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Subject:  Re: Ashamed to Admit Debt Amount Date:  9/15/2005  1:57 PM
Author:  NaggingFool Number:  210752 of 312307

Other posters have given you an excellent welcome.

What you've done in the past is past. The way to fix it isn't by feeling bad or beating yourself up. It's by changing what you do in the future.

But, is there any hope?

We're always hopeful, but honestly you haven't told us enough to be sure.

Is it more than 5 times your annual income?
Do you and your husband both want to get this debt paid off?
Do you know where the money went?
Do you have a sense of how much your minimum monthly expenses are? (Not the credit card payments; your bills and stuff like that.)

Well, at least now I've confessed. Maybe that's a start

It's an excellent start.

Here are some next steps:

- If you haven't already, take the credit cards out of your wallet and have your spouse do the same. You must stop charging to beat this.
- Sit down at a phone. Call the credit card that is charging your highest interest rate. Ask them "This rate is much higher than my other cards; could you lower it?" If they say "no", ask to speak to a supervisor. If they still say "no" write down in your calendar to call them again in three months. (Don't whine at them, don't tell them your whole story, just ask them the question directly.) Then get your spouse to call your second-highest rate card.
- Start getting rid of stuff. If it's stuff you've bought in the last month march yourself back to the store and return it. There's no shame in returning stuff. Otherwise see if there's anything you can sell on ebay.
- Write down your expenses for the next month. You're going to need to know what your budget is before you know how much you have to send to the credit cards every month.

You can do it. Good luck!
- Megan
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