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 Those Impacted by COVID-19

By Bill Fay | September 9, 2020

The time is rapidly approaching for American consumers to review the “accommodations” they received from government and businesses when the coronavirus pandemic hit in February of 2020 and determine if…

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…

Credit card

Capital One to Pay $210 Million in Refunds to Credit Card Customers, Fines

By Bill Fay | July 26, 2012

More than 2 million Capital One credit card customers can expect to receive money back this year after a recent investigation completed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) revealed…

Credit Reporting Agencies picture

Credit Reporting Agencies Soon to Gain Federal Oversight

By Bill Fay | July 25, 2012

After years with little or no oversight, more than 30 U.S. consumer reporting firms will fall under the eye of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) starting September 30. It…

debt collector

Abusive Debt Collectors on the Rise

By Bill Fay | July 24, 2012

Between mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards and hospital bills, millions of Americans are said to be living on the financial edge, deep in debt. Companies and banks, frustrated with…

house and calculator image

Banks Institute Stricter Rules for Mortgages

By Bill Fay | July 24, 2012

While the once sluggish real estate market has reportedly been on an upswing in recent months, it may actually become more challenging to take advantage of current low housing prices…

Small Business Recovery picture

Small Businesses Show Recent Signs of Recovery

By Bill Fay | July 20, 2012

There is good news for small business owners and entrepreneurs considering a new venture — lenders are steadily increasing their volume of small business loans. In May, the overall number…

senior in garden image

Older Homeowners Hit Hard by Mortgage Crisis, Study Suggests

By Bill Fay | July 19, 2012

America’s mortgage crisis affected millions of older homeowners just at the time when their retirement nests should be heavily feathered, according to a study from the Public Policy Institute of…

senior doing taxes image

For Record Number of Seniors, Golden Years Mean More Work

By Bill Fay | July 19, 2012

They can be found diligently working in local grocery stores, offices, department stores and within the health care industry – they’re Americans aged 65 and older who remain active in…

Home equity picture

Report: 700,000 U.S. Homeowners Regain More Equity

By Bill Fay | July 19, 2012

There’s good news on the horizon for homeowners and the national economy this financial quarter: More than 700,000 U.S. households regained positive equity in their properties, according to a new…

GI Bills and student loans

Obama, Congress Deride For-Profit Schools’ Preying on Veterans

By Bill Fay | July 17, 2012

Responding to complaints from thousands of veterans, Congress, the Obama administration and various veterans groups are condemning some of the practices of for-profit schools and colleges that receive hundreds of…

Consumer Credit

Economists Debate Good News, Bad News of July Credit Report

By Bill Fay | July 17, 2012

Economists around the globe are crunching the latest G.19 credit numbers released by the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, numbers that show that consumers around the world are still borrowing…

Home For Sale - Foreclosure Sign

Increasing Number of FHA Home Loans Fall into Delinquency

By Bill Fay | July 10, 2012

Unlike other sectors of the mortgage market, which appear to be steadying after years of turmoil, FHA loans are falling into delinquency and foreclosure at an alarming rate. A recent…

Expensive House

Report: Reverse Mortgages Being Used by Young Borrowers

By Bill Fay | July 5, 2012

A recent consumer report indicated the government-insured reverse mortgage program, once intended to help seniors continue living in their homes free from financial constraints during the retirement years, contains possible…

The Perfect Home

Reports: Housing Market Showed Marked Improvement

By Bill Fay | July 2, 2012

After several challenging economic years, the sluggish housing market is said to be on the mend as the number of total home sales show a sales gain. In fact, economists…

Young male student with glasses holding multiple credit cards looking stressed about his climbing debt

U.S. College Students Consumed by Credit Card Debt

By Bill Fay | July 2, 2012

The results are troubling for economists. In a country riddled with consumer debt — the next generation of American consumers, college students, seem to be following in their parents’ footsteps,…

2 Happy People

Credit Agency: Some Mortgage Modification Strategies Better than Others

By Bill Fay | July 2, 2012

Fallout from the collapse of the U.S. housing market is ongoing, and consumers are only now beginning to learn the effectiveness of various mortgage modification strategies that they used after…

Veterans struggle with debt

Veterans Struggle as Much as Other Americans when Wrestling Debt

By Bill Fay | July 2, 2012

Veterans and active duty service members of the U.S. military and their families are struggling as much as everyone else in America with substantial financial problems in the wake of…

Student Loan Application

Congress Steps Up, Keeps Stafford Loan Rates at 3.4 percent

By Bill Fay | July 2, 2012

It came down to the wire, but Congress finally voted to help out millions of current and former college students who have accumulated up to $1 trillion in student loans.…

car shopping tips

10 Things to Know When Shopping for a Car

By Bill Fay | May 12, 2012

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…