debt settlement

Several cards are offering me settlements

Several cards are offering me settlements that are 50% or even less of the total amount. Some of the creditors will let me pay that over a period of 6 months. I’d like to do it. But it will still be more than I can afford to pay each month. I’ve been thinking I need to file bankruptcy. Should I try to pay off using these settlements, even if I know it’s a big stretch for me to try to do so?

I don’t have any money that the creditors can really sue for or come after. I think they know it. So, it might be fine to draw this out over a long time and try to pay back. I’ve defaulted on 3 cards, but not on 2 others. I was going to let those other 2 default and file BK. But it’s so hard to make that decision to file BK.

If I file BK it’ll all be over sooner (3 months, as opposed to at least 6 to pay off creditors) and I can get started on a better credit rating sooner. But it’s very tempting to just try to pay off debts and be good.

Any advice?

How late are you with the cards and they with CC companies? pull you credit history see the statue of limitations on all the cards and then look up for your state the statue of limitations in your state. depending on your credit report you might be already in charge off.

Dave Ramsey method, personal budgeting

Pay Higher interest debts or lower bills first??

I have heard two different ways to pay off the debts. First pay the higher interest ones first. The second, was pay off the lower debts first and then eventually add the money to the larger debts. Which method would be best?

Pay off the higher INTEREST debts first and work on the lower interest debts after that. Its costing you more for the higher interest debts.

The reason Dave Ramsey, and others, suggest paying the lowest balance cards first is what he calls the snowball effect. Once you have paid off one credit card, you become more psyched up about paying the next one off, and then the next. You will see results a lot faster this way.

My caveat to all of this is if you receive a windfall (tax return, Christmas bonus, etc.), pay off whatever will give you the largest cash flow. For me, I had corporate stock that I could not sell. When the company was bought, my corporate stock, which was held be Fidelity, was now in a cash account. When fidelity asked me how I wanted to invest it, I told them in paying off my wife’s car – send me the check. That freed up $400 a month which then went to paying off 2 other credits. So I have paid off 3 and have 4 more to go.

If you choose the highest interest rate first, you may get discouraged long before you arrive at your goal.

personal budgeting

Has anyone heard of Dave Ramsey?

Has anyone heard of His show used to be on in Northern VA but now it is not.

Yes, He is on the radio everyday. Try the AM dial. HIs books are in the library. He makes sense. His overall message is to not accrue any more debt. decide to pay cash for everything. Pay off teh smaller things first, not necessarily the highest interest items. Just the smaller and then apply that payment to the larger one.

hi, what doyou mean by apply the payment to the larger one, please explain. Speaking of debt.
I got a stupid bill for $280 for my cell phone. OK. It was my fault. I called non-verizon people like my friends and my grandmother and checked my Voice Mail (at .45 a pop). My bills are usually $40-$50 a month, so seeing this bill made me go into a mini-heart attack

Lets say you have three credit debts at $25.00 per month each.

debt one is 200.00, debt #2 is 1000.00 and debt # 3 is 1500.00.

Pay the $25 each month to each one. In 8 months you have paid off debt # 1 and then add that $25 to the $25 you are paying on debt #2.

At the end of 8 months debt # 2 is now at $800.(more or less) and debt # 3 is at $1300. At the end of the 8 months you can now pay $50 per month to debt #2, while still paying the $25 to debt # 3. As you pay off each one, add the amount you were paying on the other two to the third.

Anyway, that is basically what you do. It is suggested by Dave Ramsey.

I believe the original poster means that once a lower balance card has been paid off, ie. you pay off a card that has a $1000 balance and your payments are $50 a month, that the month after it is paid off you will have an ‘extra’ $50 to apply to the card with the next lowest balance. So card 1 is $50 a month and card 2 is $85 a month, after card 1 is paid off, you will be able to pay $135 on card 2. It will then be paid off sooner because you are paying the minimum plus $50.

But wait… if this is something new they’re doing to you and this activity (Calling your friends and family etc) is ‘normal’, you need to make a fuss with Verizon!

You might want to check what kind of plan you have. My mother took ill and passed away last month and as you can imagine there were lots of calls, etc to make (I don’t use my land line as I don’t have long distance on it). I thought sure I was going to get hit with a big charge for over using my minutes but that was not the case. I have Verizon as well.

personal budgeting

Is there a church in your area?

Is there a church in your area that can give you some temporary help? Using those credit cards is gonna get you in deeper and they will have no mercy on you.

