Can it get any worse?

This could be laughable if it weren’t on the heels of a very bad year!

My unemployment has been held back because I forgot to list $100 I earned in December, 2004. It happened because I earned the money on Christmas Eve and hadn’t given it a thought. Now I’m appealing this so we’ll see. Their original determination was to suspend my benefits for FIVE WEEKS for an understandable (IMO) mistake.

Then I tried to get $2000 out of my 401K to pay off a couple of bills (finally) and they’re holding that money back until I can prove I’m not married.

Sheesh. And then Mel Gibson drives drunk, makes rude remarks and is still making millions. (I only use him as one example of how life can really suck).

“Then I tried to get $2000 out of my 401K to pay off a couple of bills (finally) and they’re holding that money back until I can prove I’m not married.”

This is a legal requirement they are not trying make your life miserable. Just give them the proof and get your money. If you were married then a spouse’s signature is required since this is a community property state.

Yes it can get worse. At least you have access to $2000 to pay a couple of bills. It might take a bit more effort then pulling out from under the mattress but it is available if you choice to comply with the withdrawal rules.

My credit union says i will need a co-signer

Okay, i checked at my CU and looks like if i want the $20k loan i will need 2-4 down-payment and a co-signer. that’s got me thinking if i go with dealer financing will i still be subject to those conditions? if its like that i will never get a car, maybe i should downsize for a cheaper car but ven if i do go with something that’s about 17k i will still need about 20k for the other costs.

Since this blog is about getting out of debt, not how to go further into debt, you have opened yourself to some questions and scrutiny.

  • Why would still need $20k?
  • Do lack credit or have bad credit?
  • Is there something you are not telling us?

If you are in dire straights for transportation and can not buy one outright, buy the cheapest you can from a reputable dealer. Make payments on it for at least 4 months, then ask the CU to buy the loan or refinance it to a lower interest rate.

Do you really need to spend that much on a car? is there a special transportation need you have? i’m not suggesting a clunker, but you should be able to find a decent used vehicle for about 1/2 that amount – you may need to look more, maybe change some thought pattern of what you need the vehicle for – is it status or transporation? Since I don’t know your circumstances, I don’t know the answer – I know I bought “too much” car once, got caught up in payments that I really couldn’t afford and ended up losing the car (voluntary repo) and I still had to pay MORE than the original loan – after 3 years of payments – with various fees and penalties – an expensive lesson well learned. Now my car is paid for – it’s an older model – no bells and whistles – but it does what I need it to do – get me from A – B reliably. Just a thought!

I’m confused about your post too. Just as a way to help you with what I think you might be asking is, do you really need $20k for a car? What for? Are there other debts you already have? If not, and your goal is to own a new or newer vehicle, but you can’t get a loan on your own for it now, just go for a used car you can pay for fairly quickly. Do you need to get a co-signer to help build your credit? If so, you still may want to start with something way lower priced than $17K. Don’t let a dealership sucker you into that. There are more cost effective ways to get a decent running car.

Do you need it just to drive to work? The last vehicle my husband and I purchased was $3000.00 from a personal seller. It was a 1997 SUV in perfect running conditioning, had some dings and bangs on the body, and only needed minor maintenance, that we could do ourselves. We have no payments on it. Only insurance, fuel and maintenance costs (now and then). It’s still way cheaper than financing a car. We’ll probably keep it until we run it into the ground! It keeps us out of debt that’s for sure.

Balance transfers question

I hope someone can help advise my husband and me on this matter. We have a credit card with MBNA that was actually a debt consolidation loan. We owe $9800 on it and pay a fixed payment of $225 a month. The interest is 18%. We are trying to do a debt snowball and want to eliminate this one soon because of the large payment. We checked into one of those credit cards that offer a balance transfer with an introductory rate of 0% for so many months and then a fixed lower rate like 7or 8% after that.

We don’t plan on borrowing anymore on a credit card, but we’d like to reduce the interest rate on our current debt to pay it off faster. We were denied one of these (they let us have the credit card but not the balance transfer). Is this a bad way to go and why were we denied? Should we try any more of the 0% balance transfers or just pay it slowly with the high interest?

Most of those balance transfer loans have hidden fees. Most people are better off trying to get their current creditor to lower their interest rate rather then transferring and paying an upfront fee. Persistence pays off with getting a lower rate. There are tons of books out on the subject of negotiating with creditors. You public library is the first place to start.

Nolo Press Credit Repair would be the more technical book on the subject but there are tons of other good titles. Be careful laws change from year to year so look at the year published date and try to find one written in the last two years. I would stop pursuing a balance transfer or new credit offers and spend some time trying to negotiate with your current creditors.

