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Eyeing a career change from Engineering: Am I being reckless?

I recently graduated and I've been working as a Jr. Engineer for a few months now. I realize now that this is not a career/field I want to be in and have been strongly thinking about going back to school to get a Computer Science degree. The problem is that I have 35k in loans from my previous degree and I need to make a decision soon. Am I being reckless for wanting to do a career change so soon? [more inside]
posted by This Is Reality on Aug 29, 2014 - 15 answers

Dumb Idea Filter: Using HSA card for ineligible charges

What's the worst that will happen to me if I use my HSA card for a non-medical bill? Or a few. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 22, 2014 - 20 answers

Looking for the best Credit Card option to transfer Approx. 18k balance

Fell on some hard times in the last two years, blah blah blah... Anyways...We built up about $18,000 in credit card debt, with little savings left.... We are slowly getting back on our feet and would like to minimize the damage of interest that will build as we try and pay this card off... [more inside]
posted by TwilightKid on Aug 5, 2014 - 11 answers

I've got a bad feeling about this.

Received a panic-inducing document marked "SECOND NOTICE" concerning my student loans today. It states it's from a "consumer advocacy group," but makes some ridiculous claims and includes no organization name or contact information except for a phone number. Should I bother to report it? And, if so, to what entity? [more inside]
posted by Austenite on Jul 1, 2014 - 9 answers

Remembrance of Financial Catastrophes Past

Asking on behalf of a friend (let's call her "Liz"): can a credit restoration company help fix a credit report with multiple charge-offs? If not, what CAN be done? Sadly drifting swirls of bleak gray snowflakes within... [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on Jun 24, 2014 - 9 answers

debt consolidation, good move at the expense of my credit?

briefly, over the last 3 years i experienced various times of unemployment. I've unfortunately accumulated about $45k in credit card debt. Does it make sense for me to have a debt consolidation service negotiate my balance down at the expense of my credit? [more inside]
posted by foodybat on Jun 22, 2014 - 20 answers

Beans and Rice and Beans and Rice

I have set myself a goal of paying off my $10k credit card in the next 6 months. After I cut out all luxuries, entertainment, eating out, new items for myself etc, the main variable is food. I have trimmed the fixed payments where I can and accepted the ones I can't. I need to feed myself, my partner, my 9 year old daughter and my dog. Please help me do this as cheaply as possible! Short term pain, long term gain and all that. [more inside]
posted by Youremyworld on Jun 3, 2014 - 48 answers

I need helping know how to deal with this debt collector letter.

I recently received a letter from Pioneer Credit Recovery, informing me that my debt of ~$1500 in state taxes has been assigned to them. There are some details that make me unsure how to respond. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 27, 2014 - 19 answers

Asking for Kind-of-ex-husband: how to deal with large federal tax debt?

I am writing this on behalf of my almost-ex-husband. He has owed between $80,000 and $100,000 to the IRS since 2003 and has done almost nothing about it. More details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 21, 2014 - 15 answers

Budgeting 101?

Can you recommend budgeting and personal finance courses, or where I should be looking for such a thing? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 13, 2014 - 13 answers

Debt dispute, part 2

Follow-up from my last question. My 'proof of debt' packet arrived, containing 1) the same bogus justification for (most of) the debt as before, AND a brand new thing: both of my previous payments, toward the undisputed portion of the debt, are now preceded by a charge labeled 'bad debt collection' in the exact amount of those payments, canceling them out. What's my next step?
posted by jinjo on May 5, 2014 - 5 answers

Help us weigh financial priorities.

My family's income has just increased, and we're having trouble choosing between financial priorities. Advice? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 9, 2014 - 17 answers

What to attack first when getting out of debt? (Ramsey baby step 2)

I get it: never lease a car. Well, we have two. Following Dave Ramsey's money makeover, we've got more than our 1,000 emergency fund, so how do we start attacking our debts? He says start with the smallest and just start knocking them out. So...how does a car lease factor in there? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Sock on Apr 6, 2014 - 26 answers

Student loan lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona?

