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Topic : Debt

Number of Replies: 754
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:21:14 am
Author : dataimport
Are you struggling with debt? Have you successfully managed your debt? Share tips and strategies with others.

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September 17, 2008, 7:16 pm CDT

What to do when there is no way out?

I have so much debt, none would ever believe me if I told you. A dozen surgery's and 366 days in a hospital bed racks up quite a bill. And when you can't even get a job as a wal-mart greeter, paying your bills is beyond impossible. I would give almost anything for another chance at life, there are so many things I would do differently. When I was young I use to wonder what "hindsight is always 20/20" meant, and now I know.
 
September 18, 2008, 5:20 pm CDT

student loan debt

I have been reading through so many posts about debt issues and other financial issues. I to like many of you have found myself in debt through the years. It took a lot of redirecting my spending and really getting down to what I was spending and what we could do without. I was able to pay off all my credit cards and other loans that I had at the time. I thought I was doing really well. I keep my family on a strict budget yet I have found us in debt yet again. I am a semester away from graduation with my Masters degree and have over $70,000 in student loan debt. I recently moved my family to NC which I thought was going to give us better employment opportunities yet that has not proven to be the case. We sold our beautiful home and are now renting from my parents. My life seems like ciaos. I am having a hard time finding a solid job, I can make more money working at Wal-Mart then I can with a degree. I fear that my education has done nothing that I hoped it would and just put my family into a whole lot of debt. I don’t object to working at Wal-Mart to support my family I suppose I am just a little angry that I need to resort to that, I thought that’s why I got a degree so I didn’t have to work at Wal-Mart.

I know that credit card debt can be a huge burden, I have been there. The only advice I can give anyone with that is really look at your spending. Do you buy coffee out? Do you buy the extras? Keep a log of what you are spending, everything. Look at your household bills, do you need the extra channels or extra phone options. There are many different ways to cut some where. Those cuts apply to your credit cards or late bills. Have someone else look at your spending because many times you think there is nothing but your spending habits are just that habits, you might not even be aware of them.

 

I fear things are going to get worse before they get better for the lower middle class because we can make more money and improve our education but then prices of everything go up that much more. I wish I wasn’t one of those people that stressed so much about finances because I probably would be living a lot happier life. I just fear what my financial situation means for my children?

 

If anyone has any resources or suggestions on getting help with paying loans I would love to hear it. I have looked at scholarships but many of those sites are not legitimate or do not apply to me. I have applied for some and in undergrad received some but I am searching for anything at this point.

Good Luck to everyone

 

 

Scared for the future

 

 
September 19, 2008, 6:26 pm CDT

mortgage issues

My wife and I lost nearly half of our monthly income this spring and while we have not defaulted and are not in foreclosure everything is very tight for us.  We are in a house with a $500,000.00 mortgage and the house across the street (same size and same floor plan) recently sold for $380,000.00. I am 50 years old and my wife is 53.  At the currently projected turn around time for real estate in our area and at a 5% average gain after the recovery, we will be approaching retirement, if we are lucky, before our house is worth what it was when we bought it.  We were hoping to sell the house at retirement and use the profit to move to a less expensive house in a less expensive part of the country.  This is no longer an option and we really do not want to retire in this house in this town.  We contract with the state for our income and the state is also in a dire financial situation.  The contracts we lost this spring will not be coming back any time soon.  Do you think is would be wise, or stupid, to take the credit hit, let the house go and move to a less expensive place, maybe even a rental, and save the diffenence for our retirement or keep the house and not have that extra money for retirement?  At this point we will not have enough for retirement without the projected profit from the house.
 
