The Insider’s Guide to Income-Driven Repayment of Student Loans

As if college wasn’t stressful enough, there’s also the crushing pressure that comes when your first student loan payment is due six months after graduation. Depending on how much debt you have, that bill could...

What’s Your Student Loan Advice for a Recent Grad?

Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder Dear Penny, On Aug. 2, I graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree in health care management. I am currently looking for a job and would like some advice on how...

How to Determine if You Can Get Parent Plus Loan Forgiveness

After a lifetime of pouring your heart and wallet into them, it’s your kid’s college graduation day. As you wipe away a tear, you think, “I’m all done here, right?” Not so fast. If you took...

How Getting a Credit Card After Bankruptcy Could Help You Rebuild

Bankruptcy can feel like the end of the world, or at least the end of your financial one. It’s typically the choice of last resort when you’re unable to pay your debts, but that doesn’t...

Should I Pay Off Debt or Go on Vacation to Iceland?

Dear Penny, I am a restaurant worker and writer on disability who has managed to save up nearly $1,000 earmarked for a vacation to Iceland. However, I have some credit card debt I’ve been struggling...

A HELOC Helped This Couple Escape Debt

It happened fast. In a little over a month, Wilmer and Kimberly Swerdfeger had accumulated $20,000 in credit card debt. “Everything went haywire,” Wilmer says. The 51-year-old Bakersfield, California, resident has been an emergency medical technician on...

How Your Job Can Help You Get Perkins Loan Forgiveness

The Perkins loan program may be history, but that doesn’t stop it from haunting your present. Perkins loans were student loans designed for undergraduate and graduate students who showed exceptional financial need — the loans...

I’m Behind on Everything. How Do I Catch up on Bills?

Dear Penny, We are currently behind on all of our bills after some life events put us in a $2,000 hole. We cannot get caught up.  We have three little kids, and I cannot get approved...

Seven Essential Questions to Ask About Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you’re choosing a career based on whether you’ll receive loan forgiveness, you could be in for a looonnng 10 years. But if you have your heart set on serving the public — at a...

What to Ask Before Applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you’re choosing a career based on whether you’ll receive loan forgiveness, you could be in for a looonnng 10 years. But if you have your heart set on serving the public — at a...

How Real People Pay off Debt: Use These Tips

Debt is a bummer. It’s a thorn in your side, a chain around your ankle — a roadblock on the superhighway of life. And the deeper into debt you go, the more it can seem like...

These Tips Will You Through Credit Card Debt in Divorce

If you’re considering a divorce, you may be thinking about all the things you have to split, from the bank accounts to the vinyl record collection to custody of the dog. One thing you probably...

How to Get Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Nursing requires patience. (Get it? Patients? Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) But besides patience, it also requires a lot of money to complete a degree. The average cost of tuition for an 18-month Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)...

What You Need to Know About Student Loan Disability Discharge

Tackling student loans is tough enough, but doing it when you have a disability adds another element of stress to an already difficult situation. However, if you develop a total and permanent disability after taking...

How Do I Start Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy?

Dear Penny, I am about to file for bankruptcy. My lawyer tells me if I continue to keep my home and car payments current that in 24 months my credit score will increase.  During that 24...

Before You Get a Credit Card Cash Advance, Try These 5 Tricks

So, you need $1,000 to pay the rent or repay a loan, but you don’t have it. What do you do? You might consider a credit card cash advance. It’s quick money, yes. But it’ll...

How to Minimize Student Loan Debt When You’re Drowning in It

Here’s a dark underside to the already grim reality of student loan debt: It’s not just college graduates who are drowning. College dropouts are holding part of the collective $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan...

Here’s How to Easily Wipe out Old Debt and Improve Your Credit Score ·...

You’ve been working hard to clean up your credit and to improve your score, but we get it: This often feels like a daunting undertaking, especially if you owe creditors money. And, yeah, those harassing...

How Does Interest Capitalization Affect a Loan?

Let’s start with the basics: If you have a student loan, you are being charged interest on the money you borrowed. It doesn’t matter if it’s federal, private, subsidized, unsubsidized or sud-sized (OK, that last...

How to Pay off Credit Card Debt When You Have No Idea Where to...

We know how incredibly easy it is to rack up credit card debt.  More than 40% of American households carry a credit card balance, with an average balance of more than $9,000, according to a...