I've got an unusual set of circumstances involving student loan debt... could really use the advice of a lawyer. Anyone know a good student loan lawyer in the greater PHX metro area?
posted by ph00dz on Mar 4, 2014 - 1 answer

Getting It Gone. Paying Off Student Loan?

I have somewhere around $60,000.00 of student loan debt. Its all one loan consolidated with the US government but managed by a private company called Ed Financial. I would like to try negotiating a pay off for less than what is due. Details and further questions inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 25, 2014 - 13 answers

Potential difficulty in debt dispute

In disputing a debt with a collector, how do I address this language from their letter: If you notify this office in writing within 30 days from receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will: obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. [more inside]
posted by jinjo on Feb 25, 2014 - 10 answers

Student loan income % payoff

(USA) I heard something about student loan payoffs based on a % of your income,and after 12 (?) years anything left is forgiven. Is this real and how would one get this? [more inside]
posted by Jacen on Feb 15, 2014 - 5 answers

Tell me about med school debt and the importance of med school prestige!

I'm potentially interested in going to medical school. I have been doing research online, and have lots of questions about this prospect, but I want to limit it to two interrelated questions today. [more inside]
posted by ClaireBear on Feb 14, 2014 - 22 answers

Applying for a credit card with bank I stiffed 20 years ago.

So when I was in college I ran up a $700 credit card debt with Citibank visa. Then I didn't pay it. And for over a decade my credit was crap. But eventually I turned it around and have good credit again. So here's my question: I need to get a credit card for one of the biggest hotel chains as I stay there for business a bit. I'd like the benefits and points maximizing. Problem: the best card is run through citibank. Since my teenage folly I've changed my name but I still have the same SS#. Will applying today reactivate the debt with them?
posted by rileyray3000 on Feb 10, 2014 - 13 answers

Unlocking Contracted Recurring Revenues to use for Debt Collateral

Every month my company sells roughly $15,000 worth of monthly recurring revenue contracts with five year term lengths. The service sells for $1,000 per month so every month we sign on 15 new customers. $15,000 * 12months * 5 years = $900,000 (total contract revenue for all 15 contracts sold during the month) We've maxed out our borrowing on physical assets held by the company and I need to find a way to unlock these revenue streams to use as collateral for further growth. What's the best way to do this? I would prefer to not have to go to every customer and amend their contracts in any way. Thanks!
posted by Paalen on Jan 24, 2014 - 16 answers

How can I increase income to pay student loan debt?

I have $85k in student loan debt, and need to increase my income so I can pay it off. I need a bigger spoon to eat this elephant. Fishing for ideas. [more inside]
posted by mannermode on Dec 22, 2013 - 13 answers

Reliable sources of corrective financial advice in South Carolina?

My in-laws in South Carolina, who don't have a stellar history with money, are facing some challenges that are really restricting their circumstances. They're not against cleaning up their act in terms of budgeting and being smarter about money, but don't really have a head for it. What's the best way to help from a distance? [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on Dec 5, 2013 - 6 answers

Age 25. Huge college debt. Can't land a better job. What should I do?

I have $40,000+ in debt, a bachelors degree in criminal justice, an EMT-B license, a basic computer tech certificate, 4 years of customer service experience as a banquet server, a bad driving history, and one misdemeanor - how can I find a better job than being a banquet server? What can I do to be competitive? Should I attend police academy or not? What are my options - what can I do to improve my life? [more inside]
posted by usersname on Nov 9, 2013 - 49 answers

How do I learn to budget and reduce my debt?

I'm living with just shy of $50,000 of debt. That's actually pretty crazy to say. $18k of it is credit card debt. $22k of it is owed to the IRS (terrible decisions while freelancing). It was recently down to $20k, but I missed one of my monthly $500 schedule payments so I got hit with a sizable penalty. The rest of it is a Sallie Mae student loan. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 4, 2013 - 35 answers

Bankruptcy attorney near Lynchburg, VA?

