I need a short term, freelance marketing gig
February 3, 2017 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Unfortunate medical events in my life have forced a credit card debt that I am not comfortable with (baby in NICU). It's about 10G.

I have 20 years of perfect credit (800+ credit score), am a home owner and am generally extremely responsible. I've transferred what I can to a fee free card (18 months) but about half of it is still charging me each month. I have a job, I love my job and I need to keep my job and all of its benefits for my family. I have very little money left each month after bills (i dont spend money on anything frivolous) and asking for a raise isn't an option at this time.

I want to get rid of this debt ASAP and protect everything I have built for my family. I'm already selling the things I own that are valuable, but i just don't have a ton of "stuff". I have a lot of (lauded, management level) skills in the marketing, copywriting and basic design arenas. I am willing to do some late night freelance to kill this thing, but it has to be at home, because I have a child. What would you all do? How would you kill this monster before it overwhelms my small happy life? I've got about 6 months before it gets bad.
posted by chuke to Work & Money (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Can you get a personal or home equity loan at a much lower rate than the credit card?
posted by miyabo at 11:00 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

The credit cards are 1. no interest and 2. very very low interest. No home loan can beat them. The debt itself is the problem.
posted by chuke at 11:03 AM on February 3, 2017

What you want is remote work and these two recent questions have lots of answers:
What's the deal with remote jobs?
Where to next? (UK person but some answers include US jobs)
posted by soelo at 11:37 AM on February 3, 2017

Check your memail!
posted by schadenfrau at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2017

One more thing to look into is your income taxes. If you get a big refund this year, throw it all at the debt and then also adjust your tax withholding to get more in each paycheck rather than in a refund next April. If your medical expenses were that high last year, be sure to check into deducting them as well.
posted by soelo at 11:45 AM on February 3, 2017

Just to add some perspective, $10K of debt when you are a homeowner with 800+ credit is really not that big of a deal, especially when you ran it up on medical debt. Sure, pay it off as fast as you can, and freelance work is a great way to do that, but it's not worth the level of stress that is coming through in your post. It really isn't.

To answer your question, the quickest way to get freelance work is with people who already know you and like you. You'll get better rates too because they won't be putting you up against 15 other bidders. So hit your LI contact list, friends, former coworkers, former employers, pretty anybody you have an email address for that might need what you can do for them, or may know somebody who does.
posted by COD at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2017 [12 favorites]

How wide is your social network? Could you open a YouCaring fundraiser?

I also ditto COD- debt isn't ideal but as long as you can make at least your monthly minimum (and it sounds like you can do more), it's not going to ruin your life, it's just going to cost you a little money.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:50 AM on February 3, 2017

Obviously this depends on your specific situation, but the biggest thing that kept me out of debt was sharing cheap cars instead of having my own expensive car. If you have a car to sell, living without it for a couple years could be the single fastest way to escape the debt.
posted by metasarah at 11:54 AM on February 3, 2017

I want to get rid of this debt ASAP and protect everything I have built for my family [...] How would you kill this monster before it overwhelms my small happy life?

What do you think will happen if you can't pay it off quickly that will ruin your life? Especially if the debt is low/no interest?
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:44 PM on February 3, 2017

Stop stop stop. Never take on credit card or other debt to cover medical debt in the US. Medical debt does not operate like other debt. You may be left with a large post-insurance NICU bill but you can pay it off over time. You can negotiate a long term, totally manageable repayment plan by ringing them and stating that this is the out of pocket uncovered portion of the bill. They can both cut the bill and put you on a repayment plan.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:55 PM on February 3, 2017 [11 favorites]

I'm really sorry about this stress in your life! I have a few suggestions for finding freelance marketing gigs. I've signed up with The Creative Group before and they do post some remote work. They're a recruitment agency for marketing/design freelancers through the mega-temp company Robert Half. Honestly, I think they suck and I wouldn't recommend them if they were your sole source of income, but they were willing to throw a LOT of work my way. (My problems with them: they don't negotiate for high salaries, and they also aren't discriminating about what work they try to pair you up with. I guess they make money off the volume of placements and don't get a commission based on salary? Normally a good recruiter would get you a good salary and make sure you're a good fit, so I find them a little sketchy. Not sketchy enough to say avoid at all costs, though.)

Guru is another site you might try. I have worked with a freelance designer who recommended them because she found good paying work, but have also heard criticisms about how hard it is to find that very thing so I don't know what is true. In your situation, perhaps it's more about finding work now and supplementing your income as much as possible, though — they might be a fairly hassle-free way to find some work.

Again, I am so sorry to hear about your baby and the medical debt. I wish you all the luck in the world and am continuing to try to think of other options for you — I've looked for a lot of freelance graphic design work over the years, so I'm hoping more ideas come to mind for your situation.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 1:55 PM on February 3, 2017

[Folks, take it as read at this point that the "avoid credit card debt" thing is covered and please try to focus more on the gig/revenue aspect at the core of the question.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:11 PM on February 3, 2017

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