DebtFreeBefore30

Long term debt situation, looking for advice

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28 year old from Quebec here. I have a debt situation which isn't do or die but it has been stressing me out and is slowly growing more and more year after year. As it stands I currently owe:

 

14k in loans to family, half at 6% APR, the other half at 0% APR

4800$ (5k max) CAD line of credit at 12% APR

3100$ (5k max) CAD cc at 15% APR

4500$ (4500 max) CAD cc at 12% APR

7400$ (7500 max) USD cc at 19.9% APR

 

I currently work part time and am on pace to net 13k a year although I certainly plan on finding higher paying jobs down the line to get myself to the 20k+ yearly net income range. My debt has grown over the last few years mainly due to cost of living increases, poor budgeting, and somewhat excessive spending sprees (trips, alcohol, gifts, restaurants and take out).  Now, I have scaled back on my drinking, I travel way less, I stopped buying presents (except for Christmas), and I do a lot more grocery shopping/eating home-cooked meals rather than spending on restaurant food. This was the first major step which I know will help me out significantly but I want to continue making improvements to reduce the time that clearing my debt will take. For now, the only thing I can think to do while plugging away at my job is to try and get my interest %s lowered across the board. The big killer for me is the 7.5k USD cc I owe at such an exorbitant rate. The minimum payment on it each month is 150$ USD which at the bank's "competitive" exchange rate costs me 205$ CAD. Then next month, bam, another interest charge for 120$ USD, so the minimum payments I'm giving aren't even making a difference. My options are limited for repaying that card as the CAD is worth a lot less than the USD currently trading in at only 76c on the dollar.

 

So, with all this being said, I'm looking for ideas to soften the longterm burden of overcoming this mountain of debt I seemed to have slowly built for myself. While I don't know my credit score, my Equifax report listed only 4 late cc payments over the span of a decade and no other infractions. When I got my USD card in late 2013, I was also approved for it instantly so if I had to guess, my credit score must be at least 700 if not more.  Also, I have about 6800$ in liquid assets, 2400$ in money owed to me from various people which I expect to recoup within the next 12 months, and about 3000$ in non liquid assets/collateral.

 

Constraints:

 

1) I do not wish to declare bankruptcy or go through a consumer proposal

2) I want to avoid anything that would leave a black mark on my credit report (debt management/debt settlement)

3) I do not own a house but I do live at home rent free

4) I own a car

5) My credit score based on observations is high

6) I owe money to both BMO bank and TD bank

 

I think I might be eligible for a debt consolidation loan at a lower interest rate but before I go in to apply for one, I'd like to hear all my options. Based on my research, some other potential ideas would be:

 

- lower interest CC from a US affiliate bank such as BMO Harris or TD Banknorth (not sure if as a non US citizen I'm eligible)

- finding someone/someplace to buy my debt in full and i pay them back in full over time and they offer me a lower interest rate (theoretical, dont know if such a thing even exists)

- get a large USD loan at a low interest rate from a bank/lending institution and capitalize on the favorable USD to CAD exchange rate to pay off all my debts and focus my new payments towards this one USD loan with the hope that over time the CAD will go back up in value and I will have saved money both from interest payments and capitalizing on the flip side of the moving exchange rate (again theoretical, does such lending even exist in Canada or in the USA for Canadian citizens?)

 

Comments/thoughts?

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First, this board is STRICTLY about US debt only.  We are not familiar with Canada law and/or resources available to you in Canada.

 

But...if you were in the US, I would advise you to avoid any debt consolidation loans...you need to fix what got you where you are, not postpone your problems.

 

I'd suggest...sit down...work out a budget...tighten your belt for food, clothing, entertainment...whatever is left, divide up among your creditors...make more than minimum payments...concentrate on the highest interest first.

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