Overwhelmed with Credit Card Debt

Hi I am new and joined because I am overwhelmed with my credit card debt. I pay my bills ontime, and make the minimum payments, but I am not getting out of debt. I don’t have any money in savings, it is all going to pay the bills. Should I use a company to consolidate my debt?

As many on this forum will tell you, unless you cut up your credit cards and swear off them for good, you should not get a CON-solidation loan. The reason is, it is a con. You conned yourself. You will find yourself a year or two later, overwhelmed with new credit card debt plus your CON-solidation loan.

Many here follow the Dave Ramsey method which calls for getting $1,000 in the bank for true emergencies. Then pay minimum on all CCs except the one with the lowest balance. Find someway to pay extra and get rid of it. As Dave says, have garage sales. Sell so much so fast the kids hide thinking they are next. With the first one gone you start snowballing up.

Amy I just touting Dave, no, I conned myself 3 years ago. I rolled 90% of all my CCs into a home refi. Now, I just met with a realtor and probably cannot put the house on the market March 1st as planned. I owe too much on the house, the market here is down about 8% and I have $22k in CC debt. I paid off 3 last year. The snowball is rolling Best of luck to you.

We are using CCCS and so far it’s working. They got our finance charge down and late fees stopped too. With our case we will be paid our debt off in less than 4 years. The way we were going it would be 15 years or more by just paying the minimum. I don’t know how much debt you have and it may take longer or not as long to get out of it this way but at least there is a end in sight! I personally think consolidation is not a good way because you still have a high finance charge, but that’s just my opinion. Good luck!

I was in the same situation, and went to a CCCS agency to look into consolidating my debt. Since my interest rates weren’t through the roof and I was able to pay minimums, they said that going through their service would actually *hurt* my credit. So much for that idea.

What it came down to for me–and I don’t know the details of your finances–was I just had to spend less and have more income, and have a plan. I used Mary Hunt’s “Debt Proof Living” and that helped a lot. I didn’t agree with some of the religious tone to it, but the basic advice is really good.

The main thing is to try to look at your budget, see what you can cut, and see how you can get more income. Even a small amount of savings and a small amount over the minimum payment will help (and not spending on your credit cards, which can be extremely difficult).

There are other personal finance authors out there: Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, Liz Pulliam Weston. Try doing some research and some planning, and good luck!I have used CCCS in the past and they are not a consolidation…. All they do is take one amount from you and then they send it to all your creditors. They don’t really do anything more than what you could do for yourself… When we did use them, they were able to get B of A down to 0% interest and stop the fees and such. That was good, but I learned I can do the same with a little aggression on my part too.

And CPT_TOM is very right – the real problem is not the credit cards, but the lifestyle. First, get the lifestyle under control. Get the emergency fund in place, start living on what you make. Then, you can pay on the cards and slowly but surely it will all sort out. Otherwise, you can go through CCCS and then find yourself right back in trouble again.


Budget on-line site

I have been reading, but not posting much lately. I have done some research on the web, but have not found exactly what I am looking for. Perhaps someone here can help me.

I want to post my checkbook on line at a secure website rather than handwriting it in a register. Reason being is that my husband and I have a joint checking account and I work out of town a lot. So, we both need to be able to access the correct balance. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Have you tried banking with a bank that offers “online banking”? Most do, these days. I bank at Chase, for example, and stopped using a register at all. I log on every day. Its safe, no full acct numbers online at all. I can view the same activity the bank sees.

I stopped writing checks to pay bills because I can set up the online bill pay through Chase and I no longer have to wait for my checks to clear. I can log on from my laptop no matter where I am. I dont have to count on myself to write in every transaction. I am sure BofA, Fifth/Third, other larger banks offer something similar…and maybe some credit unions too.

Call your bank and see what they offer!


Your retirement funds are safe

Your retirement funds are safe(401K)no one can garnish them even though they are an “asset”. Best bet is to deal with the credit card companies directly and get those interest rates below 10%. Suspend the use of your cards for any non-vital costs. They want to get paid too so be persistent about their pay down programs.

Here is what I accomplished with MBNA:

  • On a $32,000 debt 550.00/month at 6years at 3%. I owe them 19000 now.
  • With Discover Card On a 13,000 debt I owe them 8000 now. $394.00/month 4 years at 10%
  • With Citi Card On a $8000.00 debt $300/month at 10% 3 years. They also have a half/pay program. when I owed them $3000 I complained that the paydown rate wasn’t moving fast enough.

They offered the following:

Come up with $600.00 and we will match it. That day I got $3000 down to $1800. I went after this debt with a vengeance and have it down to $700.00 as we speak. With JC Penney it was 3000. I managed to pay this down at 300/month NO INTEREST in ten months.

