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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    8

    Money woes - advice needed!

    My husband and I are about to move across the state. We're selling our home that we've lived in only 8 months (not a lot of equity), he was out of work for a month (behind on credit card/car/etc payments), and we are borrowing some money from his parents who are being jerks about it (long story, different thread).

    I feel buried in this mound of debt that I am having a hard time figuring out how to get out of. Does anyone know of a reputable credit consolidation company, or can anyone offer advice about where to start?!

    The new job is going to be paying much better than the old job, but my husband has to spend a couple of months building up his clientele first. Until then, what?

    Help!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina
    Posts
    119
    Jeez. I'm afraid that the only debt advice I could give you would be very cautionary. You see, my boyfriend and I moved to California last summer and we were back home in less than two months after selling almost everything we owned. We only had a couple thousand from that and graduation money he received. We made a lot of mistakes that you guys probably won't but, you see, I never knew I was in debt until the setback. I learned some hard lessons.

    Such as: 1. The companies you owe money to actually want you to fall behind because then they can add penalty fees, finance charges and jack your interest rate way the hell up. Be careful when asking creditors for help...they are acting in THEIR best interest, not yours. 2. There are practically NO debt consolidation programs that are legit. There are some but you have to dig to find them and, when you do, it's a commitment. Look for the words: NON PROFIT 3. Getting more credit to pay off the credit you have already is not the salvation people love it up to be. The reason I had debt in the first place is because I couldn't control my spending. Adding another credit account to the mix only made my problems much, much worse.

    I never had a single problem with my credit or my creditors. It took 2 months to screw that up for the next 6 or 7 years of my life. When you get behind and they add all of the damn fees, you fall farther behind! Then it's impossible. The only up-side to that, is that some companies are willing to write some of your debt off and create a payment plan for you. It's a risk because some will just write you off and screw up your credit rating. Mostly, the credit agencies talk to the creditors on your behalf to coordinate these same kinds of arrangements. They just have extra special hook-ups. It's possible to do it yourself. I just made my payment goals small and attainable. I increased the amount I paid as I got more stable. And, here's the rough part, I stopped spending. Period. I didn't go out and I lived with my Mom for the first time since I was 18. Do you budget? I loathe the word and am still terrible at it but, it is soooo helpful to plan your spending and know who gets what and who got what every month.

    Since my credit is bad now, I can't get a loan. But, that is my plan as soon as I qualify for one without an obscene interest rate. I think it is good to get all of the individual creditors paid and then be responsible to only one...and know the name of someone helpful and ALWAYS talk to that person! The people that work at these companies are just like the rest of us, some are very helpful and some aren't. Call until you get someone who will help. I also found that they respond better to an assertive person than someone who is vulnerable. Sick, huh?

    Well, I hope I helped or, at the very least, answered your actual question! I could write a book about my experiences with debt!! Oh, and I found this infomative and empowering:
    http://www.vienna.cc/networld/report...dit_rating.htm

    It really helped me to remember that, at the end of the day, these people couldn't actually reduce the quality of my life by screwing up my credit! And that I really can live without those $80 pink pumps.

    Karla

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    14

    A little bit of advice

    www.fool.com has lots of good advice on getting out of debt and staying out of debt. I also recommend reading their books. There's also some other good book series like Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
    To sum up they say that the best way to end credit card debt is to budget your money to pay off your credit cards, and stop using your credit cards until they are paid off. When you pay cash, you don't have to pay interest. Things may get a little tight, but it will be worth it when you're out of debt. :)
    Brenda

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    809
    What about something like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (http://www.nfcc.org)?

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Little Rhody
    Posts
    112
    Ah, debt problems.

    I know about it all too well. Well at least your identity wasn't stolen too, (like me). Not that it is much consilation.

    I moved cross country with my boyfriend, and we had $500 between us, and I had some credit cards. We were totaly broke when we got here. I charged a lot of things because I couldn't afford them with my low payig job from the time. Mistake number one. Finally one day when I was desperate I called a phone number for CESI. I have been using them for the last three years, and I have two cards almost totally paid off, and the ones I charged a LOT on are about 1/3 paid down. It is a debt management company so that way I didn't have to declare bankruptsy. It has worked for me. I don't know specifically about your situation, but maybe it would be helpful.

    Here is the website for CESI:
    http://cesi-debt-free.org/

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    19
    www.DaveRamsey.com

    I first heard him on "This American Life" with Ira Glass. He is a very inspirational guy out of Nashville, TN that talks about getting and staying out of debt. He has actually gone bankrupt, rebounded and is now a millionaire. He has a daily radio show as well as past shows archived on his site. Yeah, he's a little too "preachy" for my taste but he only uses quotes from the Bible that reflects the situation. (i.e. "the borrower is the slave to the lender", etc.) He actually makes me want to go home and pay my bills with a "gazelle-like intensity".

    Get his book from the library and listen to a show or two. Since February my husband and I have paid off 3 credit cards and are in the process of purchasing our first home! I feel like I'm doing a commercial for him but if it wasn't for his show we'd still be up to our ears in debt.

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    446
    i strongly recommend suze orman's 9 steps to financial freedom and her other book, the courage to be rich.

    also, david bach's 'smart women finish rich' is a great guide. he also wrote 'smart couples finish rich.'

    start reading! you can get out of debt. you wouldn't believe how many others are in the same situation.

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    53
    Hello!

    I am sorry you are having a rough time. About seven years ago - I had some financial trouble and needed a consumer credit company.

    I went to CCC they are in Texas and you should be able to get the number from the !-800 directory. I'm pretty sure it is Consumer Credit Counseling - but they use their initials. (and its been seven years). But they were VERY nice, always treated me with kindness and were extremely polite. I would suggest giving them a call. I just wish I had the number off the top of my head to give to you. But I know they are in Texas.

    Good luck my friend. You are in my thoughts and my prayers.

    :) Abigaili

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    66
    My boyfriend was in debt when I met him. I didn't know that untill about 2 months into our relationship, I figured he was just broke.

    First thing I told him to do was to get rid of the things that were draining his money. He had a truck that had a couple grand yet to be paid, and it would be years before it would get paid off. He is going to take it back to the dealer and leave it there next week. He bought a piece of crap truck that runs well for a few hundred bucks. He knew the guy who owned it, and even though it looks like crap, it runs fine. Now, he has a truck that is paid for and doesn't have to be worried about.

    He's still in debt, but he's slowly creeping out of it. The car thing may not apply to you, but maybe there's something that's draining your account that can be traded in? I know it'll suck having not so nice things, but it will pay off later.

    I don't know if any of this applied to your situation or if it helped, but I wish you the best.

  11. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    51
    i don't know how this will apply to your situation but ...

    is there anyway that you can rent out your current house for a good monthly amount under the terms that it will only be available for a one year lease? when you move across the state you will need a place to live but maybe renting a small (inexpensive) place to live for 12 months will help you get back on your feet and at the same time you are collecting rent money from your tenants back home. the rent money would cover your current mortgage payment plus help pay off debt. also, the extra 12 months will help you build up more equity in your home when you resell.

    i know on the grand scale of things you are technically 'throwing' money away by renting instead of purchasing a house but it seems like you need to scale down in order to catch up. after the move, getting adjusted and paying off debt, sell your house and purchase a new one in your new town once your husband is settled in his new job and bringing in the income from clients. like i said, i don't know if this will help you out. it may go against what some would recommend but i have a friend who did something similar and it really helped her get ahead.

    in any case, good luck with everything. it will all work out in the end!


 
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