My 3 oldest are from a 6yr relationship. That’s where my girl’s are until August 5th..With daddy in Oregon.. I don’t get great help from him but his mom help’s a lot with the kid’s and he does try his hardest.. I was only going to have 2 kid’s this school yr.. My oldest and the baby.. My oldest son and daughter where supposed to stay with their dad but he called last night and said it would be better for them to all just be here since I can be with them and he can’t.

He work’s 12 hours a day… So now we have to buy school clothes and supplies for 2 instead of one. In Oregon my youngest daughter wouldn’t be old enough for kindergarten but in California she will be..

She will be 5 2 months after school start’s.. So now we have to figure out this one:) My hubby make’s 1,200 a month.. We don’t have to pay rent, electricity, gas, or water, which saves us. But he should be picking up rank soon so there will be about an extra 100.00.

Credit counseling services

I read my mail at work during lunch (that’s why I’m always late on reading and responding) or if I come in early so no chance of him reading my mail. I work all day on a computer for my job so I never even touch the computer at home. Unfortunately I have bad news. He now has another credit card. $300 limit. I don’t understand how a credit card company would give him any more credit.

He is already at least twice as much in debt as he makes in a year. The worst part is that he lied to me twice when I asked him if he applied for another credit card. I am seriously considering going to debtors anonymous, or seeking “marriage/money” counseling to try to find ways to get this under control.

Has anyone had any experience with the non-profit Credit Counseling Services? I think if I could get all the information that I can and lay it out for him he might go along with it. I’m just waiting to see if he takes out another unnecessary student loan this fall. That will be the straw that breaks the camels back.

Living debt free

Way to go man! GOOD JOB! I am truly excited for you.

Not sure how old you are, but there are some things you may think of doing now…. Save enough for your largest deductibles (car, homeowners), Save $1000, Save 3 months expenses, Start a retirement savings program.

Figure it is great to splurge for a month or two, but then if you were making it before, you may want to start saving for the what ifs, that way if your tires go on your car you have the money in savings or heaven forbid and accident you have the deductible. IT really does make you less likely to run up a debt on credit.

Living debt free

Hi All, wanted to share my happiness, due to a financial windfall that came my way August 1st I have my financial life back again and it feels really good. The very first thing I did is to pay off all credit cards, when I paid off Bank of America Visa I did it at the bank closed the account and the clerk let me be the one to take the scissors and cut the card, then she ran it through the shredder, it felt so good.

I intend to take all the lessons I have learned from this portion of my life to heart and not ever go there again. One of the things that was so strange was that it took a while to get used to having my paycheck be my own again, I had spent so many years sharing it with the cards, I don’t ever want to have that kind of life ever again. I want to thank everyone here for all I have learned from the sharing that is done here.

I did more reading then posting but it has been one heck of a learning experience. I intend to stay in the blog so that I can continue to learn and so I can keep avoiding the financial pitfalls that exsist in this world.

Business debt, Personal debt

Hi to all. I am new here and this is my first post. Here is my story..

I currently have a great credit score, approximately 785. I have approximately $15,000 of personal debt on credit cards

AND another approximately $45,000 if business debt for my and my husbands small construction co, all of which I guaranteed ( believe me, if i could only go back in time….and make different decisions) We are an S. corp, have been in business between 2 and 3 yrs.

The business credit is just about maxed out. So far, all payments are current, but we are struggling. I am expecting that we will not be able to make the business cc payments this month, unless i use my overdraft line of credit on my personal bank acct to pay them. (?)

We will be ceasing operations of the business with 1 to 2 months. We just are not making it. We’ve taken a loss in both of the last 2 yrs.

We are seeking credit couseling with Greenpath debt solutions on tuesday. My husband has a chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2004…This is why the credit is all in my name.

Does anyone know if it is true that when you go to credit counseling you dont have to include all your credit cards?

I am not sure how this is all going to work as part of the debt is personal and part is business…..I am assuming that really…..it is all personal debt as I guaranteed the business debt.

Anyway, boy I hope they allow this post, I know it is a bit lengthy.

Credit cards

Yes, the gov’t did that. They say that the reasoning is that people take 30 years plus to pay if they just pay the measley 2% minimum balance, so they are doubling it to get consumers out of debt sooner.

Some companies have done it already. Others have not yet.

Haven’t tried to negotiate it with any of ours. None have doubled the minimum due.

Credit cards

Hi everyone, This is my first post to this blog and I have been paying close attention to the invaluable information everyone is posting. I have a question for anyone who knows.

Is it true that the gov’t mandated credit card companies to raise their minimum payments recently? My co-worker says that companies that used to charge two percent of the total balance will now start charging 4%. If that is the case, can anyone tell me how sucessful their were in renegotiating that.

I am one who has very small balances and I’ve been struggling with the monthly payments

Planning, Student loans

I have a plan for the next few months. My husband put one of his student loans on forbearance until January

  1. Cash in any bonds I may have and pay off my car loan.
  2. I have already saved up $1,000 to pay the bill at the hospital to have the baby at.
  3. I will be able to pay our property taxes in September and put the remainder towards my hsubadn’s credit card.
  4. In October I will be able to pay off his credit card and most of my small student loan.
  5. In November I will be able to pay off my student loan and put the remainder towards my credit card (which is big.)
  6. In December my credit card will be 1/3 paid off.

In the meantime our home is on the market. We hope to sell, close and move by January but know that may not happen. In January my husband full amount of the loan starts up again. By March we ought to get our tax return and pay for property taxes (if we are still in the same home) and the remainder of my credit card. If we move ahead of time the equity will go towards paying off my credit card and paying off about $35,000 in student loans at least. My husband will still owe about $100,000 in student loan but we cannot do anything about that.

We hope to find a ranch home where we can finish the basement on for less than $195,000 (about the same price as our current home).

We hope that there won’t be any big surprises and we can stick to this budget and get some of our debt and loans paid off. Those are my steps.

Installment loans, New habits

Hi all. New habits sure are hard to learn. I was doing real good, keeping up on making the payments I needed to. And then I backslid into old bad habits. Now I’ve got to get myself back on track and caught up again. It would be easier but now I’m also being garnished for my ex’s van, which costs me a good chunk of money each week. in the divorce he took full responsibility and sole ownership of the van and for the most part hasn’t paid a dime on it since and it’s been three years.

At least our kids are seeing how their dad lied to them for years. He always said our money troubles were all my fault while everything good was all his doing. Not fair or right. For the last few years before separating he paid the rent and electric bill while I paid everything else. His income was three times what I earned. Yet when I moved out he was about five months behind in the rent and hadn’t paid the electric bill for three.

No matter where I’ve lived since then I’ve paid my rent (includes water, electric, and trash) and managed to catch up on a few things with the help of installment loans. I have both a checking and savings account but he doesn’t. Yeah, I know it’s crazy but I even got a secured credit card ($200) limit and have been using it to add some good stuff on my credit report. Except for the last couple of months I’ve paid it off each month. Just use the card for gas and food and put aside the money.

Well, I guess that’s all. I just wanted to both let others know that I’ve temporarily fallen into bad habits and wanting to know if anyone else has.

I am the same way, do really well for a few months, then I slide, then it get back on the wagon…I’m hoping that the slides come fewer and farther between…

Me too. I’m glad to hear that other people have the same problem. It makes me feel better about myself when I get down about making the same old mistakes yet again. Thanks. 🙂


To check if a program is offered in your area look at this website. A year ago they were not in our area, now there are several churches sponsoring the program. We picked up our first package last month and were happy with most of the food. It helped us make about 5 meals for our family of 5, plus some snacks and breakfast items. They generally do not offer produce, the meat is of so-so quality.

I would compare it to Aldis but it is really great to get all the food and figure out how to use it in your family menu. I like it. You do need to pay ahead of time but if it is your first time and there wasn’t enough time to get a packages, they may order extra packages and you can pay for them there. Just check.