September 20, 2008, 11:59 pm CDT

A STORY OF STARTING OVER AGAIN

Through these difficult FINANCIAL times everyone has a story...I am one of those people. I must first say THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL. I was ABUSED as a CHILD and as an ADULT throughout my life. It was difficult to make the NEGATIVE into a POSITIVE but I did it! I gave myself a pep talk every day "YES I CAN MAKE A BETTER FUTURE FOR MYSELF" instead of "NO I CAN'T".
My STRENGTH as a PERSON was tested..I lost my home with everything I ever owned in it on a cold winter day that happened to be my BIRTHDAY. I was an ONLY CHILD with no FAMILY and FRIENDS to turn to. A girl I worked with noticed I was dressed like a hobo unlike my wardrobe she saw me in...clothes I got from a Community Center and top and pants that were too tight. I told her of my
Situation and she offered me to stay with her. After two weeks her friend offered me to rent an apartment for myself. After replacing everything I lost, my apartment flooded damaging everything I owned so I had to move again. Got another place without replacing what I lost and slept on a cart for two years and maintained my two full time jobs with a two hour nap each day between my day job and night job. Then my car broke down and the engine needed to be replaced. I took out a loan and bought myself a used car. It took ten years to get myself on my feet but I did it all on my own. I was a single parent that had a lot of OBSTACLES to overcome but I need to say "NEVER SAY NEVER" WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY! Although I made my long story into a short story I want anyone who is going through a hard time to know ANYTHING iS POSSIBLE. Listen to Dr. Phil's shows, read his books and share your feelings on this MESSAGEBOARD ...
It will help you to get the ideas you need to SURVIVE in this troubled world. There is a cute saying I always tell my friends DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY"..it always gets a SMILE! May your road of troubles finally bring you to a path of HAPPINESS! If you need to share your STORY...I AM HERE TO LISTEN!
 
September 21, 2008, 12:30 am CDT

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL STORY

Quote From: misspiasso

The Struggling can be overwhelming

I just watched the show about Money Crisis, dated September 15th.  I felt compelled to write to Dr. Phil for the first time. 

 

I know I am not alone in the battle of trying to survive in the American crisis today.  I am a single Mom living in a small town in NW Ga, the carpet capital of the nation.  The economy here is in severe crisis. If I really sit and think about how bad it is, it scares me to death.

 

I hear Dr. Phil say we have to live up to the reality of why we are in a personal financial problem.  I sat and thought about that.  What I felt wasn't mentioned was there are some conditions that happen which can lead someone down this road that are way out of our control.

 

The last year my happy and secure world has turned upside down.  I have worked two jobs for the last 5 years. I was a sales and marketing specialist at a large carpet manufacturer and also have my own business I have done at night for 19 years.  We were financially stable, but yes, I did have debt.

 

Last year, I was keeping my grandchilden and my son and I took them out to breakfast and to go to Walmart.  We were gone a few hours when I recieved a call from my oldest son to stop what I was doing and meet him in town immediately.  We rushed to meet him and he got out of his truck with tears on his cheeks. He held me and said, "Mom, you have lost everything."  Of couse denial was my first reaction.  He put me in his truck and drove me to my home.  Firetrucks were everywhere, people I didn't know in my yard and my state of shock was unbelieveable. 

 

My shop was built beside my home, it was a catering business and bakery.  The shop had caught fire, burnt to the ground, then spread to our vehicles and one exploded and threw the fire onto the house.  I sat with my two sons, my daughter in law and two grandchildren on a crosstie in the flower bed and just watched.  At that point, the overwhelming urge to cry was far outweighted by thanking God  that the most important things in my life were sitting beside me.  What was lost was material possessions, all my material possessions.  I also lost my second income, we depended upon.

 

My insurance was wonderful, to rebuild the house and to get another vehicle, but would not pay for the shop.  We rebuilt and I got back into our home 5 months later.  During this time I lived with my son and worked steady at my other job.  The loss of the one income was certainly noticed, but I was handling things and keeping things current.

 

Then we broke for the Christmas break  at work and I  went back to work on January 3rd.  We were all summoned into a meeting and told the company filed bankruptcy over the holidays and we could go home.  In six months time I went from making $70,000.00 a year to $269.00 a week unemployment. After pounding the pavement constantly and being turned away for job interviews due to the economy and no hiring policy, I decided to reopen my shop downtown. 

 

I devised a plan, to take the last of my savings and open a small scale of my shop downtown.  Knowing we could not survive on the shop income starting out, due to having to purchase so many things for it, I pounded the streets continuously and found two more jobs I could do at night and on weekends.  I became a restaurant manager part time and became the Conventon Center Catering Manager.  For the last six months I have worked 7 days a week, sometimes 15 hours a day. 

 

I called my creditors.  Most were very helpful and worked with me to lower the interest in a plan to pay off my credit cards in a one, two or three year payment.  Three would not work with me at all.  I set up automatic payments, which I controlled through Bill Pay online to all of them weekly, even the ones that would not accept a payment plan.  Those three turned it over to a collection agency, all with balances of around $1000, to $2000.00.  They pile on late fees and demand hundreds of dollars to bring them current, even though I don't have it.  I am doing all I can.  I receive at least 20 calls a day on the home phone plus they call my cell phone 20 times a day.  They won't take no for an answer.  One creditor even suggested I hit the street corners to pay this debt. I have my house payment and car payment current.

 

The debt I am paying on was all lost in the fire.  I threw away my credit card years ago, most of that income was generated on the debts before my divorce. I agreed in the divorce to take all our debt, in order for him to sign.  A stupid thing on my part but I wanted a quick divorce for the boys sake without a lot of turmoil and this was the best avenue. 

 

Things are getting harder and harder, with gas and groceries prices soaring. I have struggled to keep my son in college, but much to my regret, I have pulled him out for financial reasons this upcoming fall quarter.  But we are surviving and the schedules on my debts are slowly coming down, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is just a few years away with a  gradual decrease starting soon. We cut out all eating out,  spending money on clothes and extras. We cut our TV  to a basic package, turned our air up at home and drive as little as possible.  I had the cars paid for before the fire, but now have two car payments

to pay. 

 

The calls, the stress and the pressure each week can be overwhelming at times.  But I am one determined little lady and I will over come this.  But please realize sometimes situations are out of our control for the problems surrounding us.  I thank God I have three jobs to keep us up, I feel fortunate.  I know many that have nothing or have lost everything.  But I belive, if there is a will, there is a way to overcome.  It may be a long and bumpy road, but this gal will get back to the top of the mountain again.

You go girl! You have such a "POSITIVE" attitude. It is so nice to hear that you feel so FORTUNATE after all you have been through. I am going to share my long story into a short story.
I was a single parent and on my own struggling on a daily basis. My past was filled with child and adult abuse. I once lost my HOME with everything I owned in it. After replacing what I lost, my apartment I was living in got flooded out so I lost everything again. Moved again and slept on a cart for two years. I maintained two full time jobs napping for two hours a day between my day job and night job. I worked a part time job on the weekends. Then my car broke down and my engine could not replaced so I got a loan to buy a used car. It took ten long years to get myself on my feet. Once I got myself financially and emotionally secure I met my husband. He met me when I had gotten my LIFE TOGETHER. We share the same values in LIFE! No matter what TROUBLES come our way we take them with a POSITIVE ATTITUDE "YES WE CAN MAKE IT THROUGH. Our FAMILY and our FRIENDS are all going through bad times..loss of jobs and homes. We have UNITED to help each other emotionally. This MESSAGEBOARD is like a THERAPY session sharing our feelings and ideas to get through each day COMMUNICATING with someone who has the same daily STRUGGLES.

That MOUNTAIN you had to climb was so high but now that you have gotten on top you can shout "YES I CAN"!
 
September 23, 2008, 1:06 pm CDT

Dead Beat Dads/Moms

There is hope,

 

http://nonsupportingfathers.blogspot.com/

 

 

 
September 26, 2008, 2:36 pm CDT

New to the scene

Quote From: gklassen

Hi everybody, I'm new to this. My wife and I are having debt problems to. We fell behind on some bills and now are suffering just trying to get back on our feet. We've already had our gas shut off ot our house because we're trying to pay one debt at a time but they just keep piling up and up it seems endless.

We already consolidated our debt at the bank we own a small business and my wife has a job on the side but it's still not enough It's sooo depressing.

To top it all off our 21 yo son moved back home because of drug abuse so we know have bigger problems because where we're from there is no government help. Life seems to be getting shorter at a rapid speed I could just curl up in a ball and die.

Life sucks...

I totally understand where you are coming from . We have been married for 15 years and have been financial trouble since day one. We were both previously married so we both had debt luggage to carry in with us. We decided that filing for bankruptcy was the answer to our prayers.....wrong. We still managed to get ourselves back in debt. Between school loans and doctor bills there just seems to be no way out at times. Then a year ago my husband who is a truck driver was in an major accident and broke his foot. We are lucky that is all that he recieved. He was team driving when his partner fell asleep at the wheel and the semi went off the road. Needless to say there was nothing left of the truck or their load. The truck had managed to catch fire before they were stopped by running into an underpass. He was buying the truck on a lease agreement and paying the insurance out of his pocket. Too bad the fine print didn't include the fact that if he were to get into an accident that any insurance money would go to the trucking company and not him. He was out of work for almost a month and the only employment I had was part-time substitute teaching at our local schools....$65 a day don't get the bills paid.We managed to get behind on our mortgage payments and they have tried to forclose on us three times....no to mention that we have been in this house going on 5 years and can't afford to get the gas turned on because we owe the gas company $700 still....we went 6 months with no water turned on here....we were hauling water in here from my parents house so I could cook meals and wash up dishes...we were going to the neighbors or my parents house to get showers. I did manage to find full-time employment with a well known doctors office and my husband did go back to work. This happened last year (accident) and we are still trying to get caught up. We are living one day at a time with our mortgage company. We do have water turned back on but no cable TV or telephone. We do have our cell phones as long as we don't get behind a month....if we do they get shut off temporarily and we do without. Those things are not a necessity they are a luxury. Just as my children 18 and 12 they have heard it often enough that they now tell others that. Some weeks we struggle for groceries....like this week where there is only enough money to pay the mortgage company and hope we have enough in the cupboard to get us through until one of us gets paid again. We decided to rent a room out to a friend and he was paying us $150 a month to live here and he also pays for the telephone use and internet. That won't last long because he has been out of work for almost a month now....I told him he has until the end of the month to find a job or he is going to have to move out becaue we can't afford to support him when I have my children to think about first. They rely on me and I am sorry if he doesn't understand. Sometimes you just have to get tough. I know I should make my 18 year old son look for work also, he did try working and going to high school but then his grades started to drop because they didn't give him anytime to get his homework done and get some sleep. He would get off work at 11:30 or midnight and then have to come home get his homework done and still sleep some. (He was going straight from school to work) They were not allowed to do homework at the work place either....I know because I asked the manager myself. So, we decided that he need to be concerned with high school and not making money. I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one out there struggling and I am sure you already knew that, but sometimes it is nice to hear that you aren't alone. I hope things start getting better for you and I also know what you mean about there being no government help out there for middle class families.
 
September 26, 2008, 3:00 pm CDT

Debt

Quote From: caddyguy

Ahhhh.......the arrogance of youth!!!

 

Obviously......you didn't read what I said......or if you did, you did not comprehend what I said!!!

 

YOU SAID......I need $1398 plus another car and you did not know where to get the money or what to do.

YOU SAID......I have no CREDIT.

YOU SAID......I OWE my Mom $50 a month for auto Insurance.

YOU SAID......I borrowed $150 from my boyfriend.

 

I SAID......you have an Income Problem.....drop ONE  semester and work like a dog to get some money.

I SAID......you are about to take on more debt.....because you want it NOW!!

I SAID......Please, do not BORROW to establish credit......I would tell you a way to get credit WITHOUT using Credit Cards OR going into DEBT.

I SAID......Don't waste your money on a College Education that will only get  you a job making 25k a year. You completely missed the point on that one!!

