The debt tag refers to all situations where money is owed to another party, often a bank or other financial institutions. This tag covers how to get out of debt, how much debt to carry, and other borrowing related questions.

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2
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2answers
68 views

Is there a program out there that will give you details for paying X extra per month?

I've got about 6 loans or so with different payoff times and interest rates. My general strategy is to calculate how much I'd save by paying an extra X per month, always directed towards the loan with ...
4
votes
3answers
581 views

Trying to figure out my student loans

Please let me know if this is too much information/perhaps unsafe private information to reveal. I am trying to understand the finances behind this stuff and what I can do to get rid of my loans ...
9
votes
2answers
331 views

How much is enough to save as a rainy-day fund before I start plugging my higher-interest student loans?

Typically, what is considered realistic? 6 months expenses? A year? I understand this is more of an "opinion" question but I am still curious what people think is a responsible buffer (in the event of ...
9
votes
2answers
198 views

Credit Consolidation, Credit Settlement

I've done a little research but I would like to have actual feedback from people. I am currently behind on credit card payments and I am not sure exactly what to do. The interest rate is high and I do ...
3
votes
2answers
530 views

How are minimum payments calculated for auto loans, education loans, etc.

I'm working on a calculator and I have a good handle on Mortgages (amortization) and Credit Cards (daily average, apr, multiply between 3-5%), but I'm not sure how to calculate minimum payments for ...
4
votes
2answers
273 views

How would a collection against me affect my credit

I went to a new city two weeks ago and rented a 2011 Civic in the meantime. On the last week of the rental, someone hit my car in the front bumper in a parking lot. The damage was a 2 by 3 inch dent ...
31
votes
8answers
3k views

Optimal way to use a credit card to build better credit?

I have a credit card with a $700 limit and I am curious how to optimize credit gain with it. Right now, I use it once a month (usually on something small like a drink from a convenience store or ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Can someone help me understand my student loans?

I have more loans than these but I am wondering how to handle these three (all with the same bank): 3%, last payment ~$36, current balance $6153, original amount $5500, payoff balance $6170 2.5%, ...
7
votes
4answers
529 views

How to get started with savings, paying off debt, and retirement?

I am getting married soon and I am in grad school (I get paid a stipend and have a tuition scholarship). I have no retirement plans available to me. My fiancee will be starting her job soon and will ...
0
votes
1answer
835 views

Can my company buy my personal debt?

I owe $50,000 to my mother and father, who have helped me consolidate my debt over the years. Can my business buy my debt from my parents for the full amount I owe and then forgive me from having to ...
7
votes
4answers
151 views

When does credit card counseling work?

I have a friend who has $18K in credit card debt and makes $25K a year. I think this person needs help, and I've thought about recommending credit card counseling. However, I've also read articles ...
1
vote
1answer
257 views

Governments Debt/GDP and Budget (deficit/surplus), how to read the figures to decide what bonds to buy?

After searching for hours on Google I found these two great tables (theya are also sortable): list of Government Debt to GDP ratio list of Government budget (I took hours to find this because I ...
11
votes
7answers
940 views

Is it OK to use a credit card on zero-interest to pay some other credit cards with higher-interest?

I was reading up on What is the difference between "good debt" vs. "bad debt"? and it says borrowing money from a credit card is a bad-debt. So, I was wondering if the credit card ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Collections for Medical Bill - Pay Settlement or Full Amount?

I live in California, and I had an ER visit in November 2010. I originally owed ~$800. I've been contacted by a collection agency, and offered a settlement of ~$400 I have verified with the original ...
4
votes
6answers
360 views

Repaying Debt and Saving - Difficult Situation

I apologize ahead of time if this is too simple a matter for this Stack Exchange. My mother has been in a sticky financial situation for a while now, and I was hoping to get a little bit of help, and ...
1
vote
2answers
210 views

Bank/broker that offers no credit cards (ally.com/vanguard.com)?

Is there a bank/broker that offers no credit cards? Are ally.com and vanguard.com good choices? I'm considering debt settlement, and have been advised to open a bank/brokerage account not owned by ...
5
votes
1answer
331 views

Can I pay a collection agency in a way that will improve my credit score?