Angel food


I just wanted to tell all of you about this program called angel food that a nazarene church near me offers. for $25 a month you get a decent sized package of food. i’ve looked at similar items in local grocery stores and it would cost me about $40 to $50 to buy the same things. and with the basic package you can get $18 bundles of different kinds of meat.

there isn’t any forms to fill out. the church here just takes your name and phone number (used if there’s a delay in delivery) and gives you a reciept. i’m picking up my next bundle this weekend. i wanted to pass on the information in case this program is available near anyone else. it’s a good way to stretch grocery money and still get decent stuff to eat. each month the menu changes.

hope this info helps someone.

Debt settlement

I have a Chase account and have paid every bill on time but my balance went up when my husband was in his last few years of school. If you are able to get them to charge off, you will be lucky. I have asked so many times to have my interest lowered but they won’t.

They will gladly increase my interest and my credit though 🙂 They even called once and said I saw that you paid $2,000 some dollars last year in interest alone, would you like insurance if somehow you couldn’t pay the minimum? No, thank you. Good luck though.

Debt settlement

What you are doing is called “Settled for less than full amount or full balance”. First, contact them and get them to send IN WRITING the full amount they will accept. After you get it IN WRITING, go to the bank, get a cashier’s check and copy the check and the letter. Mail the payment to them via Priority Mail with Signature required. You want to track that they got it and make someone sign for it.

Documentation is the only thing you will have on your side.

Pay nothing until you get it in writing. Keep copies of everything.

Good luck!

Debt settlement

Hi, Has anyone had success in getting Chase to take less than the entire balance owed as a pay-off? I have been sending only $20 a month (far less than the minimum), but now I’m in a position to pay off the balance. I’d like to pay off both my credit cards, but do not have enough money to do both, so I’m hoping to pay 50% or there-about on each card. Is this called a “charge off”? I know it will reflect poorly on my credit, but it’s pretty shot at the moment, so I’m willilng to accept that if I can get out from under this mess. Any advice or tips on how to go about this would be very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Credit score

Hi everyone. I have been trying to work on my credit report and have sent out some validation letters. Now if what I have been told is correct I have to wait 30 days for a response and if in 30 days no response I can send another letter letting them know that I did not hear back from them, now once I send this what is the steps to go through. If any one cal help me on this?

Renter's insurance

Definitely have some form of renter’s insurance. If there is a problem that damages your property you won’t have anything to even make a start at replacing things lost much less coming up with the money needed to rent a new place.

As for auto insurance they’ve got you coming and going. Try looking around to see what other insurance companies offer and compare rates. I live in a state that requires auto insurance. The best that I can afford is the absolute basic needed to be on the road. I wish that I could offer you more help.

Car insurance

It seems you could safely drop auto insurance from what you posted. However, if you are the driver, even in a rental and you hit someone and are found to be at fault, it will cost you a fortune. You can be sued and wages garnished and tax refunds held to pay your obligations. I know people this has happened to.

If you live in a place that requires you to carry car insurance and you are caught driving without it, it will cost you a small fortune and years of headache to fix it.

I would find other ways to save $$$ and keep myself insured. In my province (canada) we require auto insurance by law. When you do not have insurance the companies will rate you low and a liability. But when I was not driving my insurance company said to just put fire and theft on the vehicle (even if I did not own it) they listed it as a stored vehicle and it only costs me $21 a month but more importantly I did not loose my good standing.

Also apt insurance is a must but get only tenant insure which covers your belongings but not the building. The building is the landlord’s responsibility.

Car insurance

I would like to request your opinions. While it is true that there are economies that do not make sense, such as not having health insurance, I’m wondering about living without auto and property insurance, in order to save money that can go to pay debt sooner. I know that states require a driver to carry insurance. However, I don’t have a car. I sold it 3 years ago and live in a city where I can move around with public transportation. For three years I have been paying the minimum for a non-car owning driver’s insurance. I question its usefulness. When I travel for work, work pays for full insurance coverage on a car rental. When I travel to another city where I might rent a car, I sometimes end up getting full coverage insurance. It is too complicated to figure out which damage to a rental car your credit card will pay for. This is a benefit offered by credit cards. Usually it is protection for the driver and maybe some medical costs. The car itself is not protected. So you buy insurance to protect the car. But the rental car companies make it very complex to understand which of three types of insurances to get and which one the credit card or your own insurance covers, so you end up getting everything.

