Thursday, March 10, 2011

Don't they WANT their money?

We have debt. A lot of it. Just take a look at the ticker. That's consumer debt. Doesn't include the mortgage. We don't have a six-figure income - far from it. Our debt comes from a lot of things. Medical expenses. College. Kids. Stupidity.

But we're trying to dig our way out now. We quit using credit cards five months ago. That means our debt total isn't rising, but it also means we don't have enough money at the end of the month to make all the minimum payments. Now we pay cash for the petty stuff. Like groceries.

I've been reading and listening to Dave Ramsey and have been following his advice as best I can. I've been contacting creditors and asking to be enrolled in their hardship programs due to the crazy medical bills we have - and will continue to accumulate for many years to come. My first call was to Bank of America and the representative was surprisingly helpful. She took down the pertinent information and offered me a plan on the spot. It lowered the interest rate (not as low as I would have liked, but I'm taking what I can get at this point) and gave us a fixed payment. The card was closed (shows up as consumer request on the credit report) and will be paid off in 60 months. The monthly payment is $75 lower than the previous minimum, so it was progress.

With that first success under my belt, I dialed Chase. Now, Dave has warned about Chase. But I figured since BOA worked with me, Chase would be delighted to do the same. Yeah, right. I gave them all the same information I gave BOA. The debt to Chase is bigger, so the payment is outrageous. I figured this was a no-brainer.

I got the answer today. No, they can't help me. I point out that I will not be able to make the minimum payment. If we were dealing face-to-face, I feel sure the rep would have shrugged.

I can't give them the minimum. So I guess I'll pay what I can and wait for their call. And explain the situation all over again. Until they get it.

This really sucks.


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