Staff Writer

Bill Fay

Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it in 2012, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering the high finance world of college and professional sports for major publications, including the Associated Press, New York Times and Sports Illustrated. His interest in sports has waned some, but he is as passionate as ever about not reaching for his wallet. Bill can be reached at [email protected].

Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition dismissed

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Dismissal

By Bill Fay | October 1, 2021

Bankruptcy World has two distinctly different “Dis-lands.” One, “Dis-charged,” is the magnificent, joyful, cherished holy grail of bankruptcy outcomes. Every bankrupt wants to get through the Discharged finish line —…

Woman holding nonprofit sign

Nonprofit Debt Settlement

By Bill Fay | September 21, 2021

Would you be able to pay off your credit card debt, if creditors forgive 40% to 50% of your debt? And agreed to those numbers up front without negotiating? And…

Phone ringing for bankruptcy debt collector

What Is an Automatic Stay?

By Bill Fay | August 25, 2021

Filing for bankruptcy may or may not offer all consumers the clearest path out of debt but one benefit might just feel like the arrival of the cavalry. Filing for…

Analyzing credit card bills before filing bankruptcy

Filing Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt

By Bill Fay | August 11, 2021

Bankruptcy is meant to give consumers drowning in debt a second chance, which a lot of people who overspent heavily using credit cards,  think they need. But if you look…

Man in suit choosing between chapter 7 and chapter 11 bankruptcy

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

By Bill Fay | August 4, 2021

This is the story for anyone who thinks a bankruptcy is a bankruptcy is a bankruptcy. Not so. In fact, bankruptcies are like Nike sneakers: They come in a variety…

Facebook homepage

Can Debt Collectors Track You Down on Facebook?

By Bill Fay | June 17, 2021

Imagine logging on to Facebook and finding a new message in your inbox. It’s not from a family member or an old friend. Instead, it’s a debt collector asking why…

Credit report score

Breaking Down Your FICO Score

By Bill Fay | June 17, 2021

You may know your credit score, but understanding how you are graded can be a tool to help you raise your score in the future, and avoid repeating the mistakes…

Desktop computer showing a credit score over 800

How Do I Get My Credit Score up to 800?

By Bill Fay | June 17, 2021

You don’t have to be a millionaire to know what achieving that financial ranking means. Being a millionaire means you have crossed a huge economic threshold. Doors open. Opportunities are…

Lower Utility Bills This Winter

How to Cut Your Utility Bills This Winter, No Matter Your Heating Fuel

By Bill Fay | June 10, 2021

As the temperature outside drops, your utility bill is on the rise. We get it. It’s cold outside and you want to keep warm and cozy inside, but before you…

Eviction notice on front door

What to Do About an Eviction

By Bill Fay | June 9, 2021

There have been so many dispiriting numbers resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that it’s hard to pick which one is the worst, but here is one that belongs somewhere near…

couple-with-bills-and-calculator

Best Places to Get a Debt Consolidation Loan in 2020

By Bill Fay | May 28, 2021

If the pile of bills you’re dealing with from credit card companies has grown out of control, it might be time to consider a debt consolidation loan. In many cases,…

Stressed Woman with Paperwork

10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Paying Off Debt

By Bill Fay | May 27, 2021

The decision to get yourself out of debt is a life changer, if you are willing to make the necessary commitment that goes with that. You can learn how to get out of debt and how…

Phone bill fees

Phone Bills Bring a Holiday Surprise: 62 Percent in Fees

By Bill Fay | May 27, 2021

Do you know anything about the California Relay and Community Surcharge or the Texas Poison Control Fee? How about the Federal Excise Tax? Or the Universal Service Fee? Those are…

car shopping tips

10 Things to Know When Shopping for a Car

By Bill Fay | May 27, 2021

There are 250 million registered passenger vehicles in the U.S. today — and just 115 million American households. According to government statistics, 57 percent of those households have two or…

Pencil erasing debt

Compound Interest: How It Works

By Bill Fay | May 27, 2021

Compound interest is a powerful tool for building wealth. It’s also a devastating tool that can destroy wealth. It just depends on which side of the financial equation you use…

Weigh your options and find out the best way for you to invest your money

The Dos and Don’ts of Investing

By Bill Fay | May 27, 2021

Everyone wants investments, but far fewer have them. In some cases, a catastrophic health problem or some other disaster wipes out a person’s savings, but most of the time the…

A financial advisor can keep all your eggs in a basket

Finding the Right Financial Adviser You Can Trust

By Bill Fay | May 27, 2021

They say money makes the world go ’round. That well may be true, but you don’t have gravity and other universal constants to keep your financial world in a constant…

Sign that says habits that create wealth with money background

These 7 Habits Will Help You Become Rich

By Bill Fay | May 26, 2021

Humans are creatures of habit, and a lot of us creatures are in debt. What habits got us there? How did we fall into a life of anxiety over credit…

Man looking in wallet for money

How To Stretch Your Dollar Until Payday

By Bill Fay | May 25, 2021

Stretching dollars until the next paycheck arrives has become a regular practice in America. More than 38 million U.S. households are pinching pennies between paydays and the surprising fact about…

10 ways to save money while traveling.

