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(Some (broke) Guy)   What's Fark's collective credit card debt? How much do you owe? Any debt resolution suggestions for this Farker?   (consumercredit.com) divider line 316
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2856 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jun 2003 at 5:48 PM (11 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2003-06-20 06:26:47 PM  
I got about 8g's in cc debt, downside is i can't file bankruptcy because it isn't in my name. Good news is after haggling with Fleet they're going to give a card at 0% if i transfer, and the percentage will never go up on the balance.
 
2003-06-20 06:26:52 PM  
ASUJon

No debt, because I have 2 brain cells and I realize that having credit card debt will cripple you for life

Terrible way to think. You'll stay out of debt, but at the cost of your own quality of life. It's all about debt and asset management.

Why plunk down $25,000 CASH for a new car when you can finance? Do you realize the investment potential of a wad of liquid asset like that?

Plunk down $25,000 cash, and you have a car, that's it. Or... Finance with a 4.9% or 3.9% loan. Invest the money NOW and make a larger percentage. Bam, you have a car, plus are making money to save, or spend on the girls riding with you in your car.

Take FIN 101 class at ASU, will ya?
 
2003-06-20 06:28:15 PM  
The only acceptable debt is one that pays for itself. Rental property for example, its an asset (puts money in your pocket)
 
2003-06-20 06:28:45 PM  
Hrmph. Amateurs, all of you.

ahem...

$93,712.00 in student loans.

You may now have extreme pity on me.
 
2003-06-20 06:28:51 PM  
Im not in debt simply because my parents are paying my tuition bills right now ;) . . . Of course, it helps that Im in a community college.

A vote for me is a vote for nonsencicle voting.
 
2003-06-20 06:29:01 PM  
$25K... but use to be $50K 18 months ago...

And don't just cut up the cards - call the companies and cancel your account. Those open accounts can screw you up later.
 
2003-06-20 06:29:01 PM  
By the way, Ctyner said it first in the thread, but pay your bills in full every month if you can't do that, your spending too much. Serious.
 
2003-06-20 06:29:12 PM  
I owe $24,000. It is split between two cards that both gave me a teaser rate of 2.9% (good on balance transfer for the life of the loans) This worked out great, it was cheaper than taking at a second or a home equity loan. If you go this route be carefully. Be one day late on a payment and the mofo goes up to 18%. I pay on them on-line so i have a paper trail.
 
2003-06-20 06:29:21 PM  
There's nothing wrong with credit cards as long as you don't carry a balance and start paying those usurious interest rates. I use mine all the time, but I treat it like cash. It's a no-fee one from my bank, so it doesn't cost me a thing.

For people who have trouble managing money, you can't go wrong by using personal accounting software like Quicken or Money. It takes some discipline to enter in your spending every day, but it will pay off in spades if you can stay on top of it. I've been using Quicken since 1997, and have been diligent about recording my transactions. One of the reasons to keep going is that if I stopped, all of the time I've spent over the years entering the data would have been wasted. But man, once you've been using it for a while, you really start to get a deep understanding of your financial picture. It can predict how much money you'll have in the future, and the ability to track your cash flow will enable you to notice immediately if you're spending more than you're making. Looking back through the entries in the calender bring back memories of great meals, crazy bar nights with friends, trips etc.

I used to live paycheque to paycheque, and although I'm earning more money now, I credit Quicken for giving me the ability to come out ahead every month.

I have friends that earn about as much as I do, but who are basically one paycheque away from homelessness. If I lost my job tomorrow, I could probably live for a year or so with no money coming in.

Download the trial version of Money or whatever and try it out, it may be the thing that gets you on the road to turning your financial situation around.
 
2003-06-20 06:30:25 PM  
Craptastic
Hint for other Farkers: Every 1-2 years, call your credit card company and say that you're cancelling because you've found a new card with a lower interest rate. Provided you're in good standing, they'll quickly lower your interest rate to keep you as a customer.

Does this really work for people? I have a stellar credit rating, always make my payments on time, and am in good standing with all my accounts. I've tried this several times and it has *never* worked. The answer was always "fine, see ya."
 
2003-06-20 06:30:35 PM  
Nothing, I use debit for everything. Luckily enough I managed to get both a car and a house for free. No student loans, nuttin. Grad school pays me to go there, so I'm sittin pretty in a simple, debt-free life.
 
