Dealing with credit card debt or debt all together

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  1. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 15 years ago

    Let me start off with roolllff!  Everytime I look at a bill I get sick, everytime I need to bust out a credit card just to make it to the next month I wanna puke.  Trying to get along in a busting economy is making me sick. 

    I do need advise,  good advise in a couple of areas, 1.  how to not feel sick when doing what I have to do to survive, and
    2. how to stop the cycle without consolodation or more credit cards
    3. when oh when does it end!

    1. Lissie profile image66
      Lissieposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      #1 when you have your spending under control
      #2 stop spending
      #3 when your income is less than your outgoings

      Im not being sarcastic - it really is a a pretty simple equation.  You say you don't have money to give away but you do give away things - where did the things come from - you spent money on them obviously.  I wrote more about it here … save-money

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        oh yeah, I know, I get what you are saying.  I was actually refering to the trend in the economy and what I am suddenly (seemingly) paying out in bills like electricity, gas, water, trash, etc. 

        I still have to pay my bills,  I would love to stop spending my money there.
        my income use to be in balance with my outgoings, then the bills and rent started creeping slowly over the last couple of years, 2-3. 

        I'd love to say I live a life of luxery, but I hardly live a life of modesty.  Most everything I have, I bargain for and I don't have much, but I still find it good to give things when I have them.  It works in circles for me, at least in my life. 

        I sorta thought your comment was a nasty assumption, but whateva.

    2. profile image51
      xs5posted 15 years agoin reply to this

      1: if you have intelligently saved and wisely spent then you automatically would not feel sick when you are looking at the bill as you would know that you did not waste anything.
      2: to stop the cycle don't try to beat the system on which credit card companies run, instead you should beat the highest debt (only if you haven't the straight option) by consolidation from a bank and the rest you pay off on your own.
      3: It ends as soon as you decide that life is possible without a credit card, or if you limit your credit card to your medical treatments only you may have a good chance of winning to end your misery.

    3. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Here's some advice I haven't had the stomach to take myself, but I know it works:

      First of all, cut up all your cards and stop paying on them. Don't send them anything. Seriously.

      Second, take all the money you would have sent them and put it in a high-yield interest bearing account--some online banks offer as much as 3% or 4% on liquid savings. Put it somewhere that is hard for you to get at--an online bank is usually hard to get at.

      Third, after six to eight months contact each creditor and offer to settle with them for part of what you owe. So, say you owe $10,000, offer them $3000 to call it good. Usually they will take this, but sometimes they will push for more and a few will say no.

      Fourth, turn off your cell phone, because they are going to call the snot out of you for all six months. Your phone will ring every five minutes. Don't answer it. Don't respond it any way to any of their attempts to contact you.

      At five years you are no longer liable to pay them if they haven't tried to sue you to get a judgment against you, which they don't usually do. About the worst they can do is 1) get a judgment (through a lawsuit) or 2) attach your bank account if they can get the number of your bank account. Both of these things take a long time and a lot of money for them to do, and there are limits on how far they can go. 80% of the time they will write off the entire debt if they have to without even blinking. I personally know someone who had unsecured debit of over $70K who just defaulted on it and that was that. After a couple of years of phone calls they just gave up and went away.

      Yes it will trash your credit, but after this experience do you really think you should be using credit? You're better off to pay as you go, use cash, live simply.

      You can file bankruptcy, but that will cost you and the last administration placed severe limits on who can file and how much debt can be legally discharged. So lots of people now file "informal bankruptcy", which is a fancy way of saying they just stop paying. I would feel more critical of that if these greedy companies weren't charging 31% interest (which is usury) plus their insane fees, charging interest on interest, making people pay back many, many times over what they ever borrowed. You charge a pack of gum, you pay $1,000 for it over ten years. If you have had these cards for awhile you've already paid these bastards back a bunch of times.

      But, like I said, I haven't had the guts to do it myself. I should. smile

    4. credit2000 profile image59
      credit2000posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Hi my name is Sebastian Castellon this topic is my passion because I was in this situacion a two years ago more o less  spending more that my income I was forced to get a second job to pay my credit cards seeing my debts growing every day no free time with my family living to work and working to pay my debts one day I saw an advertisement on the tv they was telling about free debts I pay attention I brought that book that was just the begining to learning about this matter the road to be free of debt it is not easy but as a great reward
      first I learned to pull my credit report this is the most important thing see what wrong in it
      developing skill to negociate with your creditors now it is the time because  the economy decresing and the lenders are able to negociate with the people that wants to pay theirs debts

  2. Misha profile image62
    Mishaposted 15 years ago

    Sandy, sorry for answering with a question, but do you hate rich people?

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      no, I dont hate rich people, but I do think it is wrong to rip off the poor people when they are already poor to keep wealthy.  Plus a lot of rich people earned thier riches because they worked hard for it and a lot of them share thier riches with less fortunate people.  but things I do hate:  when I can't be included in friends celebrations on accounts (no pun intended) that I cant afford it, not that my friends exclude me, but I dont take want to take advantage of thier generosity either.  Why did you ask?

  3. Misha profile image62
    Mishaposted 15 years ago

    Well, I am working on a similar problem myself. While I don't have any debt, my income so far lags my expenses. I'm living on saved money for the last couple of years.

    Point is, I found that I have a set of beliefs about rich people that literally hold me in place. I just sabotage my own efforts to make a good living. After I realized that, and started to work on changing my beliefs in this area, my finances started to get much better smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      well can you share what you did, maybe it will make sense and I can use it too.big_smile

  4. Misha profile image62
    Mishaposted 15 years ago

    Your new avatar is probably a step in the right direction big_smile

    Well, I hope it is not going to be blind leading blind, and hope Jenny will correct me if I go dead wrong wink I never really tried to put this on paper before, so bear with me smile

    In communist Russia hating riches and hating money in general was ingrained into almost everyone's mind much like Christians ingrain Satan and Hell into their kids' minds. I was not an exception in any way. My parents, especially father, still hate rich people and blame on them any misfortune of their own, and since they don't have much misfortune lately -  any misfortune of the country, real or imaginary...

    To my surprise by the way, I saw a lot of that same mentality when I moved to the US, which is supposed to be the exact opposite... Talking about the unity of opposites big_smile

    Anyway, the problem I was facing (and still face to some extent) was the belief that spiritually good people can't be rich. Or, rather, that rich people cannot be spiritual. That money (in any quantities) kill spirituality. While I see quite a few examples to the contrary, this belief sits on the subconscious level and rules. Since I do think of myself as a spiritual person (which may be not true, but I still prefer to think this way - asking for a compliment tongue), this belief presents a real problem to me.

    I understand on the conscious level that this is plain not true, and many rich people are way more spiritual than quite a few poor ones, and many poor people are not spiritual at all and just care about snack and fuck - but my subconscious is still there sabotaging me...

    And to tell you the truth - I did not find an efficient way to deal with it. I don't know, things like NLP and hypnosis may work - but I hate letting anybody to mess with my mind, and I stay away from them. There is not much left then. Basically, I can think of two methods. First is registering every fact about rich people being good and spiritual that comes my way. Not letting it slip away, but thinking about it and trying to let it sink in, down (or up?) to unconscious. Second is meditating on phrases like "rich people are good" or "money do not affect spirituality".

    Such methods do not give me an immediate effect, but over time I think I am starting to feel better and allow myself to make more smile

    1. profile image0
      RFoxposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      This is exactly my problem also. wink I did not grow up in a Communist country, but I think I must have been a monk in a past life as I have had this strong belief since childhood that I have to live in poverty in order to follow a spiritual path. Lol.

      This belief has caused my finances to suffer. Now I try to focus on how much good I could do in this world if I had money. How many more people I could help if I was financially well off.
      I envision being wealthy so I can change the lives of all the people I see around me.

      This is the only way I know to combat my 'poverty beliefs'. Right now I'm still in debt but there has been a definite shift in my life and career lately that I feel is a direct result of my change in attitude.
      I'll let you know if the money follows! wink

  5. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 15 years ago

    wow, Misha, I couldn't imagine growing up in a communist country that taught people to hate the rich.  Glad you are smarter than that.  not that I am even close to rich or anything.  I guess everyone has thier problems, different but similar eehh?

  6. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 15 years ago

    I think that too, if I had money I would use it for good reasons as well.  But I still give wherever I can.  Usually not money cause I never have any, but I love giving stuff away even though sometimes my friends call me insane.  I say, well it makes me feel good,  you can exchange things and money, but a genuine smile is priceless.

