Three Things Campaigns Need to Know to Retire Campaign Debt

Campaigns are expensive – we get that. Sometimes, candidates and their teams need to take their campaign coffers into the red as a race draws to a close to ensure a win.


Luckily, campaign committees with net debts outstanding after an election can raise contributions for the sole purpose of retiring debt. To be able to retire any debt, campaign committees need to do these three important things:

  • Ensure the contribution is properly designated to pay down that election’s debt (e.g., "2018 general debt") since an undesignated contribution made after an election counts toward the limit for the candidate’s upcoming election;

  • Check that the contribution does not exceed the contributor’s limit for the designated election; and

  • Ensure the campaign has net debts outstanding for the designated election on the day that it receives the contribution. Note: net debts outstanding is not limited to unpaid bills. Rather, it is a calculation of total raised, spent, Cash on Hand, and net debts for that specific election.


To learn how CFS can help your campaign retire its debt quickly, efficiently, and in full compliance with FEC rules, just contact us!

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