It’s normal to use credit?

According to a commercial that I have seen, at least once every time I turn the TV on, it looks like a good, normal life to use credit lines. In just sixty seconds, this commercial portrays the life of a couple. They meet, they get married, they have babies, they are middle aged, and finally they are senior citizens and grandparents. All along, it shows flashes of the different credit cards, that go along with the themes of the various stages of this couple’s life. They have a great, healthy life, using credit cards in sixty seconds. At the end of the commercial, the voice over says “We offer over NINE HUNDRED credit lines for your needs” or something like that.

Nine hundred credit lines available from one bank. WOW! What does this commercial paint? What does it do to our acceptance as a whole society for using credit lines to pay for our lives? It makes it look normal and healthy. These people are successful, relying on credit through the various stages of their life.

There should be a commercial that shows them opening the bills. It would show their stress with more bills on items, they charged, after one of them loses their job. The added medical bills when the children are sick and need countless doctor’s office visits. Health care insurance just doesn’t cover it all, anymore.

The two SUVS in the driveway, the fuel and maintenance the payments. They live in a house, in Suburbia, USA that has a hefty mortgage and upkeep. They pay out the wazoo for daily childcare, so they can earn two incomes, to pay for all this stuff. They fight a lot, mainly about bills, things they think they “need” and how they never get ahead. Other family members are constantly trying to give them financial advice. On Sundays, they show up at church, looking as if everything is fine and dandy. It’s normal, because they’ve been in debt, ever since they got out of college, started their careers and got married. They are one or two paychecks away from financial destruction.

Well, this is reality. This is the way it really is for a large statistic of young American families. It’s easier for people to read something like this and think, “Oh, it’s not that bad for us we only carry a little debt.” What is a little debt? The national average of credit card debt is around $9,000.00. If this is the average, that just means that many people whom are the ones who say “It’s not that bad for me” are somewhere near or above this average for credit card debt.

I was almost $14,000.00 in credit card debt alone, when I finally opened my eyes. I had many other needed expenses of life also. I could not make ends meet. I had lots of great clothes and some great toys. Mainly I had a crutch, that whenever an emergency happened, I pulled out one of eight credit cards. Or if there was a special event, I pulled out a credit card. Any excuse was reasonable. Paying my bills was like a juggling act.

There are millions of Americans living this way. They have been misguided by commercials like I’ve mentioned for many decades now. It can change for you, starting with taking “charge” of your personal financial life. The key is in your hand! The plain, easy and right in front of your face truth, is nobody or nothing will make it easier to pay off those debts. There is no magic cure. Now for the good news, with acceptance of the problem, you will be able to find a way to be happy, free and wiser way before the debt is completely gone. You can live life without using credit lines at all and stop adding to the debt. It can be done!

With so much hope to help millions of people, I am sharing my own experiences with paying off a large credit card debt. I survived and got more gifts from life then I ever imagined I would. I have freedom, happiness, and wisdom. I have grown as a person. I don’t use credit lines anymore at all, buying only what I know I can afford with cash up front. It’s definitely a better way to live.

I am in debt up to my ears $12,820

I started to fix it by making a spreadsheet. I know I have to pay before it is due so as to not incur late fees and then overlines. I am getting there but need encouragement and help.

Here is the breakdown:

LIMIT BALANCE

Exxon 300 63.51
Boscov 300 167
Chase 300 269
HSB 545 495
Capitol One 600 562
Capitol One 800 784
Radio Shack 800 790
Citibank 1,600 1,447
Dell 2,000 1,989
Home Depot 2,000 1,922
Nautilus 2,200 2,281
Discover 2,200 2,050

The cards are all cut up and gone. I think I am supposed to shotgun them? Pay one off then go to the next? All help would be appreciated.

Hi there! I just started helping people control their budgets and get out of debt. I have a passion for it and would love to help!

Be sure you make your minimum payments on all cards, but put ALL extra money towards the smallest debt first. Once that is paid off, put all the money you were paying on the first card as well as all extra money to pay off the second card.

The first thing you need to do to help you get out of debt, is control your spending, which I see you have cut up your cards…Congrats! Get on a budget. This is so important. Decide what you need for each category (food, home, electric, gas, etc…) and stick with it. If you spend all your clothing budget in a month, don’t buy more clothes until it’s time to replenish the budget. Find ways to save money, such as coupons for groceries, eating out less, buy used when possible.

If you have any more questions, or would like help setting up a budget, I’ll try to answer any questions.

