Re: $16600 in credit card debt

If your credit is good and you only have the two cards have you looked into transferring a balance to a 0% interest on the balance card? maybe you can play the “transfer the balance game” as one of my friends calls it. It enabled her to pay off her debt rather quickly but you have to have good credit to do this. She would transfer her balance to a zero interest card and then pay as much as she could..

above and beyond while she wasn’t accruing interest then when the 6 months or year was up she would transfer what was left to a new card and do the same. You have to have good credit and you MUST be self disciplined for this to work. When you transfer that balance to that zero interest card they required min. payments are next to nothing and its a BIG temptation to just pay that and not actually pay it down but go buy some clothes or go out to dinner or something else instead lol see what I mean!?

You have to be serious and pay like there is no tomorrow. If you do that you can pay it down rapidly and get it under control but most people just don’t have that control and the credit card companies and banks know this that is why they offer it.

Option 1: $17K debt is not too bad. You might want to ask and borrow from several family members or relatives and pay back with no interest every month. It worked for me. Otherwise, it will take forever to pay it off with interest!!!

Option 2: Get a part-time job (evenings or weekends only) as a server for quick cash.

Hi! I’m 23k in credit card debt and just transfered 4k to a zero % for 12 months….I don’t think I can pay it off in the 12 months but I just downsized my cable to the basics and am saving $50 a month there, I paid off another cc and that was $30mo, another which was $50 a month, and from the transfer I totaled that I have been paying $200 a month towards those 4 things…which I will just have to force myself to pay towards the one I just transfered. I think that is the hard part…seeing that I do have the $200….because with the large amount of debt I feel like I don’t have it…but if I look at what I have been paying…I actually do…it’s paralyzing…wish me luck!

Can you set the $200 up on auto-pay (through your bank’s bill pay system) for your payday? Because that way the $200 sends itself and you never saw it, you never miss it!!! Its worked for me.

I can relate! I got a very tiny tiny little bump in pay and decided to put half of the “raise” towards our mortgage payment and half of it to the credit card with the lowest balance, to start that “snowball” debt payoff plan. It’s amazing how that extra money can get sucked into the vortex of daily expenses, but I’m determined to stick with this plan!

I know we’ll never make progress until we pay more than minimum payments, and $50 extra in a payment will ultimately be more satisfying that a couple of dinners out. At least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself when I pay bills. :) Good luck! Be strong!

Put the credit cards in a metal soup can and fill with water and put in the freezer. That way, you have to “wait” for it to thaw before you can attempt to use them and you can’t put the metal can in the microwave! Thanks to for that tip.

So, take a small note pad with you and write down everything you are spending, and you must write down everything. Evaluate your costs after 2 weeks and again in 2 more weeks. You can categorize and see where you are spending the most. If you are spending too much on take out, lunches or dining out, STOP. Take your lunch from home and eat at home. Shop with cash at the grocery store and prepare a written list of items you need for home cooking. Evaluate everything in your pantry and do not over buy! If you are spending more on transportation costs, look at area transportation benefits. It may not apply in your area, that’s fine, look at carpooling with a fellow neighbor who works nearby. You drive one week and they drive the next week.

The most important piece of advice is change your way of thinking. You may think everything is an emergency and it may not “really” be an emergency. Ask yourself, Do I really need it? Have that conversation with yourself. You may be surprised with the answer.

$16600 in credit card debt

I have 2 cards, one that is for “emergencies” (which is always because I never have money in my account) and another that I simply pay down, and have the card filed away. Between the two of them I have almost 17K in debt and like everyone else in the US right now I can’t afford anything. I live off of soup and bread, try not to drive other than to and from work, cut down my tv to the basic channels, wash laundry only after 9, etc etc.

Does anyone have any other ideas to save money, make money, condense, specific cards for my type of situation, or otherwise? I am literally at my wits end and want to see a financial counselor but dont have the money to do that!!!

credit card debtsStart with a budget…. Put the cards in the freezer…… so you can’t use them without some serious thought.

Write down what you will bring in for the month. Write down what you MUST spend (rent, utilities, insurance – the every month regular bills) With what is left, budget for food and gas and debt payments.

Spend cash only. When the cash is gone, no more…..

This works. It is not easy. But it works. You simply have to spend less than you earn. There are lots of ways to save money, but the most important one is to make sure every dollar has a home before it arrives in your hands.

Its awful, I know, but I took a second job……then you could make double payments or something to get ahead and be beyond the minimum…..I just work 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday being a cashier, in addition to my regular 9-5- do it for six months and sock all that extra into the card payments…….or try to settle, which isn’t good for your credit rating. I ended up trying to settle…

I live in the Bay Area and was supporting my kids and the rent is so high to handle alone I ended up being unable to pay. So I signed up with a debt settlement company and give them an amount I can afford each month…it isn’t good for your credit and there can be legal ramifications, but that is what I did. I felt better morally paying something instead of BK. But it is scary. And, since I can’t pay much each month, I have been on the settlement program since May 2007, and only one creditor has been settled! The upside is they accept 30-40% of the total.

I think there has to be a period of NOT paying though…and like I said, I haven’t paid in over two years, except to the settlement company. You can also settle by yourself, there are sample letters on the Internet…..just negotiate yourself. BUT if you want to keep the cards and the rating, I would get a second job- I did Bed Bath and Beyond, who always needs weekend/evening checker, and I always hear that Starbucks also needs that (and they pay fairly well)…working every day isn’t so bad, it can be done! Best of luck.

You’re doing whatever you can on the expense side, and it’s the income side that needs to grow. Any classes to take to prepare for a bigger job & Income possible?

Credit counseling is free, at least the first initial visit to evaluate your situation. I am in Michigan and used a company called Greenpath. If your employer offers an employee assistance program, they should be able to refer you to a good reputable free credit counselor in your area.

To make extra money, I started cleaning houses part time in the evenings and weekends. I make an extra $400 to $600 a month…..Just an idea for you….

For extra money my son donates plasma twice a week and earns 260.00 a month doing that. I know it’s not much but it’s a little something and you help others in return.

We spoke today with a bankruptcy attorney

We spoke today with a bankruptcy attorney and are filing chapter 7 which wipes out all debt and is afresh restart. We are keeping both of our cars but are giving up the house.

In order to know the benefits of filing BK you need to know the exemptions of your state. Google “bankruptcy exemptions” or go to for a free bankruptcy site. Individuals basically have two choices chapter 7 or chapter 13. Chapter 13 is the more difficult and lengthy of the two and should only be used if you can’t past the “means” test and/or you are behind in payments to secured property(e.g. mortgage,car loan). In Chapter 13 you file a plan with the court to pay off some portion of your debt over 3 to 5 years. Here is the video:

In Chapter 7 your nonexempt assets are liquidated by a trustee if you have any and used to pay your creditors. Another suggestion is to look at nolo’s site find their books on bankruptcy and see if they have them at your local library. I haven’t filed yet but expect to pretty soon. I’ve learned a LOT from these resources. Once you know the details you can decide if you want to hire a lawyer or file pro se.

A few years ago my brother and his live-in girlfriend split up and he filed bankruptcy. She took out some credit cards in his name, which he didn’t find out about until after the split. he was able to keep his house and car. talk with the lawyer. i believe he did a 7. don’t go buy what others say, ask someone who knows the law. Besides, if they take your car(s) then you’ll be without a way to get to and from work.

Do a google search on both. The laws have changed but even still.. you are allowed a certain amount in assets. They dont just swoop in and take everything you own(I have filed chapter 7 and its slated to fall off of my credit report in 2009)but the laws are different now and a bit more strict. Still.. its more then likely the best option from what you’ve described and the only one who can tell for sure would be an attorney who specializes in BK.

Since they dont own the home free and clear and still carry a mortgage odds are they can keep it no problem they will have to “re affirm” that debt- meaning their mortgage company will be notified that they are filing for BK and they then will send them a letter asking them to “re affirm” or re commit to this debt and thats all they have to do. Same with the cars if they still have an outstanding loan on them.

They really only need to be concerned if they have more assets or own more assets that are valued more then the actual debt(which from what you described are medical bills) then they may be forced to pay or liquidate what they have. If they still have a mortgage on their house then its not entirely an asset yet, same with the cars etc. They should be able to get a free consultation by phone and/or in person to any number of qualified BK attorneys in their area.


