Danger Signals of Excessive Debt

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

According to Webster’s Dictionary, debt is defined as “the state of owing.” Most commonly, the word debt is used in reference to money that is owed to various creditors as in the case of debt incurred through loans and credit cards. How do you know when you have taken on too much debt? Take the following quiz to determine whether you are using credit wisely or getting in over your head.

father and child

Circle …

Cultural Differences in Handling Credit

Cultural Differences in Handling Credit

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

When it comes to decisions about borrowing money and handling credit, the culture of a family, community, and country can have a major influence upon an individual’s behavior. What people are taught to believe about borrowing money and the use of credit can affect their financial decisions and debt payment practices for the rest of their lives. This is especially true when strong family role models or …

Credit Scores: What You Need to Know

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

If credit reports are like receiving a “report card” in school, credit scores are similar to a grade point average. They are a three-digit number, ranging from 300 (lowest) to 850 (highest), used to measure the risk that borrowers will become delinquent or default on their debt obligations. Credit scores are based upon information contained within credit reports. Thus, consumers will likely have different credit scores from each of the three major …



What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a proceeding in a federal court in which a debtor who owes more than his or her assets can receive debt relief by transferring his or her assets to a trustee or agreeing to reorganization of assets and liabilities. Usually, at least two years must elapse from the discharge of the bankruptcy before lenders will consider making a loan to someone who has declared bankruptcy.

When is Bankruptcy an Answer?

Bankruptcy may be an answer …


Credit Cards

Welcome to PowerPay: PowerPay is a system designed to help you eliminate debt in the fastest possible way. PowerPay works when you are willing to:

  • Make a commitment to stop borrowing or buying with credit.
  • Systematically pay off debts.
  • Absolve each debt and continue to apply that debt payment to the next debt obligation.

Total monthly payments don’t change, but the distribution of those payments changes and the overall debt will generally be retired sooner and with considerable savings to …

Financial Security: Consumer Credit

Credit can be a successful financial management tool. Using credit allows you flexibility in managing your budget to purchase goods and services when they are needed the most, not when you have the cash on hand to pay for them. You are offered credit because people trust you to repay them within a stated period of time.

Example of credit cards, (c) FreeFoto.com
“Credit Cards” by FreeFoto.com, CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Consumer credit takes many forms, including installment loans, credit cards, department store revolving charge accounts, home …