Is Debtor’s Prison a Real Thing?

debtor's prison

 

Debtor’s prison – a place where those who can’t afford their financial liabilities go to rot away – may seem like something out of a gloomy Charles Dickins novel, but increasingly civil liberties groups and prisons reform advocates are arguing these antiquated places of incarceration are returning in a new form. Are they, though? Is debtor’s prison a real thing?

What Is Debtor’s Prison?

Debtor’s prison is an archaic form of punishment for those who cannot afford to pay their financial obligations. Those who couldn’t pay their debts were locked up in a harsh jail, where they were not only liable to repay their debt to be released but also required to pay the costs of their incarceration. The catch? These prisons didn’t allow prisoners to work off their debts, only to rely on family, friends, or miraculous acts to front the money. The end result was that many rotted away and died in these dingy places. The United States abolished debtor’s prisons in 1833, yet they seem to be on the rise again – all thanks to a private prison system and a desire for local municipalities to supplement their funding.

 

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Modern Debtor’s Prison

While debtor’s prisons remain illegal, you wouldn’t know it if you looked at the way the modern legal system functions. All too regularly, state and local courts are beginning to charge fees to those who are convicted of crimes. These fees include charges for the use of public defenders, jail operations and feeding costs, costs for the operation and administration of the courts, and so forth.

While on the surface these fees seem understandable – after all, the legal system costs money and money doesn’t grow on trees – the harsh reality is that many of those arrested cannot afford to repay these debts, and as a result are incarcerated for contempt of court. This means that thousands of low-level criminals remain behind bars for failing to pay fines and fees without as much as a hearing to determine their ability to actually pay.

In this situation, there are definite winners and losers. The losers are of course those who find themselves incarcerated for fines they could never have afforded in the first place. The winners? The private prison system that can count on larger government funding to meet the needs of this ever-increasing prison population. This broken system has raised the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who have been championing the cause of those who fall victim to this vicious cycle of fees and incarceration.

 

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Contact Engage IQ Today to Learn About Debt Repayment Options

If you’re looking for the best way to pay off debt, Your Consumer Services can help you. We offer loan counseling through our one-on-one chat. There is no upfront cost for clients. You can connect with a live person from a non-profit willing to provide you with further information on your loan repayment options. as well as reduce your debt or monthly payments. You can also email us. Our debt specialists are waiting to hear from you and can answer any questions you may have. So, if you’re ready to get a break from crippling monthly payments – let’s do this!

How to Pay Off Your Holiday Debt in Less than 90 Days

With Christmas in the rear view mirror, this is crunch time for new credit card bills. If you overspent and have anxiety about how to pay that debt, try not to worry. Here at Your Consumer Services, we’re going to tell you how to pay off your holiday debt in less than 90 days.

Holiday Debt

Start Small to Pay Off Your Holiday Debt

It’s familiar, popular advice when it comes to paying credit card debt, but it certainly bears repeating. Think of an inverted pyramid. Pay your smallest bill first. And here’s why: once you pay off that debt, you can then take that money and use it to start paying off your second highest bill.

After you’ve paid that one off, continue on to your third highest bill, and so on. Make sense?

Interest Matters

Here’s another school of thought on using credit cards. Take into consideration the interest rate on your credit cards, some of which can be alarmingly high. Look at your cards and find the one(s) with the highest rate, and pay that one off, first.

Habits Add Up

Here’s a way you can actually save money, by not spending money on items that are second nature to you. For example – your daily cup of coffee. Being the savvy person that you are, you make your own coffee at home.  But many people don’t and end up buying a cup of coffee out, almost every single day. Say you spend $5.00 a day, 7 days a week. That’s $35.00 a week, and roughly $140 for one month. That $140 works nicely towards paying down a bill. If you’re a smoker, cut back, which will also save you money which you can put towards your debt.

Entertain at Home

Going to the movies can be pricey, especially if you’re paying for more than just yourself. Besides the ticket, the pricey food can take you off track, as well. You’ll save money by entertaining at home. And taking that a step further, keep your movie rentals, etc., to a minimum.

DIY

In that same vein, think of the money you spend each month for hair, nails, and other personal care items. Think of doing it yourself or asking a friend to do it for you.