    1. profile image0
      RFoxposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      That's such a great attitude! big_smile

  7. SparklingJewel profile image67
    SparklingJewelposted 15 years ago

    Credit and debt...ukkk!  I piled up a bit of debt on credit cards raising my children, giving them lessons and a few material things that they needed to feel better and do better for themselves. So now I am paying all that off now that the kids are out of the house. I put what debt I could into a consolidation program, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. Main thing that bothered my was dealing with them and getting bills constantly. So all that has been cut off or at least cut down with this consolidation.
    So I have been working on my abundance attitude, too. I bless my money each day as a gift from the universe that I deserve and have worked for. Money is power, keep it clean, neat, joyful, wisely spent and wisely earned and wisely handled (working on these things). I have written affirmations that I read daily, and created visualizations of abundance to focus on...all with a clean and worthy consciousness.
    I went through the same cycle of monk hood that you have to be poor to be spiritual, but it has run its course. I tithe with money and/or time offered to others in volunteer work. The whole concept of tithing has helped me a lot, too.
    The two most powerful things for me are thinking that money is blessed and to keep moving forward (spend a bit on things that are moving you forward...its like priming the keep the abundance flowing) and it keeps me joyful too. I give myself a least one special treat each week...use to do the same for the kids too, I didn't want them to feel the pinch as negative, but as a nudge to do better because we deserve it. Sometimes it was a simple a treat as a Large ice cream cone! yummm:) Treat your soul and you'll stay whole!

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Jewel,

      I see some light at the end of the tunnel as well,  it's called when I get my car paid off.  Geeessszzeeee, just. a. couple. more. years. to. go.

  8. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 15 years ago

    I have been handling my credit card debt using the "snowball method". I pay as much extra as I can on the card with the highest interest, then, when that one is paid off, I move on to next, until they are all paid off. This month I will be able to pay off both of my department store credit cards (Kohls & Macys), and I have paid down one of the my two major credit cards by about $2000. I have one other card--a Mastercard-- that I have still been using for emergencies.

    I started this about six months ago, and I'm really amazed at how quickly it goes. Here's a great link on how to do it, plus some other good ideas, at Motley Fool: … -debt.aspx

    As to the hating rich people part and equating poverty to spirituality, there are lots of great books on how to get past that. Most of them rely heavily on creative visualization, which sounds really hokey and New Age-y, except it works! Honestly, try it, it really does work.

    About four months ago I was so sick of my call center job I wanted to shoot myself (six years in call centers now, even though I have two degrees and once ran a successful landscape design business). I resorted to the visualization stuff, which I have used before, and now I have so much paid writing work I am working all the time--I'm not exaggerating.

    Now I'm thinking, hey! That could be a good hub! Anyway at this point I need to visualize "health insurance." I still work half time at the call center for the health insurance. It's like being held hostage for insurance. Anyone have any ideas on how to get insured in this marvelous ruined US of A?

  9. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 15 years ago

    I forgot to mention--i cut up ALL MY CARDS except one when I started to pay them down, and it really does help. I can't tell you how many times I reached for one and remembered I cut it up already.

    I left one major card intact because after all, we are living in the US under George Bush. But as soon as it is the only one left, I will freeze it in a block of ice and pay it off too.

  10. Jared L profile image72
    Jared Lposted 15 years ago

    This happened to me 5 years ago..After accumulating some credit card debts over a period of 6 months, i tried very hard to pay them off by putting all my cards on cold turkey. First, I transfered all the credit cards debts to a single account that had a 50% lower interest rates on my bills. Next, I canceled all but 1 card which had the lowest interest rates. Then I apportion a amount of my pay to paying off my bills and used only cash to pay for all my expenses.

    This was a difficult phase and I took about 9 months to complete paying off all my bills. Since then, i have become apprehensive about whipping out my card...I am more of a cash kinda guy unless I am traveling.

    Most importantly about getting out of such mess, is to be discipline about not accumulating any more debts on your cards while you try to pay off everything. I know that this may not apply to at least you should search for a card that has a low interest plan.

    One more thing, i love to call customer service and "threaten" to cancel my card so as to get them to waiver my late payment or interest charges...often it works!

  11. CherylT2 profile image60
    CherylT2posted 15 years ago

    I used to work as a bankruptcy attorney, so I have some knowledge in this area.

    First, call all of your companies and see what they will do to lower your interest rate under threat of losing you as a customer. Just getting the rate reduced can sometimes be a life saver. Also, if you must pay a yearly fee to maintain a card, cancel it. There are plenty of companies that will give you credit without an annual fee.

    Second, as previously suggested here, cut up your cards, saving only one for actual emergencies and items that must be purchased with credit (rental cars, hotel reservations, etc.). Do not use your one card unless you must. Do not use it for expenses like groceries, gas, clothing, or other purchases that you can pay for in cash, check, or debit card.

    In fact, the best thing you can do for yourself is to sit down and make out a budget. What expenses must you pay for each month? Mortgage? Food? Gas? Car payment? Credit cards? Sit down and figure out how much you must pay. Then do not make any purchases that are not in your budget. Whatever money is left over, use it to pay down your cards. This is the hardest part for a lot of people, but there are ways to pare down expenses. Buy food on sale. Buy clothing at thrift stores. Try Blockbuster video for free rather than splurge for a night at the movies. Little by litte you will see that you have more cash at the end of each month.

