Staff Writer

Bill Fay

Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it seven years ago, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering college and professional sports, which are the fantasy worlds of finance. His work has been published by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, among others. His interest in sports has waned some, but his interest in never reaching for his wallet is as passionate as ever. Bill can be reached at bfay@debt.org.

Close up of form labeled "1099-MISC" with a pen sitting atop it

What Are 1099s?

By Bill Fay | November 25, 2020

1099 forms are federal income tax information forms from businesses and other institutions to document certain financial transactions conducted during a tax year. The forms are filed with the U.S.…

Couple buying their first New York home

New York

By Bill Fay | September 10, 2020

The state of New York is ready and willing to help first-time homebuyers who want to fulfill that part of the America dream. If home ownership seems out of reach,…

Red virus on blue background with words "CORONAVIRUS"

Financial Help for COVID-19

By Bill Fay | September 9, 2020

When the coronavirus hit in March of 2020, governments and businesses scrambled to create programs that would soften the gut punch they knew COVID-19 would deliver to the U.S. economy.…

A female support operator speaks with a customer on a landline

Coronavirus

By Bill Fay | March 23, 2020

We help you build financial strength How Debt Settlement Works Step 1 The first step is deciding whether to hire a debt settlement company or lawyer to negotiate a settlement.…

close up of home model, dollar money and house keys

No Closing Cost Refinance

By Bill Fay | February 13, 2020

Just as there is no such thing as a free lunch, there’s really no such thing as refinancing a mortgage for free, no matter how appealing a no-closing-costs refi may…

Image of books stacked in shape of house

Housing and Credit Counseling

By Bill Fay | February 13, 2020

Talking to a credit counselor is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re shopping for a home. The list of people you already have to speak to —…

Household items packed and ready to move out after divorce

Divorce and Your Mortgage

By Bill Fay | January 29, 2020

The reality is about half of all marriages end in divorce, a shattering experience that forces partners to divide assets and debt. Things can get really complicated, especially when mortgage…

15 Year Mortgage Papers Being Signed By Applicant

15-Year Fixed Mortgages

By Bill Fay | January 28, 2020

There’s a lot to think about when buying a house. Deciding between a 15- or 30-year-mortgage may not seem like something you want to use a lot of mental energy…

Tax Bracket written on a notebook on desk

Tax Brackets

By Bill Fay | January 8, 2020

The United States operates under a progressive tax code, which means — all things being equal — the more you earn, the more income taxes you owe. (Exceptions apply; we’ll…

Petition for Bankruptcy papers and gavel

Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

By Bill Fay | October 10, 2019

Even if you weren’t a fan of the hit TV comedy “The Office,” you may sympathize with its main character, office manager Michael Scott, whose financial difficulties and general cluelessness…

Social security cards and 100 dollar bills in a pile

Social Security

By Bill Fay | September 24, 2019

More than 50 million people depend on Social Security benefits for part or all of their income during retirement. Although most working Americans do not plan on funding their retirements…

Debt settlement papers being stamped "Paid"

Debt Settlement

By Bill Fay | September 23, 2019

Choose Your Debt Amount Consolidate Debt in Minutes Menu More on Settlement Consolidation Non-Profit Debt Consolidation Online Debt Consolidation Companies Best Debt Consolidation Options How to Consolidate Debt On Your…

Illustration of Debt Consolidation Companies Review

Companies

By Bill Fay | September 18, 2019

  Debt.org compiled information on six of the top debt consolidation companies in the United States and reviewed them based on services, fees, reviews from the Better Business Bureau and complaint…

Family trying to get a mortgage with bad credit

Getting a Mortgage With Poor Credit

By Bill Fay | September 12, 2019

You can get a mortgage with bad credit. Just ask Scott and Sally Champion, 30-somethings in Dallas, who set a goal of becoming homeowners no later than five years after…

View the vast difference between Emergency Room and Urgent Care

Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers: Differences in Services & Costs

By Bill Fay | September 12, 2019

Differences in Services & Costs The debate over receiving treatment at a hospital emergency room versus treatment from an urgent care center is worth having for anyone concerned about medical debt,…

Help with Credit Card Debt

By Bill Fay | September 10, 2019

Ah, the credit card. Easy to get, lovely to hold, and for those hardwired to instant gratification, absolutely fabulous to use. In fact, now that the Great Recession is a mostly…

Blocks stacked with the question How should I consolidate my debt next to it

Best Debt Consolidation Options

By Bill Fay | September 6, 2019

If you use a wallet full of credit cards, ring up debts on most of them,  struggle every month to make even minimum payments – and have grown tired of…

Home sitting on stack of cash

Debt Consolidation Loans vs. Home Equity to Pay Off Debts

By Bill Fay | June 10, 2019

The spirited revival of the housing market over the last decade has re-opened the door for consumers to use home equity as their bailout tool for high-interest debt – the…

Health insurance umbrella

What is COBRA Insurance?

By Bill Fay | May 8, 2019

COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. While that may not sound like it has anything to do with health insurance, it’s actually a federal law designed to…

Do-It-Yourself Label

How to Consolidate Debt On Your Own

By Bill Fay | May 8, 2019

You don’t have to be drowning in debt to know what it describes: someone floundering in the deep end of the financial pool who’s about to go under if (s)he…

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…

Envelope containing the third stimulus check

Will There Be a Third Stimulus Check?

By Bill Fay | January 5, 2021

It would not be a surprise if a bill for a third stimulus check – possibly for as much as $2,000! – is on President Biden’s desk a day after…

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 December 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…

Business with closed sign applying for paycheck protection program

Paycheck Protection Program

By Bill Fay | May 2, 2020

While Governors in several states are trying to crack open the door on the shuttered U.S. economy, the news from two key elements of a would-be revival – employment and…

Fact or Fiction: Debt Relief in the Time of Coronavirus

Fact or Fiction: Debt Relief in the Time of Coronavirus

By Bill Fay | March 20, 2020

Truth, they say, is the first casualty of war. And on March 13, President Donald Trump put America on a war footing. We’re coming for you, coronavirus. Speaking from the…