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].

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 Advertiser Disclosure Expand Debt.org wants to help those in debt understand their finances and equip themselves with the tools to manage debt. Our information…

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 Advertiser Disclosure Expand Debt.org wants to help those in debt understand their finances and equip themselves with the tools to manage debt.…

Illustration of Debt Consolidation Companies Review

Companies

By Bill Fay | September 18, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure Debt.org wants to help those in debt understand their finances and equip themselves with the tools to manage debt. Our information is available for free, however the services…

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

The Best Ways to Consolidate Your Debt

By Bill Fay | September 6, 2019

If you use a wallet full of credit cards, spend freely with them, struggle every month to make even minimum payments – and are tired of the financial fatigue that causes…

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

DIY Debt Consolidation: How to Consolidate Debt Yourself

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 he/she…

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…

How to get out of debt in 2020

How to Get Out of Debt in 2020

By Bill Fay | February 24, 2020

Surveys show most Americans will make a resolution to get out of debt in 2020. Surveys also show most Americans will fail miserably. If you want to get out of…

Image of a new credit report

How the New FICO Credit Scoring System Will Affect You

By Bill Fay | January 29, 2020

The announcement that FICO will put two new credit scoring models – FICO 10 and FICO 10T – into play this summer is the ultimate good news/bad news situation for…

Piggy bank wrapped in Christmas lights

How to Stay Out of Debt During the Holidays

By Bill Fay | December 4, 2019

Tempted to spend lavishly and spontaneously this holiday season? Looking for someone to blame? Leave the three wise men out of it. Yes, they launched the tradition of bestowing expensive…

Sign that says habits that create wealth with money background

These 7 Habits Will Help You Become Rich

By Bill Fay | November 6, 2019

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…

Desktop computer showing a credit score over 800

How Do I Get My Credit Score up to 800?

By Bill Fay | October 18, 2019

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…

Search Ombudsman Student Loan Complaints

Complaints Abound for New Student Loan Ombudsman

By Bill Fay | September 4, 2019

A drowning person wants somebody to throw them a life preserver. People drowning in student debt might have just been thrown a bowling ball. The government’s new student loan watchdog is…

U.S. consumer concerned about debt

Consumer Debt Grows as U.S. Economy Expands

By Bill Fay | August 27, 2019

Americans are taking on ever larger debt loads as they struggle to maintain living standards. They are borrowing more on their credit cards, taking on a soaring levels of student…

Highway exit sign with arrow to bankruptcy

In Era of Trump, Has Bankruptcy Stigma Lost Its Sting?

By Bill Fay | August 8, 2019

With Donald Trump being credited or blamed for virtually every imaginable good or ill (depending on the observer, of course), we in the world of personal finance and debt management…

Military father holding his new born baby

NFCC Survey Shows Military Families Financial Struggles

By Bill Fay | June 14, 2019

The U.S. economy might be bustling for civilians, but not all active enlisted members of the military are thriving in it. More than one-third of enlisted military members do not…

Older couple sitting with papers and considering bankruptcy

Retirees and Bankruptcy

By Bill Fay | November 28, 2018

People are supposed to relax when they retire, not worry about financial problems. Studies show that a lot of retirees turn to alcohol for debt relief, but there is a…

Credit report next to a laptop to freeze credit checks

New Law Allows Credit Freeze

By Bill Fay | October 22, 2018

Security breaches have become so commonplace in the United States that news around them barely causes a ripple these days. Even if it’s news that provides consumers an extra layer…

HELOC on laptop screen

HELOCs on the Rise: Why You Should Be Careful

By Bill Fay | October 18, 2018

Across America, home values are on the rise again, surging with the economy. With that surge, homeowners eager to scratch a pent-up-demand itch once again are taking out HELOCs, or home…

People sitting at computers and tablets looking up personal loans to submit an application

Personal Loans on the Rise

By Bill Fay | October 17, 2018

The loan business is getting personal. We’re talking personal loans, and they are exactly what they sound like. You borrow money from a lending institution and pay it back. The…

man in jail for not paying taxes

How to Avoid Jail When You Owe Back Taxes

By Bill Fay | September 11, 2018

A very rich person once said, “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” Her name was Leona Helmsley. Guess what? She went to jail for not paying…

Pencil erasing debt

Compound Interest: How It Works

By Bill Fay | July 16, 2018

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…

family moving to a new house

How to Get Out of Debt Fast: Fresh Ideas

By Bill Fay | May 21, 2018

Fed up with being in debt? Congratulations. Rearranging your mindset is the first step to managing, then eliminating, your money troubles. Dumping debt may require a lifestyle change, but we’re…

Women with bad credit going to nonbank to borrow money

Nonbanks Fill Demand from Borrowers with Poor Credit

By Bill Fay | April 25, 2018

The era when almost anyone with a pulse could get a loan or mortgage from a commercial bank ended with the financial meltdown of 2008. Today, tightened regulations and a…

Caution on Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Confusion Clouds Future of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

By Bill Fay | April 17, 2018

Here’s a warning for anyone who must borrow money for college. There’s an assault under way on the most cost-effective and popular student-loan repayment programs. Lines are being drawn and…

Man with no money and What Not to Do Before Filing Bankruptcy

Filing for Bankruptcy? Don’t Make These Costly Mistakes

By Bill Fay | April 10, 2018

Bankruptcy is a life-changing experience, but if you want it to be a positive one, it’s best to know what NOT to do before filing. Too many consumers attempt to…