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].

Woman holding nonprofit sign

Non-Profit 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…

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…

Jar of money dedicated for family vacation

When You Can’t Afford Your Electric Bill

By Bill Fay | May 23, 2021

Budgets take a beating during the summer and it’s not just from the money spent on vacation. Going to see Grandma or spending a week at the beach are seen…

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…

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…

Interest rates will not budge

Interest Rates Probably Not Budging in 2016

By Bill Fay | July 13, 2016

During Alan Greenspan’s nearly 20-year reign as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, commentators used to look at the heft of the briefcase he carried to meetings to guess whether interest…

CFPB changes rules regarding payday loans

Payday Loans Face Tough Rule Changes from CFPB

By Bill Fay | June 9, 2016

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new rules aimed at putting more responsibility on payday loan lenders and their crippling triple-digit interest rates. The CFPB proposals would require lenders…

How well are students keeping up with their student loans?

Who’s Paying For Student Loans

By Bill Fay | June 1, 2016

Now that the college graduation parties are over, parents and students can sit down and have a serious talk about who’s going to pay for it. College, that is, not…

American families are having trouble with understanding finance

Financial Literacy a Tough Test for Most Americans

By Bill Fay | May 24, 2016

The latest trends in spending and debt indicate that America already has forgotten any lessons we might have learned when the bubble burst on the U.S. economy in 2008. The…

Eiffel Tower in Paris

Frugal Man Goes To Paris

By Bill Fay | May 4, 2016

If you’re wondering whether a summer vacation is worth it, ask your doctor, not your accountant. Every medical study ever done on the subject concludes that summer vacations – especially…

Auto Sales Slow Because of New Legislation

New Legislation May Slow Record-Breaking Car Sales

By Bill Fay | November 25, 2015

Analysts predict record-setting sales for the automobile industry over the next year, though feuding between government leaders over whether discrimination exists in car financing could slow things down. WardsAuto Dealer…

Save money on Thanksgiving

Excessive Spending Not Necessary At Thanksgiving

By Bill Fay | November 23, 2015

America’s holiday season has begun, which means excessive consumption is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. At least until it’s your turn to pick up the bill. There is no reason…

myRA Account is my retirement account

MyRA Account Starting Point For Retirement Savings

By Bill Fay | November 12, 2015

The United States government is opening the door to retirement savings for the millions of Americans who have nothing invested there, but a word of caution if you go inside:…

Student Cap on Money

Borrowers Get Another Way To Repay Student Loan Debt

By Bill Fay | October 29, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced it was imposing regulations to prevent colleges from steering students to specific debit and prepaid cards for use with federal grant and loan…

Jar full of coins intended for a 401K savings plan

Employers Up The Ante On 401k Plans

By Bill Fay | October 22, 2015

There is a new twist on the ages old discussion about how much is needed for retirement savings: Employers – not employees! – are taking the initiative. The Vanguard Group,…

Large cost for education

Workers Put Paying For Child’s College Ahead Of Retirement Savings

By Bill Fay | October 20, 2015

American workers have found another escape hatch to avoid contributing to their retirement savings and at least 33 percent of them say they would voluntarily take it. The LIMRA Secure…