2003-06-20 06:31:20 PM  
$12k, thanks to a farking divorce settlement.

However; lesson learned and no NEW CC debt since the split.

Also please note that I have not resorted to begging for money on the internet. I'll shoulder my own responsibility, thanks.

/bitter.
 
2003-06-20 06:31:50 PM  
If you do not have the cash in the bank to back it up, don't amass a credit card debt. How farking hard is this for some people to understand? I have no sympathy for people who simply spend themselves into a financial pit.

Don't spend the money, don't open up a website begging for cash and pity, and certainly don't write a damn book about it.
 
2003-06-20 06:33:00 PM  
I owe $0.00 to the evil credit card companies...
Of course, i DO owe Satan my Soul...

but I think it balances out in the end, don't you?
 
2003-06-20 06:33:36 PM  
Reedster

Check cards are horrible! The terminals always seem to have more difficulty reading them than credit cards. There's usually a daily limit for them ($1000 or so). Many car rental companies WILL NOT accept them, hands down. Never travel with ONLY a check card -- very bad news.

They do have their benefits, but not enough to outweigh the restrictions on them.
 
2003-06-20 06:33:52 PM  
0. Debit card all the way. It's nice to know it's there though.
 
2003-06-20 06:34:00 PM  
6,500 student loan
5,500 CC loan
13,000 2 car loans
110,000 home loan (worth 195K)

Taking equity out of my house and paying off 2car & CC loans WHILE lowering my payments. Kinda broke, but it don't take alot of money for a case of on sale beer and steaks.

/mmmm..BEER
 
2003-06-20 06:34:37 PM  
06-20-03 05:06:28 PM Exar Kun
The car just got totalled(damn red light runners!) so, I am gonna go down about 5-10k, to buy a decent vehicle.


Dude, what about insurance? Especially if the other person was at fault...or are you the damn red light runner?
 
2003-06-20 06:35:22 PM  
$0. Never been more than $500 and paid it off immediately. I refuse to fall into that pit.
 
2003-06-20 06:36:50 PM  
DO NOT go with AmeriQuest or any of its subsidiaries. A mistake by them forced my best friend into bankruptcy, and they refused to acknowledge that they even made a mistake. We proved it, though, and are taking them to court about it.
 
2003-06-20 06:37:01 PM  
06-20-03 06:30:25 PM Epoophoron

Does this really work for people? I have a stellar credit rating, always make my payments on time, and am in good standing with all my accounts. I've tried this several times and it has *never* worked. The answer was always "fine, see ya."


Oh boy, this sounds just like what I was posting about before. Are you carrying a [small] balance forward once in a while? If you aren't ever paying any interest, the banks don't care about you. Calling them sure does work if you manage your credit properly. I don't call them every two years, I do it every year - I also review my credit report onve or twice a year. You would be surprised at the incorrect crap that is on it.
 
2003-06-20 06:37:02 PM  
Epoophoron

Does this really work for people? I have a stellar credit rating, always make my payments on time, and am in good standing with all my accounts. I've tried this several times and it has *never* worked. The answer was always "fine, see ya."


Since you never pay any interest, the credit card company never makes any money off of you. What is their incentive for keeping you around?
 
2003-06-20 06:37:07 PM  
Valkore

Terrible way to think. You'll stay out of debt, but at the cost of your own quality of life. It's all about debt and asset management.


If you finance the quality of life, you are basically borrowing quality of life from the future so that you can enjoy it now. Later you will have to pay back the debt with interest. That means you will have less money to spend on life in the future.

Why plunk down $25,000 CASH for a new car when you can finance? Do you realize the investment potential of a wad of liquid asset like that?



You forgot to add in the loan charges.
If you can make more money investing they why are people with lots of money like banks and car dealers willing to loan it to you at 3.9%? You may get a better return. You may not.

I just bought a 2003 Honda CRV and paid $25,000 cash.
If you can't aford to buy the car outright maybe you can not afford it and should by a cheaper car?



 
2003-06-20 06:37:18 PM  
$18K in CCs only. I won't even go into the student loans, mortgage, car, etc.
 
2003-06-20 06:37:33 PM  
About $1,500 now. It'll be zero in about 6 weeks (needed a new engine for the car).

