ctmgr

Emotional Aspect of Debt

Recommended Posts

Not to be too Suzy Ormand... but just out of curiosity, have those of you that have been sucessful in improving FICO's and paying down debt changed your perpective about credit and debt?

Just a few years ago, I wouldn't answer the phone because of debt collectors. I had a constant churning in my stomach because I knew I owed more than my paycheck would cover. The more I got behind, the more charges were added and it was all a downhill spiral.

One day in 2002, I had a visit from a police officer with a summons indicating that I was being sued for a debt.

I decided that I'd had enough. I was tired of giving my all my money away and somehow I was going to get on top of this.

I took a 2nd job and began paying off credit cards. I took in a roommate to help offset housing costs. I was determined to get out of this mess I had created. I found this board and implemented alot of the suggestions. ( The greatest thing about you guys is you provide a feeling of impowerment.)

My FICO is now in the mid 600's vs the 400's in 2002. I check my credit report every quarter. I've had no late payments since 2004 and a substantial savings. The fight is not over. I still have to wait a few more years until 1 of my tradelines will be dropped (a student loan, virtually nothing I can do about it). But, I can sleep at night now and I have alot more freedom about where I choose to spend my money.

I still have to fight impatience when I want things. I ask myself "Do I have to have this now?"

I plan to buy a house in the next 12 to 18 mos., but I want to place myself in the best position to do so.

Has my attititude towards credit changed? You betcha' Credit is a resource...just like having a car is a resource. It can be a valuable tool or a noose.

My apologies to the moderator if this should have been posted on another board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The answer it is that it really depends...

Like fool me once, shame on you... Fool me twice, shame on me...

That is actually the real issue because everybody makes mistakes and they have to learn somewhere and too often it is the school of hard knocks...

But rather, after your perspective was changed, did it prevent you from making the same mistakes with debt and credit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the CIC, ctmgr. I posted something similar when I first signed up with CIC more than three years ago (even referring to Suze Orman just as you did). The toll that oppressive debt can take is great...lack of sleep, feelings of being 'less than,' anxiety, and even panic attacks (my user i.d. comes from the fact that after I got my debt and finances under control I was 'breathing easier'). In a way I'm grateful that I went through it, though, as it taught me some great life lessons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, too, spent many hours obsessively worrying over my debt - would not answer the phone if I didn't recognize the number on my caller I.D. At night I couldn't sleep because I was so worried about getting served with a summons or having my wages garnished or one day trying to get money out of my bank account and finding it was empty, etc.

The day I made the decision to file BK was unbelievable. I felt like the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I had a few collectors call after that but as soon as I mentioned I filed BK and gave a case #, they stopped. Well, one collector persisted a little until I threatened to report them to the BK court.

Since then I've been methodically building back my credit. I've drilled it into my kids to stay away from the "easy" credit cards that come in the mail every week. One of my kids tells me to shred any offers that come addressed to her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was sort of the opposite.

My ex-hubby of 15+ years was the bread winner while I was the stay at home mom. When he left, I had NO credit. Zero, Zilch, Nada. I hadn't worked for most of our married life since I was a stay at home mom. I never knew just how important credit is until I didn't have him as a "safety net" (and I use the term loosely :p )

4 months after he left, I bought my very first car and I was 33 years old. The dealership was amazed that I had no credit at my age. Why did I need credit? I didn't work, everything was in my ex's name...what did I need credit for? Pffft! If I wanted it - I bought it.

After he left, I bought my car and I got a secured CC which I promptly went crazy with and defaulted on shortly thereafter. I realized I had a LOT to learn and short time to learn it in. That CO is still on my report and it wont come off for another year or so. I haven't disputed it - I leave it there as a reminder to what I've done and what I've learned.

Here I am 6 years later. I'm re-married to the most awesome man in the world. I'm slowly building "good" credit. It is a painstakingly slow process. The best thing I've done for myself is to build my OWN credit and not rely on my DH. It's been a long hard road but in the end it will be worth it.

Have I made any changes? You betcha. I've become so adament about learning credit that I have an ongoing "project" with my step-son about credit. It's all on paper but, I want him to have the benefit of my hard earned lessons so hopefully he will not make the same mistakes that DH and I made when we were younger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My attitude has definately changed since I found the CIC board. But it wasn't just because of the board it was a combination of things.

For instance, January 2005 I was hired on PT at the company I work at now. I finally earned my Bachelor's Degree in December 2005. In March, I got a promotion from PT to FT in my department. While I'd been working on getting things together, after graduating and being hired FT, I kicked it up a notch.

I began reading finance blogs online, Watching my 401(k) dilligently, Getting advice about what to with my money from the financial planner that my company provides. And I pay my bills when they're due and try not to get into any other debt. Its been a gradual thing. This board brought about an awareness and definately set me on the right track.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.