My mother is in between work right now, with very sporradic temp gigs that don't pay enough. I think she needs to talk with a bankruptcy attorney, but she's ashamed and intimidated. I'd like to help her by giving her actual referrals. Difficulty: I'm long-distance from her. She is located in Lynchburg, VA. General advice would also be welcome--for example, how long might she be able to drag out the foreclosure and still live in her home? Details inside! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 31, 2013 - 5 answers

Recommendations for credit counselling

I am in financial difficulties because my wife and I are unable to work. The debts are mounting up, and I need some help. Can you recommend a credit counseling agency? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 29, 2013 - 5 answers

A medical bill was sent to collections. What do I do?

A medical bill was sent to collections. I am 25 and have no credit and no money. What do I do? Is it even possible to fix my credit? [more inside]
posted by dekathelon on Oct 21, 2013 - 13 answers

How does USA's new debt ceiling affect property owners in Australia?

What should Australian property owners and potential buyers be wary of in regards to USA's credit rating going down? [more inside]
posted by gttommy on Oct 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Flat Broke and Out of Options

I lost my job, am having trouble finding a new one, am running out of freelance jobs, have $60 in my bank account, and don't know where to go from here. What on earth is my next step? Please help me think. [more inside]
posted by pineappleheart on Oct 15, 2013 - 42 answers

Student loans sent to collections after no contact?

My friend thought the money she owed a university was being taken care of by her current payments. This weekend someone in her family gets a call from debt collectors. Apparently the financial aid office has been sitting on a lump of debt for a full year, but has only attempted to contact her during that time at a single email address, her old school one. They never sent any letters to her home address, nor called her at the number she's had for years. Now instead of setting up a payment plan she'll have to negotiate with a predatory collections agency. Is there any way out of this mess? [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Oct 15, 2013 - 16 answers

Honey, we need a family car

Hi all. Mrs Professorpotato will be giving birth to our first child in late November. We need to upgrade from a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic to something suitable for a baby + all its stuff (seat, pram, accessories), a small dog, and two loving parents. We're looking at a 2013 Jetta in the 17K range as we don't drive much but need reliable transportation. The Sonic has about a 12-14K trade in value and about 22K owing (debt consolidation + depreciation). We can comfortably afford payments of $400-500 per month. Anyone been in a similar situation? Tips? Thanks. PP.
posted by professorpotato on Oct 3, 2013 - 20 answers

Best suggestion to solve an outstanding debt?

Have a lawyer, but uncertain of services rendered so far. Tricky, complicated situation - more details inside! [more inside]
posted by dubious_dude on Sep 24, 2013 - 13 answers

Do I really owe you?

Once a debt has gone to collections, is there any reason to pay it off? [more inside]
posted by eas98 on Sep 19, 2013 - 14 answers

I pay the creditor or I pay the government... any other options?

I'm on SSI for disability, with a long-outstanding credit card debt that's gone to collections. They keep offering me settlements, but a settlement would produce a 1099-C, and Social Security would count the cancelled debt amount as unearned income, which they take dollar-for-dollar out of my SSI checks. That's no better than paying the debt in full (which has been impossible for years and will be for years to come). Do I have any options other than continuing to ignore them? [more inside]
posted by WasabiFlux on Sep 18, 2013 - 16 answers

How can I help my brother?

A few years ago I posted here to ask for help after having my identity stolen by my mother. It turns out that this has now happened to my younger brother as well, but he isn't being smart about it. How can I help him? [more inside]
posted by delicate_dahlias on Sep 17, 2013 - 12 answers

The best laid plans

This is not the question I wanted to ask this week, but last week, my employer forgot to submit my first time card on time, and I will (very) possibly not get paid this week. I am very poor right now. [more inside]
posted by stoneandstar on Sep 1, 2013 - 39 answers

Financial therapy?

Is it possible to see a professional who is kind of a cross between a financial advisor and a therapist? I've spent my life getting deeper in debt and I can't bear it anymore but I feel I need not just practical help but to understand why and sort out my head. I'm an intelligent person with a good job but I'm broke and stressed every month and no matter what I try it just gets worse... I am in the UK.
posted by KateViolet on Aug 31, 2013 - 3 answers

How bad are these debt problems?

YANM financial advisor. My domestic partner has a large student loan that has been in default for years. Like many in the current economy, he was unable to make payments for many years after graduating (at least 5) due to lack of steady income. Now he has a Good Job (yay!) and could afford to make payments, but it's been almost 2 years now and he hasn't made progress on dealing with the debt. How bad is this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 21, 2013 - 4 answers

i need better resources for dealing with debt in ontario.

