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Monmouth County Bankruptcy Law Blog

Some options for handling overwhelming student loan debt

Americans' federal student loan debt is now at a whopping $1.4 trillion dollars. That debt is owed by about 44 million borrowers. There's no telling yet how borrowers will be impacted by the changes the Trump administration is considering to the federal student loan program,

For many people, keeping up with student loan payments as well as other debt and expenses is impossible. It's estimated that an average of 3,000-plus people default on these loans each day, and it's only getting worse. A loan is considered to be in default if a monthly payment hasn't been made for 270 days.

Tips for finding a credit card for your college-bound child

If your teen is going off to college this fall, you may be considering getting him or her a credit card to use for unexpected expenses and emergencies. The prospect of a credit card in your son or daughter's hands, however, may be frightening. Following are some things to consider to protect your child's credit and yours.

Kids who aren't yet 18 cannot get a card in their own name. If your child hasn't turned 18, you will need to add him or her as an authorized user on one of your credit card accounts, which is easy to do. Authorized users get their own card. However, you're still ultimately responsible for anything charged to the account.

Should small business owners file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

Small business owners face an uphill battle in the marketplace. It becomes even more precarious when there are unkind financial events. For instance, according to federal data, during the Great Recession between 2008 and 2010, the United States lost more than 170,000 small businesses.

For small business owners facing financial trouble, bankruptcy can be a viable option to get out of it. However, it is important to understand the types of bankruptcies available and how they can affect companies. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most widely used by business owners. Entrepreneurs should make themselves familiar with the differences and benefits of both.

Why you should pay your credit card bills early

If you pay your credit card bills in full and on time every month, you're way ahead of a lot of Americans. You save yourself interest charges, late fees and potential harm to your credit score. However, you probably wait to pay until just before it's due, right? Why pay any earlier than necessary?

It turns out that there are a number of advantages to paying your credit card bills before the due date, whether you still have a balance on the card or not.

How filing for bankruptcy affects student loan debt

Many people in New Jersey and throughout the United States are affected by student loan debt. In fact, Forbes reported that as of 2017, over $1.3 trillion of debt was held by 44 million borrowers in the country.

Many borrowers manage to make minimum payments. However, what if a person has other debts and is contemplating bankruptcy? How would the student loan debt be affected by this?

An emergency room visit can put you in financial jeopardy

Most of us don't plan on ending up in an emergency room. Often, you don't even realize that you've been transported there until you wake up on a gurney in a hospital gown. As anyone who has experienced this knows, emergency room bills can be costly, even after your insurance pays its portion.

If you don't have insurance, the cost of a visit to the ER can be devastating. According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, patients with no health insurance are charged four times what those with Medicaid coverage for ER services.

How will the latest rate hike impact your credit card debt?

Some New Jersey residents, as well other Americans, choose not to follow the goings-on in Washington, D.C. However, many decisions by those elected and appointed to jobs in the federal government can have significant impacts on people's lives and finances.

A prime example is the recent quarter-point increase in the interest rate charged for federal funds. This seemingly-small change is predicted to result in about $1.5 billion dollars more in finance charges collected on credit cards alone.

Why bankruptcy may be the best option

New Jersey homeowners facing financial difficulties may consider several options to avoid foreclosure. Short sales often come up in discussions of what to do if you are having trouble making your mortgage payments. However, a short sale may come with certain consequences that you might be able to avoid by turning to bankruptcy instead.

When deciding how to handle debt and mortgage arrears, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each option in your particular situation. A qualified attorney can help you make the decisions that will work best for you.

Can you continue to spend after deciding to file Chapter 7?

You've made the difficult decision to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You know that your financial life will change after this and won't be the same for awhile.

However, your credit cards haven't yet been cancelled. Should you make a few last purchases? Perhaps you should get that big flat-screen TV you've always wanted, take a trip abroad or buy an RV and drive the family up the coast to New England for one last big summer holiday before you have to seriously tighten your financial belt?

What can you learn from Mark Cuban about credit cards?

It may seem easy for a billionaire like Mark Cuban to advise people not to use credit cards. However, the entrepreneur, Dallas Mavericks owner and star of the TV show "Shark Tank" grew up in a middle-class family and helped pay his own way through college by giving dance lessons. He says that was the best piece of financial advice he ever received, and it was from his father.

Cuban admits that he didn't follow that advice or even pay off his credit cards every month when he was younger. He now tells consumers that credit cards are "the worst investment that you can make." The 58-year-old Cuban says he wishes he'd realized in his 20s that the money saved by not having to pay interest on credit cards "is better than any return I could possibly get by investing that money in the stock market."

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At the law offices of William H. Oliver, Jr. & Associates in Toms River and Lakewood, New Jersey, we represent clients in Toms River, Neptune, Trenton, Middletown, Red Bank, Wall, Lakewood, Lakehurst, Manchester, Asbury Park, Old Bridge, Jamesburg, Barnegat, Forked River, Manahawkin, Ocean Township, Brick, Manasquan, Howell, Freehold, Hazlet, Bradley Beach, Brown Mills, Long Branch, Keansburg, Marlboro, Bayville, Beachwood, Whiting, Sayreville, South River, East Brunswick, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Burlington County and Mercer County.