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.

Woman paying of her charged off credit card debt

Should I Pay a Charge-Off in Full or Settle?

By Bill Fay | March 27, 2024

Borrowers who’ve gotten themselves tangled in a charge-off situation face difficult choices. Pay the debt in full? Try to settle for a lesser amount? Run away and hide? “The world…

A toy car next to a judge's gavel

When Do You Have to Surrender a Vehicle in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

By Bill Fay | December 14, 2023

For those seeking a fresh financial start, Chapter 7 bankruptcy has plenty of upsides. It’s the cleanest, most straightforward, least time-consuming, and least expensive of the various bankruptcy options. The…

Couple discussing bankruptcy together

How Bankruptcy Will Affect Your Spouse

By Bill Fay | December 6, 2023

When people get married, they often vow to take each other through thick and thin. Bankruptcy can get pretty thick for a husband and wife. Bankruptcy is when a person…

Senior citizen reading loan offer

Loans for Seniors With Bad Credit

By Bill Fay | September 7, 2023

Growing older never was for the fainthearted, but it takes exceptional courage to navigate those Golden Years with dents on your credit report and a need for cash. Chins up,…

Attorney discussing converting Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 with his client

Converting Chapter 13 to Chapter 7

By Bill Fay | August 23, 2023

Choosing to declare personal bankruptcy can be among the most difficult decisions ever to confront an individual. Tougher still: Having to pick, under unmatched duress, which type of bankruptcy best…

Woman paying her car payment with a credit card using her phone

Paying a Car Payment with a Credit Card

By Bill Fay | August 3, 2023

There are plenty of reasons to consider making car loan payments with a credit card — everything from piling up rewards points or cash back, to scoring a bit of…

Two individuals negotiating at a table

How To Negotiate With Debt Collectors

By Bill Fay | July 14, 2023

With President Biden declaring an end to pandemic emergency provisions effective May 11, and states and companies already having rescinded most of their debt collections suspensions, debt collectors are totally…

Judge discharging debt in bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Discharge

By Bill Fay | June 7, 2023

A bankruptcy discharge is the legal holy grail for anyone who files for bankruptcy. A discharge means there’s a court order in the bankrupt’s case that erases all qualifying debts.…

Downtown Charleston, South Carolina

Debt Relief Options in South Carolina

By Bill Fay | March 10, 2023

Debt Relief Programs in South Carolina Those who are struggling to pay off debt in South Carolina can find programs to help through banks, credit unions, online lenders, and for-profit…

Bridge in Missouri

Debt Relief Options in Missouri

By Bill Fay | March 8, 2023

Debt Relief Programs in Missouri Missouri residents struggling to pay off debt can find assistance programs at banks, credit unions, online lenders, and for-profit and nonprofit debt relief companies. These…

Man discussing with lawyer about debt limits for chapter 7 bankruptcy

How Much Debt Do You Have To Be In to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

By Bill Fay | February 24, 2023

If you have so much debt that you’re considering filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have enough debt to qualify. The U.S. bankruptcy code doesn’t specify a minimum dollar amount…

Bridge over a lake in Minnesota

Debt Relief Options in Minnesota

By Bill Fay | February 8, 2023

Debt Relief Programs in Minnesota There are banks, credit unions, online lenders, and debt-relief companies (for-profit and nonprofit) in Minnesota that specializes in helping consumers pay off credit card debt. These companies…

Couple discussing whether or not they should use a personal loan to pay off credit cards

Should You Use Personal Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards?

By Bill Fay | December 14, 2022

A rare silver lining to the Covid pandemic was Americans managed to pay down billions of dollars in credit card debt. Those days have screeched to a halt. Credit card…

Covered bridge in rural Indiana

Debt Relief Options in Indiana

By Bill Fay | December 14, 2022

Debt Relief Programs in Indiana There are banks, credit unions, online lenders and debt-relief companies (for profit and nonprofit) in Indiana that specialize in helping consumers pay off credit card debt.…

Wisconsin state capitol building

Debt Relief Options in Wisconsin

By Bill Fay | December 12, 2022

Debt Relief Programs in Wisconsin Wisconsin residents struggling to pay off debt can find assistance programs at banks, credit unions, online lenders, and for profit and nonprofit debt relief companies.…

Washington mountain view

Debt Relief Options in Washington

By Bill Fay | November 3, 2022

Debt Relief Programs in Washington There are a number of resources available for residents of the Evergreen State who find  themselves in financial peril. Banks, credit unions, online lenders, for…

Smoky mountains in Tennessee

Debt Relief Options in Tennessee

By Bill Fay | October 26, 2022

Debt Relief Programs in Tennessee Tennessee has a number of companies that specialize in helping consumers pay off credit card debt including banks, credit unions, online lenders, and both for…

A lake in Colorado with mountains in the background

Debt Relief Options in Colorado

By Bill Fay | September 22, 2022

Debt Relief Programs in Colorado Colorado has a number of companies that specialize in helping consumers pay off credit card debt including banks, credit unions, online lenders, and both for…

Senior couple filing the paperwork for banruptcy

Senior Citizens & Bankruptcy

By Bill Fay | June 29, 2022

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that could provide relief when a person can’t repay debts. Consider bankruptcy a legal life preserver for those drowning in debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is…