  1. a couple cards I am actually paying under a “collection” status
  2. rest of my cards I am making at least min. if not a little bit over every month – probably a total of $7,000 in those
  3. we turned in our one vehicle that was leased when my hubby lost his job.
  4. yup I lost my BIG paying job with benefits in October then he lost his in February.
  5. we have a camper we use as a place to stay when we go up to visit family ( 4 dogs travel with us- cheaper than boarding) but are getting close to reposession cause they will not allow us to make partial payments that I have offered to do every time they call.
  6. we may have an opportunity to buy the house we are renting but afraid what it will do if we file.


Secure construction loan

Hello.. I am going to try to make this as short as possible… Last year I lost my home in forclosure. We now rent and in ten months have given complete stangers almost 17k to live in there house for 10 months. My credit is wrecked and wasnt that great to begin with…

I am considering Bankruptcy. However there may be a last glimmer of hope for my wife, three children and I. My Father owns a piece (4 acres)of property in Framingham Massachusetts. He has promised a portion (1/2 acre) of this land to me. A building lot in Fraingham is 1/4 of and acre and run about 150k-200k per quarter acre.

I was wondering… with my terrible credit history. Will I be able to get a secure loan to build a house on that property and if so will bankruptcy help or hurt my situation.. I owe quite a bit of money probable 15k and this is why I am considering Bankruptcy. I only had experience with no credit check payday loans from TbnLoans, but this time it’s something different. Please help me ASAP.

Who has experience filing bankruptcy?

Friends of mine are in serious financial trouble. The husband had cancer two years ago and he is self employeed, their insurance was awful and now they are tens of thousands of dollars in debt and are at risk of losing their home. They own a home (still have a mortage on it) and two vehicles. When you file BK, does the bank take everythign you own? What is the best to file? Ch 10? Ch 13? What is the difference? Experiences please?

Hey, my husband and I filed a chapter 13 years ago. When we had just had our 3rd child my husband got reall sick and he was out of work and because of a mix up at his job (the correct papers not filed when a change was made for workmans comp) we could not pay any of our bills.

We had several credit cards to the max. It was really bad. We had credit people calling nonstop and some of them were very ugly. (one lady told me to get off my #@#@# and get a job so I could make the payments!) Even after he was ablew to go back to work they wanted all there back payment right THEN. It was not possible for us to ever catch up.

Watch this video with good tutorial:

Anyway, we found out about the chapter 13 and I will say that it was a godsend for us!!!! We went in that day, sat down with a lawyer, told him our situation, gave him our credit bills and by the time we left that place he was taking care of everything!

He called all of our creditors and sent a letter of cease and desist and we never got another call. We went to court and it was in and out..noine of the creditors showed up and fought it. We were given a payment plan that we could afford and sent it to the chapter thirteen office every month and they paid a portion to each creditor.

We stayed on it for 3 years, I think it was and that was it. It stayed on our credit for 7 years but we were able to bring our credit back up. As a matter of fact we ended up getting 3 credit cards over the last 3 years.

Then my husband lost his job and he was out of work for over 6 months and we ended up charging to much on those 3 cards and when he went back to work he just wasn’t making what he was before so just recently we got behind in our payments cause we ciuldn’t make the minium payments anymore, so late fees and over the limit fees got us behind AGAIN.

This time we refinanced our house and used the equity to pay off a loan and 1 of the bigger of the credit cards leaving us with two cards left that are behind. My husband is working with them and so far it is looking good. They are really working with us so far.

We actually was working with CCCS but it’s been really slow and while waiting on that we were getting further behind and getting 20 calls a day from 8 am till 9 pm from creditors. So my husband called the last two creditors and talked to them and if they do what they say, they will waive the late fees and over the credit fees and make our monthly payments more where we can afford them.

With lower finance charges we should be paid them off in less than 4 years. Which it would take 20 years to do with the finance charges the way it is now. Of course the cards will have to go but we have desided that if we can not pay cash then we won’t get stuff. We NEVER want to get be in this place ever again. That’s my story. Sorry it was so long. Hope it helps.

