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Questions tagged [debt]

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.

48
votes
15answers
11k views

Why would anyone want to pay off their debts in a way other than “highest interest” first?

Looking at the math, it is clear to many people that, given a number of debts at different interest rates, if you are trying to eliminate your debt, you will pay less interest overall if you pay off ...
184
votes
19answers
24k views

How smart is it to really be 100% debt free?

For the last 2 years, I have been trying hard to be debt free without affecting my personal cash flow. I am by no means a rich person, but I have a decent salary. I still have debt, specifically ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Need advice about my financial situation

Here is my living situation in a nutshell Live in California 2 kids (7 and 11) Ex-wife I am almost 40. I rent Financial situation: Make about $170k (includes regular job + moonlighting) before ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the history of credit utilization affect FICO score?

Most people are aware that the debt to credit limit ratio is a vital part of the FICO score. The FICO score is updated every time new information is received by the credit bureaus. However, is it ...
3
votes
1answer
332 views

Co-Buyer Automobile

As a co-buyer on an automobile, can the other party take full possession? Both parties names are listed as the Purchaser's. Only one purchaser signed the retail order for the motor vehicle, and if so, ...
248
votes
18answers
98k views

Who can truly afford luxury cars?

I never really thought about money until one day I checked how much I made compared to the rest of America. The calculator said my household income is in the top 20%. Kind of funny to me, because I ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

Paying off student loans early/lump sum — best practices?

My wife & I have run into a large sum of cash recently and are interested in paying off/paying down our student loans -- about $30k between us, at about 6.5% avg interest. We're both earning ...
18
votes
7answers
23k views

Am I considered in debt if I pay a mortgage?

75% of Americans are in debt. I'd like to know if I'm also considered in debt if I am paying my mortgage on a house. I didn't think I was in debt if I own the house. I guess I pay 'rent' to a bank ...
9
votes
2answers
30k views

Construction loan for new house replacing existing mortgaged house?

Let's say I buy a home with an ordinary thirty-year mortgage, intending to renovate the house slowly and live there a long time (ten years at least). Five years into the mortgage, however, I decide I ...
27
votes
5answers
6k views

What method do I use to pay current expenses while paying off credit card debt?

I’m hoping you can help me with a question that seems very hard to google for some reason. I have $20K in debt on 4 cards, and I have set up a plan to pay off the deferred card on time, and the ...
12
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

Should I pay off HELOC or save?

I've heard the principle of "Pay yourself first", implying that saving some money each month should be a priority. However, I've also heard that being debt free is important, and it would be good not ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How can I get out of the debt-trap as quickly as possible?

I have a credit card with 30% interest and a real estate loan with 11% interest. The amount of debt on my card is lower than the real estate loan. I want to redeem the installments of the real ...
38
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
56
votes
12answers
23k views

Should I pay off a 0% car loan?

I'm ahead on 0% interest car loan. I don't have to make a payment until October. I currently owe $3,000 and I could pay it all off. Should I do that or leave that money in my savings account that ...
18
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
6k views

60% Downpayment on house?

My fiancee and I are shopping for a house, and very fortunate to have the assets to allow us to make a healthy downpayment. We both like the idea of a lower monthly mortgage payment, specifically the ...
16
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the difference between “good debt” vs. “bad debt”?

This other question about home renovations makes reference to the concept of "good debt." Could somebody explain the concepts of good debt vs. bad debt, providing examples of each? Are there cases ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

What should I do with my credit card debt?

I have almost $20,000 in credit card debt and, though I have stopped accumulating it for quite a while now, I'm trying to figure out the best way forward. Can someone please offer advice based on this ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

In what ways can a public company ask for money?

I'm just curious, what are the ways that a publicly traded company can ask for more money? Do they just sell shares of their company stock they own themselves, or do they issue more bonds? Are there ...
9
votes
2answers
248 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
881 views

Paying off student loan or using that money for a downpayment on a house

I am 22 years old, I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I am a recent graduate. I approximately owe 22,000 dollars in student debt (all federal student loans at a fixed rate). My job pays me around 50,000 ...
5
votes
5answers
357 views

What to do when institutions stopped lending you money?

I know the question seems confusing, but this is a real life event. My friend lived beyond his means for a few years, combined with half year of unemployment his Credit Card Debt went to the roof. ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

Debt Forgiveness - Extra Payments

Student loans can be forgiven after ten years of being a teacher (link). If there is no chance for a new teacher to pay off the loan in ten years, is there any benefit to pay anything other than the ...
1
vote
3answers
195 views

Which is better -to save money or pay down debt?