I had MBNA. I bugged them for years to lower my rate from 24.9 but they would not budge. I did a balance transfer 2 months ago to a WAMU 0% for 14 months (they give you free access to your credit score, mine is 670, not too happy about that!) My transfer amount was 2,400.

The fee was 2% of the transfer which worked out to about the interest rate for 2 months on my MBNA. I was paying $100 dollars a month on MBNA and it was not moving. Now with the zero percent I have a $100 dollar payment but in 14 months the balance will be $1,000 at 3.9. So I feel I did get rid of a headache.

My question to you is…I would love to get one of the books that you recommend but I need something real simple. Something I can easily understand. I am not fully comprehending how to fix my credit report. I need a book that is going to walk me through each step. Is there such a book?

Thanks for your time.

I had a fabulous mail day today

Hey all 🙂

I had a fabulous mail day today. I got in the mail my first CC Bill that did NOT include a Return envelope!!! WOOHOO I got my statement from Sam’s Club saying ZERO balance 🙂 I hve it up on my fridge LOL I’m such a dork i know but its a huge accomplishment it feels like. Later on this month I can pay off my Home Depot card!

Today was a pretty good day. My last of my 3 days off. I went to pay my rent and did my coupon shopping. I got 3 bags of Iams tarter control treats for free. They were on sale for $4.49 and I had 3 coupons from sunday’s paper for free up to $6. Dogs got some extra treats that they normally wouldn’t have gotten:)

I got some free Rolaids soft chews free after coupon… same deal- coupon was in the sunday paper… i got 3 and since we don’t use Rolaids- I gave them to a friend that I knew does:)

I also got some really inexpensive stuff we needed… hand-soap, toothbrushes, mac & Cheese (they had it on sale in a 12 pack box and it ended up being $43 cents a box. that stuff is 60 cents a box individually….) that’s about it there…

I did get 4 new towels. Our towels had holes in em and really needed to be worked out….. JCPenny was having a sale, their $8 towels are on sale for $3.88! So i picked 2 new colors… 2 of each color. I know i could have done with the older towels but we’ve had those for 8 years and i was in some pick me up treat…. I washed them and they are so plump compared to my old ones!

That’s my day…. all in all a good day:) I came home and did housework and get ready to close tomorrow night at work. I’ll be working at my current store thru next week and then be moving to the new store. I am anxious and nervous at the same time:)

Just another spin on the CVS story

My husband works for CVS [ after they bought out eckerd , for which he had worked for over 15 years before the buyout ] …

CVS is not nice to its employees . this is what i personally know !

BUT ,

i have also heard/read [ don’t remember which ] , that the instigators of the company started it with the intent in mind , that employee satisfaction / happiness/ healthy relationship with employees is NOT at all of ANY concern of theirs . i wish i’d remember how it went , i only remember that i was flabbergasted by their brashness and uncaring attitude . they were taking the idea , that an employee was only a number to the next level .

as it goes , as a family ,.we could NOT make it of his paycheck alone … even if we ate beans and rice every day for breakfast , lunch and dinner ! much less buy a house , car or send kids to college ….. his paycheck is sooo small , i think we would qualify for food stamps ! and that after close to 20 years with the company !!!

There is an EASY pattern for ponchoes

There is an EASY pattern for ponchoes, we used to make as teenagers many moons ago…

you take 2 rectangles [ lets say 15 inches x 30 inches — that sounds reasonable ].

then you sew one edge [ 15 inches ] on the edge of the second rectangle 30… now you have an L shape.. now take the 15 inch edge from the second triangle and sew it on the 30 inch edge of the first. if you take 2 pieces of fabric for an experiment, and figure it out , you’ll see how easy it is.

all you have to do is sew/ crochet/ knit rectangles and sew 2 seams . you could even decorate the seams and let your imagination go wild.

the width of the rectangle is the length from your shoulder to the wrist [ or longer if you want ]. you will just have to work on the length of the rectangle [ how long on that ]

this is sooo absolutely simple. and you can knit, crochet or sew these rectangles any way you choose.

If she goes to college it will have to be with loans and grants

I’m in Michigan. My point is that last year i earned $13,000 and he made about $24,000. If she goes to college it will have to be with loans and grants. i’ve tried ebay but to really do well i have to find a way to get pictures to put in the ads. No digital camera and no regular camera, just those disposable one-use cameras, which really cost too much for only using a couple of pictures.

