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Author: MelissaATX Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308519  
Subject: look at what I've done to myself Date: 8/21/2005 11:44 PM
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I know "tone of voice" doesn't come through well over the internet so I just want to point out straightoff that I know its all my fault. I know I did it to myself. I know I knew better, too. I've been reading this board for over 5 years.

What I've Done:

I had a card at Chase that was at 2.99/3.99% APR for the life of the balance. Due to an user error, I bounced the check I wrote them by using my debit card at WalMart, instead another credit card. Goodbye, nice APR, hello 27.99% APR. No, they wouldn't reverse it. They won't work with me. I was mad at myself and bitter about Chase since clearly, at one point, they loved me. So .. I stopped paying them, partly because I couldn't afford the now huge minimum payments. I made tiny payments ($50 here, $65 there) when I could afford them. That was 2-3 months ago. I also moved half-across the US and changed addresses, home and cell phones. Finally got a letter from them dated 8/1 that they closed my account due to deliquency on accts, number of accounts currently in use, and balance owed on revolving accounts too high. *note to self, must remember to get free credit report from Experian before 9/1

I have the MBNA card offered by TMF. I went overlimit a few times, paid late a few times and my interest there is now 25.49% APR, on a balance over $12K. I called, explained that I couldn't find a job I could live on in TX, moved back to VA, got a job that paid a decent amount, wasn't going to be late or over the limit again, please, please, please lower my APR? No, not going to happen. I see you owe about $39K on credit cards, a monthly minimum payment of almost $900/month, have you considered a debt consolidation company? We work with those. I asked if I was able to get and keep my account under limit and not pay it late, if they would work with me and lower my APR. Nope, here's the number to a debt consolidation company in your area.

I do owe about $39K on 5 cards. It's mostly from living in TX with no real job for over a year. I charged everything from gas, to airfare home to visit my family, to groceries, dinners out, movies, vet bills for my cats, utilities, cell phone bills, it all went on my cards. I should have been more clever about them, yes. I tend to be rather obnoxiously hopeful though and since I averaged about 5 resumes/coverletters being sent out everyday, I really thought that "anyday now" I would get a job and be able to recover financially. Haha, not so grasshopper.

There is no room on any card to BT anything, even if I had the good credit to get a decent rate. The minimums don't break me but since I no longer have any savings, I had to pay cash when my car required $1200 (brakes, tires, timing belt) in repairs, I had to get new car insurance, pay for my certification renewal, get new work clothes (not an option, nothing I had fit), ship $400 worth of my stuff here from TX and I owe my brother $1000 (was $1400) for covering my bills when I first moved back from TX. I don't foresee any more random bills coming up though so I should be able to start saving/snowballing.

With the closed account, I am just screwed with regard to the interest rate? Do they lower APRs on closed accounts (provided they are ever willing to work with me again)?

Since MBNA will work with a debt management company but not with me, should I join one just to deal with MBNA? I have two accounts with MBNA but only the crap APR on one of them. Is it possible to join a debt management company for one account and not for every account you owe on?

Aside from my credit cards, my only monthly payments are my student loans ($170), car insurance ($115), cell phone ($55) and gas ($50-??). Though I'm going to a few doctors in the next couple weeks (didn't have health insurance for the past 15 months so I'm making good use of it now that I have it again), and may have some Rx costs for my allergies.

I need the car for work. I need the cell phone because its the only way offline to get in touch with me. I am currently in a free-rent situation but I don't know how long that will last.

My plan is to save money till I have about $5K saved while paying minimums to my cards, make my other monthly obligations and give $100/paycheck to my brother. After I have some "breathing room" savings, then I will start snowballing Chase to death. Followed by giant-APR-MBNA. Which will be followed by Discover, the other MBNA and the other Chase (was BankOne). Are there other options I've not thought of? Really, with every account I think I've been late at least once in the past 3 months.

thanks for reading and thanks for any helpful advice,
Melissa
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