No. of Recommendations: 0

I have been barely keeping my head above water for several years. I moved to a new place and got a better job specifically to pay my debts off and had a car wreck the first month I was here, totally my reliable paid off car. I have not been adding to my debts for a while, but I am making no progress and it is getting very frustrating. With the addition of a small car payment and higher insurance, I really cannot make it any more. I hate to get a second job and work MORE, as my life is already consumed by these debts. I know what you are saying "you charged up all that stuff so you should pay for it" Well, I agree. Unfortunately, I charged it up so long ago (in college in 1990) that I am certain I have already paid it back 2-fold (at least). So yeah, I'm impatient. And angered by the credit card companies games. Each month it seems I have to call one of the 4 to take off a late charge or re-reduce my negotiated interest rates.

Here is my question: I am tired of worrying about this. I want the help of a consumer credit agency but my credit is good (when I bought my car, they told me I have a B rating because I have to much credit). Is it worth it so ding my credit and take their help or should I just keep struggling (I am so tired).

Well, it seems people offer advice based upon specifics, so here are mine:

student loans: 39K
credit cards: 22K
car: 5000K

monthly debt payments:
student loan 1: $156
student loan 2: $175 (soon to be ~$300)
First USA: $130 ($6500 @ 10.9%)
MBNA: $80 ($4500 @ 9.9%)
Citibank: $85 ($5000 @ 11.9%)
Discover: $130 ($6000 @ 5.9%...soon to rise)
auto: $150 (9.75%)
total: $906

other expenses:
rent: $625
elec: $70
phone: $40
water: $30
food: $200
ent: $200 (incl. dining out, travel)
personal: $100 (incl. medical)
auto insur/gas: $100
misc: $100
total: $1465
grand total: $2371

monthly income after taxes: $2234

So you can see I am already cutting back each month to come up with the extra $135. Usually this is the entertainment and misc category, but what if my car needs work or want to go to a simple music concert? I totally believe in living below my means, but it is depressing to think this will be my budget for the next several years.

I am not a whiner, just trying to honestly articulate my feelings. I have much anger at the credit industry who sent me cards while I was still in college and the free and loose student loans I was plied with, but that is another post. For now, my question is, should I keep struggling to keep my credit rating (almost) perfect, or give in and ask for the help (and can they really help, given my cards already low percentage rates). I am sooooo tired of thinking about this.

thanks so much for any advice!
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