Finally, I've got cash in the bank. But this comes after a few years of building up a credit card debt of about $5,000 and not paying it off. A collection agency has come after me. I'm sure my ...
13
votes
5answers
478 views

Why would a company with a bad balance sheet be paying dividends?

As an example, Ford Motors recently reinstated its dividend. It still has a lot of debt and a high debt-equity ratio. Its bonds are still rated as junk. Why would a company like this spend its cash ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Debt Collection Agency wants $30 for an unpaid Newspaper subscription

I'm a college student in the United States, and for an Economics class I was taking I needed a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, so during the first class we filled out a subscription form with ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

“Pay to Delete” letter for removing an entry from my credit report. Legit?

I am negotiating with a collection agency over payment of around $2500. Talking on the phone with them, it seems that I can't get an unequivocal "yes" to delete their entry from my credit report on ...
1
vote
2answers
757 views

How to structure a loan for my owner-financed business sale, so we are paid sooner than later?

My wife and I are in the process of selling our business to a buyer. We have agreed on an amount to sell the business for, and to owner-finance the balance. The buyer has already taken over day-to-...
16
votes
8answers
822 views

Pay off credit card debt or earn employer 401(k) match?

Should a person with high credit card debt pay it off before contributing to a 401(k) with matching?
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Calculate how much interest I will pay given a creditcard balance and a monthly payment?

Assuming I have a $1000 balance on a credit card with a 12% APR how can I calculate my total interest payments if I pay $300 a month? All the online calculators I've found are geared toward showing ...
6
votes
4answers
312 views

Best way to repay parents for college

I am at a point where I can start repaying my parents for college. Is there any financially beneficial/smart way I can/should go about doing this? Or is using taxed income and mailing a check to them ...
12
votes
5answers
5k views

If a debt collector offers to settle for substantially less than the owed amount, should the offer be accepted?

Someone I know has had an outstanding debt (almost $10,000) for a number of years. He recently got a letter from a debt collector saying that if he pays about $2,000 by the end of the month, the debt ...
3
votes
1answer
427 views

Can I borrow against my IRA to pay off debt or pay for a car?

I am going to need a new car soon and I was curious if I can borrow against my IRA to pay for the majority of the car so I don't have to finance much. Also, can I borrow against my IRA to pay off ...
16
votes
10answers
3k views

Snowball debt or pay off a large amount?

I recently received a large amount of money, well large in my eyes, around 5000 dollars. I have the following cards: $10619 citi card ($234.35/month) $2500 Best Buy Card - deferred interest ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Does the United States really owe 114 trillion dollars? Please explain “unfunded liability”?

I would like to refer to the site USdebt.Kleptocracy.us (A visualization of United States debt) I'm just a little bit curious as to what these figures mean. I understand the 1 trillion dollar ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Should I save for my children's university education in Canada, or am I better off paying off loans and gaining debt room?

Looking at the financial aid system in Canada, it seems that significantly more aid is available for those who do not have savings or lack the ability to directly pay for their education. As a member ...
6
votes
2answers
16k views

If you receive life insurance, does the estate have any claim to it? Do you have to use it to pay for debts of the estate?

If after someone dies, you receive life insurance as the beneficiary, is the estate entitled to any of that money? Are there cases where the life insurance money can be included in the estate and ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How can all these countries owe so much money? Why & where did they borrow it from?

When I look at this long list of countries with debt, I get the feeling we've all been sold a load of manure. How can so many countries owe so much money? Generally speaking, why did they borrow it, ...
3
votes
4answers
118 views

What are some options for getting loans with lower interest rates

Like many other folks nowadays, I'm trying to lower my debtload, and one of the ways would be to reduce the interest that I'm paying on my debt (currently around 9/10%). I've tried the debt ...
10
votes
2answers
747 views

Can a company have a credit rating better than that of the country where it is located?

Inspired by this question. In one personal finance book I read that if a company is located in a country with credit rating X it can't have credit rating better (lower - i.e. further from AAA level) ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Will U.S. downgrade actually help large, financially sound corporations?

