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Surviving Debt Links

Bulk discounts on Surviving Debt are available at the NCLC book store.

Surviving Debt: Expert Advice for Getting Out of Financial Trouble

A leading resource for over 25 years, this fully updated, 2021 edition of Surviving Debt provides precise, practical, and hard-hitting advice from the nation’s consumer law experts on how to deal with crushing debt affecting millions of Americans.

Surviving Debt tells you what consumers need to know about:

  • • Stopping Debt Harassment
  • • Dealing with Credit Card, Medical, and Student Loan Debts
  • • Essential Information about Credit Reports
  • • Vehicle Repossessions and Utility Terminations
  • • Dealing Effectively with Your Mortgage Servicer, Mortgage Loan Modifications, and Saving Your Home from Foreclosure
  • • Property Taxes and Tax Sales
  • • Evictions and Getting Out of a Lease
  • • Defending Collection Lawsuits & Dealing with Wage Garnishments and Bank Account Seizures
  • • Tax Debts and Debts Related to Criminal Law
  • • When and Whether to File for Bankruptcy, and much more

New to the 2021 edition, consumer rights arising from the COVID-19 pandemic relating to home mortgages, landlord-tenant law, utilities, and student loans.

Plus, revised chapters on reverse mortgages, public benefits, and criminal justice debt, and all-new advice on purchasing a vehicle after losing your old one.

Bulk discounts and custom branding available. Learn more and purchase on the NCLC Bookstore.

Surviving Debt Links & More

Surviving Debt Letters and Charts

Letters to Debt Collectors  

Keeping Track—Charts

Dispute Letter (PDF)

Dispute Letter (MS Word)

Exempt Income Letter (PDF)

Exempt Income Letter (MS Word)

Stop Contact Letter (PDF)

Stop Contact Letter (MS Word)

Verification Letter (PDF)

Verification Letter (MS Word)

Sample Monthly Debt Chart (PDF)

Blank Monthly Debt Chart (MS Word and PDF)

Sample Monthly Expenses Chart (PDF)

Blank Monthly Expenses Chart (MS Word and PDF)

Sample Monthly Income Chart (PDF)

Blank Monthly Income Chart (MS Word and PDF)

Note: Depending on your browser, MS Word documents may automatically download to your "Downloads" folder.

Surviving Debt Links



AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Locator

American Association of Retired Persons

Affordable Care Act Enrollment

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid

Benefits Planner

Social Security Administration
Center for Medicare Advocacy

Child Nutrition Programs

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Counseling Agencies—U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Housing and Urban Development


prepaid card


Fannie Mae Loan Lookup

Federal National Mortgage Association

Federal benefits offset program

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Department of Homeland Security


Federal Student Aid

U.S. Department of Education

Feeding America

Hunger Relief Organization

Find an Attorney

National Association of Consumer Advocates

Find Legal Aid

Legal Services Corporation

Find Legal Aid Programs

Food and Nutrition Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Food Research and Action Center

Free Annual Credit Reports

authorized by Federal law

FSA Feedback System

U.S. Department of Education

Housing Counseling—Department of Housing and Urban Development

How to Apply for WIC

National WIC Association

HUD Lender List Search

Department of Housing and Urban Development


student loan income-driven repayment plans

Internal Revenue Service

Justice in Aging


referrals to local legal aid and public interest law offices, basic information about legal rights, court forms, self-help information, court information, links to social service agencies, and more in your state


LIHEAP Map State and Territory Contact Listing

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Loan Look-Up Tool FreddieMac

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation

Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic Map

Internal Revenue Service


U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Employment Law Project

National School Lunch Program

Food Research and Action Center

National Student Loan Data System

U.S. Department of Education

National Veterans Legal Services Program

Nationwide Multistate Licensing System

licensing/registration information on mortgage, consumer finance, debt, and money services companies, branches, and individuals
National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) publications

Access to Utility Service

Collection Actions

Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice

Federal Deception Law

Home Foreclosures

Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications


Student Loan Law

NCLC bookstore

Red Cross Disaster Relief

Rural Housing Service

Handbook HB-1-3555

Save Your Home: Tips to Avoid Foreclosure

Federal Housing Administration

Sign up for WIC

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

SNAP Outreach

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Food and Nutrition Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Social Security Administration

Student Loan Borrower Assistance

Submit a Complaint

Consumer Financial Protecton Bureau

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge

Department of Education


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

U.S. Trustee Program (Bankruptcy)

U.S. Department of Justice

VA Home Loans

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Servicer Handbook M26-4

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans Pension Benefits

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs