I could really use some advice. We have 70K in credit card debt across four cards (3 Chase, 1 Bank of America). Most of that was to complete two international adoptions and to fix major house issues. Some of it was stupidity… well, actually all of it was stupidity. We should not have gone into such debt. I was thinking with my heart and not my head. (But not to do it would mean I wouldn’t have my daughters today. How to put a price on that?)
About 3 years ago, I completely revamped my budget to cash only using the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover. We did have a card balance of 90K, so have managed to pay down 20K of it. However, during that time I also had to finance a (used) car and our septic system required emergency replacement. So in actuality, my credit card debt went down 20K, but I incurred other debt to the tune of 23K. We’re pretty much right where we started.
We also have 5 kids, I work two jobs (one part time, one full time) and my husband is employed full time. He is going to be having surgery in a month and will need to be completely off his feet for 6 weeks. My job had a salary freeze, and his cut out 4 weeks of employment. All of this combined has made us unable to make the payments.
Right now we are current on everything, but I have paid down with our savings. We have $100 in the bank–that’s it–and next month we will be unable to meet the credit card bills. I have no way to buy Christmas gifts for the kids and getting food on the table is tough. I feel like such an idiot for putting my family in this spot!
I don’t know what to even do next. Should I call Chase and BOA and tell them what’s going on ahead of time? I am very worried about them calling my work or my kids. Because they’re older, I’m afraid the newly adopted ones will blame themselves for the situation.
I thought about making an appointment with Consumer Credit Counseling services. Can they do anything for me that I can’t do myself? Will Chase even work with them? Right now my interest rates range from 7.99% to 11.24%. If they’d drop the payment amounts down, I might have a fighting chance. That’s about the only way, I think. Should I use the cards to get a few Christmas gifts? Or should I just go delinquent on the cards next month and pay cash? (We keep it simple-3-4 gifts per child.) Will they be able to even help me or am I talking bankruptcy? And what happens when my son wants to go to college in 2 years–how will I help him get a student loan?
I really want to pay this stuff off, but nothing seems to be working in my favor right now. Thanks for any advice! I’m so scared and ashamed of myself.
You are where I was at ten years ago, and I wish someone had of told me: stop using the credit cards. You can live without Christmas. Please, see some sort of legitimate debt counselor to help you out of this crushing debt. Do not be ashamed. I wish I had of done something like that ten years ago. Now I’m in bankruptcy. Hope this helps and good luck.