I suppose many people ….. well, a great deal of people ……. have let credit cards fuck up their lives to the point that they feel like a hamster on a wheel. Pay a little bit, charge some more, pay a few bucks over the minimum, charge more than your minimum … it just goes on and on.
Now that I’ve paid off my student loan (YAAAAAAAAAAY), I’ve upped my 401(k) percentage and got into the debt relief program from National Debt Relief (NDR). Basically, they negotiate down your debt over a 2-4 year timeframe. The sucky part is (1) the credit cards you need help with are cancelled — you are virtually credit-card-less — and (2) your credit score goes to shit. I hate that the cards I’ve had the longest “relationship” with, such as Discover® (card-holder since 1992) will no longer be useable and, most importantly, my credit score going into the toilet. They let you know that right up front so that there is no surprise later on.
Now, so everyone knows, I am not advising anyone to use NDR, nor am I in any way compensated for mentioning them. I only note the company here to give y’all the lengths to which I’m going in order to get out from under my debt. It’s humbling. It makes me feel like a financial loser. Like I can’t control myself.
Luckily, the representative I spoke to prior to signing up was completely non-judgmental about my situation and was very helpful in navigating the process. Every possible question I had was answered to the best of his ability. Although I’m really nervous about the credit score issue, I have to put myself in their hands to manage my future. I will, basically, be on a cash/check/debit card system with only one credit card available for making gasoline purchases. I haven’t been cash-only since I was SUPER poor, back in the mid-to-late ’80’s. I remember distinctly having only $36 and change to use for groceries for myself and my (then) husband. It SUCKED. Now that I make quite a bit more money than back then, it should be a bit “easier.”
This will just be another in a string of lifestyle changes that have turned my life into new directions. Whether it’s eating a Keto diet in order to get off my medications or cutting out 99% of my alcohol consumption or going cash-only for living expenses, it HAS to be a change in lifestyle and mindset in order for it to work. I must be committed. I must be vigilant. I need to come out of this debt relief a new and better woman, free of the 1,000-lb gorilla (debt) on my back. Free to put more into my retirement fund so that I can ACTUALLY RETIRE.
I’m still nervous, but my mind is set. I WILL survive this. There is no other way to move forward.
Thanks for listening and for the support that I continue to find out here in blog-land.