Similarly with apartment insurance. I’m renting, not owning. My biggest concern has been for theft of the computer. I’m living in a new apartment building that has key access to every floor, so it’s improbable that there would be a break-in. In the many years of carrying apartment insurance, the one time I suffered theft, outside the apartment, it was of a new bicycle. The deductible was higher than the cost of the bike, so I did not need insurance. Of course I live in an earthquake zone, so I might be protecting my belongings against damage from earthquakes, fires and possible water damage to my belongings from the sprinklers in the buildings. From that standpoint, it might make sense to carry apartment insurance. Or I could just take the risk and save the money and apply it to drawing down debt.

When I brought up with the insurance company the idea of dropping the auto insurance, they warned me that once I would need insurance again, like if I moved to where I needed a car, the cost of insurance would be higher because I would appear as an uninsured motorist. So the underwriting process would tag me as a liability and charge me more. I feel it is unfair to be paying insurance that I don’t use, just to protect a future increased cost of insurance, particularly if I continue to live in the city. I have not obtained the numbers, and I’m not sure the insurance company would cooperate if I were to ask them for a comparison of the rates of insurance between an uninsured motorist to that of an insured motorist.

Any suggestions?

Credit counselor

I would talk to a good credit councelor first. My husband and I had $80,000 unsecured debt and $20,000 in back taxes and we were earning less than you.

We will be out of debt in June which will have taken us 4 years. They also set you up on a five year plan only you don’t have the cost or fees of a lawyer and it doesn’t affect your credit so negatively.

Before you do any form of bankrupcy, check out Dave Ramsey’s plan….it really does work.

Filing bankruptcy

Does it typically lighten your monthly burden to your creditors? I assume that my wife and I would not qualify for Chapter 7 because of our income. We make $80K annually and have $50+ in unsecured debt. Another 50K in student loans, which we cannot afford to pay right now. They are both in forbearance. We have an auto loan with a balance just below $20K and a mortgage balance of $110K. I believe we have $25-30K in equity depending what an appraiser feels the FMV is. I am wondering if Chapter 13 is the way to go for us because there is no way we can get these debts paid down in 5 years as that plan would.

Some more questions:

  • How much does it affect your credit? 200+ drop?
  • How much weight do future employers place on bankruptcy?
  • Right now I believe we are paying $1500 a month in unsecured credit card payments.
  • As I asked above, will chapter 13 help us with this?

This is rough to deal with as I am an accountant. My family has no idea about our debt. It has snowballed on us after I lost my first job out of college and we had first daughter at that time. We have moved too many times which has cost us quite of bit of money there. It has just gotten out of hand where we have to use the credit card for everyday things such as groceries.

I do not know what to do. I feel horrible because my wife counts on me to make sure we are OK financially. We have had discussions about it recently and she is scared of bankruptcy. We have two little girls we need to support and take care of before they become young adults.

Filing bankruptcy

I need some advice.

Due to property values going down I now owe more than my home is worth. The second bad thing is that I have a mortgage that is due to adjust on June 1, 2007. My credit score is 500. With that and the property value I do not see getting a loan for the home. I am seriously considering chapter 13. I want to stay in my home and just repay what i can.

Has anyone had any experience with Chapter 13 recently?

selling cars

Can you sell one of the cars and get something less expensive?

I don’t know what to suggest other than possibly taking on part-time jobs to pay extra on the bills and get rid of them. Sell some things (craigslist, newspaper ads, eBay, etc.) and use the money to pay the payday loans.

I have never taken one out, but I know people who have been on that treadmill before. It took some years to get out from under. Others paid them off with the tax refund, but they grew so much by then, it was just a DO IT NOW situation.