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The Get Out of Debt – “How To” Guide Series

Below you will find links to how to get out of debt guides I’ve written that give specific advice on how to deal with a number of debt related situations.

If you’d like me to write a “How To” guide on a debt related subject I have not covered, just post your suggestion in the comments below.

As new guides are written they will be added to the index below. You might want to bookmark this page.

Bankruptcy Articles and Posts You Must Read

To get ready to read the information below with the right frame of mind, please first read How Do I Get Out of Debt Quickly? Change Your Mindset.

Bankruptcy Advice

Life After Bankruptcy

Filing Bankruptcy Yourself

Budgets and Budgeting

Calculators and Tests

Credit Counseling

Credit Score / Credit Repair Advice

How to Handle the Bills After Death

The following information will be helpful if you are dealing with the bills after the death of a loved one. They are listed in no particular order.

Debt Collector and Debt Buyer Articles

The following information will be helpful if you are fighting a debt collector or debt buyer. They are listed in no particular order.

Debt Collector Help

Debt Consolidation Loans

Debt Relief Program Issues or Problems

Debt Repayment Calculator

What Will Debt Repayment Cost You in Retirement?

What Will Debt Repayment Cost You in Retirement?

This calculator demonstrates the future retirement financial loss you may experience when electing to repay your debt with an extended repayment program offered by creditors, credit counseling or debt settlement, rather than intervene on your debt with solutions like bankruptcy which terminate the debt quickly and allow you to resume saving again for retirement.

The calculator solves two problems.

Cost of Payment Plan in Retirement Dollars: This is the value of the retirement funds that you could have invested rather than repay your debt through an extended repayment program.

Future Lost Retirement Value: This is the amount you will lose in retirement from entering into a repayment plan to deal with your debt.

If you want to just see the amount lost from the payment plan, leave the “Monthly Payment After Payment Plan” box at 0.

Here is an example:

Current Age: 25
Monthly Payment: 300
Monthly Payment After Payment Plan: 0
Length of Payment Plan: 5
Rate of Return: 10
Estimated Retirement Age: 70

Cost of Payment Plan in Retirement Dollars = $23,231.12
Retirement Cost of Payment Plan = $1,247,526.55

What This All Means

If you elected to pursue some other solution, like bankruptcy, to discharge your debt quickly, you would not make monthly payments into an extended repayment plan. Those funds could instead be used to save towards retirement.

In this example, if our 25 year old debtor decided to enter into a credit counseling or debt settlement program they would repay their debt but that plan would cost them $23,231.12 in retirement funds that would be worth $1,247,526.55 when they eventually retired.

The purpose of this calculator is to not talk you out of credit counseling or debt settlement but to assist you to make a more informed decision about the future costs to you.

Debt Repayment Impact on Retirement Calculator
Current Age:Length of Payment Plan (Years):
Monthly Payment:$Rate of Return (%):
Monthly Payment After Payment Plan:$Estimated Retirement Age:

Current Age: Enter your current age.

Monthly Payment: Enter monthly payment of debt plan.

Monthly Payment After Payment Plan: Enter any payment you expect to make on a monthly basis into your retirement plan after you get out of debt. Leave this as 0 if you just want to see the future cost of lost retirement from a repayment plan.

Length of Payment Plan: Enter the number of years the repayment plan will take.

Rate of Return: Enter the rate of return you anticipate your retirement plan to have. Keep in mind that a good stock index mutual fund can return 10% or more.

Estimated Retirement Age Age: The age you anticipate retiring at.

And if you don’t think worrying about saving for retirement is important, please read The Saddest Avoidable Mistake People Make When Getting Out of Debt.

Why This is Important

Government data shows 41 percent of Americans aged 55-64 have no retirement savings account.

For those in this age group who do have a retirement account, the median account balance is only $103,200. In addition, an increasing number of Americans are retiring without pensions.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) finds that 44 percent of baby boomers will fall short of adequate retirement income for basic expenses and uninsured health care costs.

Women, in particular, have an increased likelihood of outliving assets due to, among other things, lower savings and lower private pension coverage. – Source

You don’t want to wind up broke in retirement.

