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.

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18
votes
8answers
7k 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
17k 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
942 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
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
760 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
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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 ...
15
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
15
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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?
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What will happen to my wife's debt when she passes away?

I am currently a Washington state resident but my wife is still an Oregon resident. Recently she has had some health issues and has been given a short amount of time left to live. We are trying to ...
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
28k views

What's a normal personal debt / equity ratio for a highly educated person?

I'm trying to figure out what a bad / normal / good personal debt / equity ratio is. Most sites deal with debt / income ratio, which is a cashflow metric, and I want to focus on assets / obligations. ...
14
votes
6answers
13k views

Should I sell my stocks to reduce my debt?

The question is obvious. I have debt, not in excess, but I have. And I have some stocks in the market. Should I use the stock money to pay my debt, and be debt free. The debt is not high interest. ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

Advice for paying off student loans and auto loans now that I have my first 'real' job

I'm hoping for some advice on which loans I should focus on paying off first. I'm 28 and just got my first 'real' job about 2 years ago after 8 years of schooling. I've paid off all my credit card ...
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

The U.S. National Debt: What is it, where did it come from, and how does it work?

I am not from USA. I read few articles about the US National debt but still can't get the sense of it. Could you explain it in simple words? I know that it is huge. I can't understand following things:...
14
votes
5answers
574 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
3k 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%, ...
14
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Why don't companies buy back their own (cut-price) debt?

A thought occurred to me today. Glencore's debt is trading at about 70% of face-value. If you're Glencore, what's to stop you buying that debt yourself and pocketing the difference? In particular, ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Should I prioritize my 401(k) over my student loans?

Lately things have been a bit tight. Between student loan payments, my HSA, my 401(k) and bills my account balance isn't going up or down, its stagnant. I am wondering if I should decrease my savings ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
13k views

can the government or debt collectors garnish money from any bank account to which the debtor has access?

A trusted family member has access to my savings account. The savings account is mine, but the family member's name appears next to mine, which means that they are entitled to withdraw money from the ...
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
668 views

What's the general principle behind choosing saving vs. paying off debt?

In "general" is it better to pay off one's debt (line of credit, etc.) or is it better to invest (retirement account / RRSP or the like)? I understand that the answer will depend on terms of debt and ...
11
votes
3answers
822 views

Should I get out of debt fast using Dave Ramsey's Tactics?

I currently am $31,000 in debt from school and a personal loan and I am looking to pay it off. I just started a new job; I am 21 years old, fresh out of college. I am making around 50K USD. I have ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

How should I invest/spend this 50k inheritance?

I am 32 and work in the non-profit sector making 30k/yr. I own my home, which was recently appraised at 202k. I was given an inheritance of 50k from my grandmother. Based on my financials, how should ...
11
votes
4answers
15k 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
5answers
3k views

In layman's terms, what is balance transfer?

I know very little about my credit cards, all I know is that I make sure to do the minimum payments on time. Some suggested that I do balance transfer? What is that suppose to mean? Can someone pay ...
10
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I assume title as the co-signer on car loan after the borrower's death?

I signed for a car with my room mate she has since passed away. I just found out she is the only person on the title. I am stuck with paying the car and no title. There was no estate, no will or ...
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) ...
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
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 ...
10
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
632 views

My Boss owes money but I am named on letter from debt collection agency (UK)

My employer has an outstanding debt with a company he aked me to speak with a couple of years ago. Now that company has my name listed as a "contact". He received a letter from a debt collection ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

HELOC vs Federal Student Loan

Given the following assumptions: Interest rates are the same for HELOCs as Federal Student Loans (they're both hovering around 5% right now). Loan amount could range anywhere between $10,000 and $40,...
9
votes
7answers
893 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
78k views

Is Credence Resource Management a scam?

I've been receiving a lot of calls from a debt collector called Credence Resource Management. These calls are coming from a call center in India. It seems like this is a scam company. I did some ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

How should I pay off my private student loans that have a lot of restrictions?

I have numerous private student loans, with amounts and interest rates like this: $30,000 7% 25,000 7% 10,000 7% 5,000 6% 4,000 5% My loan provider told me I have two options. ...
9
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
11k views

What to do with an expensive, upside-down car loan?

Unfortunately, my wife had a car before we got married. She got the car a year or so before we met and now we still have the car. Her mother offered to pay for the car (my wife was still a student at ...
9
votes
2answers
32k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
561 views

Help: Being charged interest on a loan for which I received no statements telling me of this debt for the past 15 years. Surprise!

Is this legal? This was a private loan within a small business. I was under the assumption that the bill was paid in full 15 years ago. My only drawback is that I never got them to sign to verify the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you calculate the ROI on your credit score?

I've heard it said from people who work in the industry that your credit rating isn't a measure of your ability to pay, but rather a measure of how profitable a customer you are. I've also heard ...
9
votes
2answers
436 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
252 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 ...