At one time, we were at almost $40k. We went to CCCS, they cut the collective interest down to about 5% (from over 20%), and we paid it off in 1/3 the time it would have taken to do it ourself for payments about half what we would have paid, and 2 months after we were done we bought our first house and got a great rixed rate on our mortgage.

CCCS rules in my book. They saved our (stupid) lives, and all they took from us was $35 a month (while saving us about $50k in interest). Now we have fantastic credit, and we were on CCCS just 2 years ago.
 
2003-06-20 06:38:00 PM  
DrRocks1982
If you do not have the cash in the bank to back it up, don't amass a credit card debt. How farking hard is this for some people to understand? I have no sympathy for people who simply spend themselves into a financial pit.

Don't spend the money, don't open up a website begging for cash and pity, and certainly don't write a damn book about it.


Yeah, you all love to bash on SaveKaryn... but the fact of the matter is that she's got all kinds of cool shiat at her pad that she bought on credit cards - and then she somehow convinced a whole bunch of people she doesn't know to pay them all off.

Like it or not, she's making every "fiscally responsible" person in the world look like a moron.
 
2003-06-20 06:38:04 PM  
$4500 in credit card debt, and by the time i gradumate in two years, i'll be staring at $125,000 in student loans too.
 
2003-06-20 06:38:22 PM  
I applied for and received multiple CC while at college (for emergency purposes, you know). Graduated owing ~5K. Kept using them and paying what I could (debt got larger). When I hit 10K, I started calling my credit card companies. I had one company that would consolodate three credit cards and reduce my interest rate to .5 above prime for a $100 annual fee. I have already worked off 1k in a year.

My best advice, call your credit card companies and see about reducing your interest rate. After that, transfer all of your balances to that one card.
 
2003-06-20 06:38:28 PM  
Debt isn't bad. I bought my condo 80-15-5, and paid the 5% with a credit-card 0% interest check. Net result: move in with nothing down, pay about the same as rent, and make $ off the value increase and tax deduction.

But, you gotta have good credit to get a decent deal (like that one). You get good credit by paying your bills and carrying very low - but not always zero - balances.

So, live frugal and pay them off. It gets easy after that.
 
2003-06-20 06:38:47 PM  
$500ish -
I'm 18, and the job i have doesnt pay to well because my boss is a dumbass and a dick. Plus, i've been getting burned out and thinking about quitting. I never want to work in tech support again. Ive paid off my card in full for the 3 or 4 months that ive had it. I dont need to increase my credit yet above $500 and im not going to until my income increases which it might if i take this job up in houston, but thats a different story. If i do increase my limit in the near future, it will be like another $100 or something. Don't give yourself the capability to spend too much more than you have.
 
2003-06-20 06:39:09 PM  
$1.2M owed on my house... interest is tax deductable and it's a nice place to live.. at least that's what I tell myself.
 
2003-06-20 06:39:28 PM  
Actually, don't negotiate for yourself. Go to your bank, talk to a "personal banker" (newspeak for loan officer). Tell them you farked up and you want to fix it. Let THEM negotiate for you. They'll call you up once in a while and tell you to call a creditor to ask for forgiveness after they've negotiated with them.

This may not work if you've been bad recently, or you haven't changed the situation in your life that made you fark up in the first place. Worked for me though. All my creditors forgave the outstanding interest and I only had to pay back what I took in the first place. This can make a HUGE difference in credit card debt.

Right now I'm $25,000 down. Just got a new car and my old debt has a few more months of payments to go.

There seems to be a lot of people in this thread that don't understand that to have debt doesn't necessarily mean that you can't afford what you purchased. I don't know anybody that doesn't carry debt to buy a house or a car.
 
2003-06-20 06:40:07 PM  
cc $0 (pay in full each month)
cars $0 (have two cars less than a year old; paid cash for both)
house $42,000
living in south dakota is pretty cheap.

liverboy--you'd better get an account with paypal so we can all give $10 to your cause!
 
2003-06-20 06:40:15 PM  
I thought about writing a book arguing that you actually live better while using the student loans in college that after you get out, get that supposedly high paying job, and start paying the loans off.

