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My credit card & debt story

It was a time in my life when everything was crazy.  So were my finances� only I didn�t know it then.  It was May.  I had fallen in love (and I never thought I would fall in love).  I was working for a large phone company making $14/hour, and I had decided that in the fall, I was going to go to school at the University of Northern Colorado in the morning from 9:00 AM - 2:00/3:00 PM (depending on the day), was going to go to massage school at night from 6:00-10:00 PM, and was going to be the general manager of the campus radio station during the time in-between.  Some light should have gone off in my head, but it didn't.  Also, don't get me wrong, because I'm glad I did all that I did that semester (fall 2000), but I should have planned ahead and taken out a loan, rather than trying to live on credit cards.  But I did try to live on credit cards.  It didn't work.

So I lived the craziest semester of my life; had an AUDI, which I loved, but which cost me roughly $2000 in repairs in less than a year, celebrated my 21st birthday in a...great way, and by the end of the semester, when I took time to really look up and see what was going on, I was in trouble.  I had three credit cards.  I had just paid one credit card off and cut it up.  I had not made payments on the other two for two months each.  (One had even offered me a settlement (a piece of mail I found two months too late), and offered to split the cost of the default with me.  The credit card company was going to pay half of a defaulted $1,000.00 bill, and I didn't take it, simply because I was too busy to open an envelope from the credit card company.)  I had missed two car payments and was receiving calls from the bank wondering if they were going to need to come repossess my car.

This is not to mention what the stress of managing the radio station (with money problems of its own), and trying to keep up with schoolwork (from two schools) did to my attitude towards the person I was in love with.  It was bad. Trying to live off of credit cards, or amassing large amounts of debt on high interest rates is not a good thing.

I was fortunate in that I had two wonderful and supportive parents to fall back on, whom I had lied to, throughout the semester, in a variety of ways, in order to cover the fact that I was in a financial mess.  I'm still also repaying them.

So the moral of the story?  Don't be a dummy!  LEARN FROM ME!  I have learned the hard way about credit card debt and not making payments and what it does to your credit to make late payments consistently. 

So what happened after all that?

Well, I'm still working (As of January 2003) to pay off my debt.  I probably will be for about another 9-10 months.  I hope to be completely out of debt (or at least the debt which I didn't plan for in advance), by January 2004.  I have learned a lot in this process, and offer some of that learning to you on the debt and credit card advice pages here within my site.

What has happened with me personally since fall of 2000?

Well, I went to Germany on an exchange program for a semester (Spring 2001), then finished up at UNC during the next year, went to China over the summer (2002), and now I am a German teacher and massage therapist and have returned (for the time being) to live and work in Greeley, Colorado.

Thank-you for your visit!  I hope this advice helps you.

   
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