Experts to answer your credit, debt questions

Planning a vacation this summer, but short on funds? How about a “staycation”?

The word “staycation” gained popularity about three years ago, as people stayed close to home in the face of the worsening economy. Last year, Miriam-Webster’s dictionary even included it in its official collegiate edition.

How are your finances shaping up for the summer?

Do you have a credit card or debt issue you need help with?

Is foreclosure threatening your home?

Experts at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta are willing to help.

Please write your questions below. Starting Monday, some answers will be provided in this blog.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

16 comments Add your comment


April 28th, 2010
7:52 am

How broke would vacationers have to be before they would stay home? “Experts” at what? I’d like to examine their own finances. You can do for yourself what they provide, and for free.


April 28th, 2010
8:11 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over

Thomas Phillips

April 28th, 2010
8:18 am

I recently got a notice that my fico score went down by 14 points. The reason was that a balance on a credit card went from $0 to $44. Why?


April 28th, 2010
9:12 am

Why is it that the less intelligent people who went for the interest only and ARM loans get all the benefits of the mortgage bailout but people who pay their bills on time and took a HELOC to stay afloat can’t get a low interest loan to get them back where they were before the crisis? Typical Democrats if you ask me, help the poor & rich but screw the middle class.


April 28th, 2010
9:23 am

We have never been late on our house payment. We see there may be a problem paying in the next few months. We notified Wells Fargo and they said before we could get any kind kind of help we have to be late on our payment 30 to 60 days. Makes no since to me.

Petie The Crab

April 28th, 2010
9:39 am

I am in hock on a huge gambling debt and collectors have made threats. Should I buy a gun or leave town?


April 28th, 2010
9:39 am

I was laid off six months ago. I have been diligently been searching for employment in my field. I have been living off of savings. (I am to the point where I am going to take any job I can get, in or out of my field.) At this point, I can only afford to pay the necessities each month (e.g., rent, car payment, phone). So, I have to do something about my credit card payments. I owe about 20K, in total, on credit cards. Should I make less than the minimum payment (say $10 per month), so the payments aren’t late? Should I pay nothing? Should I file for bankruptcy? Should I contact one of those debt management establishments? If so, which one? If I go through a debt management agency, can I just have them management some of my credit card debt? (Only 3 of my 10 credit cards are have high or unmanageable balances.) Should I do something else? How would these various solutions affect my credit report differently? Right now, I have excellent credit. I need answers as quickly as possible. I would greatly appreciate your assistance with my issues. Thank you.

Elliot Garcia

April 28th, 2010
9:47 am

Susan, if you don’t pay the minimum then the payment is still considered late.


April 28th, 2010
10:14 am

My mother has a RV that has a balance due of approximately $16k. Re-sale value is about 7-8k. Do you think the bank will work out a buydown so she can sell it, and work out a payment plan to pay off the difference? Should she just stop making the payments and let the bank repossess it and deal with it from there?


April 28th, 2010
10:16 am

OK I have BIG problems—–my husband passed away and he was the breadwinner in the family……made very good money and we never worried. THEN I made BIG MISTAKES…….continued to live like he was still alive and now my house will not sell and I am using ALL my little savings and credit cards to live off of…..I can make it about 8 more months this way……I CANNOT lose my house, as it is all I have… is a estate home and even though I do owe on it, the equity is way more than I owe, and that is my retirement. I am making myself sick trying to figure out what to do..I am looking for a job diligently. In the meantime, I am substitute teaching which pays NOTHING. I have 2 sons in college and a daughter in HS……MY health insurance is out of site……I have dropped all the kids and still just for me it is very high. I NEED HELP and have tried to combine all my bills into one until the house sells and then I will be able to pay off everything…….BASICALLY I NEED SOMEBODY to loan me 300,000.00. THIS has never been a problem before, but the new rules about loans makes me not qualify. BUT if somebody would do this and I could not pay it back (WHICH I WILL) they would have a WONDERFUL investment for little money……DOES anybody know where I can get a loan until my house sells????????? I am desperate and a nervous wreck all the time. I also have some medical bills that I need to pay, because my deductible is 5000.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE if anybody can help me I would appreciate it sooooo much. I have EXCELLENT credit!!!!!! SIGNED DESPERATE!!!!!!!


April 28th, 2010
10:30 am

Hey Marv, I agree with you. We have always done everything right, paid on time, have a credit score of 803. We have a 5.85% interest rate on our mortgage with 7 years left. Several of our friends re-financed at 4.4%; however, we could not get that rate without extending the length of the mortgage. People who have done the right thing keep paying for those who made bad decisions.


April 28th, 2010
10:38 am

Susan, the debt management agencies (for-profit) will take your money and not do anything you can’t do your self. Keep up what you can pay, let the other credit cards lay for a while. They won’t do anything but scream, and it will ding your credit, but when you get back on your feet, you can catch them up then, probably before they pursue any legal action. And after they are a few months late, you probably will be able to settle the balances for less than you owe after they add all their rip-off late fees. Another tid-bit – look into Dave Ramsey. he is on the radio hgere on 640 AM.

Penalty box

April 28th, 2010
10:56 am

I was one day late making my credit card payment, and therefore got hit with the “penalty” APR of 29.99%. I’ve had this card for over 10 years and when I called to see if they could lower the rate, they said no. Are there any tactics I can use to get the interest lowered, I took a salary reduction and my credit card payment is the one bill that’s making it hard to make ends meet!


April 28th, 2010
1:54 pm

I owe 26k on a SUV and right now the blue book value is only worth 13K. My car note is around 600 a month which I can not afford anymore. I tried calling the bank but they won’t help me. What should I do? I thought about trying to buy another car and letting this car go into repo. I also thought abut Bankruptcy too. What is the best route? It’s a good car but it has high mileage and not worth the 600 I have to pay every month. Plus I changed jobs and don’t make the money I use to make.


April 28th, 2010
3:54 pm

Carnightmare, living within your means is a good concept to adopt.


May 6th, 2010
9:00 am

Hey Henry, I thought you said that starting last Monday, some answers would be posted. Am I confused? Where do we go for the answers?