Day 2 for credit and debt questions

Keep your credit card and debt questions coming. Just post them on this blog, like many did yesterday.

Beginning Thursday, experts from Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta will answer some of them.

They’re fully prepared. January is their busiest month because of the debt hangover from the holidays.

27 comments Add your comment


January 12th, 2010
8:25 am

I was laid off from my job last year after 20 years, but found a new one. Only the new job pays $35,000 a year less. I have maintained so far but my saving is down to $2.00! What can I do? I purchased a home 6 months before I was laid-off but now things are getting tighter and tigher. Is there help for me?


January 12th, 2010
9:05 am

How is it that with years of outstanding credit history, no changes in your behavior, a credit card company can lower your credit limit or cancel an account outright significantly lowering your FICO score, sending all your other creditors into a tizzy and adversely affecting your ability to attain credit and rates/terms which you are forced to pay?


January 12th, 2010
9:28 am

Can a credit card company or collection agency garnish your wages for a credit card balance amount that is over 7 years old?


January 12th, 2010
9:29 am

Enter your comments here.
I currently have only two debt obligations, my car and student loan payments. I have credit score of 713 and do
not own a credit card. I really do not like to use credit cards, but would like to know if getting one is the only
way I can boost my score. If so, do you have any recommendations on cards to apply for. I would be getting
this solely to help boost my score by using it sparingly.


January 12th, 2010
9:44 am

Tammy it depends. For example they can if they sued you and you didnt show up at your court hearing.


January 12th, 2010
9:47 am

KB, 713 is a pretty good score. I would stay away from credit cards if I were you.


January 12th, 2010
10:08 am

I recently transferred balances from two credit cards to one and worry about the issuers of the other two cards cancelling my accounts or lowering my available balance. Should I use each card for small purchases that I can pay off at the end of each month to help boost my credit score and keep the accounts open? My credit score is currently in the excellent range and I’d like to keep it there.
Thank you.


January 12th, 2010
10:10 am

There are two credit card histories that are showing up on my son’s credit report. We have the same name, except I am the 3rd, and he is the 4th. Initially there were 3 cards, but we were able to get one of them to switch the card and it’s history over to my credit report. I have not had any success with the other two cards. They tell me to contact Equifax, but that has proven to be a dead end as well. Any suggestions ?


January 12th, 2010
10:19 am

I filed bankruptcy 8 years ago and have been diligently working to rebuild my credit. I have 6 major credit cards, but all have very low credit limits. In total for all 6 my available credit is only $6,500.00. My credit score is 725. I purchased a home in 2008 and have had two car loans since my bankruptcy. All of my payments have been made on time and I always make large payments on credit cards, never utilizing more than 35% of my open credit line on each. Are there other types of credit cards that would be available to me? I seem to have hit a dead end and can’t build credit any further. At this point I seem to only be able to wait out the next 22 months until my bankruptcy falls off my credit report. If there are other options, please let me know.

Elliot Garcia

January 12th, 2010
10:39 am


Equifax has a mixed file department and that is who you need to get in touch with. This department specifically deals with father/son, same name type disputes.

Good Luck!

Bankers Are Scum

January 12th, 2010
11:03 am

Banks pay you a paltry 1.5 – 2.0% interest on your savings and crow about “High Yield” savings. They take your deposits and lend them to others- including you- and charge interest at 15 – 23%. Absolutely disgusting! We lock up kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods for selling a five dollar piece of crack for five years. Where is the justice?

what to do?

January 12th, 2010
11:22 am

I have roughly $30k left in student loans that I’ve been paying on pretty aggressively (paying $1200/month as compared to the roughly $400 monthly minimum my payment plan requires). I’m paying this way because I want to be rid of as much of the debt as possible before some life changes that seem eminent over the next 2-3 years (marriage, starting a family, buying a home?, etc.). I’ve got about $5k saved, but am only adding to it by about $200 to $400 a month. My question is should I be focused more on saving for future events and just making monthly minimums on the loans, or is my current method of paying as much of the debt down as possible and only saving what I can here and there ok? Thanks!

Madison Parker

January 12th, 2010
11:23 am

We purchased a new home in 2008 and at that time our credit scores were in the 700 range with Equifax. After we purchased our new home we found out 30 days before our taxes were due that we did not have enough money in our escrow to cover them. Our mortgage company paid the taxes and left our escrow $3,000.00 in a negative. In an attempt to have our taxes appealed, and they were successfully appealed, the taxes for 2009 changed, but our mortgage company added the $3,000.00 to our payment and our mortgage has gone in a spiral. How can you note something on your credit report to show why this occurred.


January 12th, 2010
11:27 am

I’ve heard that paying off a collection account can negatively impact your credit score. In which cases is this true?


January 12th, 2010
12:32 pm

To EKL, believe it or not, even if the bankruptcy fell off your credit report tomorrow, your credit score would barely budge. It’s 8 yrs old already. It has a minimal impact on your score at this point. You are at 725. That is excellent. I don’t know why you are so concerned about getting more credit. That is the problem. Stay away from credit and debt altogether and then you won’t care so much about your credit score.

