Brand New and starting over

Hi everyone! Like most in this blog, I am getting our family out of debt. We had some unfortunate and great things happen to us in 2015. We got married, had a baby(c-section without insurance) and both lost our jobs. Sounds fun right???? We moved into a more cost effective apartment and I am starting a job on Monday. Our families have been able to help us for almost a year now but we don’t want to owe them any more money than where we are at. We are $26,000.00 in debt which is what I will make this year. I filed for bankruptcy a few years ago and don’t plan on doing it again.

Any advice on how to start back over from scratch would be very helpful.

I’m open to discuss our situation further since we’re in the same boat.

Thanks a million!!!

Welcome to the blog:) I wanted to say congrats on your new baby! Also on your new job! Good luck with it! WIsh i had some suggestions but I don’t:( Good luck and i hope some here can help out more!


I’ve been reading as much as I can in the past few days. There’s a lot of great information on here.

Thanks again…it’s nice to “meet” you.

Merrick Bank

My hubby has been calling to get our high interest rate cards reduced.

HSBC was generous in their reduction, but Merrick won’t play. Their response was “Merrick Bank doesn’t lower interest rates.”

What a crappy attitude, don’t you think? We’ll probably have to open another card and try to transfer the account if possible.

Hubby refuses to call them again.

Has anyone else found a way to get Merrick to lower the interest rate?

What about Chase (used to be Providian)?

Huh… Sounds like Barclaycard. They don’t play either. In fact, they will raise it even more.

Chase was the first to use a dirty policy called universal default. They have their greedy hands all over the place in predatory lending, especially to those who can least afford it. Ever hear of loan to own?

I recenly saw on a morning show how the economy in Russia is improving and guess who is setting up credit card operations there ? Chase!

They showed one Russian couple saying how they wanted to get credit cards and redo their kitchen. Oh, I hope they know what they are getting into buying on credit. Not everyone who uses CC’s is going to get into trouble, but it’s not hard to fall in the trap and find oneself in a spiral of debt. Chase is just Citi with another name. Same old predator!

Wow, Chase! To me, they are the Freddie Kruger of financial institutions. We had a 2nd mortgage at one time with them, and they were really trying to screw us. They kept adding all these strange charges even though we paid ahead of the due date each month and they had some really bizarre explanations for what they were doing.

The balance never went down in almost 3 years. We also learned it was a balloon payment loan, which they never told us until after we had signed. There are lots of Citibank foreclosures in our area, so you know they are practicing predatory lending in many cases.

We finally refinanced the 2nd mortgage with a close friend, and we’re paying 7% interest for 15 years (are in 3rd year now) compared to 12% on the 2nd with Chase, which was originally with First Union Bank….I guess the larger banks just swallow up the smaller ones in order to increase their profits.

My husband is in the process of a balance transfer of the Merrick Card and the Chase (who bought Providian, who was the original cardprovider). At that point, we’ll cut up the cards but keep the accounts open to improve our ratio….with a plan to eventually close them.

Thanks for your feedback on this.

What did you have to say/do to get them to lower the interest rate?

I just called up to verify my interest rate. I told them that I thought it was 25% but it seemed awfully high. They said it was based on the prime rate and she checked and it was 23.99. I asked what i could do to lower it, I told her i pay alot a month (like last month i paid $400), and they raised my limit (i didn’t use the limit ) but it just seemed high. I told her none of my other cards are or ever been that high and just wondering what else i can do to help lower it in the future? She then asked what my rates were on my other cards and i told her 0, 6 and 11 i believe. I told her my Home depot was at 19 she asked if i could hold for 2 minutes max and came back and appoligized for my wait (was under 2 min) and said she talked to her supervisor and was told based on the prime rate (funny how my rate was based on the prime rate to start with ha ha) she could lower it to 14.99. My cash advance will still be 23.99. She asked if that was okay and i gave permission to change it.

I called to see if they’d lower it but made it sound like i was concerned about my rate and what else i could do to perhaps get it lowered in the future. I didn’t threaten to close it or anything and the lady i talked to was super nice.

btw this was my Chase card.

Here in Canada, there are some dept stores that charge 29% and they don’t call it interest, they call it service and administrative charges. There are loan companies that can charge up to 40%!! Citibank is one of them. Very scary…….

Ouch! 29% is really bad…40% is outrageous!