First let me start by saying I totally understand how you feel and where you are. My husband and I were in the same situation some years ago. I was working for the school system and we were relying on my income only. I had to use cards to pay for FOOD not eating out but food for my family. I used my cards to pay for gas to get to work not cruising around. I used the card to pay for emergencies like the hot water heater going out! It was so depressing. I couldn’t see any way out. Then I lost my job.

When I lost my job we sat down and looked at ALLLLL the bills and debts. My husband took a second job. He owns his own business and he was just breaking even. I went to work for him. We went from $32K a year to $8K a year. I began to pray.

I fasted and prayed for weeks. I would go out into our front yard and just cry out to God. I begged for mercy. At first it was a cry to God, then I began to see that things *would* be ok, then I was crying in thanks to God. It took weeks but I finally had a vision for our future and it didn’t include debt.

We cut up the cards, called the credit card companies and told them the situation. Most advised us to close the account and then we could be put on a program with reduced interest and no penalties. The payments were still close to what we had to pay before, however it would be paid in 7 years instead of 30 years.

Then we went on a starvation budget. I laid out all our bills each week and prayed over them. I asked the Lord to guide me. I would select each bill to be paid and whatever I had left over was to see us through till the next week. Once I had $30 left over and needed to do grocery shopping. I went out into my yard and held that $30 in my hand and began to pray for the Lord to lead. I went back into the house and looked in the free paper that comes to the house. I looked over the ads for the local grocery store. They had 10 pound bags of chicken on sale for $3!!!!

Once we were short $178 to pay bills. I prayed and prayed. The next day I got a check in the mail for $180 as a refund for overpaying our insurance.the YEAR BEFORE.

Once we needed money and prayed for the Lord to move. I got a check in the mail for $400 from profitsharing. However it was from a company I had not worked with for 3 years!

Long story short: we survived. God sustained us and helped us. He showed me how to really cut back to barebones. You may think there is NO wiggle room in your budget but I guarantee you there is and God will show you. Keep your chin up and your prayers going. I promise you that there *is* a light at the end of the tunnel.

advice needed

Difficult to start anew

hi everyone, it is very difficult to start with my situation now, my income could not meet even the basic needs of my family, i am resorting to use credit card for my groceries and paying my credit card bills by cash advance from ATM. there is no credit counseling available in our country, i am very scared.

Going to ask this: Are you on SSI or SSDI? What has happened to put you in this bind?

I ask because when my father passed on, I was left to live on $821.00 a month. 2 of the credit cards were in his name, so I sent them copies of the death certificate and a copy on my SSI income. They dropped off leaving me alone.

Another card wouldn’t work with me, and I defaulted on them, telling them I simply couldn’t afford their payments, so they sent it to a collection agency. Because of my ignorance, I did not realize they couldn’t get my SSI, and agreed to pay them in fear. I have one and a half years left before I am free of their debt.

I slowly paid off smaller debts and am working on 2 larger debts now, along with the collectors.

I have been able to put 6 accounts to rest, closing each one as they got paid off. There may not be CCCS near you, but many folks found them to be mediocre at best. I note many here seem to have handled things on their own with some of tools available here. Also have you heard of installment loans? They are pretty new product on financial market and seem to be a better alternative to well-known payday loans. Click here to visit – online instalment loans website to learn more about this product.

Starting off is scary, but it can be done. I did sell off a lot of things to pay off 2 of the debts I had, or they’d still be around.

what is SSI or SSDI, i got into these due to overspending, paying minimum amount due, i did not have a stable job after i was retrenched few years ago, i was abandoned by my husband , have two kids with me all in college, but the youngest stopped this semester. i am starting to inquire from family credit counselling, the cousellor required me to give them the name of my creditors. Are they legitimate. I am not residing in US. They said that if the statement of account is in dollars they can be of service. I am from the Philippines. What do you think

Ah… not too sure of international things like this…

SSI/SSDI is our form of Aid for the disabled/poor. Kind of like ‘welfare’ but not as basic. I get SSI because I’m legally blind and to get a well-paid job here with a so-called ‘disability’ is unlikely. I do work, but only part time.

Some credit counseling firms can be questionable, so I think if you go to the website and see what their info is on various companies, they would help you find credible ones.

bankruptcy, debt settlement

settlement and charge off or BK?

Here’s my situation:

  • I have 2-3 credit cards that have been charged off.
  • I have 2 more that will charge off very soon. One of them is offering me a settlement of 20%!!! That’s about $1400. This is a major bank where I do all my banking. Will it make a difference in my future to take care of my accounts with them even if my other creditors and my credit rating are bad?