P.S. We did not own a home at the time of our chapter 13 but unless things have changed and I remember correctly the lawyer said that we would not have lost our home or car if we had owed owed on them. But check it out for sure first cause this was years ago and I don’t know for sure.

Update on my progress – good news!

house mortgageHi everyone, I have received a lot of great advice and reference information from this forum since having joined some months ago. I have also found Dave Ramsey’s resources to be very helpful.

I had really dug myself into a hole simply by taking on too much debt. There are so many times when things seemed hopeless, and I didn’t even know if I could get current because of all the fees and stuff I was paying – I’d catch up one place and fall behind in another.

I was also one of those caught up in the subprime mortgage situation (payed 11.75% initially which adjusted upward to 12.50% this Feb.). When I got behind in my mortgage payments, I was able to set up a 12- month forbearance plan with my mortgage company starting one year ago April, and completed it this April – one victory!

I then found out I had an extra monthly payment due that same month of my last forbearance payment(long story short), plus the extra amount due since my ARM adjusted up in February. I told them I couldn’t cover that right away and asked for alternatives. While I explored possibilities my mortgage company was taken over by another company and I received a notice of default. Things seemed to be going backwards again.

I called the mortgage company several times, explaining I could not make a double payment in one month … we talked about a loan modification.

Fast forward to today (certainly didn’t feel fast – it felt like a decade!) … my negotiator at the mortgage company called today … my modification has been approved AND they are giving me a new mortgage rate of 6% !! (Amazing since my FICO is still around 500.)

My next payment isn’t due till Oct. 1. It’s still an ARM, but I am going to jump on the opportunity to work hard on my FICO and refinance to a fixed as soon as I can.

Can’t believe this has happened. This year has been grueling – I have been working out repayment plans with all my creditors myself. Sometimes I had to request new arrangements. But I kept paying and paying, and I seem to be creeping ahead. I still have a ways to go, but in October I’ll get a bonus which will go towards debts, and my spreadsheet is increasingly in the black, and balances are going down. I keep a list of everything I paid off just to give me a boost if I get discouraged.

My thanks again to this group. I couldn’t have found my way without it. I just had to share the good news because I am feeling hopeful for the first time in a long time.

Re: New to forum and need some help

Hi, it’s been almost a year since you asked your question, anyway, here’s my input:

Thats a lot to take in….but let me offer a few suggestions.

We are in a similar situation…not that large of a scale as we only have 2 children, I stay home with them and work from home (work for myself- which is NOT a stable income), my husband works fulltime and just started working parttime on top of that to help us make ends meet…unfortunately. He will now be working every day of the week. We have been living off of credit cards a bit too much also….groceries, gas.

First, do a little homework and see, but I think with bankruptcy now you still have to pay off your debtors, you just get some leniency (and bad credit maybe?)…but I’d check on that. Look for a FREE LEGAL AID office in your community. Go online or check the phone book.

Second, for childcare while you work… check your local Health Department or Department of Human Services or whatever they call it where you live and ask about childcare assistance that you may qualify for. WE make a little too much for HEAD START but we qualified for the E.L.I program and my 4 yr. old will be starting preschool this month with NO cost for us….and I believe we can keep in full days if we need to….in fact there is a minimum of hours he needs to be there to qualify for the free aid but I think we can use the maximun hours they are open which is about 11 hrs a day. NOW- I am not leaving him there all day…just so you know. But 5 hrs or so a day gives me time to work on my home business and keep my 2yr old with me…etc.

Third, I saw an Oprah series awhile back where a few families were given help through financial coaches(?)….and they proved that sometimes you can get the credit card companies to lower your interest rates I think? You have to threaten the card company sometimes with the “if you don’t give me a better rate, I will stop using you and go to another card company”…..but say it nice and be sure you mean it. They are making money off you!

To help make money at home I sell on ebay…you can see my link below…, I also do childcare for people, but usually I only watch one child parttime because its a hard thing to do and I have the ebay biz also. I also buy and sell gently used clothing and resell it at a local church sale making maybe $200-300 a year….I take my things to a consignment store and as my items sell there I opt to not take the check…I keep the money on account and when she has her end of season “bag” sale…I shop big! I can use the money on my account and I’ve gotten around 200 or more items for almost nothing before. Be creative, look for ways you can make that extra money and save those extra bucks. Check out some of my other article I’ve written at this other link also.

