Tired of baby steps

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tired of baby steps
8
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 10:18am
I have been making good progress lately. But my progress still comes in the form of baby steps. I guess I am just getting bummed that I can't pay it all off quicker. But I guess it didn't take only a year to get into this mess, I certainly won't get out in only a year, right? I'm still on target of getting my highest rate card paid off by spring of 04. I should be thankful about that. I am just frustrated about the hundreds of dollars every month going to what? Nothing. Hundreds of dollars I could be saving. Or putting towards a new house. Or anything really. We should be living a comfortable life. But no. Close to $1000 every month is going toward minimum payments on unsecured debt. And sadly, probably less than half is going toward actual principal. I do pay extra, but right now it just doesn't feel like enough. I know I could do more if dh wouldn't complain. But he won't cut back spending so we can get out of debt. I guess I spoiled him by allowing him to do practically anything he wants... within reason of course. What doesn't help is April's gas bill still sitting here. I missed the discount period. And they promised me another discount because my tanks were leaking in February but didn't include it on the bill. I called to complain and the woman refused to help and told me to call the dispatcher. Since when does a dispatcher do bill adjustments? I already talked to him and he promised me the discount, but I have yet to see it. I really don't want to pay this bill at all. That's $280 that could be going on a credit card... not to mention the price has probably come down considerably since then if gasoline prices are any indication.

Sorry for the vent. I'm frustrated.

Sharon

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-1999
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 11:05am
i too get bummed that the process is slow but i know i am making ground even if it's slow.

and just fact that i no longer use cc's is so amazing (it's been about 1 1/2 years since i used one)we will make it and be out of debt!!! don't give up.
Avatar for mymartes
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 11:11am
Hang in there, Sharon

I know sometimes it's discouraging. But u r making progress every month that u make a payment.

Is there a way u can consolidate your ccs into one?

MYM

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 11:48am
Thanks for the support! No, I can't consolidate into one. My total credit card debt (not counting student loans and personal loans) is more than $30,000 (yes, you read that right). I don't think they make a credit card that size LOL! (OMG! Thank goodness I don't add up my debt very often.)

Sharon

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 11:49am
Sharon:

I hear your frustration. It is so hard to stay committed. Just think of the rewards ahead - financial and personal. You've set a goal and your sticking to it. It will benefit you and your family.

As for your DH not being supportive what I've found with my DH is he has never balanced the checkbook or paid a single bill in 25 years of marriage. Most of the time he doesn't have a clue. I've totally spoiled him. Things are slowly starting to change. Since I've started this intense plan for debt reduction I make it a point of telling him about our progress and talking about it constantly. I try to keep it positive. How much better things will be when we reach our goal. Like last night I told him we are down past $2000. He doesn't comment that much but he knows I have a plan and am determined to make it work.

Last week he was sulking because his golf cart was giving him trouble. Since the first of the year he's been dropping hints about a new one. Because of the plans I've laid out for debt reduction he's getting cart repaired instead of replacing it. Yea! My point is try to keep him informed. It might help.

Julie

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 12:09pm
I can completely understand. I'm in pretty much the same position as you. I also owe in excess of $30,000 on just my credit cards. This doesn't include mortgage (approx $150,000) or student loans (approx 30,000). I'm also a single parent. Needless to say I'll be paying for quite a while. I am, however, making progress. So far this year I have paid off about $2,500. I should be able to liquidate almost $7,000 by the end of the year. It's a drop in the bucket, but is real progress. I also pay $1000 in payments each month. This is just slightly over my minimums. I'm following the Mary Hunt plan and am constantly reminding myself of how much I owe, in case I feel the "need" to charge something on my revolving cards. My payments are "frozen" at this level, so I just ignore the declining minimums. Approximately 1/2 of my money also disappears each month in ridiculous interest charges. But seeing this keeps me aware of what just a small additional charge can do. I love seeing my balances go down each and every month and know that within 4 years, hopefully less, I'll be CC debt free. It's a long time, but it took 15 years to accumulate this debt. Unfortunately, it won't go away overnight. The one bright spot, if any, is that doing it the long, hard way I am not going to do this again. If I just rolled the debt into a home equity loan or declared bankruptcy, I wouldn't have had this experience, and probably would have run up the cards again. Impatience is what got me here in the first place.