From everything I read, the U.S. debt downgrade is expected to drive up borrowing costs all across the board. But I have a theory that it will actually lower the borrowing costs of large, financially ...
9
votes
3answers
327 views

Does getting more credit or credit cards improve your credit score?

I'm reading Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and one of the tips from the first chapter is to apply for more credit card debt. He warns it's only for people like me who carry no credit card ...
3
votes
3answers
107 views

Where do I get the best interest rates on a loan?

What do you think about Peerform, Lending Club, and Prosper in relation to these other Banks, credit unions, etc.? I am looking for a debt consolidation loan and I have a decent FICO ~700.
6
votes
2answers
253 views

How could the 14th amendment relate to the US gov't debt ceiling crisis?

I saw a reference to the 14th amendment in the news today. What could that have to do with the US debt ceiling crisis? Could somebody explain please.
6
votes
1answer
93 views

Can creditors force sale of shares to pay debt?

Can creditors force us to sell our shares in order to pay or reduce debts owed or perhaps put a court order in place in order that we use any income from them to reduce any debt? (We are in the ...
4
votes
6answers
7k views

Is it better to spread debt out on multiple credit cards or consolidate it to just a few?

Is it better to spread out my credit card debt so that each of my cards is at around 30% of my limit or is it better to consolidate it all to just one or two cards even if these end up being at close ...
4
votes
3answers
338 views

How could USA defaulting on its public debt influence the stock/bond market?

Ok, let's face it... US public debt is high and people are starting to wonder if the country might default on its debts. How would this hit United States' stock market, its bonds, or its currency? ...
5
votes
4answers
353 views

What happens to consumer debt if a country defaults on its debt?

What happens to consumer debt if a country defaults on its debt? Also, how will a debt default by a country affect government-backed loans such as mortgages and student loans?
10
votes
7answers
764 views

What should I do with my $10K windfall, given these options?

Let's say you get a $10k windfall. How do you determine what is the best thing to spend it on? We need a new roof. Our mortgage is moderately underwater but not in bad shape and we are content where ...
2
votes
3answers
482 views

Does total debt include all kinds of debt?

When it is said that the average American has x thousand dollars in debt....does the x thousand consist of everything: mortgage, student loan, line of credit, credit card overdue payments etc.? Or are ...
13
votes
6answers
7k views

Can it really hurt your credit to pay off things in collections?

I have 4 items in collections according to my credit reports - 2 medical bills totaling $1700, and unpaid traffic ticket for $200, and an old utility bill for $185. I have one credit card that I've ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Borrowed money from a friend for my business, & can't pay it back. Got a lawyer's letter. What can happen?

I borrowed some money from a friend of mine for use in my business and I am not able to pay back to him now due to the bad business. Actually, he put the money into my business first and later decided ...
9
votes
2answers
494 views

Can I refinance my student loans?

I have student loans from graduate school with an interest rate of 6.625%. I see that interest rates are quite low. (Mortgage rates are at 4.6% for a 30 yr fixed.) So I am wondering: Is it possible to ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

At what interest rate should debt be used as a tool?

I know people love to preach the merits of being 100% debt-free, but when used intelligently, debt can be a powerful tool. All else equal, if I have debt at an interest rate of say 1% and have an ...
4
votes
3answers
187 views

How to handle old 401(k) I have, with respect to refinancing some of my debts?

I have recently been shopping around to see if I could get my home refinanced. I purchased in Oct. 2007 for $200,000 - 30 year fixed at 5.99%. I called my lender and they were willing to refinance at ...
3
votes
1answer
261 views

What is the difference between a home equity line of credit and a mortgage?

In the article About.com - Six Ways To Prepare Now For Rising Interest Rates it states: The average US household debt, according to the Fed, is $20,000, not including mortgages. Most of that ...
34
votes
7answers
3k views

Why use credit when you have the cash?

I've heard several people state that they get loans even when they have the money to cover the cost in the bank, and it befuddles me why they would pay interest instead of using their own money. This ...