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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Major Screw Up Date:  5/23/2001  11:40 AM
Author:  aja91 Number:  72154 of 312187

I have worked for an internet startup for 3 years. We are now closing the doors. There is a corporate credit card in my name, with a balance of almost $10,000. We learned yesterday that I am personally responsible for this card!! I have always had stellar credit, and now am at a loss as to what to do.

I have about $2K left in the bank; I own my own home, although have only paid on it for about 2 years. I have been on a significantly reduced salary for the last 3 years, as were our other employees, to help the company keep expenses low - of course we were hoping for a big, eventual payoff.

Yes, I know how stupid I have been. But what are my best options to get this thing paid off? It hardly seems worth it to declare bankruptcy. I could get a home equity loan/2nd mortgage my house. I also have a couple of other credit cards, to which I could transfer this balance - they have interest rates of 5.99% for the life of that particular transfer and the other has an interest rate of 9.99%. I am also looking for other employment - and will probably get a 2nd job to help pay it off. The owners of the company have pledged to help me pay it, but that is not an IMMEDIATE possibility, as they are completely broke and filing bankruptcy themselves.

I am 35 and single, so I have no dependents to worry about. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Given that you will be expected to shoulder the burden of this debt until such time as the company is able to help (if ever), you want to make sure your cost is as low as possible. So I would definitely transfer this balance over to the 5.99% life-of-transfer card.

However, since there is a chance of getting reimbursed for these charges, make sure you keep very extensive documentation on the process. The original amount of the charge on the company card, along with any accrued interest while you are paying it off. You may only be able to recoup the original balance, but if there is some sort of hearing I'd argue that the interest charges should be covered as well. To that end, if you have a card with no other balance or charges on it, use that one. The record keeping will be much easier, and proving what interest is attributable to your business expenses will be easier, if there is nothing else on the card.

Best of luck to you!
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