In all cases I closed the cards and only work on buying what I have the money for. I intend to be debt free in 2 years. Meanwhile I have housing expenses of $3000.00. I work a tremendous amount of extra jobs to make ends meet but I am driven to succeed at this program.

If I ever have a credit card again, I would never allow courtesy checks nor have a limit greater than $5000.00 and this requirement would be in writing to that company. Be hardnosed with credit card companies. Don’t take no for an answer. it took me a year to get Discover Card reigned in to my terms.

I kept hanging up on them and I stopped paying them at one point till they dealt fairly with me. For example: When they threaten penalties and late fees tell them that needs to go away if they are going to get paid. Interest rate 18%? No way.

They will call back with a better deal just be patient. Don’t divulge a bank account number to a credit card company you suspect will seize your account keep safe money safe in a new bank. Pay from a pay account you intend to divulge to them that checks or electronic transfers will come from and only have in the account what you need to pay them.

You can be debt free in 2 years if you focus on not using credit anymore. I was almost 60000 in the hole 2 years ago and now its under half that. The tunnel finally has some light in it. When I destroy the Citicard account I’ll focus on the next smallest debt until it too is gone


Debt settlement – urgent question

I have tried working with my credit cards to do this. They all say no way and then get quite ugly. Citicard being the worse. I have offered only 20 percent to the lowest 4. It’s not much but its all I have. Now I thinking maybe I can get them to work some other arrangement. I’d like to offer to pay them the original amount owed (less late fees and over the limit fees, plus higher interest). Am I nuts to even try this? If I could get them to agree to that and then give me a set amount of time to do this in, I just might be able to get my head above water. Anyone able to do this? Any other suggestions?

Okay everybody…Ive been following this group for quite awhile, And now I think Im to the point Ive decided to try debt settlement with all of my credit cards, Ive talked with a Credit Counselor, (Green Path?) and was not impressed with the help they had to offer, and what they wanted to charge me. Ive paying basically minumum amounts on all of them (approx $34,000 debt to following cards: Cap1, HSBC, Chase, 5th 3rd, Bank of America) Hosehold income is approx $62,000, I have a mortgage that MAY just break even if sold (no equity) Both my husband and I have older cars that are paid for, and require misc. parts every now and then, My home is very modest, and Im raising 4 kids with my husband, we both work full time, and have “hobbies” that bring in small amounts of money, but nothing significant (not for lack of trying though!) I hate to be judged, but “yes” we were living beyond our means, not saving, and always counting on pay increases that stopped years ago. I could go into more into detail about how we ended up with so much debt, but I guess it doesnt matter much at this point.

Credit companies are already sending us notices that our available balance is being lowered, and the ones with higher interest rates wont lower them, our credit score is going down if I continue on this path, so I am thinking debt settltment may be something I should do. (know debt settlement hurts credit too)

The idea of just stopping the payments freaks me right out, I take a lot of pride in being able to pay my bills, but the gig is up. I have spoke with the companies who handle the settlments for you, but they are charging atleast 2,000.00 crazy. BUT I did gain knowlege talking with them, so I pretty sure I can handle it, I DO worry they may have some “trick” or “technique” that I may not know of, that could screw me up, I dunno.

I worry about that, but I mostly worry about worst case senerio, which I have no idea what it is????? this is unsecured debt Im trying to settle…..so they harass me by phone???? take me to court? garnish wages???? from what Im hearring, as long as I show up to court, the judge will help figure out something I can afford, once again, I dunno! I have no assets…other than a 401K, worth maybe 20,000???? (havent checked lately!) could they touch this??? Should I try to contact all my CC before I stop paying, just so I can say “see…I tried to work with you first, you didnt want to” would that even matter????? Im hoping because of the climate now, the CC will quicker want to settle than the fear of getting nothing.

One more thing….My hours at work have been cut from 40, to 30, per week and it could contiue for sometime, that is mainly why Im finally deciding to do something about the debt….I so dread it……but Im finally stuck, and must do something, it really sucks.

So if anyone has advice, support, or answeres to questions I asked….please respond!!!!


Hello all, I’m new to the blog

I just stumbled upon this blog and have found it interesting with very good info, i belonged to another group, but with no activity or good info.

well, i of course am in debt to and feel like a failure. last year i was completely out of debt and it felt good, i remember being stress free and able to breath, but what makes us go right back out and do it again is beyond me.

My credit cards are all current, but Bank of America just raised my Apr and charging me a 37.89 finance charge, this is going to ruin me, i am not paying this, i refuse. i have talked with them and cannot get direct answers on where there getting 38.00 in finance charges on 16.99%.
i am unemployed at the moment but i am married and my hubby is retired with a not so good income.

38% is ridiculous.

My health insurance just went up 34% to over $500 a month. Even though it’s insurance other than credit card, I found I can make an appeal on this here in California.