This is very informative. Is this a good idea to have some moeny keep as fixed deposit and after some years we get a lot more than actual amount. If so then what & where I look for.

I’ve had a bad problem with credit card debt

I’ve had a bad problem with credit card debt for a long time and it is getting worse. My wife and I are in serious debt trouble(however, all of our debts are current, no late payments).

My problem started in the late ’90’s when i was about 20-22 yrs old. I got several credit cards and ran up about 5K in debt within a year or so. I started to pay them off and ended up getting an apartment(I had been living with family till that point). About a year after I got my apartment, I had to go with a debt management program (Credit Counselors of America) to help me with my debts. By this point my debts have exceeded 18K.

I had to get a second job to be able to make my payment to CCOA, as it was 495.00 and I only made 490-525 dollars every two weeks and with rent, utilities etc, that wasn’t going to do it. I worked a second job on the weekends for nearly a year and I met my now wife.

She had a job at the time, but quit when we moved in together(she didn’t have a car or license and still doesn’t). For nearly five years I’ve paid everything on a salary of less than 22K a year.

Between our house payment(we live in a mobile home), car payment and credit cards our debts are nearly 50K. With no overtime I only bring home about 535 dollars every two weeks, should have been more but our insurance at work has doubled over the last few years (went from 75 dollars every two weeks to 121 dollars in just three years). Plus I’ve got about 25 dollars a pay period taken out in AFLAC also.

Here is a problem that I want some help with. I just checked my credit report on annualcreditreport.com and everyone of my creditors are in good standing (except MBNA, but that’s a story for another day) and my wife’s credit card companies keep raising her interest rates. She only has three cards with balances, although one is very high, but the one in question only has a balance of about 1100 dollars. It went from about 18% to about 29.9% in one or two billing cycles. Another one of her creditors did this to her and we had to borrow money from her mom to pay it off. I called this creditor myself and couldn’t get any decent reason as to why they rasied it other than some arbitrary formula.

I’ve had several of my cards go up from about 12-15% to around 18-22%. This is getting to the point that bankruptcy may be the only option. I don’t want to go down this road as I know that the laws have changed, but I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to survive.

I would like some advice in how to negotiate(sp?) with the creditors to bring down the interest at least a few points if possible.

I also feel that the government made a big mistake in changing how the new minimum payments are figured. It has just about killed me trying to work every ounce of overtime that I can. I do not know how they figure that a working person can just pull nearly twice of the money out of thin air just to make minimum payments. We haven’t used our credit cards for frivilous things, other than a computer when our old one went out. We had to spend money for a trip when her grandmother passed away, a new water heater, new tires and brakes for our van, her asthma medicine, not to mention groceries and gas.

I’ve even checked out state website(we live in Indiana) and I make TOO MUCH money to qualify for any govt. assistance programs. I guess that 10.42/hr is really big time here.

My goal is to have EVERYTHING paid off in ten years. This will be a challenge, especially when the creditors are unwilling to work with a debtor.

I would be very appreciative to any suggestions, advice, etc that others on the board can offer. We are about to be in a major financial crisis when our tax refund check runs out here in a couple of months.

Many thanks to everyone for any help, and I appreciate blogs like that.

Attempting to catch up and be current on all bills

I have worked hard this year attempting to catch up and be current on all bills. To the most part, I’ve been successful and am meeting at least the minimums.

However – my problem: Chase. I cannot catch up no matter what steps I try to take because I am assessed a late charge ($30) and overlimit charge ($30) each month. This has added an extra $ 500 to my account and it’s a revolving circle. I have attempted to speak to them by phone but was unable to work with them at all. They are outsourced to India and I’m thinking maybe they don’t have the authority or even the knowledge? I’m sure they are just trying to get the money but they are unable to understand what my problem is. Anyway, then I wrote a letter to Chase with a check for $100 asking them to suspend my late/overlimit charges for a few months. They wrote back saying they couldn’t find the check (??). I sent them another check but nothing.

Could anyone steer me in the right direction?

Thank you.

I wish I had an answer for you, but I don’t.
I was in the same position making at least the minimum.
I guess with the new change in higher payments it is at least getting you further along in reducing the debt.
It doesn’t help though when these Cc co’s tack on that late fee and over limit fee.
I had that fee so long even though I had never gone over the limit. With higher interest and some late fees and the compounded interest
I was in the CREDIT CARD TRAP!

It is not easy to get out of because these Cc co’s will hold you hostage with these fees if you are unable to pay the balance. It’s unfair and predatory and it’s all legal thanks to the US Congress who won’t crack down on these predators.