Getting out of debt can happen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Getting out of debt can happen
6
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 12:22pm
4 months ago, I was in a really bad place. I was getting a divorce, I had $80K in student loans, $10K in a car loan, and the worst part is 17K in credit card debt. I love my job but don't make a ton of money (about $38K) and I live in an area with a really high cost of living (outside Washington DC). I had no savings, I lived paycheck to paycheck and I had to borrow from Peter to pay Paul. I never defaulted on any payments and I was never late more than 30 days, but I kept racking up more and more debt.

Well things are starting to look up. I sold the house (after only owning a year) and paid off 15K in credit card debts. I am refinancing my car loan and I will save $50 a month, plus saving in total interest. I am consolidating my student loans and even though my total payment over 30 years will be astronomical I will be able to swing the monthly payments. I still have about $2K in credit card debt but I also have $2K in savings. I am going to use about half that to pay the credit card debt and then I am going to chip away at the rest. I still don't make very much and I still have to scrape by. I am reading some financial books and learning about saving. I hope in another 6 months to start putting a small amount a month in a 401k for retirement (obviously I have no retirement right now). Sometimes I am horrified that at 28 I am finally learning how to be financially responsible. Other times I give myself credit for crawling out of the hole. It can be done, just keep at it!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 12:46pm
Wow, I send a big "congratulations" your way. Four months ago in the midst of what I'm sure was a very emotional period, you had a choice to make: to use spending as an emotional "crutch" and continue adding to your debt (or at least maintaining it at its current level), or to make the hard decision to do what was necessary to work it down. It couldn't have been easy and you made a real sacrifice: you sold your home. But look at the dividends you received: your CC debt nearly wiped clean, a refinanced car payment and a manageable monthly student loan payment. You should be really proud of the choice you made -- admirable for anyone of any age. Way to go.
Avatar for zaboz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 1:44pm
That's wonderful! It sounds like you're definitely on your way.

Congratulations for making some smart decisions. Trust me, you're not too old.

It's sad to think, but many people never figure out how to manage money.

Give yourself credit for pulling it together! It's a huge accomplishment.

You've basically changed the course of your life!

Avatar for mrslove2000
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 3:11pm
That is great news! You should take your right hand, put it over your left shoulder and give yourself a pat on the back. You have come a long way in just a short amount of time. Congratulations for learning an important lesson at a very youn age. Hopefully, you will not repeat the same mistakes. Thanks for sharing your story. I am going to pass it along to a friend in need.

Susan

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 3:49pm
Thanks for all your congrats. As strange as it sounds, the personal crisis in my life is what made me wake up and smell the coffee. Somehow it was just easier to change everything at once and set my life down a better path. I hope the same for everyone else.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 4:29pm
Yes, trust me, you're not too old! I'm 36 and finally got a "clue" - I've spent the past 2 years digging my way out of debt and several ups and downs later I still have a long way to go! But it's better to just DO IT than to say I'm too old and throw in the towel! You see, I just spent too many years waiting for my "ship" to come in--waiting 'til DH made a movie, or 'til I won the lottery, or something--but then I finally realized if anyone's gonna get me out of this hole, that someone has got to be ME! Now I've taken the reins of my own destiny and in a couple more years I'm hoping to have it all paid off and then buy a new house! We can do it yes we can!

Thanks for the encouraging words!

Ozbound - "Basically on my way to Australia"

CL for Bud

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 5:23pm
You CAN do it, I know you can!!!!