It would be great if the more knowledgeable members could address what exactly usury is as that is what Rebecca’s rate sounds like to me.


Opinions on this offer please

I have been trying to figure out what to do with this debt. I have contacted a lot of different places. I just need to know if this sounds good or am I being snowed. Should I go about this differently?

Here is an email that I received… Can someone tell me their opinions??

Creditors are Chase.

Plan A

This quote is based on $17.500 in total debt. If all of your accounts were only at 18% and you were making minimum payments, it will take you approximately 22 years and you will pay at least $37,233.00 in interest and fees on top of the 17K that you owe already! Those figures assume timely payments; if you fall behind it gets much worse.

With our “Consolidation” program we will negotiate with your creditors to get your interest rates reduced; in some cases eliminated altogether. This will help get you out of debt in a short amount of time. This program will not have a negative effect on your credit because you are paying your debts back in full.

Go to http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/WhatsNotInYourScore.aspx. Click on “learn” and then on “what is not included” in credit score. Look for “credit counseling” which is (plan A) consolidation. Link will answer any questions concerning consolidation program and your credit scores.

Your monthly payment will be $399.00 and you will be totally debt free in 62 months or less. This represents the lowest amount that will be acceptable by each of your creditors to participate in a Debt Consolidation program. If you have additional funds available you can pay more and get out of debt even faster. Is $399.00 a payment that will be affordable for you on a monthly basis?

Plan B

We do have an alternative program that will get you a lower payment called a “Debt Settlement”. Let me explain the difference. In the Consolidation program, we take all of your unsecured debts and lump them into one payment. We negotiate with your creditors to get your interest rates reduced so that you can get out of debt in short period of time. If that is not affordable, you do have the option of “settling” the debts. That’s where we negotiate your overall balances, not your interest rates. We can usually reduce your total balance down to approximately 60% of the original amount.

Go get $1000 loan online from WeGot1000. During this time frame, your credit will not be optimal as you will not be paying the debts back in full. This is more or less an alternative to bankruptcy. You will continue to receive collection calls and letters. Your accounts will be settled one at a time while the others continue to fall behind. Once each account is paid off you will receive a statement back indicating that your account has been paid as agreed or that a settlement has been made. When you have paid off the last account your credit will begin to get back to where it needs to be. We would recommend paying extra whenever you have the funds available.

This program will lower your monthly payment down to $350.00 and that would lower your time frame down to 35 months. Is that a payment that would be more affordable for you?

There are allot of details about each program that we can discuss before you make a decision but I wanted to give you some numbers to think about today.


Reply to: increase in rate unexpected

Regarding my own situation, i spoke with someone at Citi who said the increase is because of the general problems in the credit markets, not a reflection on me. i have the option to opt out and keep the current rate, but the card will be cancelled upon its expiration date and all the money will be due by then. since i requested a new card, the expiration date is three years ahead, so this could be an option to freeze the current rate. if i don’t opt out, the rate goes to the higher rate (near 20%) by April. i noticed that they had already increased the yearly membership to $50 from $35, were charging for any lateness, and increased charges for cash advances. it would seem that maybe i should opt out, in case other cards start doing the same. it’s not going to help if all credit cards all of a sudden increase their rates by 6%.

I think that all of the credit cards are doing this, I dont personally have any CC, due to filing bankruptcy but my husband has received two letters from two different credit cards that has stated that his interest rate is going up due to the economy but he can call and tell them to keep it as. It is crazy that they are doing this most people do not even look at the small print that has this important info.

My Discover Card went from 11.5 to 14.99 according to Discover for the same reason. I just did a transfer from Discover to Citi to a 2.99 rate for a year. I plan to be finished with this debt by the end of this year. I had 5800 of debt on the card. It cost $176 to transfer it to the Citi Debt Card. So, why not opt out and close the card before three years are up like the day after they get the notice to opt out? It is a DA idea that debts to credit cards are bogusly bad…..and if you have an open card you will most certianly use it…why not commit to DA and stop using it by not just cutting it up but by closing the account entirely….it seems you are wanting to continue to debt and that just did not hit me as right as a DA member….even though I am myself not solvent more than a few days after a screw up with a bill and getting overdue notice in mail.

Hi Bill and all. Thanks, that is exactly what i intend to do. the good thing is that i had just asked for a new card because i had cut up my previous one and i needed a physical one to enter data in the internet, so as to change to receive bills in the mail. this extended the date of expiration, so now i can opt out, remain at the earlier rate and pay it off. i think i will pay it off sooner anyhow.


Request for advice: harassment & torture by indiabulls

I had taken personal loan from Indiabulls of Rs.25,601/- on 25/5 and repaid Rs.22600/- but just default in one of my EMI of Rs.1800/-, Indiabulls misused my blank security cheque by filling false amount of Rs.28,249/- and they also misused my blank signed loan agreement by filling false figures of 30 installments instead of 24 (Usurious rate of interest more than 60 % p/a.), denied the receipt of some amount debited from my bank.

