I guess this article will be my admission and my catharsis. I have just recently taken steps to pay off my credit card debt. To say it is in the $50,000 range is generous. Although the whole family contributed to this, I am where the buck stops…but it never did.
I had two kids in college and sometimes there were unexpected dollars due for schools that had not been in my budget. Once you fall behind in something it is hard to catch up. My husband is a sales manager at a busy auto dealership but he gets paid a commission. We never know how much money he will actually bring home. When there isn’t enough, paying for heat or groceries went on the cards. The price of a tank of heating oil is double what it used to be. I pay about $800 for a 175 gal tank…every 5 weeks. In the winter money is tight but the oil companies don’t care. They have bills to pay too I guess.
After awhile, it gets easier to depend on the plastic, hoping that when the good months come you can pay them off. But then comes Christmas, extra doctor bills, higher prices, life insurance needs, friends that need a helping hand, etc. and it just gets worse and worse. When you are the only person in your house that is responsible for making sure all the bills are paid…regardless of what anyone else is using the money for…you start paying more money for prescription drugs to ease depression and help you sleep. Looking toward the future and not seeing one was a reality slap in the face.
Through word of mouth I heard about this company called ClearPoint Financial Solutions. They are not a debt consolidation company and they are not a lender. They are consultants that make deals with credit card companies. They are non-profit. It will cost me $1445 per month for the next four years to completely pay off the credit card debt. I pay more than that now (I always pay more than the minimum) but it would take 15 years to pay off at this rate. Now, in 4 years I will be debt free. That looks a lot better to me. I’ve already been paying a lot longer than that. The company gets $25 per month for the service. They deduct it from my checking account on the date of my choosing. I know that I will be paying a bit more that I actually owe…but again, to pay off that amount of debt in four years gives me a reason to look toward the future.
This was a lesson learned. The kids are older now and more responsible for themselves. My daughter is now on full scholarship and my son has taken over paying his financial aid loans.
I cut up my credit cards and closed the accounts. I know this will affect my credit rating but I don’t really care anymore. Everyone has credit issues now. At least I can pay my mortgage. I’ll have to learn to pinch pennies for awhile but I am very willing to do that. Now I just have to tell my husband all of this. And tell him his credit card accounts have been closed.