I did it :)

I called one of my cards that had an outrageous interest rate (23.99) and i called and got it down to 14.99! i’m not putting anything on the card of course but it helps with the monthly interest rate. I should have this card paid off in 2-3 months.

My working has helped get our balances down a lot. past month i’ve had a lot of vet bills and my paycheck paid those which otherwise i would have had to put on a card until my dh’s next paycheck so i’m very happy with that.

Just wanted to share my good news:) I never did that before!

Applause Applause!!!!!! My card I am fighting with is (Barclaycard) not working with me at all. It is their rigid attitude and no communication that has angered me no end. I an simply socking them down. I’m planning to pay about $120 every payday, that will rid me of them in about 6 months.

I want to just scream at their total disregard for this, and they just don’t care.

Maybe they take lessons from Citi?

Keep that up and you might be able to call these card companies on behalf of others and start a debt service.

thank you! I was actually surprised they didi t so easily ya know! I never did that before but figured the worst they could say is sorry can’t do it, ya know??

Good luck with getting yours piad down. I wish i knew when i turned 18 how evil CCs were. My parents taught me to save and how to balance my checkbook and i started working hwen i was 16, i helped my parents by paying for part of my school clothes/ supplies, paid for my phone and any other extra stuff i had at home (internet if i did), etc. WHen i was 18 i paid my mom rent (not alot but to help out ya know)… but i never really was told. hey be careful… yu can dig a deep hole.

But now i know and i am working on getting out. It’s bbeen a long journey but I see a vague light lolol

I am considering paying my way to long held credit card off

Hello, i am new to this group… only recieved a few emails so far…

BUT!!!!! i am considering paying my way -to – long held credit card off, in one whack, just to get rid of it. i know how much $$ i do owe, but i have heard, that sometimes if you talk to them, and tell them, you want to outright pay it off, they give you a break.

has anyone ever done this?? should i call and ask if they will do it?? who should i ask for? this is for a bank of America CC. we had it forever and all we ever did pay way too much in interest. anyhow, if anybody has any good ideas, i would be thankful. oohh, i will be gone till Tuesday, so i will be unable to respond to any emails.

If you can pay it all off at once… do it, except are you paying with money you’ve actually accumulated/received or are you paying it off with another line of credit or a loan of some sort at a lower interest rate? If the card you have has always had high interest, they may not budge, but you could always try calling them, or going into the bank personally to negotiate for a lower interest rate.

If they won’t work with you, there are literally thousands of creditors with lower interest rates (especially if you have a good credit score). Now if you are in jam with credit, it may be best to pay off any outstanding balances and stop uisng credit for awhile altogether. Learn to live within or lower than your means with a cash out of pocket budget, only. That is what I had to do. My life is so much simpler and free (mentally and emotionally) this way.

I suggested that he moves back home

I suggested that he move back home with his parents until he gets back on his feet. They also suggested the same thing. I have gone into my pocket and paid his last months rent. Thank goodness his car is paid off. But he is having a hard time getting the credit card bills paid. I have been there when the credit card company called and he will tell the customer service rep his situation. Then about 2 or 3 hours later they will call again except it will be someone different. I tell him to get their names and write down the times they call. I also suggested that he tell them that he was recording the calls. I have personally witnessed 9 calls in one day. Why do they even bother to call when they know he cannot pay and when he has already spoken to them once? Until he moves back in with his parents I am buying his food. The phone ringing constantly is harassment. I am trying to give him support through this situation and let him know that things will get better. Until then I am fighting for him and would like as much helpful information as possible.

Maybe your friend could stop answering the phone. Turn off the ringer and then check caller ID or messages for important messages to call back – once or twice a day. Just to avoid the physical hassle from the creditors/debt collectors. They will not listen, nor do they care one iota about personal problems. If he could move back in with his parents temporarily that would really help with getting rid of the debts, if they are supportive of that for a short time.

It’s happened to millions of young adults between the ages of 18-30. I don’t know how old he is, but I assume he is still fairly young and also since he is not a home owner, if he would prefer not live with his parents for whatever reasons, maybe he could find some roommates instead to alleviate his living expenses more. If there are other ways he could downsize his living expenses temporarily that would also be in his best interest to pay off those debts as fast as possible. Also, instead of applying for payday loans he should consider installment loans for bad credit from – they are a much better alternative because of their prolonged payment schedule.