Cutting Calories Helps

You can shave calories while saving money. For starters, eat out less. Or if you’re eating out, split a dish with someone. It’s likely you won’t miss that food because fast-food and restaurant portion sizes are extra-large these days.  The next time you go to the grocery store, take a hard look at what’s in your basket. You might be surprised to find items that you really don’t need. Take, for example – potato chips or other nutritionally-low food items that run-up not only your weight but also your grocery bill.

Every Little Bit Helps

A quick way to get some extra money is to make some extra money by taking on a side gig or “side hustle.”  Think about your talents and how you can turn those into some small gigs. Every little bit helps when you’re trying to find the best way to pay off your holiday debt and get out of credit card debt.

Talk to Us About Paying Off Your Holiday Debt

We like to think that because you are budget-conscience, you won’t shop above your means and will be able to pay off your holiday debt in less than 90 days. But again – no worries. We can help you. If you’re looking for the best way to pay off credit card debt, Your Consumer Services can help you. We offer private credit counseling through one-on-one chat. There’s no upfront cost for clients. You can connect with a live person from a non-profit willing to provide further information on How to Pay Off Your Holiday Debt in Less than 90 Days, as well as reduce your debt. You can also email us. Our debt specialists are waiting to hear from you and can answer all of your questions. Now – let’s do this!

Tips on Surviving Holiday Debt

Everywhere you look there are signs, ads, and messages urging you to buy holiday gifts. Fast forward to January. That’s when those credit card bills from your holiday spending sprees begin to roll in. How will that look for you? Pretty picture or not so much? Now’s the time to make sure you’re keeping an eye on your spending, to avoid starting the new year in the red. Here at Your Consumer Services, a debt management company, we’re experts at helping you pay off your debt and stay on financial track, which is why we’re sharing this guide with you: Tips on Surviving Holiday Debt.

We’re coming fresh off the heels of two very popular shopping days – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and hopefully, you didn’t overdo it. But if you did, we get that. We know how alluring those ads can be coming at us, one after another – radio, TV, online. It seems that every other Instagram post was selling something.  Plus – having a job and seeing money roll in can make shopping very appealing. But you’re stronger than that, so stop, and take a deep breath. You can do this. We’re here to help you.

SURVIVAL TIP: Make a List

The first step – make a holiday shopping list and check it way more than twice. Write down the name of everyone for whom you’re planning to buy a gift and stick to that list. Don’t forget to include any gift exchanges, for example from the job, your fitness class, etc. And when you’re out shopping, and you spot something cool, if it doesn’t fit someone on your list, keep it moving.

 

SURVIVAL TIP: Create a Budget

Once you’ve created a gift list, set a budget, along with a gift amount for each person on your list. Here’s a little sub-tip, carrying cash instead of credit cards makes it easier for you to stay on your budget. However, if you do decide to use plastic, make sure it’s a credit card that lets you earn cash back.

SURVIVAL TIP: Track Your Spending

Know exactly where your money is going. Consider getting a budgeting app. There are many good ones on the market. Some of them cost just a few bucks, while others are free. If you have to buy an APP, that’s not so bad since it’ll help you otherwise save money.

SURVIVAL TIP: Get Creative with Your Gifts

You don’t have to buy a gift from a traditional store. You can find some hip goodies at thrift shops and consignment shops and save a ton of money. And don’t forget to hit up your local community holiday bazaars, where local artists and others come to hustle their products. And here’s your chance to make it personal. Think home-baked goods, a piece of your artwork, or perhaps gifting a service such as starting a social media page for someone or giving someone a make-up lesson. You see where we’re going with this, right?  And do you have a gift from someone that you never used? If so, you can always re-gift it.

pay off holiday debt

SURVIVAL TIP: Pay Yourself First

Before you even think about shopping, be sure to pay yourself first. The best way to do this is an automatic deduction straight from your checking account to some type of savings account. And don’t touch that account!

Stop Struggling Financially

If you’re already close to being in over your head with debt from credit cards, school loans, taxes, and more, why would you want to add to that?  Hopefully, our Tips on Surviving Holiday Debt will help. We can also help with credit debt. We want to help you improve your financial situation, but we need your help. Before you add on to your debt from holiday spending, think about paying it off, which is easier than you think. Call us. We can teach you how to pay off credit card debt, and more.

Your Consumer Services offers private credit counseling through one-on-one chat. There’s no upfront cost for clients. You can connect with a live person from a non-profit willing to provide reliable information and help you with debt reduction. You can also email us. Our debt specialists are waiting to hear from you and can answer all of your questions.