No. of Recommendations: 3
I am a bit over extended... This is the only card which is in bad shape. My others are maxed but not over limit or late.

Hi Krissy,

First, the verbal spanking:

No, you aren't "a bit overextended". You're WAY overextended.


Your other cards aren't in "bad" shape? You're right here- they're in atrocious shape. Don't kid us, and for heaven's sake don't kid yourself about this. Yes, it's possible that this situation has come about due to some terrible expenses you've quite legitimately incurred, but the attitude expressed in your note suggests that you've simply been spending WAY more than you should be.

*thwack* *thwack*

OK, now the tender smiles, pained but loving look, and heartfelt discussion part:

You can get through this. You can most certainly rebuild your credit, and start setting yourself up for a bright future, although it will take time, patience and perserverance. You can do it, though, and will find yourself a better person, with a tremendous sense of accomplishment for having done so.

First things first- dispose of all but one card, and put that one in deep freeze- perhaps even resolving to keep it at home, and not on your person- for use only in the most dire of emergencies. A new bag is *not* an emergency. A blown gasket is.

The debt consolidation suggestions you've been given are excellent. Aggressively pay down your cards in order of the interest payments you're accruing. If you're working a full-time M-F job, I suggest you look for something on the weekends at least short-term, putting every cent into debt reduction. Will it be hard? Will it really stink on ice having less time to call your own? You bet, but Krissy, you need to get that debt cut, or it's going to cause you a great deal more hardship than a few months of missed weekends due to clerking, flipping burgers or selling Eddie Bauer sweats.

Visit the Fool's Living Below Your Means board, or the Budgeting board. While the LBYM board does get bogged down at times due to its heavy traffic, both will offer you some excellent tips towards the lifestyle change that might be required here. Heck, visit the Retire Early Homepage board as well- there's a goal to get excited about, and it's far more reachable than most think!

Most of all, sit down and ask yourself what could be gained if you were investing the amounts you're instead handing off to various credit agencies. Pretty amazing, when you think of it that way, isn't it? Make it your goal to make it so.

I wish you the very best of luck, and I've no doubt that you'll make it, because clearly, deep down, you want to.

All my best wishes,

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