I think one could also make a arguable point that overall, you may be better off not ever having gotten student loans. Either you work your way through college and have no debt and a good job, or you don't go to college and enter the workforce early and have those extra years in seniority in your company that lead to higher salaries. Either way, its arguable that you'd be better off that if you took out a buttload of student loans, then graduated and got a great job, but had to pay the loans and tone of interest back over several of you best earning years.

But I'm not bitter...
 
2003-06-20 06:40:46 PM  
Credit cards are satan's work. Refuse to have the life-devouring things. I think mostly its an issue of don't buy stuff you can't afford. I think my life will continue on without a big screen TV or new Prada shoes. Oh, I'll admit to having one, but its got a low limit and gets paid off monthly.
I got caught up with one when I was 18. Was a biatch to get it paid off. If people can't buy alcohol til they're 21, they sure shouldn't have a credit card.
 
2003-06-20 06:40:51 PM  
" it's way more important to build your savings than it is to pay down your debt"

I'm not sure I agree. Having savings is good. Carrying "some" debt can also be beneficial (as you noted). HOWEVER, depending on your situation, paying off debt is better than putting money in savings. For instance, I have about 3k in cc debt (plus 25k student loan which I locked in at 4.25% last year, shoulda waited another year as it turns out). I have a small savings account. If I put money in savings, I earn...hmm...about 1% yearly. Meanwhile, I'm paying ~10% on my cc debt (most folks pay ALOT more) (plus the 4.25 for student loan). I make enough to do both (money into savings and toward debt), however I pay much more than the minimum in order to stem the amount of money wasted on interest -- long term I think this is the better option...pay less interest, make less payments, etc.
 
2003-06-20 06:41:14 PM  
Burn98
I just bought a 2003 Honda CRV and paid $25,000 cash.
If you can't aford to buy the car outright maybe you can not afford it and should by a cheaper car?


Dude... it would be soooooooo ridiculously easy to invest that $25,000 and beat the 3.9%. You could do it with your eyes closed.

But, different styles for different folks, I suppose... some people, debt makes 'em really QUEASY. I understand, it's certainly stressed me out at times.
 
2003-06-20 06:42:14 PM  
$1500. Had been around $7000 after purchase of 'puter & house renovations we did.

37 years old. Not sure if that is a typical amount or not.

Brothers wife had run up over $14000 at one time. I think he is still paying that down, 4 years later.

Not sure what the voting is for, but VOTE FOR ME
 
2003-06-20 06:43:30 PM  
Okay, I feel a bit better now...

10k credit
~35K school (2 degrees to show for it)

Now I just need a job market...
 
2003-06-20 06:43:58 PM  
06-20-03 06:33:00 PM Aias

I owe $0.00 to the evil credit card companies...
Of course, i DO owe Satan my Soul...

but I think it balances out in the end, don't you?


I would say they were roughly equivalent, So Yes!
 
2003-06-20 06:44:12 PM  
Oh, and as someone with well over a million dollars in debt let me offer a tip :-)

Get a credit-line against your house. Some even come with a checkbook. The advantage is that you are looking at 4-5% rate on the loan and it's all tax deductable. Then, if you owe on cars or credit cards you can just pay them with your credit line and enjoy an easier loan to pay.
 
2003-06-20 06:46:13 PM  
06-20-03 06:23:52 PM Epoophoron
People should think of their debt like businesses do. Most businesses *constantly* have some kind of debt. It's not necessarily bad. Having debt lets you do things you could never in a million years do without it, e.g. buy a house (for the vast majority of people who don't have that much cash lying around).


There's a big difference between business debt and consumer debt. Businesses borrow money so that they can invest that money in their business and make more money, so they come out ahead even after paying the interest. People incur debt on their credit cards just so they can buy shiat, which doesn't produce any money for them, and costs them even more in interest.

Yeah, incurring debt is a good idea if you can use that debt to make money. Buying a house falls into that category, because you otherwise would have to pay rent and you get a big tax benefit, so the benefits outweigh the cost of the debt. Using your credit card to buy a plasma screen TV when you can't afford to pay cash, and taking 5 years to pay it off, is farking stupid.

How did this discussion turn to mortgage debt, anyway? I thought this thread was about credit card debt.
 