The other one may settle but it will be a lot ($6000?)so that will probably just charge off, too.

  • Is it worth it to settle? My credit report will look terrible for 7- 10 years. Is it less terrible if I take 6 months to settle one account, and the others are charged off? Or, less terrible to file for BK?
  • Filing for BK means that in 3 months the clock will start ticking on the 7-10 years. If I settle, it’ll be another 6 months.
  • I have other debts too ($1000 to a medical clinic, for example).
  • BK costs about $1400, so will be less expensive than paying off some of these others.

I think the answer is BK, but I just didn’t want to have to go that route. Does that make sense?


National Public Radio, did a program on bankruptcy last week. I am sure there is a transcript of the show at their site. If you do a search I am sure you can find it. It may help you make a decision.



It’s been a long while since I’ve posted and updated my thoughts about overspending and getting into debt. It’s not too early to start on a plan of action to clear the credit card debt out of your life.

So do it before January 1st and you will have a head start. The excuses can start to well up, I know.

“I still have to BUY a gift for Uncle Joe”

“I have three holiday parties to attend and can’t show up empty handed”

“It’s easier just to BUY something, than spend time preparing”

Well, I used to subject myself to these kinds of excuses every Holiday Season. I usually ended up spending money I didn’t have and racking up a few hundred MORE dollars onto my debt. Until I had to make the commitment to stop the credit card debt insanity in my life. The Christmas and New Year celebration were way different for me the next year.

Some of the things I did and that you can take the whole next year PREPARING for are these suggestions:

  1. Make a budget to BUY only small gifts for immediate familymembers.
  2. Only BUY discounted items earlier in the year for children.
  3. Closer to the holidays make a decision to put forth some effort into baking cookies to give as gifts at the office or bring to holiday parties. It’s way cheaper and it comes from your time, effort and your heart.
  4. Explain to your close friends and family members that you can’t and won’t expect them to give you lavish or extravagant gifts. You don’t have the budget to recipricate. This way noboby will be disappointed or hold anything against you.
    *** About this last point, I know for a fact that as cold hearted as this sounds, our culture is so brainwashed about GIVING during the holidays, many people have a deep seeded expectation that if they give, they should also receive.
  5. Realize that the holidays are not about who can give or receive, but it’s about LOVE, PEACE, TOGETHERNESS, and SHARING TIME with family and friends.
  6. Stay HAPPY within yourself and your decisions to not be part of the holiday hooplah. It doesn’t have to be a mad rush and aggravation to you. You will be relieved not to be part of the mess.

Start on your New Year’s resolution to GET OUT OF CREDIT CARD DEBT NOW!

You will be so much more happier for many, many holidays to come. Yes, they do come around every year, you can bet on that! Don’t wait anymore.

debt consolidation

I am confused

There are a lot of debt consolidators, debt refinance, debt counseling, how will i know if they are sincere in helping me or they are a spam. I reside in the Philippines, this is in Asia. Can i ask a credit card company who is one of my creditor to consolidate my debts, am hesitant. I have not disclosed to them my present situation. I am juggling my cards to pay on due date the minimum amount due. My credit limit is almost exhausted. As of now, i am not in default, i am expecting that in the next few months i could no longer keep up with the payments. Can anyone suggest?

It *is* confusing! You can call one of your credit cards and ask them to recommend someone but before you do that can I ask you some questions?

It sounds like you have been pretty responsible with your credit cards and that you might just be in a temporary financial pinch. Can you take a second job for six months to get this turned around? Can you get your interest rates lowered? Can you sell something to pay off one of the cards?

A credit counselor will have you draw up a budget. Do you have one? If you don’t go ahead and make one. Be realistic. Try and find where the hole is in your spending or income.

Honestly, I think you might be able to see this through without resorting to ruining your credit.

If you let the CC co’s know you are having problems they will probably put you on a hardship plan that will last for 6 to nine months. They will drop the interest rates lower and not charge any extra fees. If you can get caught up in this time, it may be something to do. If you can’t , it may just be delaying the inevitible… possibly bankruptcy.

I want to let you know that – even in the confusion and turmoil you are experiencing with being in debt and playing the credit juggling game, you are taking the first excellent steps to finding help and helping yourself. It’s very true that there are many scams out there and your troubles could get worse by making a mistake of utilizing a scam program- divised just to get more money out of you. Because of this fact, when I was in debt, I decided to take the matter into my hands and have control over how I would pay off my debts, about how long it would take me and how much I could pay every month.

