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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.

245
votes
18answers
96k 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 ...
182
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 ...
152
votes
10answers
36k 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. ...
106
votes
13answers
25k views

Should I take out a loan to pay off a relative's credit card debt?

Recently a close relative revealed to me that she has run up $40,000 in credit card debt over the last few years, which she can no longer manage because the interest payments are eating up all of her ...
94
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 ...
66
votes
9answers
20k views

How is early-and-often home buying as “get rich” advice feasible?

I am being told by this guy that the following is a guaranteed-to-work way to become rich and retire early. He says to start early. 20 years, or near that age. Buy 1 house a year. Rent it out. Start ...
65
votes
11answers
17k 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 ...
61
votes
6answers
11k views

Wife is cosigned on a credit card with her parents — real assets are also shared. How to protect my credit?

A few years ago I got a credit monitoring app and started watching my credit score (high 700's). It's been climbing slowly and sends me an alert when I apply for new credit - like when I bought a car ...
58
votes
5answers
15k views

In what cases can a business refuse to take cash?

Printed on US currency you will find "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE". Some businesses have refused to accept larger bills for a long time, as other forms of payment have ...
55
votes
12answers
22k 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 ...
47
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 ...
44
votes
8answers
15k views

Paying off debt and living within means vs. long term planning

My husband and I are divided as to the best way to handle our current financial situation. First, a little background. We are in our high 20’s, have been married for six years and have three kids. ...
44
votes
3answers
7k views

Why would a lien appear on a mortgage after 17 years?

I have a 30 year, fixed rate mortgage from the year 2000. I have never missed a payment and don't have any other debt. A couple of months ago, I a got a letter sent by a company I never heard of (...
43
votes
7answers
8k views

Using Emergency Fund to Sell Upside-down Car

My husband and I have an upside-down car loan, which means that we owe more on the loan (about $10,000) than the car is worth (only about $7,000). We are paying a pretty substantial amount each month ...
39
votes
6answers
12k views

Should I pay down my student debt early?

I just graduated university and started my first job. I have £50,000 in student loan debt at 6.1% interest. My monthly payment on this debt is £10 (direct from my paycheck). I can afford to pay £...
38
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
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 ...
36
votes
8answers
8k views

Cash in retirement accounts to buy a house?

My husband and I are looking to buy our first home. He is 39 and I am 37. We live in a major city and house prices are terrible. We are probably looking at a 500K-600K home. We were late bloomers, ...
36
votes
10answers
3k views

How do I explain why debt on debt is bad to my brother?

My brother has about 5 loans that he paying back and he thinks that another 5000 loan will "solve his problem". He has been this way since he was young, he's now in his 30's. I'm trying to find a ...
34
votes
3answers
11k views

Should I pay myself back for paying family's rent out of our pool of money?

A few months ago, I paid the $1,500 rent on the house where my family and I lived. My siblings and I are in college and we work part time jobs to get by. My father could not afford to pay the rent ...
34
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I invest when in debt?

I have just consolidated my debt and am thinking where I want to be in the future. My payment plan is to be debt-free in three years. It is not an extremely aggressive plan; I still want to have a ...
30
votes
8answers
10k 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: ...
30
votes
4answers
9k views

Can a company charge you for services never requested or received?

My partner and I have recently moved into our new home and as expected have received a number of letters from companies for the previous occupants. This latest "Letter" (I say letter but It was a ...
29
votes
2answers
10k views

Wife sent to collections for ticket she paid ten years ago

My wife got a ticket 10 years in Nevada. She paid that ticket, but doesn't have any record of it; we've moved a lot in the last ten years and switched banks several times. We got a bill from the ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

Multiple loans, multiple payers - how to snowball fairly

My brother and I both have a large sum of student loan debt. I have more than he does and my interest rates are slightly larger as well. We are both attempting to snowball our debt separately. It ...
28
votes
6answers
47k views

Where do countries / national governments borrow money from? [closed]

It seems that every country on Earth is in debt, but nowhere on the news do they ever mention to who. If countries are all in debt to each other then why not just cancel all the countries debt. If it'...
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 ...
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 ...
26
votes
8answers
11k views

To pay off a student loan, should I save up a lump sum payoff payment or pay extra each month?

I am a new college graduate with a student loan of $17k at 6.8% interest. The monthly minimum payment due is $193. I have been paying the minimum amount, and then taking that same amount and placing ...
26
votes
3answers
6k views

Credit card debt after cosigner passed away

My father is a cosigner on my brothers credit cards. He passed away last month. My brother is not paying off the debt. Can we remove my fathers name? Is my dads estate responsible? My brother owes ...
25
votes
6answers
11k views

Potential debt collection scam from National Credit Systems?

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from an organization called National Credit Systems. In the letter, they say that I owe them $230 to the apartment manager that I rented from 3 years ago. I ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
9answers
7k views

Should I pay off my car loan within the year?

I saw another question like this, but I am in a bit of a different situation. I am 19 years old, in college, and have no credit history. I saved up enough money to buy a car, but decided to get a ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I know what and how much my debt is?

I had excellent credit, large amount of savings, and opened a wine bar. As money drained, and debts accrued the landlords got selfish and I didn't have the funds to fight it in court (at the time), ...
19
votes
3answers
17k views

Should I pay off zero interest debt early?

My cash reserves are around $11k, including an emergency fund of about a month and a half, and I budget rigorously. The only debt I have is $7k at zero interest, paid at $300/month, and it's from a ...
18
votes
7answers
22k 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 ...
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
4answers
7k views

What to do with a 50K inheritance [duplicate]

My grandma left a 50K inheritance and I'm looking for advice about the best way to use it. My husband and I have 3 kids (11, 3, 1) and are in our early 30s. We have: 60K in student loan debt 15K car ...
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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
6answers
14k views

What does it take to get a 0 credit score

I'm not sure if a 0 credit score is the same thing as having 'no credit history'. I'm wondering how long it would take a credit score to drop to 0 (something Dave Ramsey says happens eventually after ...
17
votes
8answers
921 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?
17
votes
4answers
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is it good to borrow money to buy a house?

In most cases of purchases the general advice is to save the money and then make the purchase. Paying cash for a car is recommended over paying credit for example. For a house, getting a mortgage is ...
17
votes
3answers
691 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...