    Third, take as much money as you can afford to pay off your biggest balances while maintaining minimum payments on the smallest balances. Once you get your biggest balances down to the amount of your smaller ones, spread your surplus cash evenly among all balances to pay them all down. Again, you must try very hard not to make any purchases that are not in your budget. Obviously, if you have an emergency like your car breaking down, you will have no choice and will need to put it on that last card. But new clothing, eating out, trips to the movies and the like -- they are all off the table until you get your cards paid off.

    Just realize that if you only pay your minimum balances each month, you will never get out of debt. That's why it's so important to throw as much money as you can afford at your largest balances.

    The only way to use credit wisely is to pay off the balance in full each month. That way you do not incur interest or fees. It is the interest and fees that will eat you up alive, not the charges themsleves.

    Best of luck to you.

    1. Misha profile image62
      Mishaposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      I think more efficient approach is to pay off the highest interest balance first, not the biggest one. And then repeat until all balances are paid off. Other than that, I totally agree smile

      1. embitca profile image83
        embitcaposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with this, but sometimes it is good to start with the lowest balance card first because when you pay it off you get a big psychological boost. It is important if you have a long road ahead of you to see some results quickly.

        I am debt free (or I was until I bought my new car big_smile) and I did it pretty much the way you described, but a big part of it is was also changing the way I spent money. While the car is pretty exceptional, I don't generally buy stuff just to have stuff. I could probably reel in my gadget love a bit more, but well, I'm not in purgatory big_smile

        Sandra, it sounds like what you could really use is an increase in prosperity if you are having problems keeping up with routine maintenance expenses like rent, heating, electricity, etc., They are never going to go away and will basically always continue to rise.

        If the spiritual stuff about prosperity interests you, I strongly recommend reading Catherine Ponder (any of her books on prosperity) and/or John Randolph Price's Abundance Book or 40 Day Prosperity Plan. Both of his books are really good for changing your mindset about money and wealth quickly.

        And on a practical "make more money" level, have you thought about doing some affiliate marketing? You are already writing on Hubpages so maybe if you wrote some more commercial hubs as part of your mix of hubs, you could start working on increasing your income. It takes awhile to achieve significant results, but with the right effort it does work and would alleviate some of the financial pressure.

        I hope this helps.

  12. june1216 profile image61
    june1216posted 15 years ago

    Stop focusing on your debt.  Focus on how you can get out of debt.  See where you are spending your money.  Also, pay the minimum payment, plus the finance charge, so you are not accruing any more debt. Once you pay off the balance, cut up the credit card.

  13. profile image49
    thecloserman2posted 15 years ago

    Debt! a very real issue that is driving people crazy. Let me know if you would like a soon to be released free dvd on how to get out of debt. Send your request to:

    This is not a work from home deal or anything of that sort. You will find the information to be very helpful in your everyday living.

  14. allshookup profile image61
    allshookupposted 15 years ago

    My biggest debt is the 2 credit cards I have. If I ever get them paid off, I'll cut them up and only use debit cards. I see people talking all the time about paying the one with the highest interest off first and to add a little more than your payment is. What happens when you are struggling to put food on the table and you have made all the cuts you can? Phone cut, TV cut, buy food with coupons and at bent can stores, we don't eat out at all, my husband is working every single hour he can (he worked 17 hours yesterday), the ends just are not meeting. We are trying so hard to pay off these cards and they are killing us. But, since I got hurt in a surgery leaving me with a 2 foot blood clot, I can no longer work. I look online to try and find something I can do sitting down. But, there are so many scams out there. Or, you have to pay something in order to work for someone. We don't have it to give so I can do that. I would love to find something I can do online to bring in some money and put that on the credit card bills. Any suggestions would be helpful. I've tried filling out surveys and things like that for hours and hours a day and never made a penny. Plus some other scams I found that promised money. Any suggestions would be so very helpful. Thanks for taking time to read this!

  15. Mark Bennett profile image60
    Mark Bennettposted 15 years ago

    You seem to be able to string a grammatically correct sentence together, allshookup - why not start as a writer-for-hire?

    You can find writing jobs everywhere from and to Craigslist. Some don't pay all that well, but you can start somewhere and work your way up.

    I believe Misha was offering $1 per article in the forums here a few weeks ago, for example.

  16. KCC Big Country profile image84
    KCC Big Countryposted 14 years ago

    Pgrundy is right.  I have seen some of what she said firsthand. 

    There are lots of alternatives to bankruptcy.  I posted a hub yesterday about a system that my research indicates can be a very good option for some people.


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