I have more to add about your friends situation. Not for him, but for you and his parents. All of you need to be really careful, at just how much you continue to help him financially. I know some people are truly grateful and will only accept a little help. But there are more people, who once given help, expect more and more help, because it keeps them from actually helping themselves. Think about that and keep a caution up.

If he has been out of work for five months, now would be a time to for him to swallow the pride and maybe just take any job or jobs to start working somewhere/anywhere while searching for the wonderful job he really wants.

Working anywhere makes it easier for a potential employer to hire someone. That adage is very true- it’s easier to get a new job, when you have a job you are still with. And it’s better to have one or two incomes that were less than the prior job, than no income at all.

If you pay the full amount of a credit card

If you pay the full amount of a credit card, can the credit card company put “account written off” on your credit report and show a “0” balance? Is there anyway to get the “account written off” off your credit report?

I am confused by your statement :-/

If you pay off a debt in full, then it will be reported as “paid if full” and that is a good mark on your credit report, but…

If you are stating that you the debt is paid in full after the debt has been charged off then that is another story indeed…

Once a creditor has charged off, then they report this to the CRAs as a “charge off”. Then a CA will collect on this debt (or try). If the debtor pays the debt in full, then the CA can and should report it as “paid in full”, but the “charge off” will still remain.

That notation can only be taken off by the OC (original creditor) that reported it.

It would be best to deal with the OC rather than the CA if you want a “paid in full” and the “charge off” taken off.

Is that what you were looking for and does this help?

But the answer is Absolutely not.

“Charge-offs” can and should be removed from ones credit file. But to do that you have to get the creditor that put it there to take it off. So if the debt is very old then it can be very difficult to get it removed… but not impossible. This is like with cash advance loans – you only should opt to trusted and reputable websites like BigOnCash, OppLoans, LendingTree and a few others.

Helpful Advice Needed

I have a good friend that lost his job 5 months ago. He is still unemployed and having a hard time finding work. He has gone on several interviews so at least he is trying. The problem is he has several bills that cannot be paid due to his unemployment. What can he tell these creditors so that they will stop calling? Should he write a certified letter explaining his situation? Please give some advice because I want to help out as much as I can. I am paying some of his small bills, but the larger ones I cannot pay.

They can call all they want, but calling still won’t get the bills paid. So in essence they are wasting their time calling. I am sure there is something he can do. No one should be harassed by the phone constantly even if they are behind on bills. Alot of these creditors think that consumers don’t know laws, but lots of us do. Alot of these creditors do illegal things to collect that are downright rude. I am telling him to document every call and who he spoke with and also tell them that he is taping the conversations. I am going to tell him to take everyone’s advice here and send a certified letter to them. All of us will hit hard times at some point, even the rude creditors that call. No one’s job is guaranteed………

I am glad that you got your CC company to work with you. That’s the way things should be handled. But when you have already tried that and they still keep calling, thats when you have to take matters a little further. I will help my friend all I can and it pains me to see him going through this. That’s why I am on this group to find out what I can do and I have seen lots of great advice. I have seen several people on this forum that got the creditors to stop calling, so it is possible……..

I’m so sorry about your friends situation. We have been in the same situation for a year now. We only pay the necessities (home, utilities, food,basic phone line and transportation) until we can do more. It’s awfully hard to pay for something when you have no job. Is he trying for any state assistance for food or anything? We hated to do that but we can now eat and not worry about that expense until mt first paycheck.

As far as the phone calls, I’m looking for the same information. We ended up turning the phone off and reconnecting with a new one.

Drastic…isn’t it? But we were getting no help from the creditors. No matter what we told them, they just kept harrassing us. I’m not telling you to do that, we felt like that was our only option.

There’s nothing worse than getting 40 phone calls in a day and not one of them being a potential employer, but bill collectors. I know he’s frustrated but it will get better.

I hope someone here has better advice for him.

Savings accounts question

Does anyone have any recommendations for savings accounts?

Any idea on how to start saving when on a budget too would help. I am thinking I need to start saving a few hundred a month even though I have some credit card debt. Is it better to pay that off first before saving? I just think I’d feel better if I had some savings.

I started a savings with ING recently. It does, like you said, have a good interest rate. I liked the fact that it was a very small minimum to start, as opposed to some accounts.

CapitalONe advertises on these online banners about a direct savings also, which they say is 5.00%. But I don’t know any other details about it. Also, HSNB (Household) has an online savings, too.