I have some bad consumer debt from a period when I was un- and under- employed. I contacted two different professionals for help in sorting it out, and as far as I can tell, they both gave me terrible advice. [more inside]
posted by windykites on Aug 20, 2013 - 3 answers

Help with finances during intensive college program

I've been accepted to the program of my dreams, but I'm not allowed to hold a job while in attendance, and my EFC is higher than my family can afford, so my school-determined need is too low for me to even support myself with loans. Are there any options I'm missing? [more inside]
posted by orchidgenes on Aug 4, 2013 - 17 answers

Using student loans to pay credit card debt, grad school edition

My partner and I have about $8k in credit card debt, built up over the last 10 years of undergrad followed by underemployment. I'm starting graduate school in the fall, with a fully-funded research assistant position and tuition waivers. I am thinking about borrowing ~$10k of the federal direct student loans I've been offered in order to pay down the credit card debt. What should I be considering? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 30, 2013 - 13 answers

Dollar bills, y'all

Piggybacking on this question: I've had several friends who have had success with Dave Ramsey/FPU, but I don't like the emphasis on "biblical principles" (among other things). But because we get easily overwhelmed by too many options, I think we'd benefit from a really specific financial program that tells us exactly what to do, step by step. Other suggestions, or should we just suck it up and, uh, go with God? [more inside]
posted by Madamina on Jul 27, 2013 - 7 answers

What's this movie about a mall and debt?

Inspired by a comment on the blue, I can't stop thinking about this. I seem to remember a movie where people who got into debt were forced to work at the mall (maybe the mall was a corporation?) until they paid it off. Help me not go insane... [more inside]
posted by one4themoment on Jul 16, 2013 - 3 answers

What would be the PPP impact of cancellations of debt?

Economics question regarding the relationship between the relatively high purchasing power of the "developed nations" and the debts (sovereign and other) of the so called "developing nations". If the Make Poverty History campaigns to cancel debts of developing nations are successful will this result in a noticeable reduction in the purchasing power of average people in "creditor nations" like the UK, USA, Germany, etc? [more inside]
posted by mary8nne on Jul 16, 2013 - 1 answer

Debt, debt, go away! I'd like to have a life someday!

Right now I'm poor, I'm in debt, and I don't know the best way to proceed. Please help me make a plan to tackle my debts. [more inside]
posted by Zen unicorn rainbow zen journal on Jul 2, 2013 - 14 answers

Deficit? We don't need no steenking deficit!

Why can't the US Government just mint 17 of the trillion dollar coins and be done with it, and just pay off the whole deficit in one go? [more inside]
posted by humpy on Jun 22, 2013 - 21 answers

Achievement Unlocked - Massive Debt

I'm becoming a first-time homeowner on Monday. What surprising things (or unexpected challenges) did you learn in your first year as a homeowner that you think it would be good for me to know? The house is in Wisconsin, in a Milwaukee suburb. Thanks so much!
posted by gerryblog on May 28, 2013 - 29 answers

Keeping post-J.D. hopelessness at bay?

I graduated from law school this month. I got great grades, and have a good job lined up that will keep me busy for three years after the bar exam and before entering law firm life. The problem is that I'm the new cliche: I have accumulated close to $250,000 in educational debt through undergrad and grad school and I don't want to be a lawyer. At all. Blizzard to follow. [more inside]
posted by sevensnowflakes on May 26, 2013 - 30 answers

Did My Education Creditor Forget I Owe Money?

I went back to school to get some certificates. During the two years since I finished, I have never received even one invoice for my education debt. I have not been contacted in any way. I can't even figure out who I owe money to. Am I going to be in trouble? [more inside]
posted by matt_arnold on May 16, 2013 - 25 answers

How do I prioritize my credit card and private/public student loan debt?

I need some help prioritizing the repayment of my debt, which consists of 0% APR credit card debt and a mix of private and government student loans. [more inside]
posted by iamisaid on May 3, 2013 - 9 answers

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