I used every resource to learn on my own about what it was going to take. It became a daily task at the beginning, but slowly as I made progress and learned – it took less of my time. When I was making headway with paying my debts, it actually became fun and a challenge watching the amounts decrease, even a little on some months. The biggest part of it was I had to STOP very abruptly depending or relying on ANY credit cards as a crutch. I stopped using all of them as the very first effort. This meant I would have to plan a budget to live with basic necessities only, even doing away with many low priority needs- living with bare minimum for a certain amount of time.

What is in my heart and the way my attitude changed was something I will never regret about what being in major debt taught me.

I chose to give up using credit cards as a means of survival, but gained so much more out of life than I ever expected.

Even if you find a reputable debt consolidations company, you will still have to keep up with paying it off and sticking to a program – controlled by someone else. You’re really just trading one debt for another and the main thing is that all of these companies (to stay in business) make money off of people in debt. Please rest assure that your willingness to start somewhere and making a good plan for yourself will get easier as time goes on.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions , has anyone have undergone debt counselling and consolidation, did it work? i receive an offer to pay hald of my minimum amount due with US$30.00 fee fer month and one time fee of US$49.00. How will i check if they are really legitimate. Am asking them to lower the monthly amort. Am waiting for their response. I could not do it on my own unless i will decide to be in default and be harassed. Here in the Philippines we do not have a law protecting harassment from creditors,sad to say that.

Yes you are right Ms. Karolina, i must not rely on my credit cards for survival which is lack of faith in God’s provision for me nad my family’s daily needs.


Need suggestions please

We hired an attorney to assist us with filing for chapter 13. After four months and many paperwork screw ups, we were advised by our attorney to withdraw our petition for ch 13. Basically, the lawyer told us one thing and we were stupid enough to believe him. So, here we are. The creditors are starting to call us, we can’t file for bankruptcy, we can’t meet the payment the credit counseling agency wants. What can we do? Do we have any legal options against the attorney?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

If you feel that your attorney was wrong in what he told you to do, then I would possibly go to Findlaw and ask an attorney there. Or find one of the law sites on the computer where you can ask attorneys regarding your case and they will tell you for free whether you have a claim against the attorney. Good luck to you.

personal budgeting

Where to start budgeting?

Hello. I need to start a budget for my family but I do not know where to start…. Any ideas?

Separate ‘needs’ from ‘wants’. Food, Housing and utilities are first. then the other debts can be tackled over time.

Without food, you have no job. Without a job, you have no home. Without a home you have no way to pay for other bills.

Prioritize: Do your kids really need that Game box, or do they need shoes? Do you need that designer car, or would an economy model do for a while more?

Not knowing a thing about what your family’s comprised of and whether you rent, own, whatever, not knowing the income or such, that’s like flying blind. The homepage has a link to the money managing tutorial/worksheet. Start there.

Ditto here. And it should be easier for me since I’m single & have no one else to worry about so to speak. I suck at budgeting.

I am single and glad to have no credit card.

I do have my ATM card. You would think that I have tons of money in savings since I have no credit card and you would br wrong. The only debt that I have is my Health Insurance, Car Insurance, Car and that is it. Now if only I can stop spending money on things that I do not really need.

I don’t have a credit card either. I put money in savings now, but I started late in life with this good habit.. Me and my sister laugh now about all those times our Mom, now gone ,used tell us little sayings, like “save for a rainy day”, or “a fool and his money are soon parted”. I have gotten to the point where the good feeling of having money saved feels so much better than going shopping and buying more “stuff”. Stuff that just clutters my home.

One suggestion if you can receive your pay via direct deposit, is to set it up so that a certain amount goes to a savings account that you do not have any ATM/Debit card with. If you want the money, you have to go to the branch or contact them via web, etc. A good money market may be a solution if you can find one that will let you start with a small initial investment. Money Markets typically will not let you write a check for less than $250.00, just put that check book away so that it is not easily accessible.

There is a saying that is quite true, if you never see it, you do not miss it. That is the beauty of direct deposit and having some of it put into accounts you do not typically use.

One suggestion if you can receive your pay via direct deposit, is to set it up so that a certain amount goes to a savings account that you do not have any ATM/Debit card with. If you want the money, you have to go to the branch or contact them via web, etc. A good money market may be a solution if you can find one that will let you start with a small initial investment. Money Markets typically will not let you write a check for less than $250.00, just put that check book away so that it is not easily accessible.

There is a saying that is quite true, if you never see it, you do not miss it. That is the beauty of direct deposit and having some of it put into accounts you do not typically use.