This is my online journal documenting my attempted escape from debt hell. If you think that applying the term "hell" to being in debt is too extreme, you've probably never come close to the point of no return.Please feel free to follow me on this escape mission, maybe all of us will learn a thing or two along the way.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm back... and still struggling

Nobody ever said getting out of debt is easy. It isn't, and sometimes, you just want to chuck everything, seel all assets, pay off debts, and go off and live in the backwoods somehwere, away from the rat race... but quitting is for losers....fighting on is what people do when they leave the pity party and get their head on straight again.

In March, i was optimistic that I'd be in much improved shape by summer. let's see where things stand.

While i increased my income, as expected, I was not able to wipe out a single credit card debt. However, on that front, I've gone from being 3 payments behind on 3 credit cards. 2 payments behind on 2 cards, and one payment behind on two others, to being current on all but one, though still at the limit or over the limit on 2.

That is better than where things stood in march, but not by much. I caught up on my utilities after twice being a few days away from having my power cut, once hours away from my gas being cut, and actually having service on my mobile phone interrupted, a situation I corrected witin a few hours.
It has not been easy. Large sums in, large sums out, literally NOTHING to show for it.
My FICO score at last check, in early june, wass at 531. That stinks, but I'm still alive.

I am now 3 payments away from clearing one credit card once and for all, and two payments away from wiping out another debt. That is good. I am grateful to the card company in question, as they graciously wiped out the fact that I was two payments behind, and reset the card to current, without dinging me for any extra charges. Why? Probably because i had stayed in contact with them, and warned them about late payments, and kept them fully updated about my situation. Doesn't alays help, but in this case it may have.
That card will be meeting with Mr. Scissors in September!
On the negative side, we have another company which has made my life more difficult. I had stupidly bought some some furniture on one of those 16 month deferred payment deals. I later bought another piece on a similar plan, but missed one payment after the first plan came due, and they cancelled the plan and now expect me to pay an additional $49.00 minimum payment. I have contested this, and am awaiting the result. That would mess up my plans but nicely.
I am behind on my property taxes, and had to work out a payment plan with the government for income tax, but it will be possible to survive this given anticipated income over the next few months.
Over the last 8 months, we have managaed to keep a coupe of major accounts current all the way, never missed a car payment, or a mortgage payment. Not once.
We are a long long way from escaping debt hell. for at least the next two years, barring a windfall, it is going to be a weekly struggle of living on cash, and meeting credit card minimum payments, and hopefully paying some off.
Living on cash would be a piece of cake if not for the credit card debt.
My FICO score disqualifies me from a second mortgage, or any kind of consolidation loan, so we have to slog it out for at least 6 months or more with a view to getting my FICO up to 650 or thereabouts.