2003-06-20 06:47:06 PM  
Home mortgage: $113k (just refinanced at 4.99% for 15 years, lender paid all closing costs)
Home equity line of credit: $14k (formerly a car loan, now just 5.25% and deductible)
Credit cards with 0% balance transfers: $14k
Credit card with 1% rebate: About $2k at the moment, but it gets paid off in full every month.

For a site with so many posts about 'personal responsibility', there sure are a lot of problems here.

I almost never have or use cash. I got a few hundred dollars for a recent family vacation - we drove 1000 miles out to southern california. I broke one twenty and put everything else on the card. I'd have kept the twenty if my card issuer hadn't freaked out because a Denny's in Utah with a bad card reader typed in my expiration date wrong.

Having excellent credit is pretty cool. We get lots of offers every week from people trying to give us money for free or very, very cheap. Our first 0% credit card expires in April, but we plan to pay those down to just $5k by then on the off chance there won't be any more free money available at that time. Otherwise, I've just been signing up for a new 0% account every year or so, make sure there is no fee at all, and move the money and cancel the old account just as it switches from 0%.

Our mortgage refi was another unsolicited offer. I just sent the final papers off yesterday. Ten minutes on the phone, they mail out contracts, we sign them at our bank (for the free notary service), and drop them in the prepaid overnight mail envelope. It's interesting how when the lender is paying the fees, that $75 credit report gets listed at $8 on the disclosure sheet. Ah well, it helps me feel entirely guilt free about exploiting their rules as best I can.

Our line of credit was another offer in the mail - again, no costs whatsoever, a better rate, and a tax advantage.

All it takes is heavy credit card usage and always paying on time.

Oh, and do close accounts that you don't plan to use in the near future. Open accounts, even if unused, can hurt your credit for some lenders. And the account issuer will be happy to take you back if you ever change your mind.
 
2003-06-20 06:47:34 PM  
You did ask for options. But I don't know how to say this without turning my post into a commercial. Let's just say I work for a Debt Negotiation company, and I think it leaves Credit Counseling and other options in the dust. That is all.
 
2003-06-20 06:48:31 PM  
4,000 student loan
17,000 two car loans
14,500 credit cards

But, we're paying about 1500 to credit cards each month. So at least we're working on it. I'm upset at the debt but it was racked up for some decent reasons (paying for some expenses in college and getting the bugfark out of an abusive relationship - moving halfway across country with no liquid cash will do that to you)
 
2003-06-20 06:48:47 PM  
06-20-03 06:38:00 PM Epoophoron

I'm just bitter because she turned me down for a date...ok not really. She does make us fiscally responsible types look like real morons, but only if we're also relentlessly and recklessly accumulating material possessions to improve our self-worth.
 
2003-06-20 06:49:04 PM  
If you're just talking credit card debt, then about $1,250. But when you add in my student loan, that puts it to almost $24,000.

...and I'm flat broke.
 
2003-06-20 06:49:19 PM  
count another farker in the no debt department. I don't use credit cards unless absolutely necessary, and when I do use them I pay the balance at the end of the month.

I don't own a house any more, I sold that when I moved out west. My car and motorcycle are paid off.

I may buy another car, but I will pay that off within two years by doubling or tripling my payments.
 
2003-06-20 06:49:21 PM  
Edited and with voting:

1. Get a credit-line against your house. Some even come with a checkbook. The advantage is that you are looking at 4-5% rate on the loan and it's all tax deductable. Then, if you owe on cars or credit cards you can just pay them with your credit line and enjoy an easier loan to pay.

2. The bankruptsy laws are ultra-liberal right now. If you're really in the shiatter just go bankrupt. These laws are debated in congress every session though so this may not last.

3. Read a book on the subject. I recommend: Rich Dad, Poor Dad .

Big caveat: I spent four years on the Enron trading floor so that should give you an idea of how sound my finances are.
 
2003-06-20 06:49:35 PM  
Epoophoron

Dude... it would be soooooooo ridiculously easy to invest that $25,000 and beat the 3.9%. You could do it with your eyes closed.


Once you add in the loan charges on top of the interest rate you will really be paying closer to 5%. No savings account, CD or bond will pay you that much (after taxes)

Stocks or junk bonds will pay more, or could end up losing you money. With a short horizon of the 3-5 years it would take to pay off the loan, the risk would not be worth the extra return.
 
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