Debt Settlement Advice

Important General Get Out of Debt Advice

Key Posts to Read on How to Get Out of Debt

  • Identity Theft Advice

  • Life After Debt

  • Mortgage Help

    Be sure to first read How Not to Get Scammed by a Mortgage Loan Modification Company.

    Debt-to-Income Calculator

    First you’ll need to determine your current debt-to-income ratio. The target debt-to-income ratio under the Home Affordable Modification program is 31%. Use this free online DTI calculator.

    Mortgage Modification Calculator

    The mortgage modification eligibility calculator will ask you several questions and then show you which programs you may be eligible for.

    The free mortgage modification calculator can be found here.

    Free Mortgage Modification Help and Counseling

    If you have questions about the process or eligibility you can call 888-995-4673 and get connected with an mortgage modification adviser for free. This help is provided by government subsidized HUD Housing Counselors and they can be a big help in navigating the modification process.

    In order to assist you, the housing expert will need to gather some information from you. Have the following documents handy:

    • Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement.
    • Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the house.
    • Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of all household members contributing to pay the mortgage, including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources.
    • Information about your savings and other assets.
    • Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards.
    • Account balances and monthly payments on all your other debts such as student loans and car loans.
    • Your most recent income tax return.
    • It may also be helpful to have: A letter describing any circumstances that caused your income to be reduced or expenses to be increased (job loss, divorce, illness, etc.), if applicable.

    You can also get free help and housing counseling from a local HUD approved counselor. You can find your local free housing counselor, here.

    Contact Your Mortgage Company

    Not sure if your mortgage company offers modification programs? Not all do. You can contact your mortgage company to ask them about mortgage modification programs you might be eligible for. Click here to find your mortgage company.

    NPV Calculator

    Want to know the net present value (NPV) of your home for the mortgage modification process? No problem, use the free NPV calculator to find out. The NPV calculator is right here.

    The calculator can be used by homeowners who have been denied a HAMP modification because of their NPV result or can also be used by homeowners prior to applying for a HAMP modification to help them better understand the NPV evaluation.

    No Advance Fees

    The Federal Trade Commission has a Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule which prohibits advance fees for mortgage rescue services or mortgage modification help.

  • Repossession Advice

  • Saving Money

    Don’t Be a Victim. Avoid Being Scammed.

    The following information will be helpful to help you avoid getting scammed by a debt relief company or when getting debt help.

    If you feel like you have been scammed
    Report It Here

  • Student Loan Resources

    You can use the following student loan resources to help reorganize, discharge or forgive your student loan payments.

    The Overall Guide to Dealing With Student Loan Debt

    Get Help For Your Student Loan Problem

    Discharge Your Student Loans in Bankruptcy

    Getting Sued Over a Student Loan

    Private Student Loan Help

    Student Loan Default

    Student Loan Forgiveness and Discharge Information

    Watch Out for Student Loan Assistance Programs

    Administrative Wage Garnishment

    Student Loan Consolidation Information

    Specific Federal Student Loan Repayment Program Information

    Maybe College Isn’t the Answer

    Tax Withholding Adjustment

    You can adjust your tax withholding by a specific amount to put more money in your pocket each month.

    The goal of tax withholding is not to let the government use your money for free all year long and get a big refund, it is so at tax time you either get a bit back or owe a bit.

    As the IRS says, “You should try to have your withholding match your actual tax liability. If not enough tax is withheld, you will owe tax at the end of the year and may have to pay interest and a penalty. If too much tax is withheld, you will lose the use of that money until you get your refund.”

    You can use the online Withholding Calculator to help you determine what you should be claiming.

    Here is what the IRS says about adjusting your withholdings.

    “If too much tax is withheld, you may receive a large refund when you file your return. If you would prefer to receive the money during the year, you should see if you qualify to have less tax withheld. If so, give your employer a new Form W-4 showing more withholding allowances.”

    Get Out of Debt Free Hotline
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  • About Steve Rhode

    Steve Rhode
    Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
    • Steven J Fromm & Associates

      First time at your site. Great wealth of knowledge here. Very well done.

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