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Dealing with Debt

Debt collection, debt management, debt relief, debt settlement... Debt is a four-letter word that’s the subject of some complex laws. Learn how to exercise your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act — and how to recognize debt-related scams and frauds.

Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself

Find out how you can improve your credit and get free or low-cost help.

Coping with Debt

When it comes to dealing with debt, you have options. Find out what you can do, and get tips for avoiding scams.

Time-Barred Debts

Collectors may not be able to sue you to collect old debts. The statute of limitations varies among states and for different kinds of debts.

Choosing a Credit Counselor

If you’re considering using the services of a credit counseling organization, here’s what you can expect.

Settling Credit Card Debt

Read how debt settlement companies work, the program risks, how to research companies, and other options for debt relief.

Filing for Bankruptcy: What to Know

U.S. bankruptcy law requires credit counseling before you file for bankruptcy and debtor education after you file.

Debts and Deceased Relatives

Who is responsible for paying off the debts of your deceased relatives?

Fake and Abusive Debt Collectors

Have you ever gotten a call about a debt you don’t recognize? Or have you had a collector harass, threaten, or lie to you? Here's what to do.

Tax Relief Companies

If you owe back taxes, try to negotiate with the IRS or your state comptroller on your own. Tax relief companies can’t do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself.

Debt Relief or Bankruptcy?

Some ads that promise debt relief may be offering bankruptcy if you read between the lines.

Garnishing Federal Benefits

You may be able to protect the federal funds in your bank account from being garnished.

Credit Repair Scams

Companies promising a “new credit identity” may be selling stolen Social Security numbers.

Debt Collection Arbitration

Learn how debt collection arbitration works and what your rights are.

Paying Down Credit Card Debt

Interest rates and minimum monthly payments affect how long it takes to pay off debt. Use the calculator to help you estimate how long it will take you to pay off your credit card balance.

Dealing with Debt Bookmark

When it comes to dealing with debt, you have options. Find out what you can do, and get tips for avoiding scams.

Debt Collection FAQs

You have rights when you deal with debt collectors.

What to Know Before Selling Your Disability Payments

Before you consider “factoring” — selling part of your disability settlement for quick cash — know what you’re getting yourself into.

Operation Collection Protection Infographic

In November 2015, FTC, states and local governments announced the largest-ever collection of enforcement actions against abusive debt collectors.

Getting Out of Debt

Here’s what you need to know about getting out of debt.