Skyline view of Baltimore, Maryland from the harbor

Debt Relief Options in Maryland

By Bill Fay | April 8, 2022

Debt Relief Programs in Maryland Debt relief in Maryland can come from several entities, among them, banks, credit unions, credit counseling agencies (nonprofit and for-profit), and online lenders. The goal:…

Credit Scores Image of Woman

Credit Scores Going Up … Without Any Help From Consumers

By Bill Fay | October 13, 2014

The average credit score for American consumers is at an all-time high, but will almost surely go higher within the next year as credit bureaus and government tinker with one…

retired couple counting money

Debt Weighs Heavily On People Near Retirement

By Bill Fay | October 7, 2014

The duel between debt and income is spilling over into the retirement years for more and more people. At one time, it was common to have all the major bills…

Senior Student Debt

Social Security Checks At Risk As Seniors Take On Student Loans

By Bill Fay | September 23, 2014

Wanda Russell had just turned 50 when her bosses told her she would have to go back to college and get a bachelor of nursing degree to keep her job.…

top secret envelop

Your Credit Score: Secret, Especially From You

By Bill Fay | September 4, 2014

Do you think you know your credit score? Credit scores – the numeric measure that shows lenders whether a person is likely to repay a loan – are a must-have…

close up of iPhone 5 screen

Frugal Man – Cell Phone Virgin Stumps Apple on iPhone 6 Release

By Bill Fay | August 27, 2014

I went shopping for a cell phone the other day and found out I’m not as special as I thought I was. I have never owned one and for at…

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is sweeping social media by storm.

Ice Bucket Challenge: Ways To Give Back Without Spending Money

By Bill Fay | August 26, 2014

Admit it. You’ve considered de-friending the person that challenged you to the Ice Bucket challenge on Facebook.  The videos that are flooding your news feed are all apart of the…

cell phone money holder

Frugal Man — Might Buy a Cell Phone

By Bill Fay | August 25, 2014

Not sure you are aware of this, but the cell phone industry will pass a fairly significant milestone this year and there is a good chance I could be the…

empty desks in front of chalkboard

Student Loan Debt Continues To Make News Over Summer

By Bill Fay | August 15, 2014

When the bell rings to start a new school year, college students, especially the 70 percent using loans to pay for expenses, need to catch up on a few news…


Alleged Student Loan Debt Scams Face Lawsuits

By Bill Fay | July 24, 2014

Another round of alarms sounded in the trillion-dollar student loan crisis when the Illinois Attorney General accused two student loan debt settlement firms of scamming borrowers. Illinois Attorney General Lisa…

college building

For-Profit Student Loan Debt and School Closure

By Bill Fay | July 10, 2014

Corinthian Colleges Announces Closure For profit students with high student loan debt should review their school’s record before enrolling in another semester. This month, large for-profit Corinthian Colleges announced that…

white house

Administration Proposes Student Loan Debt Relief

By Bill Fay | June 25, 2014

Student Loan Debt Relief – Needed by Millions President Obama issued an executive order to provide student loan debt relief to struggling Americans, but couldn’t convince members of Congress to follow his…

student loan application

Here’s What You Need to Know About Taking out Student Loans

By Bill Fay | March 27, 2014

It’s no secret the cost of education is rapidly increasing, far faster than even the pace of inflation. The College Board shows the average cost of undergraduate tuition and fees…

Cindy and Michael Hufnagel

California Couple Learns Financial Lessons the Hard Way

By Bill Fay | March 21, 2014

The phone rang at Michael Hufnagel’s desk nearly every day for three years. Hufnagel is an accountant for a production company in California and phone calls are part of doing…

ITT Tech building

CFPB Sues ITT for Allegedly Exploiting Students with Predatory Loans

By Bill Fay | February 28, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent a jolt through the for-profit college industry this week when the federal agency sued ITT Educational Services Inc. for predatory lending practices, saying it…

Woman looking at bills on the floor

Student Loans, Other Debts Are Stressing Americans More Than Ever

By Bill Fay | February 21, 2014

The American Psychological Association (APA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York aren’t working together on the mental and fiscal health of America — but they certainly could. The…

College classroom with professor and students

State Lawmakers Are Seeking Solutions to Rising Student Loan Debt

By Bill Fay | February 18, 2014

There is help available for some of the 40 million Americans dealing with $1 trillion in student loan debt, but the aid comes with a catch. You have to move…

Origami money heart

Avoiding the Financial Sting of Cupid’s Arrow on Valentine’s Day

By Bill Fay | February 14, 2014

For most men, the goal of Valentine’s Day has not changed since the holiday was more or less invented by the Romans a few thousand years ago. The Romans called…

Man figuring budget on a calculator

Now Frugal Man Needs a Budget as Retirement Approaches

By Bill Fay | February 3, 2014

I stumbled upon one of those online calculators the other day. It’s the one that shows you how well you’re budgeting money for retirement savings, and it returned some distressing…

Financial guru Tarra Jackson offers money advice

High Cost of Keeping up with the Joneses

By Bill Fay | January 23, 2014

There is a family that is famous all over America for maintaining the appearance of wealth for the benefit of others. You know them as the Joneses. They have the…

One hundred dollar bill on top of a credit card

Frugal Man’s New Year’s Resolution: Only Pay with Cash

By Bill Fay | January 8, 2014

I took $20 the other night to the only restaurant I eat at – the one that gives half off everything on Tuesdays – and felt confident I had more…