ Consumer Credit Counseling Service
Organizations that help consumers find debt solutions. Options often include debt management plans. Most are nonprofit organizations that are actually funded by creditors.
+ Credit Counseling
A third-party managed debt payoff strategy where your interest rates are lowered and your monthly payments decline. A credit counseling program typically takes around five years to get debt free. Each consumer's experience depends on his or her creditors.
Any person or organization to whom the debtor owes money or has a legal obligation.
+ Debt Consolidation
Taking multiple debt or credit lines and consolidating them into one new payoff plan. Frequently, this is a consolidation loan, provided to consolidate debts into one loan with one payment, typically shifting credit card debts to secured debt by refinancing a mortgage. 'Debt consolidation' is sometimes used to refer to a credit counseling or debt settlement program.
+ Debt Consolidation Loan
A loan used to payoff multiple accounts of personal debt. A debt consolidation loan rolls pre-existing debt into one loan with a single monthly payment. Debt consolidation loans often are taken out to combine several higher interest debts into one lower interest loan.
+ Debt Management
A service provided by an agency that provides debt help services, including credit counseling, debt settlement, and debt consolidation loans. Most people refer to a Debt Management Plan as a plan administered by a credit counseling firm.
+ Debt Negotiation
Debt Negotiation is a program for reducing consumer debt to the lowest level, typically with a low monthly payment, while avoiding bankruptcy.
+ Debt Relief
Debt relief means seeking help and aid in resolving debts, including debt consolidation loans, credit counseling, loan modification, forebearance, debt settlement, or even bankruptcy.
+ Debt Settlement
Debt settlement, also called debt negotiation, is a process by which creditors (the lenders) agree to forgive a part of a balance, saving the debtor (the borrower) up to 50%+ of what was owed. The debtor must pay the new agreed-upon sum only and no more. In some cases, the debtor may continue to make monthly payments until the newly agreed balance is paid. In others, the debtor must make a lump-sum payment. The forgiven balance MAY be considered taxable income by the IRS and MAY be noted on a form 1099-C. Check with a tax advisor. The settlement may also be noted on the debtor's credit report.
+ Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)
DTI is a formula that compares certain debts you have to your gross income. DTI can be viewed as a 'front-end' or 'back-end' ratio. The front end ratio divides your gross income by the total of your mortgage payment, property taxes, and homeowner's insurance. The 'back-end' ratio additionally accounts for debts like car payments, credit card debts, and court-ordered child support or alimony obligations. DTI is expressed as a percentage, the percentage of your gross income that the debts utilize.
Regarding a home or property, equity is the difference between the fair market value of the home or property and the outstanding balance(s) on your mortgage(s). Regarding your vehicle, equity is the difference between the trade-in or market value of your vehicle and the loan payoff amount.
+ FICO Score
Your FICO score is a mathematical equation/calculation that lenders use to evaluate the risk associated with lending you money. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Company, the company that created the formula originally.
+ Revolving Account
A revolving account is an account issued with a maximum credit limit that does not have to be paid in full every month. The borrower usually is required to make a minimum monthly payment that is based on the size of the balance. Most credit cards are examples of revolving accounts.
+ Revolving Debt
Revolving debt is consumer debt that is owed on an account that can be used repeatedly and is repaid in part or in whole, without the need to reapply for credit.
A method of repaying debt where all minimum debt obligations are met and any surplus funds are devoted to paying off the highest interest rate debt. After the highest interest rate debt is paid, all surplus funds are directed to the next highest interest rate debt, until all debts are paid off.
+ Unsecured Loan
An unsecured loan is also called a personal loan or signature loan. It requires no collateral. Unsecured loans usually have higher interest rates than secured loans.
Business Ratings and Reviews
Deciding on which company to go with to meet your financial needs? Get the inside scoop on a company and read unbiased consumer ratings and reviews from the Bills.com community. Find out how a company ranks in several customer satisfaction categories to help you find the right provider for your needs. Then help the community out by providing your own reviews.
Search answers to other readers' questions, or ask your own and get a personal answer!
Learn how much you can save over time by cutting back on your daily latte or other small expenses that add up!
Consolidation? Credit counseling? Debt settlement? Bankruptcy? New loans? Debt Coach, a free online tool, gives tailored advice to help you find the right solution for your needs.
Use our Debt Consolidation Calculator to learn how much your loans actually cost, and to find solutions to save money!
How savvy are you about your personal finances? Take this quick quiz to learn insights into your finance habits and your Bills IQ.
Deciding if a mortgage refinance loan is right for you? Our calculators make it easy. Plug a few key facts about your old loan into our calculator, and learn if a refinance makes sense for you.
See today's national averages for adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages. Then drill-down to learn what is the best rate for you!
Learn what your fellow Bills.com readers think about financial solutions providers and mortgage lenders. We want you to share your experiences, too!
If you want to dive deep into your debt relief options, including the costs of each solution, read these whitepapers. Includes references, so you can follow-up on each fact cited.
Bills.com experts explain, in fast-paced videos, the basics of refinance, debt relief, student loans, and more.
Tool Box Easy to use resources to help you find solutions to your money questions