New to the board

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
New to the board
4
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 4:17pm
Okay, I have been following this board for a few weeks now, but just been too shy to write. I been denying my debt for a while now, but I think it's time for me to face the music. I always pay my bills on time and I pay more than the minimum each time, so I never once thought I had a debt problem. But, I am beginning to see that I have no savings and I live pay check to pay check. I need help. I owe about $14,000 in CC and $13,000 in student loans and $8,000 on my car. I am not too worried about my student loan or my car, but I need help in controlling my cc and getting that down. Any advice is greatly appreciated. TIA!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 8:40pm
Welcome SUNSHINECALI! You have found a supportive group of people who have "been there and done that." Here at the DSG we offer lots of emotional support to one another as we struggle to get out of debt. Each person has found their own way of doing this and has much to share to help a newcomer. It is so great that you are facing the facts of your situation and that you overcame your shyness to post and let us get to know you. If you have been with us a few weeks then you know how helpful folks can be here. We'll share lots of information with you. Take what appeals to you and leave the rest!

We have a weekly check-in on Mondays. Try to be sure that you check-in then as well as posting often and becoming a part of our caring community. Please check out all the other Money boards as well. Many newbies find the Debt Questions and Answers Board to be an important source of information as they are starting out.

I urge you to visit http://www.quicken.com/planning/debt/ and use the Quicken Debt Reduction Planner to calculate how long it will take you to get out of debt with a reasonable payment plan. http://www.debtorsanonymous.org is a valuable website for understanding this affliction of compulsive debting. I have found http://www.flylady.net to be an important source of help for simplifying my life and dealing with the blues and a general sense of depression that I struggled with when deep in debt. And lastly I always ask people to check out http://www.cheapskatemonthly.com, Mary Hunt's website is a source of much helpful information and inspiration.

We are glad you joined our group! We welcome you with open arms and hope that you come back often.

cl-12by10

Avatar for mrslove2000
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 10:46am
Welcome! I think you will find a lot of good advice here. So many of us can relate to one another. Our CLs are a great source of good information. As mentioned on the previous post, understanding your spending habits is cruicial. I used to use my CCs for everything; groceries, gas, eating out, etc, because I didn't want to "spend my money". I have just recently realized that is why I have so much debt. Using CCs is "my money" only it will cost much more in the long run. I have found Suze Ormans books (most of them you get check out at the library) very helpful.

Best of luck!

Susan

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Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 12:17pm
Welcome! Thank you so much for posting. No need to be shy here - that's the beauty of the internet - complete annonymity. Never be too shy to ask us questions, okay??

You mentioned that you always pay above the minimums, but you don't seem to be getting anywhere. One of the things that tends to help many of us is to pay MINIMUMS on all accounts except for ONE of them - your "target account". You should put all of your effort into trying to get rid of ONE account at a time. Most of us pick a credit card as our "target account" since the interest rate is usually so high. My suggestion is to pick the cc with the highest interest rate, and try to pay that one off first. Afterall, student loan rates right now are really good - I think mine are around 4 or 5 percent. Not bad for an education! Also, car loans tend not to be so bad.

Also - have you called your credit card companies lately to see if they can lower your interest rate? I've done this a few times with my Visa card, and that account has gone from 21.99% down to 9.9% over the course of a year. I just call every few months to request a lower rate. As long as you're paying on time and you're not too close to the maximum limit, they'll often give you a break on interest.

I hope what I've said above makes sense - please feel free to ask if you have any questions. Also - check out the "snowflaking" section of this board - it's a mini challenge we have going on where we're tracking our debt and trying to annihilate it! It closely follows the concept of the Quicken Debt Reduction calculator that cl-12by10 linked to in her response to you.

Hope this helps! All my best,

Danni

All my best,
Danni

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 05-04-2003 - 9:52pm
Welcome to the board. Have you tracked all your spending? That is a good place to start to get things under control.

Doesn't have to be complicated just start writing down all you spend and all you receive.

You will probably surprise yourself.

We also have a Tracking Your Spending board if you need any help in that department.

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-mljournal

Becky