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 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


By Bill Fay | March 23, 2020

We Help You Build Financial Strength Advertiser Disclosure Expand 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 wants to help those in debt understand their finances and equip themselves with the tools to manage debt.…

Illustration of Debt Consolidation Companies Review


By Bill Fay | September 18, 2019 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

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…


Best Places to Get a Debt Consolidation Loan in 2020

By Bill Fay | March 22, 2018

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,…

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…

Dining Costs More Than Student’s Budget

Dining Costs Eating up College Students’ Budget

By Bill Fay | March 7, 2018

As the cost of college skyrockets, students are searching for ways to cut expenses. A good place to look is on their dinner plates. Food expenses can wreck a budget…

Stressed Woman with Paperwork

10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Paying Off Debt

By Bill Fay | February 15, 2018

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…

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…

Dying in Debt

What Happens When People Die with Debt: Who Pays?

By Bill Fay | February 7, 2018

Millions of Americans are getting buried in debt, literally. A shocking number are dying with unpaid mortgages, car loans, student loans and credit cards. It’s shocking in the sense that…

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…

Bag of Payday Loan Money Exchanging Hands

Payday Loan Alternative a Good (Or Risky) Thing?

By Bill Fay | January 15, 2018

If you’re one of the millions of Americans for whom payday can’t come soon enough, technology is catching up with your dreams. Uber, McDonald’s and Outback Steakhouse are among a…

Tablet Screen with Tax Refund displayed on it

Practical Suggestion for Tax Refund: Pay off Credit Card Debt!

By Bill Fay | January 9, 2018

Most Americans will face a nice little dilemma in 2018. Thanks to tax cuts, we are going to take home more of our paycheck. But what should we do with…

US Veteran hugged by daughter

New Study: Veterans More Likely to Suffer Credit Problems, But Save More

By Bill Fay | December 15, 2017

Military veterans are more likely to suffer through credit problems, underwater mortgages and late house payments than the civilian population. Those are some of the findings from a 2017 analysis…

Financial Planning Calendar

2018 Financial Planning Calendar

By Bill Fay | November 29, 2017

Would you like to save an extra $1,000 in 2018? Maybe you should eliminate that latte on the way to work. How about earning an extra $3,000? That can easily…

Equifax Data Breach Lady in front of computer screen

What To Do About Equifax Data Breach?

By Bill Fay | October 10, 2017

The recent data breach at Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, has created an uncomfortable situation for the more than 145 million American consumers whose personal information…

Poor Credit Report

CFPB’s Deal with Credit Bureaus Could Raise 12 Million Scores

By Bill Fay | April 4, 2017

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which prides itself on being the watchdog for U.S. consumers, has been snarling at America’s three major credit bureaus for a while and finally decided…

Debt Collector Threats

Running Scared: Debt Collectors Who Threaten Consumers

By Bill Fay | January 25, 2017

Debt collectors frequently use threats to extract payment from the more than 70 million consumers who fall behind on their bills, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports in a new…

Lower Utility Bills This Winter

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

By Bill Fay | December 6, 2016

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…

Dangers of Credit Card Minimum Payment

Hazards of Paying the Minimum Payment on Your Credit Card

By Bill Fay | November 28, 2016

How you treat your monthly credit card bill might reveal as much about your personality as when you scream when under pressure or offer a seat on the bus to…

College Graduate Budget Computer

College Graduates Should Budget (And Save!) Right Away

By Bill Fay | September 22, 2016

When Ryan Dwyer received his undergraduate history degree from the University of South Florida in 2016, he felt a sense of accomplishment. His hard work had paid off with society’s…

Frugal Man Return From Paris

Frugal Man Home From Paris

By Bill Fay | August 11, 2016

The Frugal Man has never in his life bragged about throwing money around, but that 60-year silence on silly spending is over. I just dropped a boatload of money on…

Piggy bank with stethoscope and clip board

FINRA Study Says (Some) Americans’ Financial Health Improving

By Bill Fay | July 20, 2016

American consumers say they are having an easier time paying bills and are feeling much less stress over their financial situation than they were in 2009… unless they happen to…