$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.

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