Best Wishes! Hope these helped. All in all…I give credit to the Lord really for keeping us afloat…we have used credit and tried to cut back, etc…but its almost a miracle I’ve been able to stay home with my kids at all these 4 yrs.. He takes care of us and he’ll do the same for you if you allow him! We don’t want to carry a balance from month to month and we haven’t had much interest at all to pay ….we are trying to change our lifestyle where we need to (I don’t know that theres much room to change though:) ) so we don’t have to rely on credit for necessities and not be able to pay them off monthly. We’re muddling our way through as well! You’re not alone! Check out these links and see if any of the info gets you thinking about creative ways you can get ahead at home.

Also, Have you read Total Money Makeover by

Staying current on your bills but not having money to eat and live doesn’t work. You are not your credit score and I know the feeling that “My name is on it, I need to pay it.” Totally agreed. But right now, you are in a tough spot. Drop the CC payments and focus on making a budget that will allow you to eat and live. Once that is under control, then you can grow to the point where you can start paying again.

New to forum and need some help

Hi all,

I am new to the group and we are looking for some advice/ help. First let me introduce us. I am Kitty and my husband is Matt. We have 5 kids ages 1, 3, 4, 6, 12. I would tell you the whole story of how we ended up where we are now, but I will sum it up quickly since I figure it really doesn’t matter with regard to how to get out if it! We moved to the US (Matt is from England, I am American) in 2004 and replaced everything we owned since it was too expensive to ship our stuff here. About 8 wks later we lost everything in hurricane Ivan. We live in NW Fl. We moved to GA to get back on our feet and then about 2 yrs after that we came back to FL. In hind sight, we should have stayed in GA, our GREAT opportunity wo come home turned out not to be so great. Anyway, we now find ourselves with more bills than we can pay. None if it is from big TV’s and new cars, etc. It is all from needing to pay for food, gas, and normal bills.

I went back to work after Ivan as we couldn’t afford for me to stay home any longer. But, with the kids and the cost of daycare, we work opposite shifts as much as we can. I can’t afford daycare. In order to do that, I have to work part time. Matt picks up side jobs very often to make up some extra cash, but it is not enough. We have people that owe us over 5000, but I can’t make them pay. If they would, it would help so much! And it is for work we completed already- months ago. If they had paid us, it would be saving me well over 100 a month just in interest, never mind the normal payments on things! I am so angry about this….

With the economy now, our employer, Home Depot for both of us, is cutting hours. I get about 4 a week and a couple of time I have not gotten any hours at all. Plus, my oldest who is from a previous relationship has decided to live with his biological father. We all get along and so for the first year of this he let me keep the child support and not pay him anything. But now, they need it back. I am not paying him, but sending him back the 300 a month he sends me. We have cut out everything we can. We don’t have cable or a home phone, etc.

We are trying to sell our house since we now can have one less bdr with my oldest not living with us. It would save us a lot of money. But, we have an equity loan and if we factor that into the price of the house, we just can’t sell it. I am sure I could sell it for what we owe if we could pay that off and do it FSBO. We also have a vehicle we have been trying to sell for 9 months. We don’t need it anymore, but it is an Explorer Sport and no has even called. Again, I would have to drop the price more that I am able. I don’t know how else to come up with the money to pay the difference. We have tried trading both of our vehicles for another single used one. We can’t get anything that we can afford even by doing that.

I have jobs apps out so that maybe I can find a second job to make up some hours, but it is hard when my available hours would be different every week. See, Matt can’t have a set schedule at Home Depot. We have asked the company to give me a position that works 4 am to 1 pm and then he would step down from Dept manager to do freight at night. Then we could both work full time again. They won’t do it because it is ‘showing favoritism.’ We are trying to get a countertop/ flooring business off the ground, but again, we can’t get jobs because of the economy and because we can’t go ‘put the out’ as we are working so many ours other places to try to keep up.

