Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The utility card

Again, not a real utility card , but that's what I charged on this card.
I got this card way back when I was in better financial situation and thought I was financially "smart". They offered to auto debit my home landlines, electric and water bills from the credit card and give me points for them. I thought "great, I can pay them later".
Well, by now you probably can figure out the end of the story. I started paying the full balance. Then one month something happened and I couldn't come up with the full balance or the phone bill came up really high since my wife loves to talk and didn't care if cellphone calls were expensive or if international calls were expensive either.
So the balance started accumulating. I was in a roller coaster ride with that card. Sometimes being able to pay it in full but then taking out cash advances. Then the big one hit, the "extrafinancing". I thought i could pay the balance and keep paying the debt at a lower rate. Mostly that worked until I got a little more balance in the card. About $2000.
In most other cards it would've been sustainable. However on this card they started adding some weird charges to my card for insurances and service fees, and such. The balance grew for a while.
For a while then I had my mind set on cancelling the card and about 2 month ago decided it was time to make "the call". I got a letter from their collection department and called them and told them I was having trouble making payments to them. They were very nice and said that they could turn my balance and extrafinancing into a fixed rate loan at 32%  (instead of the 65% the card was charging).
So I went to their offices and surprisingly to me I actually had to wait in line to make a payment schedule with them. I did feel some embarrasment but not as much as I thought I would've without other people going thru the same process.
So now my balance with them is currently $6651 with a montly payment of $250 for 47 months now. Tomorrow is the due date for payment #2.
I have to tell you this was another post that was hard to do. It really drives home the situation i'm in and again I try to think how I let myself get into it and as much as there are some clear reasons there are some others that I just can't figure out. My suspicion is that a good part is real debt but that a big chunk of it is just interest that accumulated over time.
If I ever come out of this one healthy and debt free, I will have really learned my lesson. If I ever ever get a credit card again I will get one with a small limit and not fall for their trick of offering a higher limit every time I wanted to cancel it.
Well at least today I was able to buy my anxiety and blood pressure medication in cash. Oh yes, I also bought a lot of medicine with my credit cards. Those were real emergencies but constituted only a small part of all the debt I currently have. The word regret doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.
I'll put these numbers up on the right soon. I just can't write for a while now. Too painful to see how deep in debt I am (and I still have 2 to go).

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