I like ING very well. No complains, only praises. This is a good place to start for a savings account. You can also try, which is one of ING’s competitors. Both offer high interest rates and are easy to start online; they sometimes offer promotions, like $25 for opening an account. Check them out and see. Just don’t get tempted to keep moving your money from one bank to another, chasing the higher rates. It’s just not worth the effort.

If you have no savings at all, you should definitely start building up a cash reserve for emergencies, even if you have credit card debt. Give yourself a modest goal to start, say $1000. Then get in the habit of paying yourself first, that is, having a set amount (it can be small $10, $25, or $50) automatically deducted from your paycheck or checking account after each payday and put into your savings account. (Both ING and Emigrant offer this feature, called automatic transfer). Only use the savings for emergencies that require a lot of immediate cash, such as if your car breaks down or the refrigerator goes on the fritz. Once you reach your goal, celebrate! Then shoot for the goal of building up 3 to 6 months of living expenses. When you achieve that, you’re really on your way to true financial freedom.

As for the credit cards, pay the monthly minimums on all of them, but additionally pay as much as you can on the one with the smallest balance first. After you pay that one off, continue paying the same amount you paid to the paid-off card, but apply it to the one with the next highest balance. That way, you are paying a higher and higher amount each month to a single card, effectively “snowballing” your debt payments until you get the cards all paid off.

You didn’t consider corporate power

Corporations, which as legal creations actually have rights above humans, didn’t exist yet.

Voting for a candidate simply because he’s a member of your party or because he appears to be a man of faith is always the wrong thing. Faith isn’t enough. Throughout recorded history it’s been said in many ways that those who hide behind the cross or wrap themselves in the flag are typically scoundrels and we have to dig much deeper than that to get to the truth of a person’s honesty and commitment to a civilized life.

We’ve lost our Republic (many think it’s a Democracy). We’ve actually arrived at a point where corporate lobbyists write our laws, elected representatives don’t even read the bills they vote on, to say nothing about an executive, a man who proclaims his faith, who actually said about the Constitution that “it’s just a goddamned piece of paper” and signs nearly every new law with a statement saying that it doesn’t apply to himself. We’re in big trouble.

A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.

Bertrand de Jouvenal

That was quite interesting. I went onto the Larry Winget website and listened to one of his interviews. I don’t have cable TV so I’ll probably never see the show. He makes a lot of sense – but in a lot ways of ways -it’s the same stuff… different guy… different day. I mean liked it, but the interview I heard was about taking personal responsibility for problems in your life and I’ve been telling that to people I try to help for years now. Especially with the consequences of getting into bad credit card debt and how changing their attitudes about that can also be directed to many other areas of their lives for a free-er, more happy lifestyle. Unfortunately I don’t have the money – for mass media marketing! LOL.

Update on Things and a Thank You!!!

Since 6/6/15 I have decreased my debt from $12,602 to $11,832! I use the debt analysis chart for balance, interest rate, finance charge, date due.

My overtime money and every dime I can spare now goes to the debt monster.

I managed to get my interest rate lowered from Citi from 31% to 23.34%!

I never knew what I owed until I made the chart! I was always late with payments not realizing the overlines and late fees. Now I am current with everyone. I initially almost went with a credit counseling service but decided to go it alone. I built a cushion so I pay bills when they are due, on the websites of each creditor so I know they got their payment before the due date.

I enjoy reading everyone’s experiences in this website! I look forward to getting all the e-mail from adidamseattle!

You guys have been a lifesaver to me. I appreciate all of you stories thoughts and insights and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all.

WTG!!! That is such a good chunk you did in such a short time!

I also didn’t realize how much debt we had and where we had it till i made a chart. Since I made the chart I have paid much more on our accounts!

Keep up the good work!

Where is the debt analysis chart? This video explains US debt changes in general:

I got the job!

I got the job! i applied and i had my interview yesterday for the regular part time position. Same job, same store (diff location). only diff is i’m not temp. and i can earn time off, sick pay and 401k. same hours so i’m psyched. The manager contacts HR and they’ll contact my store about when i switch. I’m so happy and i just had to share. Marc was the first person i told. 🙂 He happened to just be online! I”m thrilled! Same pay and hours and store just a different location and i get benefits! 🙂

Congratulations!!!!!! Fantastic news for you!!!!