 

YOUR response was what you would NOT do, what you CAN"T do, but nothing about what you CAN do. I made NO assumptions on your career.....you didn't READ what I said. And again you jumped off on a tangent about your car. What you really want is a Band Aid so you can keep doing what you are doing.

 

GIRL, YOU ARE GOING TO COLLEGE......FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF!!!!

I don't mean to interfer in this conversation, but what you are telling this young lady is the facts of real life. I came from a large family and cars and college were not an option. If I wanted them I had to get them myself. I was married for two years before I purchased my first care and  it was a 74 dodge dart with a lot of miles...it is what I could afford. Before that I was walking to work because we have no buses or taxi service in the town I am from; or I found someone going my way to give me a lift.  I was already a mother of one before I was able to go to college and that required me to go to school full-time and work full-time. That doesn't leave much time for the baby and homework. You find a way to make things work out to your advantage...you have to be able to give a lot to get a little. My husband and I are still struggling with both of us working full-time. He is gone a lot as an over the road truck driver and I work as a receptionist in a doctors office. We now have 4 children between the two of us and money just doesn't go very far. You learn to do without so you can have the necessities in life.  We own one vehicle and my 18 year old wasn't able to take drivers education because the $350 was't there to pay for the classes. That is something he is going to have to learn to get on his own. Mom and Dad just can't do it money wise. There are a lot of weeks where we aren't even sure we are going to have money for food. If we are having a good week we have $100 for groceries....bad weeks are $30-$40....That doesn't go far when you are feeding 4 people. I think this little girl needs to walk in someone elses shoes for a while....it is obviously clear that she has a poor man's pocket and a rich man's dreams....LITTLE GIRL IT IS TIME TO LOOK LIFE IN THE FACE!!!!!!
 
October 1, 2008, 12:07 pm CDT

Debt and Depression

I'll be straight with you. Until a year ago, I had been debt-free for at least ten years. Even back in the day when I had debt, it only took me one year at an extra weekend job to pay it off. I recall how sad I was to calculate it all and to see that I owed a total of almost $8,000.

Today, I am wishing it were that low. I wish we had never bought this house. I wish we had just rented a while longer. If I knew then what I know now... but it is too late and I just cannot seem to get out of this.

Here is the story. The CEO I had worked for fired me two days after learning I was pregnant. I know it is illegal, but my husband was still there and, being the bully that this CEO was, he would seriously retaliate against my husband. Then my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. Between his medical condition and the falling housing market (it was a building supplies company), his hours were cut to part time.

All this started happening not too long after we bought our first home. At least we got a 30-year fixed mortgage. I thought the property taxes were low, but what I did not know was how much the previous owner had saved from a "Save Our Homes" exemption over time. It was a devastating blow the next year to see OUR taxes jump by over $200 per month.

We were able to wing this, as we had "stockpiled" our savings considerably for emergencies. The problem is, the emergencies kept coming. After my husband's last chemo, he was laid off. He still had to get a reverse ileostomy, but at least this jerk CEO paid his COBRA for a few months until this got done.

Getting a job for him again was very tough, between slow housing and high unemployment, because my husband is a locksmith. The old car needed repairs and my dog got seriously ill. By this time, I had no choice but to use my lines of credit.

 

What should have I done?  Tell my husband and my dog to die painful deaths because I don't want to use the credit card to save their lives?

My husband finally got a job, but now we learned that the roof needs replaced. We learned the hard way about house inspectors and about insurance companies. I have no beef with the insurance company, as this was not their fault. The inspectors, hired by our real estate agent (how convenient), gave the roof a good rating. We only learned last month that the roof is old and had been giving out from normal wear and tear. The quote for a new roof (a good one, anyway) from Rizzo today was $8600.

I know I need to work, too. There is a great opening with homeland security, information my brother-in-law sent to me. He's a border patrol agent, but this would be as a produce inspector. I have a good enough background in it, and I hope I get this job. I just do not know what to do with my baby.