With the cs and being garnished for the ex’s van i’m lucky to get half what i actually earn ($600 in my paycheck a month). The cheapest place i can find to rent is $500 a month. So right now my son is using the spare bedroom in my parents house and i’m sleeping next to the washer and dryer in the back room (no privacy and by the back door 🙁 but at least its better than being homeless) and the rent isn’t much, enough to cover the extra sewage and electric bill. Oh, and my son is autistic impaired high functioning (very smart but zero common sense and no clue how to behave socially). He also doesn’t cope with change well and just me working a half hour late can mess him up for the rest of the day. I work early mornings and my folks are around for him when i work.

I think everyone or nearly everyone here is in financial trouble. that’s what i like about coming here, knowing that i’m not alone and that other people can understand things better than someone who doesn’t have any serious trouble with debts. hearing that others are slowly getting their debts paid off.

Somebody wrote: I’m not sure what state your in…but some states make the CS stay in place if the child goes to college.

Are you able to do ebay? I do it when I need extra and it’s easy.

I can’t advise much since I’m in a terrible financial predicament myself 🙁

I feel like it’s ruining my life right now.

I’d like to find another attorney but don’t have the money

The ex used Legal Aid, a free legal help agency for low income people, so i can’t ever use that agency for the rest of my life. Talk about unfair. To get an attorney I’d need to put up $500 cash then add other things like filing fees and all those other expenses. My income right now is about $550 a month. I’ve got to pay rent, utilities, car insurance, gas, and cell phone (no regular phone). At least my car does really good on gas mileage and i make sure to get oil changes every 3 months so the engine doesn’t get messed up.

I’ve never done ponchos. I’ll have to look around to find some easy patterns. Just remember, I’m still mostly a beginner at knitting. The more advanced patterns are still a bit too complicated for me. I don’t know how to sew and would like to learn how but don’t have the money for lessons right now.

For cs i’m planning to get it adjusted soon. My oldest will be 18 soon and will graduate high school next spring. Support ends when she’s 18 and graduates no matter what.

Debts, money, and survival

Hi all. I’m a divorced mom with 3 kids, two living with their dad and one with me. Reading the posts here has given me the faith that I can get myself out of debt. It won’t be easy but I will try. The state doesn’t help because they ordered me to pay child support even though my ex makes over $10 thousand more that I do.

In the divorce settlement he assumed sole responsibility and ownership of the van we bought during the marriage. He’s not paid on it since we split. The lawyer doing the collection says the divorce settlement is illegal so they keep garnishing my paycheck. He also won’t do anything about taking my name off the van title and the secretary of state office won’t let me do it myself. My biggest worry is that he’ll do something stupid like get in a wreck and I’ll get sued because my name is listed on the title. Oh, and he doesn’t like to pay bills so i doubt he’s got any insurance on the van.

The divorce was about 1 1/2 years ago. I’ve worked hard to improve my credit report. Started with a rating in the 300s and am now about 570 or 580. I pay my car insurance every month and last winter i got approved for a secured credit card. Yeah, i know, credit cards are dangerous. This one has a limit of $200 and i pay it off in full every month.

My ex believes in doing what he wants first then paying bills with any money that’s left over. During the marriage he’d take all the credit for the good stuff in our lives (big-screen tv, Cedar Point trip, etc.) and give me 100% of the blame for the problems. Problems like turn off notices for the electric and phone, struggling to get half the food our kids needed to eat. For the last year or so of the marriage he decided we’d split the costs. He would take care of the rent and electric bills. I’d handle the internet service (he insisted we needed two accounts), groceries, car insurance, gas, phone, two cell phones, satellite tv service (not much came in so far out in the country), and everything else that came up. After i moved out he got a turn-off notice from the electric company for almost $900 and the rent was 3 or 4 months behind. Never have figured out where all of his money went. He doesn’t gamble or drink and I never saw him bring home new stuff.

Wow! I’ve sure written a lot here. Okay, last bit is some of the ways I’ve found to stretch my income for things we need. Underwear and socks I buy new but clothes are bought from a local Goodwill store or the other thrift shops in the area. Thrift stores usually have good stuff for sale but lots cheaper than new. Sure you have to look for loose seams or needed repairs but i’d rather buy thrift store pants for $2.49 rather than over $20 new. Sometimes you can find brand new things bought for gifts that the receiver won’t wear or is the wrong size and can’t be returned to a store.

Two winters ago i learned to knit. Christmas gifts are now mostly lap-sized afghans, scarfs, and dishcloths and this year i’m trying for a sweater or two and maybe socks. By using simple, beginner level patterns and starting last month i hope to have everything done in time. Oh, i get the money to buy yarn by saving all the coins i bring home and drop into a jar every night. When i need yarn i cash in the coins.

Does anyone else have some ideas for ways to still do things without spending as much money? I’d like to hear your ideas.