POST OF THE DAY
Consumer Credit / Credit Cards
4 Years and $35,000

Format for Printing

Format for printing

Request Reprints

Reuse/Reprint

By MrMicrophone
November 11, 2004

Posts selected for this feature rarely stand alone. They are usually a part of an ongoing thread, and are out of context when presented here. The material should be read in that light. How are these posts selected? Click here to find out and nominate a post yourself!

Four years ago, I reached a financial rock bottom. I wasn't making enough money to meet the minimum payments on my credit cards. As a result, the rates skyrocketed and huge fees were added each month. My already high balances reached a total of $35,000. I wasn't living my financial life realistically. I never spent extravagantly, but I was living beyond my means. I kept thinking that something positive would happen to help get me out of this mess, but I didn't win the lottery and the hoped-for million-dollar inheritance check never came in the mail. I had to take action. I was forced to take action.

I contacted the credit card companies and arranged payment plans with each one. One of my accounts had already been forwarded to a collection agency; I paid that one off first because they agreed to 0% interest as long as I paid $530 a month. That one took me 18 months to pay off. During that time I made minimum payments on the other two.

It was hard. I had to live frugally. In some ways I am grateful for the experience. I have had a hard lesson in money management. I am proud of what I have accomplished.

I could have declared bankruptcy. It was a matter of personal pride, and a sense of obligation to pay back what I owed, that kept me from doing it.

It is now four years since I started on the path toward solvency and I made my last payment last week. A huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders, and I am walking a little taller these days.

- Mason


Become a Complete Fool
Join the best community on the web! Becoming a full member of the Fool Community is easy, takes just a minute, and is very inexpensive.