Traveling on a Budget: 10 Tips to Save Cash

By Bill Fay | May 23, 2021

We all know traveling isn’t cheap or easy. Depending on the destination and the length of stay, a vacation can take months of researching, planning and saving. Despite this, people…

Man handing refund of cash

How to Get a Refund on Your Student Loan Payments During COVID-19

By Bill Fay | May 3, 2021

The rules governing repayment of federal student loans contain so many nooks and crannies that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you may have missed one created during the…

Envelope containing the third stimulus check

Third Stimulus Check

By Bill Fay | March 10, 2021

The average Joe – not Biden – figures to benefit most from passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. Approximately 145 million Americans will receive a third round of…

$15 minimum wage

$15 Minimum Wage Increase: Will It Happen?

By Bill Fay | February 10, 2021

Biden wants the minimum wage – currently set at $7.25 an hour – to jump to $15 an hour by 2025. The increases would be phased in at approximately $1.75…

Joe Biden announces American Rescue Plan

Details on the American Rescue Plan

By Bill Fay | January 14, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden unveiled the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion war on the prolonged suffering of Americans hardest hit by coronavirus. Included in his proposal: a fresh round of…

Image of newspaper titled Covid-19 Relief Bill with ribbon attached

Covid-19 Relief Bill

By Bill Fay | December 30, 2020

The second COVID-19 relief bill is now law – all 3,126 pages of it. The people in Congress who passed it admit they don’t know what all is in it,…

Second stimulus check on top of the first stimulus check

Second Stimulus Check Update

By Bill Fay | December 29, 2020

If you haven’t looked at your bank account this week, now might be a splendid time. The long wait for a second stimulus check from the U.S. government finally is…

Calendar with dart on second stimulus date

When Will a Second Stimulus Check be Delivered?

By Bill Fay | December 23, 2020

A second stimulus check – the financial gift from the U.S. government to help consumers recover from the economic belt coronavirus gave the American economy – needs only a signature…

Google search bar with phrase student loan benefit

Google Is the Latest Company to Offer Student Loan Repayment Benefits

By Bill Fay | November 3, 2020

If the biggest employee benefit you receive is when your company bothers to fill the toilet paper rolls in the employee bathroom, you might not want to read this: Google…

Woman deciding whether or not to pay down student loans during COVID-19

Paying Down Student Loans Before the COVID Suspension Is Lifted

By Bill Fay | October 28, 2020

If you are paying on a federal student loan, you probably already know that the government CARES Act has provided benefits that suspends payment and interest requirements through January 31,…

Campaign buttons for Trump and Biden

Trump vs. Biden: How Their Plans for Student Loan Debt Compare

By Bill Fay | October 16, 2020

Americans with student loan debt have a $1.6 trillion question on their minds: What would President Trump or a President Biden do about all that money these 45 million borrowers…

Gavel on table

Court Ruling Favors Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharge

By Bill Fay | October 2, 2020

There hasn’t been much good economic news in 2020, but if you’re buried in student loans, there was an astoundingly positive development recently. Thanks to a recent court ruling, you…

Woman applying for a new credit card on her computer

Should I Apply for a New Credit Card During COVID?

By Bill Fay | September 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created record unemployment, erased profit margins, closed businesses and wreaked havoc on almost every family’s money outlook. It has even affected America’s ultimate get-out-of-jail financial symbol…

Sign for VA office

VA Extends COVID-19 Debt Relief to Veterans Through 2020

By Bill Fay | September 15, 2020

Veterans indebted to the Department of Veterans Affairs won a partial payment reprieve this summer that will last at least through the end of 2020. The VA action extends a…

For sale sign in front yard of house

Coronavirus and the Real Estate Market

By Bill Fay | August 14, 2020

Dorothy surely wasn’t thinking of life in a COVID-19 pandemic when she clicked those heels in the “Wizard of Oz” and opined that ‘there’s no place like home.’ But her…

Senator Mitch McConnell at a podium

Details on the HEALS Act

By Bill Fay | August 5, 2020

Congress and the White House are still debating whether the HEALS Act, HEROES Act – or some compromise Act in between – will deliver the next round of coronavirus relief…

Nancy Pelosi at a podium

Details on the HEROES Act

By Bill Fay | July 21, 2020

When the House of Representative passed the $3-trillion HEROES Act on May 15, it all but guaranteed that a second stimulus check would arrive for Americans in need of financial help…

Bankruptcy court with COVID-19 sign

COVID-19 Bankruptcies

By Bill Fay | July 16, 2020

The storm is coming. American consumers will be filing personal bankruptcies in record numbers by the end of 2020. That is the projection from bankruptcy attorneys, bankers and other experts…

Image of the stimulus COVID-19 relief check distributed by President Trump

Stimulus Checks for COVID-19 Relief

By Bill Fay | July 1, 2020

The phrase “stimulus check” is second only to “coronavirus” or “COVID-19” as something to talk about these days and people are definitely talking. About 159 million Americans have received the…

Calendar with July 15 marked as tax day

Tax Season Countdown All Over Again

By Bill Fay | June 30, 2020

Everyone knows the old saying: Time flies when you’re procrastinating. Seems like only yesterday we were breezing past April 15 — the traditional deadline for income tax filing — and…

Second stimulus check being shredded

Republican Advisors Say No Need for Second Stimulus Check

By Bill Fay | June 16, 2020

Don’t plan on receiving and cashing a second COVID-19 stimulus check just yet. A group of 20 fiscal hawks, many of the close advisors to President Trump, sent Trump and…