I hate to mention the word as I've always had good credit but I'm getting stressed out over worrying about bills. You see I had "some" credit debt when I bought my house about 10 years ago and after my divorce I slowly added to it. Then I paid it off with a home equity loan. Then I went back to school and cut back to part-time at the factory to get through clinicals. I borrowed extra money to pay the bills during that time and along with what I borrowed from my previous degree in accounting, amassed quite a balance. Now the student loan payments are as much as a car payment and my credit card balance is back up to what it was last time and I've hardly paid any principal on my home equity loan that will be due in a few years. I finally got a full-time nursing job about 3 months ago, but could'nt figure out why I was coming up short at the end of the month. After looking at my expenses and my income I see that I'm still about $300 short every month going by my check every 2 weeks and that does'nt include extras like entertainment, snacks and gas. If you count the extra 2 paychecks a year into it I'm closer, but that does'nt help most months. We are "supposed" to get a longevity bonus also at 3 months and a year that would also help, but I'm still waiting on my first one that should help for a couple months, but then I will have to start transferring cc balances and putting groceries on the cc again to get me through for the remaining 6 months or so until I get the big 1 year bonus. I do have a prn job, but I'm lucking to get 1 or 2 days a month their as they always seem to have openings the days I'm working my main job and never the shift I want on the other days.
So I guess I'm not doing "that" bad as long as I can make it until the bonuses, but when something comes up like new tires, home repairs, ect., they have to go right to the credit card. Plus my house needs a lot of work (ceiling repaired and the rest of the roof eventually). Plus I have no savings or retirement saved up and no insurance. Also if I keep paying only the min. balance on the credit cards, it will take 20+ years to pay off I'm sure. Any ideas besides getting a better paying job (which I'm looking and may have an interview at a prison coming up, but have'nt heard from them in about a week)? I thought about trying to sell the house and hopefully getting enough to pay the HEL off and getting a smaller house or possibly an apartment. I could defer my student loans again, but hate to do that because each time I do that the payments go up a little when you resume paying. I'm thinking bankruptcy as a last resort, but I believe that would only pay off the credit cards and that would only save me about $275/m. Which I guess is about what I need, but you usually have to pay a grand or two to file I believe and what if I want a different house or car in a few years? I guess I'm set with the car as I just leased one a couple months ago, but I have pretty much no newer furniture or anything that I keep putting off since I've been here and never have gotten.
Oct 5, '09
Is this the right forum? Im honestly having trouble reading it too because of no paragraphs.
Oct 6, '09
Get some financial counseling first - they can teach you ways to budget that can help pay off your bills in an amazingly short time.
Oct 10, '09
I talked to my sister about filing today as she did a few months ago and is happy she did it. She can finally pay the bills and does'nt have to worry as much. Plus she got a credit card already! It is pretty high interest, but that's good I guess because it forces you to pay the balance off each month so you can't charge as much.
Anyway, I was sure she would tell me to do it, but she suggested I just defer my student loan payment for awhile since that is about the amount I'm coming up short each month. I was worried if I did that the payments would go up when you resume payments. I know they will a little, but she said Obama is working on reducing interest rates on student loans and possibly may be looking at canceling them for some lower income people in the future (we can only hope). She even deferred her student loan payments for 2 years (don't know how she pulled that off).
I don't know, its going to take a very long time to pay off the credit cards even if I deferred it. But the one bad thing would be if I filed and then met somebody and wanted to sell my house and buy a new one I would be out of luck for at least 3 years. But as it is now I can't afford to go out to bars or anywhere else anyway as I can't afford it...
Oct 13, '09
Check out Income based repayment for your student loans.....after 10 years as a clinical nurse the balance of your student loans will be forgiven.... See Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Oct 14, '09
Thanks for the link. I found something about that before but thought you had to work for the government. Reading it again it does look like regular nurses may qualify, but it sounds a little complicated. I work at a private assisted living facility so I hope that qualifies. The problem is I may need to defer my payments again and that time does'nt count towards the 120 payments. I still may have to do something else like move or file bankruptcy for the time being. I guess I could call first and see about the income-contingent payment and see if that would help. But I don't know since I've been working two jobs and a lot of hours, but with my debt its still not enough, don't know if they would consider that or not?
May 14, '10
Hey guys, I finally talked to a lawyer as my financial situation has'nt improved at all in the past 6 months. I actually added about a grand to my credit card balances and have deferred my student loans again too. It seems I have no choice but to file unless I can find a job that makes about $3 more an hour. I got a message for an interview at a gov. facility a couple weeks ago that was supposed to pay real good, but I could never get a hold of the lady after several messages so I gave up on that. There are a couple places advertising not too far away from me, but I don't think they pay that much better than I'm making now and I hate to leave now as I'm "supposed" to get a decent bonus in about a month for staying there a year that would help for a little while and I could use part of it to pay for filing if I decide to do that. The only thing is their are no benefits where I'm at and they have a habit of not paying you for working on holidays and paying you late for bonuses too. I'm also supposed to get a small raise at a year and work a prn job occasionally, but need at least 3 days a month there to break even and I usually only get 1 or 2.
I reread that thing about public service loan forgiveness and still not sure if I qualify or how you find out. But right now I'm trying to decide if I want to give up the car or house if I file. I'm thinking I want to keep the car since its a lease and I like it, but could find something a little cheaper. The lawyer agreed I could dump the house or keep it. I'm on the fence as its in a decent location and I only have about 18 years left on the mortgage. But it needs a lot of repairs that I can't afford and has a regular tree root problem that keeps coming back. Plus if you add my home equity loan, I still owe more than its worth so it may make sense to get rid of it and find a more economical place. Problem is its hard to get a new place right after filing for a year or two. I guess I could always get an apartment, but I'm getting a little old to not be paying for a place if I don't want to work another 30 years or so as I just turned 40. Any advice what to do?
Mar 20, '11
I realize this is an old thread, but you or anyone reading it might check out Dave Ramsey.com or or get his books from the library.
He has good answers for most of these problems/questions and a solid plan for getting and staying out of debt. The website has all the info but the books organize it better.
He doesn't really stress this part, but I found it very helpful ---- among other benefits: once you get out of debt, your income goes up (in effect) because you will have all that interest money you currently don't have. It is better than a raise because there are no taxes on it.
Mar 20, '11
Yeah, I checked his stuff out and don't really agree with it. But I went ahead and filed anyway. I had to wait 6 months due to a bonus last year, but now they are supposed to be finally getting the paperwork around. I thought I was all set as I could finally pay my bills since I did'nt have to worry about all the credit cards, but now work is cutting a day away from my schedule so in effect I'm back to where I started at-about $300 short a month unless I can find a new job that is full-time or a 2nd part-time job that will work around my schedule. I may have to include the house or car in the bk, but don't want to do that. I'm even thinking of going back to school for the fourth time and starting another career. That way I could at least put the student loans in forbearance for awhile.
Mar 20, '11
What don't you agree with?
Mar 20, '11
Mostly the part that you have to pay a hefty fee to get his advice.
Mar 20, '11
It costs $0. All the information is open on the website, just disorganized from the stand point of learning how from scratch. It is all free on the radio, just piecemeal there. I got it all at no cost, well organized and as a whole at the library in his book.