Whether it happened due to a little too much retail therapy, some emergency expenses or just a lack of a good relationship with money and credit, it’s not unheard-of that you have a bit of debt to pay off.
Or maybe more than a bit.
Wanting to start the next chapter of your life debt-free (so you can turn right around and get a mortgage, right?) is an admirable goal and, depending on the size of your debt and how much time you’ve got before that page turns, it may even be possible!
After my first divorce (the one where we divided up liabilities as we had no real assets to speak of) I had a couple of credit cards, a new car payment and a small loan from my boss we’d taken out to pay for car repairs (for the now-ex’s car… somehow that got forgotten in the divvying up process, but whatever). And then I decided it was time to go back to school and incurred quite the student loan balance over those 2 years. After finishing school and going into my chosen field I was so upside down it was scary.
Threatening to repossess my car scary.
Because I wasn’t making enough to pay both my rent and my car payment in the same month on top of my other bills (and I’d run out of extensions) I did two very important things: I went back to my old job making a steadier paycheck and sought the help of one of those Debt Management Companies.
The upside of that last bit was that they got my interest rates reduced and negotiated a payment plan that got the various companies off my back so I could pay the other bits without sweating so much. The downside is that those cards would be cancelled the moment they were paid off and my credit rating took a hit because of the negotiations. At that point, though, I figured my credit couldn’t get much worse and I had time to rebuild.
And rebuild I did! I even got pretty good at living within my means with no credit cards for many years. And then I got a little cocky, got approved for a couple of accounts and got myself a bit topsy turvy again.
Some lessons take more than one time to learn, huh?
While I could bore you with the details, it’s enough to say I didn’t manage my funds as well as I could have. That, plus losing a contract job that cut my monthly income by 25% put me into a bit of a tailspin. I could make the minimum payments on everything, plus a little more spread around, so the situation wasn’t/isn’t dire, but I finally got to the point where I was fed up and ready to change things.
With the wedding coming up it strengthened my resolve to dig myself out of the pit I’d dug over the last however-many years without needing outside help or jeopardizing my credit report.
Does this sound at all familiar to you?
How much are you willing to do to get out of debt?