No. of Recommendations: 2
This is the first time I've felt I have something helpful to post, and therefore this is my first post.

Quick background: I had been abusing credit for about 12 years (I'm now 33). I managed to rack up about $25K in consumer debt, 5 CC's and $3K car loan. I always managed to make a payment, though often late, and never defaulted on a loan. A year ago I moved from the midwest to the east coast and three month's later I moved to the west coast. I made each move without a job and very little savings. By the time I got settled, and gainfully employed again, I was 60 - 90 days behind on almost all my debts.

I ignored the threatening letters for quite a while (rather unFoolish behavior), but finally started contacting my creditors when I actually had a steady income. I caught up on 3 of the five fairly easy, but I was hopelessly behind on the others. First USA was constantly calling (as were they all for a while), and finally offered to help me get caught up. I made a "good faith" payment and they lowered my rate from 20% to 8% with a fixed payment for a year. It stopped the late and over limit fee's and inspired me to contact People's bank to see if they could help out as well. To my relief, they were also willing to help out with a similar program at 13.9%. The moral of the (unintentionally long) story is that these companies had everything to gain by helping me, and nothing to gain by writing off the debt.

I've been on a Foolish path since then (six months's) and I'll be doing my first happy dance in the near future.

Sorry for the long post, hope it helps someone. And thanks for all the wonderfull advice and encouragement that gets posted here.
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