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Posted by: Khalilah (Puyallup, Wa, USA) 

Can you negotiate on medical bills in collection?

Hi Khalilah, 

Yes you can in most circumstances.  Go for it!

Posted by: Debtsteps Admin

Goldy's DebtStep Tips

I have around $14,000 dollars in debt and $5,000 of that is a non-credit lawsuit settlement. Can I include the $5000 in the consolidation?

Posted by: Nicholas of Tennessee

Hi Nicholas, It will depend on what the lawsuit settlement is for and whether payment amounts/timing is included in the settlement. It is best to ask your Debt Consolidation Counselor directly what you can and cannot include in your consolidation.

Posted by:

Goldy says:

Get free credit counseling advice to help you overcome your debt. Know All Your Options.

Take Control Of Your Debt

Post below and answer these questions:

Debt and marriage by Janet  (Staten Island, NY)

Hi! I am about to get married in August of next year and my fiance is heavily in debt, mostly in personal taxes. 

I want to know what steps can I take to make sure that his debts do not become mine. 

I have considered a prenuptial agreement to protect myself. 

Any thoughts or comments will be helpful, 

Thank you.

Monthly Extra Income by BE  (Ohio)  

How much do we spend monthly?

Can no longer make payments by Susan J  (Calera,Al) 

How to start the process of getting free from credit cards that we are unable to pay, due to job loss and inability to pay with new budgeted income.

Is chapter 13 a better way to settle debts, and get creditors to stop harassing us?

And if so who do I speak with to get started?

And one on Control from an anonymous poster: 

How can I make myself control my spending?

Please reference which post above you are replying to so we can match them up!  Thank you ;)

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Goldy's DebtStep Tips

How do I get out of debt?

Posted by: Kyla (Houston, TX)

Hi Kyla

You need to follow the proper steps to get out of debt. I suggest you start with our Budgeting/Money Management tutorials.

Track your spending

Write up a budget - include what you can afford for debt payoff. Here is a great online budget calculator (and it lets you print it out) to try here

Try to follow the budget, but adjust when needed.

Check out other options to get out of debt to see if they are a fit for your situation, like bankruptcy, debt settlement/negotiation, credit counseling, or a consolidation loan.

Posted by: DebtSteps Admin

P.S. This answer also applies to a question asked by an anonymous visitor:

I need to reduce my debt. I am drowning in credit, school, and car loans. I owe $50,000. Please help as I may be losing my job.

And also one asked by Piet P. of Ohio:

What must I do to be debt free?

Posted by: Niki (Benton Harbor, MO, USA)

What's the best way to lower credit card debt without paying insane interest charges?

Hi Niki, 

Consider one of the quick methods if they fit your situation.  These would be bankruptcy, credit counseling or debt negotiation.  Bankruptcy eliminates qualified debt.  Credit Counseling and Debt Negotiation both negotiate with creditors to reduce interest rates, late fees, and in the case of Debt Negotiation/Settlement, they even negotiate to reduce principal.

Posted by: DebtSteps Admin

Goldy's DebtStep Tips

Hi, my boyfriend recently took out a substantial loan in order to buy his parents car off for them.

It's the only thing the loan was for, no house or anything too serious. However, he had to quit his job unexpectedly in order to go to school, and so we are wondering what are the options available for dealing with this type of situation?

Can we sell the car and put the money towards the loan? Is that how it works?

Posted by: by Karlyn Morris (Calgary, AB Canada)

Hi Karlyn,

Yes, you can sell the car to help payoff or pay down the loan balance.

Posted by: Debtsteps Admin

Take Control Of Your Debt

Posted by: Melissa (SAN ANTONIO TX) 

How do I get my credit where it needs to be?

Hi Melissa,

First, get a copy of your credit report.  You can get free ones here.  Then see if anything is on your report that should not be and if so, you can request those be removed.

Then work on improving your credit rating by:

  • Making payments on time
  • Maintain and make regular deposits to your savings account
  • If you have late payment or no payment notices on your credit report, try to negotiate with your creditor to get those removed (usually requires a longish period of good payments for this to happen)

Good Luck!

Posted by:  DebtSteps Admin

Goldy's DebtStep Tips

Posted by: Mercy (Lagos)

How can I control impulsive spending?

Hi Mercy,

You need to work on the envelope system of budgeting. Once you set envelopes for your monthly expenses, you can set one envelope to be for your impulsive spending.

Set your mind to NOT spend impulsively from other envelopes and to NOT use credit cards (leave those at home!). With family/friends providing emotional support, you can do it!

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