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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Quickies – CCCS Consumer Review, Autos, Cards, Balances, and Debt

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When I need a break from answering questions I often take a look for some odd or interesting search terms that people used to find me. Below are some of the latest I saw today that I wanted to provide quick answers to. Steve Search Terms CCCS consumer review – CCCS stands for Consumer Credit Counseling Service but it has ... Read More »

    Should I Cash Out My 401k to Pay Off My Credit Card Debt? – Chad

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    “Dear Steve, I have 30K in credit card debt, and I own a house. My property taxes went up 2k this year, and I can no longer put money in the credit card to pay down the payment. All my available income goes towards house payment and insurance, and taxes. I can make mimimum payment on credit cards. Should I ... Read More »

      An Interesting Way to Cut the Cost of a College Degree

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      Just when I thought that a four year degree was a standard set in stone, apparently it is not. Recent talk about rolling out three year degree programs might be a good way to cut the cost of college by 25%, as long as tuition does not keep rising. Anyway, here is the story that caught my eye today. Some ... Read More »

        SO THIS IS HOW IT FEELS TO BE IN DEBT!

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        An old friend of mine let me know recently that he had been struggling with some financial problems. While debt issues are not something that you often share with just anyone, my friend trusted me enough to open up to me for advice and a friendly shoulder to lean on. My friend, to be anonymously known here as Bob, wrote ... Read More »

          How Can We Pay Down Our Enormous Debt? – Sharon

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          “Dear Steve, We have nearly $21,500.00 in debt from Credit Cards, Home Equity Line of Credit, and College School Loans. This does not include our home loan/mortgage or vehicle loan. Credit cards alone are almost $6,500.00 of this debt. We want to be debt free and would like to be able to afford to send our children to private school. ... Read More »

            It’s Just a Matter of Time Before I Have to Look at Debt Settlement or Bankruptcy. – Laura

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            “Dear Steve, Hi, I am drowning in debt from student loans and credit cards. I have a steady job, but it’s just a matter of time before I’m going to have to look at debt settlement or bankruptcy. So far I’ve paid all bills on time, but LOTS of debt. My 5 year ARM is up end of 2009. Would ... Read More »

              Debt Relief Orders Let Consumers Go Bankrupt Through Credit Counselors

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              An interesting new development in the UK is the formalization of a new tool, the Debt Relief Order, to let consumers eliminate their debts under the power of bankruptcy but without all the hassle or cost. For debtors that have less than £15,000 of unsecured debt and no assets, they can go to a credit counselor, who can file an ... Read More »

                I’m Drowning in Private Student Loans. – Kathy

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                Kathy “Dear Steve, I graduated from an affordable college four years ago with $70K in student debt. Because my parents made $200K per year, but were unwilling to help me pay for college, I was ineligible for sufficient Federal aid, even loans. I was forced to finance college through a private lender, which I was lead to believe adhered to ... Read More »

                  Should I Use My Money in Savings to Pay Down My Credit Card? – Zach

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                  Zach “Dear Steve, I just turned 26 years old and I’ve got $6700 in credit card debt (All at 0% except for $1700 at 11%) and $4500 in an emergency fund savings account. It costs about $1600 a month for me to live, giving me about 3 months of living expenses saved up. I have a stable part-time job, and ... Read More »

                    A Simple Guide to Understanding How the Bankers Screwed Up and Got Us in This Credit Crisis

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                    My bankruptcy attorney friend sent me the link this the video below and said it was a great video to help explain the credit crisis. She was right. It is so nice to see clearly the relationship between the extremely poor decisions smart bankers made that have now trickled down to a foreclosed home near you. If you can’t see ... Read More »

                      Advertisers Are Way Smarter Than You in Getting You to Spend Money When You Didn’t Want To

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                      I’ve written a lot about how shopping malls, and stores are deigned to intentional trigger your subconscious impulses to get you to spend money. And then when people do, they are cursed by their creditors for being irresponsible. Granted all spending is not beyond our control, but some formulas to make you buy are very devious. How about chocolate chip ... Read More »

                        Bankruptcy Filers Can Easily Get Better Credit Scores Quickly

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                        When people go bankrupt their finances become a painful chapter in their lives. They avoid credit and shun anything to do with their credit reports or credit scores. And that’s a mistake. Going bankrupt is painful enough but being unfairly penalized for going through bankruptcy is not fair. If you have gone bankrupt in the last seven years you need ... Read More »

                          I Want You to Meet Who You Helped Today – Lina’s Group

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                          It is important for you to meet who we helped today through this site. As I mention, all over the place, revenue from people clicking on ads and using the service of advertisers is used to help sponsor people in poverty through Kiva. Please visit or use the services of advertisers on the site so we can help more people. ... Read More »

                            I Want to Freeze My Interest Rates. – Vladimir

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                            Vladimir “Dear Steve, I have debt of £4000 with high interest and cant keep up the repayments plus i am never gonna get rid off debt only paying minimum payment on card but cant afford to pay more. wanna freeze the interest. How can I freeze the interest rates? Valadimir” The Answer   Dear Vladimir, I assume from your use ... Read More »

                              The Crush of Debt. A Moment of Beauty.

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                              Running Rocks, originally uploaded by Steve Rhode. When you are dying under the crush of debt or the pressure of financial catastrophe, take a moment, a breath, and find some image that helps you to relax. This one helps me to relax. There is everyday beauty around you. There is plenty to be grateful for. Self-punishment and thoughts of suicide ... Read More »

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