I still use my AMEX for regular expenses, but never more than I can pay in full. So far this year I have not used any of my credit cards. This is a first for me since I went to college 15 years ago. I've accomplished this in spite of not cutting up or closing any accounts. At this point closing an account with a balance would cause my FICO to go down, and I'll be buying a car at the end of the year. My current lease will be ending then. I've also not tried to consolidate any cards because I don't want any active inquiries dinging me either. Perhaps I'll do it early next year. But for now, I'm just plugging along. Hopefully, as my FICO improves, I'll be eligible for more attractive balance transfer options.

Keep your head up. We can win this battle.

Momtochris

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 8:55pm
I agree with you. The reason why *I*(personally) don't get a low interest card and transfer my cc debt is also because that will cause my Fico score to go down. I realize carrying a balance does too, but if I pay more (alot more) than the minimum, my balances shrink and that makes the score go up. It gets pretty confusing, but by next spring if everything goes right, we will be cc free and would then like to add on to our house so I don't want any new credit or hard inquiries on my report for the time being.

For some people, however, transferring debt to low or no interest cards is a good idea especially if they won't be needing their credit for anything for a while. I wish that was my case, I would do it in a heartbeat.

On www.fico.com, I did the test thing they have on there and if I (personally) were to transfer to a NEW card, the score would dip quite a bit, so I decided to ride it out. Eventually we will meet our financial goals!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 10:02am
I checked my FICO about 2 months ago. The only real negative is the number of active accounts and the balances. Neither of which I can do a whole lot more about than I already am doing. I was also dinged because of the number of hard inquiries. I'll just continue with my payment plan and get the score as high as I can by the end of the year when I buy a car. As I pay down my balances and have a few late payments drop off (the most recent in 1998 and 2 in 1996 will be coming off this summer). My score should improve. I'm going to check again in September or so to see the impact of my debt reducution plan.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 11:24am
Oh Sharon, how i feel your pain! We're $42,000 Canadian in debt (that's about $30,000 USD) and my debt repayment planner tells me we'll be a good 6 years getting out of it. We're in so deep that we can't even pay the minimum payments. I pay $620 per month to our line of credit, then use the line of credit to pay the credit cards! I suppose we could pay all the minimums if we weren't funding our freedom funds for annual expenses, but 6 of one/half dozen of another I suppose. At least this way all the balances are slowing moving over to the cheap line of credit interest rate.

We can't consolidate either, we're stuck with it all just as it is.

My DH finally woke up to the mess we were in when his credit card wasn't accepted for a couple purchases. Seems every month or two I'd be telling him that monthly expenses were getting out of hand, that we needed to sit down and go over our debt, blah blah blah, seemed to go in one ear and out the other and I stupidly would use the line of credit to fix up our overdrafts. Finally I stopped "fixing" things and that, along with him being denied a car loan due to excessive debt, got him to open his eyes and come on board.

Man it's a long haul huh? All our credit cards are cancelled now, chopped them up and closed the accounts (we seem to be able to do that here without a ton of bad repercussions) and all we have open is one line of credit and a small credit card that is frozen in a milk container in the freezer! All we ever use it for is reserving a car rental.

Debit cards used to get us too, I'd be real careless about shopping, so would he, hence me fixing overdrafts with a line of credit. Since I started using cash I ended up putting many things back on the shelves initially, and finally seem to have the discipline to stick to my list and have gone back to my debit card. Once the paycheck comes I pay every single bill first, buy the groceries, fund the freedom funds, and then and only then can I get any other things I need to shop for. Cancelled the darn overdraft too, it was just as bad as a credit card for us.

Good luck! Hang in there! Won't it feel good when it's gone!?!?! :-)

Lorraine


Edited 5/12/2003 11:28:43 AM ET by birdiecheeks