IF I can stay off the CC merrygoround. Which is where you come in...I love your stories, feel comforted that my situation is not as terrifying as it could be, and look forward to spending time with folks who know how hard controlling spending can beWelcome to the Fool. Lots of good information and inspiration. Here is a little story to inspire you to keep both feet on the ground and off the CC carousel. I know you said our stories bring you comfort...however this overly dramatic little "fairy tale" is designed to curl your fingers around your scissors and clip your cards to bits. Hope you get a kick out of it. It was a hard lesson to learn.The Tale of Copperpence and the Big Bad Refinance Mistake.Once there was a naive young girl named copperpence. Okay, her real name was payumoff, but she recently decided she was ready for a change, ok?...AnywayCopperpence was a relatively good person who always tried her best to do what was right. She was kind to those she loved, respected her elders, put grocery carts back in the cart corral and she was nice to animals. And for that she was rewarded with a magical power...a high FICO number! <oooohhhhh!> Well she got the FICO powers from making her payments on time but it's still magicalBut she had a little problem that she didn't realize...she had a tendency to overspend. The reason the lovely copperpence (hey...it's MY story! I can say she's lovely if I want to!)...Anyway The reason the lovely copperpence never realized her problem is in part due to the magical FICO. The Wicked Credit Card Companies hated high FICO powers and they taught copperpence to cast a spell using rectangular, magical plastic-stones with magnetic striping on them in order to destroy her FICO powers and charge her with <gasp> High Interest. What poor copperpence didn't know is that it was a spell that ensnared copperpence everytime she used the magical stones. A spell she willing fell prey to, but a spell nonetheless. The spell made it oh so easy to forget that she was borrowing money she really didn't have to spend. It was the evil E-Z Payments Spell! <shudder>The E-Z Payment Spell gave copperpence everything she ever wanted, right when she wanted it. She could spend to her heart's content. <Oh the joy! cough choke>But soon, the E-Z payments weren't so E-Z to keep up with. So along came the Home Equity Wizard. Let me back up and give you a bit of history on the WizardNow up until a few years before, the Utopian kingdom where copperpence lived, otherwise known as Texas, had banned the Wizard from entering their fair kingdom. Many within the castle walls whispered tales of how he would only allow people to put their homes in danger and in the end, to run up more debt. But most of the villagers didn't believe the whispered tales and soon, the Wizard was welcomed into the kingdom by its legislators.Many of copperpence's friends (who had also fell victim to the E-Z Payment Spell) had went to the Home Equity Wizard and he caused their E-Z payments to become E-Z once more. In some cases, he'd even caused their Credit Card Debts to completely VANISH!! <Oooooohhhhh!> Please keep in mind that most vanishing acts are only sleight of hand and illusion. The debts didn't really disappear, they were merely consolidated.So copperpence paid the Wizard a visit. He hunched over his magical Home Equity machine and consulted with his apprentices, Home Appraiser and Equifax. Together they were able to put together a magical encantation, causing copperpence's E-Z payments problems to all but disappear! <Aaaahhhhh!>Copperpence was amazed and ever so relieved. She had not felt so free in years. With tears streaming down her face, she thanked the wizened old Wizard and both his apprentices. Just as she walked through the door, the Wizard's cackled warning reached her ears. "The encantation will only bring you relief from mistakes past. It cannot keep you from the Wicked Credit Card Companies or the lure of their spells again. BE CAREFUL!"Copperpence was just too full of joy to pay him much heed. Her past mistakes had been obliterated by the Wizard's magic and in her mind, the misery and suffering she'd been through before the Wizard had helped her would be enough to keep her from the lure of the E-Z payment spell. As she walked back into her highly mortgaged home, she casually tossed the magical stones the Wicked Credit Card Companies had given her into the drawer. "I am through with all of you!" This made the dastardly evil Credit Card Companies more enraged and they vowed to destroy copperpence's magical FICO once and for all. They plotted and they schemed and within months had come up with the perfect plan...<dramatic pause>DROP HER INTEREST AND RAISE HER LIMITS! <Wait. Give me a moment. The horror of it all just overwhelms me...deep cleansing breath>Poor copperpence didn't stand a chance because she had not yet learned the true moral of the story...LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS AND SCREW THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIESThree short years later, copperpence was in deeper debt...4 times the debt she had when she visited the magical Home Equity Wizard. So now she is locked in the dungeon of the Evil Credit Card Companies. A prisoner of their high interest hell, she sits at its gates warning off those who would visit the Wizard and not heed his cackled warning, "BE CAREFUL!"
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