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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Loan Approved stamp of approval

5 Ways to Get a Loan with Bad Credit: Below 620

By Bill Fay | March 15, 2018

People with bad credit used to despair about their chances of getting a loan, but those days may be over. The marketplace for lending is so crowded with opportunities that…

is it time to refinance your mortgage

Considering Refinancing? Do It NOW!

By Bill Fay | March 15, 2018

Interest rates are going up, so it’s time to seriously consider refinancing your home loan. Or if you want to buy a house, it would be wise to seriously consider…

Woman and man stressing over holiday bills

How to Pay off Holiday Debt Fast: 5 Strategies

By Bill Fay | February 8, 2018

The holiday season ended months ago, but it is far from a distant memory for millions of credit card holders, who are still paying for it. American consumers spent a…

Warning Card Interest Rates Up

Interest Rates Increasing on Credit Cards

By Bill Fay | January 22, 2018

American consumers owe a record $1.023-trillion in revolving credit – mostly through credit-card debt – and with interest rates expected to rise in 2018, financial experts predict the problem will…