Simple math

OK, because of Barclaycard being so hard nosed, my fella is going to put them into his Credit Union’s Platinum card at 12% APR so I currently owe $1638,00 on Barclaycard’s bill.

What is roughly the interest and how much per month would be good to be rid of the debt in say a year or less?? Barclaycard’s APR worked out their finance charges are $39.20 a month. So my fella’s card will be about $18.00-$20.00 a month.

Barclaycard had hiked me up to 26.40%APR, so this is under half that. The balance over 12 months is $136.66 a month. So I’m thinking $160.00 a month would cover it… about $80.00 per payday.

He isn’t putting the year timeline on it, *I* am.

Getting started

I went through and started by listing everyone that I owe. It’s kind of humbling to find out that you have 42K in debt and don’t make that in a year. I have 3 kids, work 2 jobs and am trying to go to school. While that debt does include my house and car, I messed up with getting those Pay Day loans and am now trying to pay those off. Another thing that I have had to do that may sound silly is constantly watch my bank account. (I didn’t do this before!). Money goes everywhere. What suggestions do you have for saving $$$ that can be put into lowering your debt. We have downgraded to basic cable, basic phone, and done the average billing on utilities. What else can I do?

I’ve seen /heard interviews by the author of this book this week. Sounds interesting. I haven’t bought it though.. may check it out at the library.

Yep, that’s another reason why many folks can’t find a reasonable job in the USA. Our companies send the jobs over to India, China and other places. The biggest kick in the pants? Many of the soon to be displaced workers are ordered to TRAIN their replacements…!

I had never heard of those words “military industrial complex”

I had never heard of those words “military industrial complex” until my husband mentioned it. He is a retired Army officer with 28 years of military service. It’s scary.. makes me think about the war in a whole new light. Bottom line is always money!

Something funny just came to my mind, Lisa. Speaking of her – maybe I should follow in her footsteps as far as her way of getting out of a predicament – latch on to and marry a guy with money! LOL!

I hear ya!!! Nah, I’m WAAAAYYYY to independent now to do that! But she was a smart one wasn’t she?

Doesn’t always work… sometimes the guy is a tightwad! !! LOL

That Dr. who started that fire in NYC to destroy the building that his wife would get in the divorce settlement sounds like he was a real winner! Funny though…she’ll get that property now and it is worth a lot with that building gone… and he’s gone too!

That would be my luck! LOL. Boy, did his plan backfire on him!

Yes, she was! She had, what Margeret Mitchell said of the character, “gumption”. But, you know – if you really think about it, it is a story of collapse then fighting and clawing your way back out. At least she had more gumption than that ol’ sissy Ashley Wilkes! LOL.

Thanks for all your efforts. Wish all employers were the same way. As I mentioned, my employers that I have had have taken profits, etc and put them into income property for themselves leaving us without health insurance, retirement, or anything else.

I’d love to open a retail shop but of course with the prices in SF it is too prohibitive without incurring more debt.

Ironically if I were starting some software or hardware company and could convince some venture capitalists it was a good idea, they would gladly turn over a bunch of money to me and it wouldn’t matter if I paid it back or not.

As a small business owner for over 30 years

As a small business owner for over 30 years, I never got a handout or even a low interest or government guaranteed loan to help me enrich the economy, employ people and create something from nothing. Instead, I signed personal guarantees and secured loans. I’ve employed over a hundred people and paid for their health insurance, overtime and vacations. If we want a culture that encourages people to do the same as I’ve done, then we should provide more of a safety net for people like myself who find themselves in hard times through no fault of their own.

I don’t believe that the government OWES people the things you mention.

This is a very rich country however, and we have the CHOICE of how we can spend our riches. For too long I think, the decision has been to starve real social needs and investment in people, entrepreneurship and infrastructure while we spend unlimited funds on what Eisenhower warned would be the ruination of our country – “the military industrial complex” – this from a man who knew both the military and the government from in insider’s perspective.. It’s a matter of priorities and core values. It’s worth looking up his words. Another not so famous quote is the following:

President Dwight Eisenhower, Republican, uttered these words on November 8, 1954:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

“Incidentally, I notice that everybody seems to be a great Constitutionalist until his idea of what the Constitution ought to do is violated–then he suddenly becomes very strong for amendments or some peculiar and individualistic interpretation of his own.”