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 Post subject: credit card advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:08 pm 
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So, after I graduated I had no job and the only way I could do anything was by credit card, I had to move, I had to still eat, I had to have a bed to sleep on....I was optimistic, falsely, that I would find a job and pay it off....instead I didn't find a job for a long time, when I did it was a low paying job, and with the credit regulations they jacked up my interest rate to the highest they legally can and since it's Bank of America and they're totally backwards evil, instead of having what most banks have as overdraft protection where they just charge your credit card like you're buying something on your credit card B of A gives you a cash advance from your credit card (it's totally backwards and this was never explained to me by the person who opened my account), so now I have a couple "cash advances" now on my card that they charge an extra $30+ monthly for until my card is completely paid off so I'm technically paying more than 30% interest on my card which is multiple thousands of dollars. Yes this is all stupid. I regret it. I have however learned how to live without it even in the toughest of times since for a long time it was maxed out.

I am now paying a little bit over the minimum to try and get it paid down, ideally I'd like to pay way more than that, but I just don't have that much. Minimum is $250, I pay $300. I'd like to get to a place where I can pay $500, but not there yet.

Anywho, does anyone have any general advice? And I'm also specifically wondering if there are any advantages to closing the account when I have such a high balance. I know it's really horrible for your credit, but you know what? I haven't got money for shiitake for that to really matter right now, plus I have a company that is trying to screw me over and telling me I owe them a $700 which I don't, long story, there's a class action lawsuit against them right now for this very reason, but that's going to be on my credit report for the next 7 years or so because I refuse to pay it. So basically my credit is already shot and since I figure I will be too broke to do anything like buy a car or house within the next decade I don't have any real need for credit. The only thing it would be nice for is, well first, credit reports when it comes to getting an apartment (hoping I can explain away the bad marks to landlords, have never had an issue with paying rent) and secondly a business loan, but I'm also not at a place in my life/career where I can do what I want with that right now.

Can I get any benefit what so ever by closing the account, any leverage on the bank, whatever? They won't let me lower my interest rate now, I've asked twice and my balance is too high for any other credit card company to allow me to transfer the balance.

ETA: the only reason I'm with Bank of America in the first place is that I moved far away from home and travel frequently, but I think there may now be other banks that are here as well as the places that I travel to. Right now, because I always forget to pay bills until the last minute it's also nice to be able to just transfer my payment from my checking to the credit card, but I'm not completely opposed to switching banks. I'd really prefer to be with a local credit union if I can.


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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:13 pm 
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You can try to call the credit card company and get a deferral or forbearance, even just for a month or two. In fact, I wouldn't ask for more than that. Telling the rep all of that and then saving for a month or two to really get a leg up on the interest could be a reasonable middle ground. Really appeal to the person on the other end - most of them know they work for the Great Big Evil. It doesn't hurt to ask, and if you can show that you'll make the next payment if you are allowed to skip one or two, they might listen. Maybe. My roommate pulled this off once, and I've done it for utility bills when shiitake's been out of control for me.


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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:04 pm 
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So sorry to hear of the situation you are in. Can you try to consolidate your debts into one loan at a fixed lower rate? I would do everything you can to pay off that card, get that monkey off your back. Once that's done, never get into debt again. There is an excellent book that I think everyone should read called "Financially stupid people are everywhere" by Jason Kelly.


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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:06 pm 
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Would you be able to get a card with 0% balance transfers, and transfer your balance, and then pay it off without interest for a while?

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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:35 pm 
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erawka wrote:
You can try to call the credit card company and get a deferral or forbearance, even just for a month or two. In fact, I wouldn't ask for more than that. Telling the rep all of that and then saving for a month or two to really get a leg up on the interest could be a reasonable middle ground. Really appeal to the person on the other end - most of them know they work for the Great Big Evil. It doesn't hurt to ask, and if you can show that you'll make the next payment if you are allowed to skip one or two, they might listen. Maybe. My roommate pulled this off once, and I've done it for utility bills when shiitake's been out of control for me.

