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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Nia, Jun 18, 2001.
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I have heard it said that debt consolidation on your credit report is as bad or worse than having a couple of adverse reports. I suppose that's because it's an admission you can't handle your own finances.
How much over the limits is your cards?
I'd say forget the debt consolidation and get those cards down below limits immediately. Worry about the bad ones later. Salvage what's good at all costs and go from there
I understand your concern over the fees, but what else have you got to work with?
Thanks! I'm about $500 overlimit on one account due to excessive interest, and $199 on the other b/c of a $90 yearly fee, late charge, overlimit, and finance charge. i had just got this account under the limit but i was a lil late...
keep the responses coming! I need all the help I can get
That's pretty heavy overlimits.
Another thing I'll have to know before giving you the rest of my advice on what to do is what is the total limits on each of the cards.
Once I know that, I'll give you a strategy that might get you out of the bucket. It likely won't be all that easy, but if the limits are right, it'll get the job done.
Debt consolidation groups are looked upon as similar to bankruptcy. They will do the same damage on your credit report.
Bill balances are $3500 and $699.
Thanks for the help!
That's going to be a bit tough for you unless you earn awful good money
If I were in your shoes, what I'd do is to pay the $700 off completely and totally no matter that it took all the money for all my monthly bills and eating money too. I'd go broke paying it off if I had to.
And then I'd get my groceries, my gasoline and whatever else I had to have using that card all over again. And then I'd do the same thing next month, even if I had to go overlimits again.(ouch! heaven forbid!) And I'd either pay the other one off in full immediately and if thats impossible simply because you don't earn that kind of money then I'd do what I could with it, making the biggest payments I possibly could in order to get that one down below limits at the earliest possible time.
Yes, it might take a lot of belt tightening to get the job done, but you will help to build/rebuild your credit quickly and you won't starve to death doing it because you can pay your utilities, just about anything you need with credit cards these days. You just have to start facing the realities for a while and quit buying things you don't absolutely gotta have for a while.
Once you got those cards reporting that you are on time and doing fine, you can go anywhere and do anything and you can always work on getting your credit fixed, getting rid of the black marks on your record so you can start enjoying the little luxuries again.
And don't think you can't do what I suggest because I do it just that way. I literally live on those credit cards. I very seldom spend any cash money. And yes, there are lots of things I'd like to have, lots of things I'd like to do, but if I don't have the cash to pay for them, I do without somehow until I can come up with the cash to do what I want to do. Then I'll put it on one of my credit cards and pay it off in full at the end of the month.
A great for instance is that I used to love to go flying evenings or weekends just for the fun of it. We would jump in and take off for some great little restaurants that have their own landing strips up in Kansas or here in Oklahoma or wherever and not give a flip. I was making so much money that it didn't matter, and avaition fuel was cheap enough that a few hundred gallons of fuel just didn't mean much. Now fuel is out of reach for that kind of pleasure flying and my wallet, so I just had to cut it to the bare bones. If it isn't absolutely necessary, I don't go.
Hope that helps.
Do you have any available credit left on the other cards? Or is everything just about maxed out?
Thanks Bill, that is actually what i was going to do...try to pay these accounts down. I think my situation looks much worse than it is...I have to admit that I have been very ignorant when it comes to credit. Not too long out of college and 90% of my debt was accumulated then. I had only gotten my CR once before in my life and then it was fine. I had no idea about how they put inquiries on your report, that they report u late or anything....Once was blind but now I see. So now I am trying to fix what I broke in the past. I know that it will be hard but my main concern is to get my score up, get some positives and get rid of negatives. I have no collections and only a couple of lates on my credit. The scoring system I used said that my score was low b/c of the % of credit that I am using based on my limts b/c of these 2 accounts. hope that I am making sence.
Welcome to the board. My advice is as follows:
I'm going to assume that the company you called is similar to a credit counseling service. And that's what they do. They negotiate with your creditors to lower your minimum payments (maybe stop interest and late fees) and pay for you.
Thing is, yes, you'll have to close the accounts. One of the reasons is because the fact that you are using them is saying you're having a problem managing your finances. This isn't a bad thing...it happens. It happened to me. If your creditors report to your CR that you're using a debt counseling service, yes, it's as bad as a bankruptcy...worse even. BUT, once you're done, they can (and most often do) remove that notation.
If there is ONE that has a large credit line....I'd leave that one account OUT of the consolidation. Dump as much cash on it as possible to get it down. Then do like Bill said and use it for everything and pay it off each month.
If you can manage the payments without going into consolidation....do that first. But if you're drowning, forget about that little notation for a while and save yourself.
Yes I do have one CC with a large limit..a Citibank Card which I love. I do want to keep this card...I think that what I'm going to do is dumb 2 of my really small cc balances on my Citibank card. now if I do that is it best to close out these two cards. The balance for these two is $400 total. Hopefully that will make my credit look a lil better, then I can deal with the above accounts....takin it one step at a time..you know the funny this is that I have been more concerned with paying things on time and off that don't even report to the CB....
I once was blind but now I see...was lost and now I'm found.......