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  #1  
Old 09-05-2007, 06:53 PM
kaaitar kaaitar is offline
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Default debt settlement, please advise

Hello everyone, new to the forum and i need a little help.

My wife new wife and i got in over our heads with paying bills, overspending, buying a new home, paying for a wedding/honeymoon. right now we're looking at about ~13k in debt. How should i get out of this?

i know it's possible for me to pay less than 13k in principle. but i know in order to do that i either have to A) get a personal loan and negotiate myself to a lower lump sum payment or B) hire a debt settlement company to do it for me.

i know alot of these companies are complete scams, but which ones aren't? 'curadebt.com' has an extremely clean BBB report. and debtsettlementusa.com appears to possibily be legit. Theres always a chance of getting scammed though. through option A i'm not sure i could negotiate the amount owed to as low of an amount as a company could on my behalf.

should i just fight to do it myself? does anyone know of a decient company that could help me through the process?

thanks in advance for all input

patrick
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2007, 11:21 PM
Debt Elimination Nation Debt Elimination Nation is offline
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Default Re: debt settlement, please advise

I would recommend learning to pay this off yourself. You do not need to hire a company to help you with this debt load.

I would start by writing out all of your expenses and income. Learn where you are and what monies you can put towards the debt load.

Then look at your expenses and track them for a bit and find out where you can cut the "easy" expenses and use the money saved to pay down the debt.

You are probably going to laugh but honestly create a budget. Learn to do this... it will keep you paying that debt down and off completely and fast!

13k you can do pretty fast if you stay committed to it. I hope I helped you think more about doing this yourself. You really dont need to waste money on fees to have a company do what you can do just as good.
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2007, 01:38 PM
brian brian is offline
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Default Re: debt settlement, please advise

Indeed, agreed - work out your monthly outgoings - groceries, bills, everything - to determine what spare income you have that you can set aside for repayment.

Meanwhile, a personal loan to pay off everything using a portion of your spare income should get you back on track.

Just keep up with your payments - and learn to budget!
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2007, 02:23 PM
kaaitar kaaitar is offline
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Default Re: debt settlement, please advise

thanks for your pointers. we have a sudo budget spreadsheet but it isn't exacly accurate. it's hard to convince my wife that 2 bucks a piece per day for lunch isn't all that great, and an 8 dollar dinner for the two of us can be reduced by plenty as well. after this week (super busy week) i'm putting my foot down, making an exact accurate budget, and i've downloaded a hacked version of quickbooks, which she uses at work so entering /ALL/ reciepts won't be an issue.

i've pretty much dismissed the idea of hiring someone. However getting a personal loan to settle for less than the amount owed is something i really want to do. problem with settling is that it harms your credit, but since we don't want to use credit cards anymore, we already have our fixed rate mortage, she has a nice car, i work out of home and don't need another if mine breaks we don't /need/ good credit for the next few years. by then with paying for everything on time our credit should be atleast restored to a level that won't /hurt/ us.

she hates the idea of purposefully falling behind to save a few grand(i estimate 5 grand) and to get out of debt sooner, but the stress of being in debt is annoying me.
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2007, 08:41 PM
Dru Dru is offline
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Default Re: debt settlement, please advise

Some good advice has been given here.

The first thing that is required is for you and your wife to be in agreement about getting rid of the debt. Putting your foot down may seem like the right way to force the issue, but winning her over to your debt free notion will work much better.

Next look at your income. To eliminate debt you have two choices. Spend less, or earn more. If you do both at the same time the debt will be gone very quickly.

Now that you are married and own a house, there is a good likelihood you have changed your tax liability. Reduce your withholding level to account for the reduction in taxes, thereby increasing your take home pay.

Review your employment. Can you pick up additional hours? Can you freelance? Can you get a part time job for a few months? With both of you maximizing your productivity, you can pay off the wedding and other debt in a few months, probably faster than the "ruin my credit" approach.

As you pointed out, to get a company(s) to negotiate, they have to believe they will not be able to get the money elsewhere, and they are at risk of losing it all. By missing several months of payments, they start to believe they are at risk. But, if they can garnish your wages, they will. If they can empty out your bank account, they will. If they can put a lien on your home, they will. They will call neighbors to see if you are doing alright. They will call family and tell them how awful it is you haven't paid and they should really bail you out to save you from embarrassment, lawsuits and liens. They will slander your name wherever they can to make things tough for you. They will call you constantly, early and late to ask about the account and when you will be able to start making payments. And if by chance something should come along and you NEED credit for some reason, you have toasted that option.

Finally you should think about one thing. You had no problem spending the money when you wanted to buy something. You gave your word and promise to pay them back. Wouldn't you expect people who borrow money from you to live up to their promise? Of course you would. It is easy to say "this is just an institution with no personal loss-they make plenty of money". But that is not the point. The point is to ask yourself if you are an honorable person or not. Are you a man of your word, or a liar and a thief?

Sometimes we find ourselves in a position of insolvency because of bad choices, or miscalculations, or just plain old bad luck. For those cases there is a process where you can declare your insolvency through a bankruptcy petition. This is designed to allow otherwise good people to have a second chance at self reliance. But those who use this process repeatedly, to avoid fulfilling their covenants with others, cannot and should not be trusted in future contracts, yet we see over and over again where credit is granted and losses are passed to those consumers who fulfill their commitments and keep their promises.

Starting out in a new marriage, I would encourage you to show your spouse that you are a man of your word. Show her you will do whatever it takes to make things work out. Let her know that you expect the same from her and that you can work together to succeed much better than either of you can do it alone. If you build your relationship on trust and honor, she will know you are the right man to be with.

Get yourself out of debt by making it a personal challenge to work on together. Fighting through difficulties will enhance your commitment to one another and cement your relationship. Build a reserve cash account and get rid of the credit as you had planned, and when it is done you can be proud of who you are, and what you have accomplished.
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:47 PM
kaaitar kaaitar is offline
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Default Re: debt settlement, please advise

dru, wow excellent post, thank you.

i've tried to cut back our spending in the past but she would refer to me as being cheap. her dad was a huge penny pincher (had to be, low income) and she always hated that all he talked about was money. so for her to call me cheap is acually quite an insult. to make matters worse she's more hard headed than most men are. hense the 'put my foot down' approach. but i suppose more a 'take control' approach could be similarly effective without treating her as a child. just because she chooses to handle things through force and negativity doesn't mean i should, or even need to. hopefully even my going about it 'the right way' will help her to in the future.

i'll take out a personal loan (or she will, my credit blows) consolidate 3 of our 4 credit cards, and roll our 4th to a zero interest for a year card ( which she has already been approved for). It's time to teach her how to live in a much more frugal manner. i've spoiled her over the last 2 years eating out and what not, so now it's time for me to reread the millionare next door and rich dad poor dad and properly apply their teachings. any other recommened reading on how to live frugally? i'll also recommend she gets a part time 2nd job with a school tutoring company her mom works part-time for. they pay pretty well. a few months ago a buddy of mine said he could get me a job paying over 12/hr part time, i think i'll give him a call.

I know being on the same page is the best way to go, just sometimes it's much harde rsaid than done.

thanks again. no more victim thinking, proactive, focused, and determined.

Last edited by kaaitar; 09-07-2007 at 12:50 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-07-2007, 02:24 PM
Dru Dru is offline
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Default Re: debt settlement, please advise

Way to go.

Why not share this thread with your wife and allow it to be a starting point for that discussion. Let her know of your desire to become debt free and work together to create a plan where the two of you can both win.

Good luck.
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