I think I've done that forbearance thing once before...I actually had called them about a year ago because I really couldn't make the payment. I didn't have any work at all for a few months, so I asked if I could just pay it in a week when I would have money and they said I could actually skip the payment entirely and go back to paying the next month. I wonder if it would hurt or if they'd let me do it again, save the money from that months payment and then give them two or three times the amount the next month. I have so much money on the card that it wouldn't be a huge percentage of the balance, but it would be a big jump. If they accrue the interest then it's not worth it, but if it doesn't accrue I could try that. I'll look into that.

von m wrote:
So sorry to hear of the situation you are in. Can you try to consolidate your debts into one loan at a fixed lower rate? I would do everything you can to pay off that card, get that monkey off your back. Once that's done, never get into debt again. There is an excellent book that I think everyone should read called "Financially stupid people are everywhere" by Jason Kelly.

I can't consolidate, because I only have the one credit card (if I had multiple I probably could), and unfortunately I'll be in debt a long time to come even after the credit card. I come from a poor family and I pretty much went to ivy league/private college, so yeah, I'll be paying for that for the rest of my life, but I need to get rid of the card debt so I can put my money towards my loans instead.

rabidchild wrote:
Would you be able to get a card with 0% balance transfers, and transfer your balance, and then pay it off without interest for a while?

The balance on my card is way too high for any other credit card company to agree to a balance transfer, I've tried.


I'm not in a place to do this, but I've known/heard of people that just stopped paying their credit card and then got an offer to settle the debt for half of what they owed if they paid it all at once. I might resort to that if I somehow save up thousands of dollars.


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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:57 pm 
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I am so sorry this has happened to you. Your story is my story right now. I am going through the same thing.

Here's what I learned: Credit cards are tricky business. Companies know when and how to hit you up to apply for them for you, it was after you graduated. For me it was when I enrolled into my university, and realized that I didn't have enough financial aid for books. They make it sound simple and easy and it looks like the answer to all of your problems. (edited to add: It looked like the answer to all of MY problems. You probably weren't so naive.)

Bank of America is bad about their overdraft fees, and they have gotten much more strict about them recently. Any overdraft or missed payments be will a hefty fee. As for balance transfers, they are a bit more tricky to get in this economy. Companies are more picky about who they give credit cards or transfers to.

Also, and this is important, if you decide to do a balance transfer, be sure that the 0% transfer is good for more than enough time to pay down your balance. Card companies will say that you'll have 0% interest for 6 months, but in the small print it will say that the 0% is only good for 3 months or 1 month if your balance is too high, or sometimes, it not allow you to have 0% at all.

I am sorry your payments are so high. A book that I am reading about get out of Debt is called Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. The book is teaching me to set up baby steps that will help me to get out of debt quickly. It is a Christian influenced book, but I think the principals on money are pretty sound and universal. Look for it in the library or Half Priced Books and see if it would work for you.

Just please don't get discouraged. You are not the only one having to put up with this issue.

*hug*
-Danni

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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:49 pm 
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How about stop paying the card for a while? Eventually they'll call you up and ask what's up and you can say that you don't have the money to pay and then they'll offer you a sweet deal. I doubt they can or will take you seriously as long as you keep paying the minimum balance like a sucker -- especially if its the ridiculous terms you say. (no offense, you sound like a solid citizen, I'm pretty sure thats how they see it is all)

Your credit score will take a hit but really, you don't seem like you're going to be comparing house mortages anytime soon anyway...


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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:56 pm 
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Gunnar Handsome wrote:
How about stop paying the card for a while? Eventually they'll call you up and ask what's up and you can say that you don't have the money to pay and then they'll offer you a sweet deal. I doubt they can or will take you seriously as long as you keep paying the minimum balance like a sucker -- especially if its the ridiculous terms you say. (no offense, you sound like a solid citizen, I'm pretty sure thats how they see it is all)

Your credit score will take a hit but really, you don't seem like you're going to be comparing house mortages anytime soon anyway...

+1

That seems like a good idea.

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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:03 pm 
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I also had a friend who would just ignore the company for several months, then call and settle for much less. He did this quite often, and it didn't seem to be a problem. The banks generally assumed that he was about to declare bankruptcy, and if he does that they get nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: credit card advice
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:49 pm 
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Interesting. It's like haggleing!


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