I have been looking through this forum for a few hours now looking for some guidance and I was wondering if anyone would be able to offer me some assistance:
When I was 18 my first, no co-signer credit card was a Capital One card with a $600.00 limit (2005). I was very good at paying my balances and by 19/20 I had a $2,000 limit.
Between college expenditures (art school), graduating college, moving home, having to buy actual work attire (art school), I was near my limit on my credit card. I was able to maintain my monthly payments with the first job I got out of college, but not really pay down the debt.
Between the transition of my first job out of college, and my next job after that first job, I had to wait an extended period of time for my first pay check (It takes one payment period before you are in the system). I fell behind on my payments. I was able to catch back up to my payments, but not the actual debt itself.
Unfortunately, do to life I have missed payments here and there due to insufficient funds, the debt started spiraling. It ballooned into over $2,500. I was now not only getting my monthly payments plus interest, but also over draft fees.
This past half-year has been hard. I am getting married in a few months to my girlfriend of six years. I make good money doing web development, but she works in theater which pays with 'stipends'. That is in quotes because it seems like slave labor since it comes out she makes around $2.00 on the hour. Regardless, I have been paying all of my student loans, all of my debts/credit lines, all of her student loans, all of her credit lines, her car payments (luckily her parents still pay for her insurance), her gas since she commutes everywhere, our rent and our utilities. It is quite a stressor on my paycheck.
Unfortunately we had some poor financial luck earlier this year, and I fell behind on my payments.
My debt has now turned into a little less than $3,500 and I owe around $700 in back payments.
Since the amount of missed payments, plus the huge over-percentage in my credit limit, this has hurt my credit score.
This debt has been my 'albatross' for the last few years, just barely being able to make the payments but having this huge $2,000 29.99% debt hanging over my head.
I have a friend who is a 'credit expert' tell me I just need to do this and that, send this letter, etc.. He is also the one who tipped me off to 'pay for deletion'. I was all psyched about this, until I did some research on it before sending that letter. It is not as 'angelical' as it sounds:
There are a lot of problems with this, some being that the companies will file lawsuits, some companies will reject the paid for deletions and just go for a settlement, some companies will go for a pay for deletion and report it as settled.
I don't want to risk going to a CA (which I am sure is going to happen soon), I don't want to risk a law suit (a possibility), I just want to get this taken care of. I know I owe the money, I am not trying to get out of the debt.
I recently got my tax return which is four-figures, and allows me some negotiating capability. I want to get rid of this debt. I just don't know the best way to go about doing it. I don't have enough to cover the whole debt (otherwise I would just pay it off). I just want to make this go away. I am working over sixty-five hours a week to make our ends meet, and the ends aren't meeting.
Can anyone please provide any help on what I should do?