How a Money Buddy Can Help You Reach Your Financial Goals

Sha'Kreshia Terrell and Sau-Sha Hill decided to become accountability partners in 2014 to encourage each other to pay off their debt. Chelsea Purgahn for The Penny Hoarder The temptation of chocolate cake is real,...

How Much Do You Owe in Student Loans? Here’s How to Find Out

If you’re a recent graduate, the last thing you want to think about is the past, right? It’s all about the future. However, if you took out student loans, the time to look back is...

How It Helps You Pay Off Debt

A good time to call your credit card company would be right about … now. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates this week for the first time since 2008 during the Great Recession.  Officially, the Federal...

9 Creative Ways to Pay Off Debt

When the phrase “It’s fun to” comes up in conversation, it’s probably not followed by “pay off credit card debt.” Paying off debt is associated with living under a rock, eating ramen noodles and cutting...

9 Things You Didn’t Realize You Could Do to Pay off Debt

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners. When the phrase “It’s fun...

Don’t Pay More Than You Owe

Just because you get a medical bill doesn’t mean you have to pay it. If you got a restaurant tab that was $50 more than you expected, you’d double check that receipt for every appetizer...

How Teacher Loan Forgiveness Can Help You Trim Student Debt

They say that teaching is a calling. It’s just not a calling to money. And considering most schools don’t employ teachers without a college degree, that can mean taking out student loans that are tough...

How to Pay Medical Bills You Can’t Afford: Step-by-Step Guide

The bill arrives in the mail, and you’re tempted to throw it away (again) without opening it. After all, you don’t have the money to pay for that trip you took to the emergency...

Will I Ever Retire After Co-Signing a Student Loan?

Dear Penny, I’m hoping to retire in four years. I have $3,000 in credit card debt and $60,000 in auto and RV debt. I’m planning on selling my house and using the equity to buy...

How Couples Can Tackle Marriage Debt as a Team

Marriage is about two becoming one. And along with all the good qualities you both bring to your marriage, you might each be crossing the threshold with student loans, mortgages and credit card debt from...

Save Money on a Car With This Guide to Auto Loan Preapproval

You walk tall into the car dealership — you know the car you want and you know how much you want to pay. You got this. Right up until it’s time to talk financing. Suddenly, you’re...

Should I Open Store Credit Cards to Score Discounts?

Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder Dear Penny, I’m in my mid-20s, and I’ve never had a credit card. Whenever I’m shopping, I get offers for 15% or 20% off if I open a store credit card,...

How to Shop for a Private Student Loan

If you need to borrow money for college, you’ll want to start with federal student loans instead of private student loans. What’s the difference? Private loans typically come from lenders like banks or credit unions...

Why Adding Your Child to a Credit Card Helps Them Build Credit

Teaching your kids how to fail is one of those underrated parenting skills. By making mistakes in a controlled, safe environment, kids can learn coping skills before they incur real-world consequences. That’s particularly true when...

How You Can Use This Woman’s Student Loan Payoff Strategy

If you’re a recent college graduate — or you’re quickly approaching your pomp and circumstance — plans for the future are surely top of mind. Chances are good you’re also thinking about your student loans,...

How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report?

Dear Penny, In 2011, I declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Since then, I’ve obtained three new credit cards and pay the balance in full. My credit score is now 742. How long will the bankruptcy stay...

Need a Debt Payoff Strategy? Try One of These Methods

Your reasons for being in debt are as unique as you are. Whether it’s due to a student loan, mortgage, credit card or combination thereof, debt can happen to the best of us. The good news:...

How to Use a Credit Card Without Going Into Debt

Your first credit card just arrived in the mail. Congratulations! Or my condolences. It all depends on what you do next. Credit cards can get a bad rep — and deservedly so if you consider that...

Heading to College? Here’s Your Guide to Types of Student Loans

It’s no secret that the cost of education has skyrocketed in America and continues to be a core issue with which politicians, educators, activists and students grapple. The average total tuition and fees plus...

I’m Retiring With Student Loan Debt of $84K. Help!

Dear Penny, I owe about $84,000 in student loans, and for several years I’ve only paid the interest because it was what I could afford. I currently pay $224 per month. I’m 60 years old...
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