Generally speaking, if you've come into a little bit of money (for example, the profit from the sale of real estate), is it better to use that money to pad your savings account or pay down your debt ...
67
votes
11answers
18k views

How can I prepare for my US student debt?

I'm a student at Drexel University. Drexel is a notoriously expensive school, and I pay roughly $35,000/yr in tuition, after awards. What's more, it is a five-year school. Currently, I'm in my fourth ...
152
votes
10answers
37k views

My friend wants to put my name down for a house he's buying. What risks would I be taking?

My good friend, who I have known since we were kids, asked me for a favor today. He originally intended to get a house with his now ex-girlfriend so that he could invest in one and later on, sell it. ...
30
votes
8answers
11k views

Can a person end up in prison for unpaid debt in the USA?

Many years ago I read in an article like this one about expats trying to leave the United Arab Emirates quickly whenever their job contract was cancelled. The reasons behind this behavior was that: ...
23
votes
17answers
4k views

I spend too much money. How can I get on the path to a frugal lifestyle?

How do I live a frugal lifestyle? I'd like to live on less but it doesn't seem easy. How can I get started? I want to get out of debt and not have to work until I'm dead.
95
votes
8answers
23k views

How to deal with the credit card debt from family member that has passed away?

My father recently passed away and had some considerable amount of debt on his credit cards. House and credit card were in the deceased’s name only. The state that is happening in is New Jersey. In ...
8
votes
4answers
883 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 ...
27
votes
10answers
8k views

Is it foolish to borrow 2.5X income? [closed]

I base this question from USA Today, which claims that median household income is $59,000 and average household debt is $137,000. They say: suggesting that many Americans are living beyond their ...
17
votes
3answers
731 views

How can I survive the economic crisis I see will hit Argentina soon?

I'm from Argentina, where the shit is about to hit the fan just like 2001. We are going to have a crisis similar to Greece in recent times (or us 17 years ago): all debt related. I'm not an economic ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

Paying Off Debt: When CC Companies Won't Reduce APR

For the past two years I've been living, for the first time, under the weighty, grey cloud of credit card debt. Foolish use of personal credit cards to fund asset purchases for an LLC have resulted in ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it okay to be married, 30 years old and have no retirement?

I am a 31 year old attorney with a 10 month old baby. I make $130K a year. My husband is also an attorney, and makes approx. $60K a year. WE both do not have any retirement savings or college ...
14
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
14k views

Co-signing & dying: What if a loan co-signer dies? Is estate of co-signer liable?

A grim and tragic question perhaps, but I'm curious: What happens when a person that co-signed on a loan dies? Is the co-signer's estate potentially liable until the loan is paid off, the same as if ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why can't a US state default, but a EU state can?

I'm new here so I'm not sure if this type of question is appropriate on this site. I live in the EU (Italy) and I'm quite concerned (probably not the only one now in EU) about the possibility of some ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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) ...
9
votes
7answers
829 views

Will be debt Free in 3 years — What order should i pay off my cards?

I have budgeted to the point where i can close all credit cards i have in close to three years from now. My question is, should I simply pay 1/3 to each card (will be over minimum payment on all) OR ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

In Australia, how to battle credit card debt?

I have $18K in credit card debt. What are my options in tackling this? Every month I am left with no extra money to pay anything more than minimum payment required (car, rent, another personal loan, ...
5
votes
4answers
435 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?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Does paying off a car loan increase or reduce a persons credit score?

I know that closing credit card accounts reduces the number of open credit lines, and paying off a car loan would also reduce the number of credit lines. I have had the car loan for over 3 years, it ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I draw funds from a personal line of credit to pay its own monthly “minimum payment”?

I can guess the answer to this question, but I can't figure out why. So here goes... I've got an unsecured line of credit with a limit $30,000. The annual interest rate is 6%, compounded daily. Every ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How to calculate how much house I can afford?

Let me start by saying that I've already read How big of a mortgage can I realistically afford? And How much house can I afford, waiting around 3 years or so But those questions are very ...
17
votes
8answers
932 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?
15
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you do when a family member won't pay you back?

What do you do when a family member won't pay you back?
14
votes
6answers
13k views

If a country can just print money, is global debt between countries real? [closed]

I was having a conversation with my brother last night and we were trying to figure out how exactly countries go into debt to each other. Say the US borrows money from China. What does this mean? Do ...
11
votes
9answers
4k views

How to avoid getting back into debt?

I got a windfall last year that allowed me to clear all my debt. I am a student, so my incomes are small. After the debt was cleared there was still some money left, which I gradually used for paying ...