I have called our creditors. Basically the response I get is that they won’t help because our accounts are current. They are current because we pay our bills, then have to charge food and gas. But now, the cards are about maxed, and we never wanted them to live off of anyway. Plus, my hours have gone down so much that even though it has always been tight for us, now we simply can’t pay even the bills. I have 1600 of bills left to pay this month and we will only get about 1100 or 1200 on payday. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that does not work. The bank did defer our car payment for 2 months last year, but they can’t do it again for 2 years. I have talked with debt consolidation co’s and it doesn’t seem like it would make a big enough difference in our monthly payments to be worth it. I have advertised for a roommate for 400 a month and we will see what comes of that.

I just feel like we have exhausted everything I can think of, but I am sure there still has to be a way! Though we have managed to stay current, that will no longer be possible starting the end of this month. I tried doing the right thing and talking to everyone in advance. I told them the situation and that I want to remain in good standing with them and not have to file bankruptcy, etc. I asked them to work with us for a couple of months, so that it would ‘buy me time’ to get another job to make up the lost hours, etc. No one seems to care. What am I missing? They will help people that are already behind, etc, but they won’t help me not end up in that position?!?

We want our quality of life back. We want to actually see each other again and be able to let my daughter do gymnastics for 75 for 12 weeks. I can’t. I have tried and feel I am missing something. I don’t want to file Ch7; I loose the many benefits of USAA membership and then there is all the regular stuff that goes with it. Plus, I very strongly feel that no matter why or how we ended up in debt, it is our responsibility to pay those debts. That is what I am trying to do…. But, then my husband says, and I see his point, we can rebuild a credit score, save and pay cash, etc. We can never make up this time with our kids as they grow. On that note, anyone else have any ideas? I mean, if we are going to have to file, I might as well do it now and start putting the difference in savings and getting us back on track and not put it off. But if there is a way out, then I want to do that. I want to know that I have done everything in my power before I file anything! I know so many people that have done it and they say that they are fine and are glad they did. But, in the end I am paying off their debt with higher prices, etc. I don’t want to contribute to that. maybe I just have too great a sense of personal responsibility, lol! Ok, now I am rambling. Please, please, tell me I am missing something and that there is a better way out!

Thanks in advance and thanks for taking the time to read and reply to the long msg.

Question about debt mediation


I’ve been reading through messages and am encouraged by all the information here. I’m a new member on We are facing some real problems currently. Our home’s value has fallen by more than $25,000 in the last six months. We aren’t behind on it and are working hard to pay our mortgage down.

We are, however, facing serious credit card problems. With a loss of employment and large medical bills, we’ve made some poor choices. All of our debt is from those factors now.

My question is, is debt mediation a good option? I received an offer from one company where they will collect a monthly payment from us and pay our lenders to settle the debt. But, in a phone call to them, we learned they want you to hold off on all payments to lenders and let the credit go bad. Then, as they accumulate enough money to work with one of the lenders, they negotiate a settlement. We could be paid off in 2 years.

We filed bankruptcy about four years ago, do to massive doctors bills from a heart condition. I’m worried about paying a company and not getting results. Any advice or perhaps suggestions? We appreciate your advice as we learn how to fix this problem.

Try to work with the CC companies yourself. You’ll have more control on who you pay what. If you get saddled into a large monthly payment to a place like this you might find yourself worse off. Unfortunately, since you’ve filed BK previously I would think you might know this but dont know what you filed, you have to become delinquent on your cards before the companies will work with you. They are determined to give you a neg. mark on your credit report. Basically no one will work with you until you default. I know, sounds stupid and it is. Makes no sense to me but that is the way it is. Also even tho you filed BK there are time limits but depending on which you filed you can file the other- meaning if you filed chapter 7 at some point you can file chapter 13 if needed

I’ve heard of that kind of debt mediation before, but something about it sounds fishy to me. There’s probably some legal stuff I just don’t know about, but letting everything get worse before starting a plan…it just doesn’t seem logical. To me. Maybe there’s some others on here that have gone that route successfully and can tell you more about it. There’s some non-profit credit counseling agencies out there that can give you some other options to consider. Good luck!

Stay far, far, far away from those companies. Very little of your money actually goes to the debt and a nice “contribution” goes into their pockets….