I suggest everybody reading this right now listen to Dave Ramsey. He’s about the only financial advisor out here that makes sense. Cash is King!


January 12th, 2010
1:29 pm

My wife and I have about $35,000 in CC debt. We both have good credit at this point(in the 700 range) and we are making the minimum and more on them but it’s a struggle, they total between $650-$700 a month. I don’t see how we are ever gonna get out of this hole. Should we file bankruptcy and take the hit on our credit and pay cash for everything and build our savings with the cash we would have been paying the credit cards or struggle at least another 2 years when one of our cars are paid ($650/mth)and that will give us some relief, but we will still be paying on the credit cards?


January 12th, 2010
2:02 pm

Is there any way to refinance student loans to get a lower interest rate? I graduated in 2008 so my rates are high and I have automatic bill pay to give me a slight reduction. However, there is nothing I have found that actually lowers my interest rate. Consolidation just mixes the loans together but it doesn’t change my effective rate.


January 12th, 2010
2:27 pm

Hi Henry, I assume you are just starting the blog over each day and my question wasn’t actually deleted from consideration? (I posted yesterday.)

John at CCCS

January 12th, 2010
2:50 pm

Ryan, your question from yesterday about the friend with the unaffordable home loan is on the list of candidates to be answered by someone from CCCS.

Elliot Garcia

January 13th, 2010
9:01 am

PEJ….try a second job..bankruptcy won’t help in the long run….


January 13th, 2010
9:17 am


The statute of limitations has run out on that debt the collection agency is trying to collect. In Georgia, a debtor generally has 4 years to collect a debt. If the debtor is unable to collect the debt, then your obligation to pay has expired. If a collection agency calls you about the debt, do not admit you owe the debt. Say “The Statute of Limitations has expired for that alleged debt”. Then hang up the phone.

Do not admit you ever owed the money because if you do, the clock begins again and you will be fair game to pay the debt.


January 13th, 2010
9:19 am


Here is the Statute of Limitations regarding debt in Georgia:
Georgia Statutes of Limitation

Breach of any contract for sale: 4 years, (OCGA 11-2- 725) NOTE: Parties may reduce limitation to not less than one year, but not extend it. A cause of action accrues when the breach occurs, regardless of the aggrieved party’s lack of knowledge of the breach.

Contract, including breach of warranty or indemnity: 4 years, (OCGA 11- 22A-506) NOTE: The parties may reduce the period to one year.

Written contract: 6 years from when it becomes due and payable and the six (6) year period runs from the date of last payment. (OCGA 9-3-24)

Open account; implied promise or undertaking: 4 years, (OCGA 9-3-25). NOTE: Payment, unaccompanied by a writing acknowledging the debt, does not stopped the statute. Therefore, the statutory period runs from the date of default, not the date of last payment.

Bonds or other instruments under seal, 20 years, (OCGA 9-3-23) NOTE: No instrument is considered under seal unless it’s stated in the body of the instrument.


January 13th, 2010
9:26 am


If the collection agency persists, then request they mail you the info regarding the alleged debt (always when you talk to them, say the debt is “alleged”). Once you receive the info, check to see if the account numbers match your records. If they do not, you have another out.

Write a letter stating the statute of limitations has run out on this alleged debt. Tell the collection agency or debtor not to contact you again regarding this matter. Threaten to contact the state Attorney General if they contact you again.


June 13th, 2010
3:39 am

Here is a debt of Philippines

The first debt and debt service reduction operation the World Bank financed was the Debt Management Program Loan to the Philippines, approved in 1990. Its main objective was to help restore the Philippines’ creditworthiness by reducing the destabilizing pressures exerted by an excessive debt-service burden. The government, having inherited a huge debt service obligation, formulated a debt restructuring program for the country and a request for debt-relief from creditors, with assistance from the Bank and the IMF.

Several events helped improve the Philippines’ creditworthiness. Three of them are particularly relevant to the operation. First, the government adopted a program of deep structural and macroeconomic reform. Second, it reduced the debt stock by about $650 million equivalent, or about 2.3 percent of its outstanding debt at the time, using Bank and IMF financing to buy back $1.46 billion of debt from commercial banks at 50 percent discount. And finally, by signaling confidence in the Philippines’ commitment to sound macroeconomic reform, the Debt Management Loan opened up international financial markets for the country.

However, the program’s success also led to a new problem. It encouraged new loans and other inflows of capital, which eventually became a major source of monetary problems and instability. The resulting increase in inflation forced the government to rein in the economy, suppressing growth; the currency tended to appreciate and the new loans tended to substitute for public sector savings. Clearly, in debt restructuring exercises, foreign creditors must give only enough assistance to avoid destabilizing pressures; the full be


June 13th, 2010
8:40 am

Consolidate Credit Card Debt – Best Way To Reduce Debts
Debt Free Seattle


July 6th, 2010
3:33 am

I like this particular article it gives me an additional input in the information a round the world. Thanks a lot and keep going with posting such information.
Credit Card Tips


July 7th, 2010
4:48 am

I suggest everybody reading this right now listen to Dave Ramsey. He’s about the only financial advisor out here that makes sense. Cash is King!