Deck Chairs, the Titanic, and Me
May 1, 2006 8:05 AM Subscribe
What actually happens when one goes through credit counseling and/or debt consolidation? I'm in an ugly mess and I'm scared--everyone tells me it's not that bad, but that's only in comparison to horror stories. I see that it's not getting better anytime soon. Details inside--any practical advice is appreciated!
posted by scaryblackdeath to work & money (34 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking at $15k in credit card debt. Some of this was probably unavoidable. Some of it was me stupidly living beyond my means. Every time in the last two years I've thought things would improve, they don't. I don't make much money; I can say that will improve someday in the next couple years, but I couldn't say precisely when.
At the moment, I have pretty good credit. My debts look like they may soon be outside of my ability to pay. I'm also looking at the potential for seasonal unemployment for a couple months here (I substitute teach), and while I'm looking hard for something to cover that, I'm concerned about the worst-case-scenario.
About a month & a half ago, I goofed up and failed to make a credit card payment (first time ever, I simply thought it was done when it wasn't) and now I've been nailed with a 30.34% APR on that $6500 balance. I already asked if there was any way to change that back, and the card company said no. Obviously it's time to roll that over to someplace else.
The other credit card is nearing $8k, and I've got a remaining $500 on a Firestone card... with all this together, I've decided to just go for counseling and/or consolidation.
The service I called sent me a budgeting sheet and asked me to have that ready when the counselor calls me in a couple days. Clearly I need to tighten my belt and engage in more disciplined living, but somehow that alone doesn't sound like it'll make everything better.
What can I reasonably expect? I've heard of people having debts reduced and/or eliminated, but that sounds like a pipe dream and it's usually in regards to people in worse situations than mine. Much as I wish someone would wave a magic wand and make my debts go away, I doubt that's gonna happen.
Oh. And I'm horribly embarrassed by all this, because I used to think I'm a responsible person. Duh.