Even though I tried to settle the dispute by offering reasonable amount pending principal amount and interest amount but to extract extra money from me Indiabulls filled bogus cheque return case in Patiala House Court, New Delhi. As it is tough to defend the false cheque return case traveling from Mumbai to Delhi, Indiabulls forcing me to pay Rs.32,499/- plus uncharged interest. To extract the money company filled thousands of cheque bounce cases in Court. I made several complaints with RBI, RBI from more than 6 months tactically and shamelessly not taking any action against Indiabulls and to protect and please to Indiabulls, neglecting all my complaints on one or another technical ground.

Against my several complaints to RBI by written letters, Emails, Reminders, telephone call RBI just ask reply of Indiabulls, Indiabulls given false statement in the matter and RBI satisfied and not ready to investigate my complaint. The whole system is working with Indiabulls. To earn huge money Indiabulls bring the thousands of poor borrowers to suicidal point. Financial Company openly violate the fair business practice guidelines given by RBI. I request you to please investigate the matter and take appropriate action against financial company. From last six months I am unable to concentrate on my job duty and facing tremendous mental agony due to harassment and torture by Indiabulls.

Who in their right mind would allow anyone to have a blank security check or blank SIGNED loan agreement?

Common sense moment here:


If you signed a blank check and a blank loan agreement, chalk the experience up to “stupid tax” – get an extra job and start paying….. and don’t repeat!!!!


I just wanted to say hi and introduce myself

Hi, I just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. I live in PA my husband and my daughter. My daughter is disabled so I haven’t been able to work for awhile. Also her expenses were very high as I was unable to access professionals threw our insurance. Finally, I’ve been able to fix that situation. After must red tape and everything will be covered. So I’ve written down our debt and rated it by interest rates. We are going to pay the highest first.

I called the lowest yesterday to ask for a credit limit increase. They gave that to me and my plan was to transfer the highest at 16.99% to the lowest at 6.99% with the plan to pay everything off within 9 months or so. But then even though they gave me the increase the rate they quoted was the cash advance rate! Back to the drawing board I guess.


Increase in rate unexpected

I was recently changing to receive my credit card statements via email. one card, of Citi, i had cut up and was paying down. i called Citi to ask them for a new card because in order to change to receiving it online, i had to have the card in front of me in order to read the security code, so i have to receive a new one. i received a new one and also a letter stating that my interest went from 13.99% to 19.99%. i have the choice of accepting that increase, or turning it down, but owing the entire amount. i’m currently looking for work and an increase in interest does not help me. is ti worth talking to an agent at that company to request that the interest not be increased due to my unemployment? i had not even used the card and was paying it down for a long time. thanks.

Absolutely call them and ask for a interest rate reduction. Start by saying you’re a long time customer making payments on time and if you don’t receive a reduction you’ll be forced to find another company who will provide a better rate. Be firm and it’s none of their business that you’re unemployed. I would mention it until you find it necessary to default on payments.

Let them know that’s why Citi laid off about 35000 of its own people because they don’t work with their debtors.

I think they have you listed for two accounts now. The one you owe at 14% and a new one at 20%, make sure the account numbers are the same. talk to an agent to justify the increase. I wasn’t NICE with these folks. they borrow money from the fed at at about 3% let them know that you are also willing to file a charge on them with the Federal Trade Commission then you want to discuss this with a manager because you need someone’s name when you contact a congressional representative in relation to predatory lending practices. You will be amazed at the number of “contructive repayment ” programs these companies don’t reveal to you unless you break their stones.

For example:

  • I pushed them into a half pay agreement on a $3000 dollar debt thereby eliminating one year’s worth of finance charges.
  • I came up with $600 and they matched it so I got the debt down to $1800. The original debt was over $8000 but it took me on a learning curve over two years to figure out that I would never get this debt paid at 21%.
  • I owe $700 on this debt and I expect to be debt free of them and their cards in 3 payments.

They do all of their business out of Delaware and South Dakota by the way because most US states have banking laws that would never allow them to get away with what they get away with. Don’t be nice.Stop using their card clear your debt and then think of using a different card. PS I got Discover down to 10% and MBNA down to 3%,JCPenney I got down to 0% so you know what I am telling you is true.

I just had the same thing happen to me with another card (that I have
a very good record with). The letter said they were increasing the
rate “to maintain profitability on my account”.

Right. Like they’re not making *enough* money off of me already.

I found this link to help consumers try to negotiate a lower rate:


It’s pretty aggressive, but times like these, I guess that’s what’s needed. If anyone is successful in getting your rate(s) lowered, please post here and let us know how you did it.