I would never use my credit cards to "keep up with the Jones" so to speak. These were all major catastrophic issues in my life. Even without the roof issue, my debt is around $18,000. I had seriously considered an "accidental death" to wipe out those debts under my name. My husband and baby could collect the death benefits until the social security kicks in. That was before I discussed it on a spirituality board and I did get help there, emotionally at least.

Things are actually getting better, but a few last hardships keep coming. Even if I do not get the job at homeland security but get a regular data entry or pharmacy technician job around here, I know I could juggle it especially if my husband gets a second job.

I just feel lost and a bit shell-shocked. Sorry to vent it out here. I just feel lost.

 
October 3, 2008, 8:26 am CDT

Debt

Quote From: chilihead

I'll be straight with you. Until a year ago, I had been debt-free for at least ten years. Even back in the day when I had debt, it only took me one year at an extra weekend job to pay it off. I recall how sad I was to calculate it all and to see that I owed a total of almost $8,000.

Today, I am wishing it were that low. I wish we had never bought this house. I wish we had just rented a while longer. If I knew then what I know now... but it is too late and I just cannot seem to get out of this.

Here is the story. The CEO I had worked for fired me two days after learning I was pregnant. I know it is illegal, but my husband was still there and, being the bully that this CEO was, he would seriously retaliate against my husband. Then my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. Between his medical condition and the falling housing market (it was a building supplies company), his hours were cut to part time.

All this started happening not too long after we bought our first home. At least we got a 30-year fixed mortgage. I thought the property taxes were low, but what I did not know was how much the previous owner had saved from a "Save Our Homes" exemption over time. It was a devastating blow the next year to see OUR taxes jump by over $200 per month.

We were able to wing this, as we had "stockpiled" our savings considerably for emergencies. The problem is, the emergencies kept coming. After my husband's last chemo, he was laid off. He still had to get a reverse ileostomy, but at least this jerk CEO paid his COBRA for a few months until this got done.

Getting a job for him again was very tough, between slow housing and high unemployment, because my husband is a locksmith. The old car needed repairs and my dog got seriously ill. By this time, I had no choice but to use my lines of credit.

 

What should have I done?  Tell my husband and my dog to die painful deaths because I don't want to use the credit card to save their lives?

My husband finally got a job, but now we learned that the roof needs replaced. We learned the hard way about house inspectors and about insurance companies. I have no beef with the insurance company, as this was not their fault. The inspectors, hired by our real estate agent (how convenient), gave the roof a good rating. We only learned last month that the roof is old and had been giving out from normal wear and tear. The quote for a new roof (a good one, anyway) from Rizzo today was $8600.

I know I need to work, too. There is a great opening with homeland security, information my brother-in-law sent to me. He's a border patrol agent, but this would be as a produce inspector. I have a good enough background in it, and I hope I get this job. I just do not know what to do with my baby.

I would never use my credit cards to "keep up with the Jones" so to speak. These were all major catastrophic issues in my life. Even without the roof issue, my debt is around $18,000. I had seriously considered an "accidental death" to wipe out those debts under my name. My husband and baby could collect the death benefits until the social security kicks in. That was before I discussed it on a spirituality board and I did get help there, emotionally at least.

Things are actually getting better, but a few last hardships keep coming. Even if I do not get the job at homeland security but get a regular data entry or pharmacy technician job around here, I know I could juggle it especially if my husband gets a second job.

I just feel lost and a bit shell-shocked. Sorry to vent it out here. I just feel lost.

I am so sorry to hear you are in this place. Thanks for sharing your story. I was surprised to hear that someone else thought of the "accident death" clause to resolve financial hardship. Although horrible, I appreciate not being the only one to think so desperately. I have been out of work due to spinal surgery for 16 months, during my medical leave; I was terminated from my job of 9 years. My debt grew while I paid medical co-payments, bought groceries/gasoline and replaced an air conditioner. Just last month my faithful little dog developed pneumonia, costing $500. I have a deep guilt over having credit card debt, I didn't buy a Coach purse I bought necessary school clothes. But I face the "Now what?" question each day. I feel lost too, so I really understand.
 
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