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I was wondering if anyone had some advise. I am currently $100k in credit card debt. I am not past due on any payments and have very good credit score, but my income to credit ratio is pretty bad. I am feeling overwhelmed and not sure how much longer i can continue to pay minimum payments (which total about $2200/mo) I don't have enough equity to cashout or refinance. I am feeling choked. Should I continue as I am, contact a debt consolidation company, would they even help me since I am not late on any payments? Should I file bankruptcy? Any advise would be good.
I just don't know where to go from here.

Well, my husband and I were about $140,000 in credit card debt, so I know how you feel. We managed to maintain our minimum payments for a LONG time, but our income is now less and we could no longer keep up.

I looked into debt management plans with non-profit consumer credit counseling services ( is where I found them). I checked with two different ones, and my minimum monthly payments would have stayed the same or increased, so I couldn't do them. If you are able to make the payments, then they can help to get you lower interest rates and pay your balances off sooner. Also, I don't think it affects your credit score.

If you can't continue to make the payments, then you could try debt settlement. You would have to stop paying your bills, and start saving for lump sum settlements. Once you are over 90 days past due, your creditors may start offering to settle the accounts for less than the full balance. This does hurt your credit score, and there is also some risk of lawsuits.

The other option is bankruptcy, if you qualify for it. You have to be able to pass both a means test and a good faith test to file Chapter 7, and it stays on your credit report for 10 years.

Sub: #1 posted on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 18:45

alias1958 alias1958

(Posts: 1230 | Credits: )

Thanks, I think I am just stuck with paying it off over time. Does the that you checked with, do they help with designing a budget (or budge counseling) if you don't use there services for debt collection? Just curious. I don't really qualify for chapter 7, nothing major has happened to us, just REALLY DUMB CHOICES.

Sub: #2 posted on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 21:35


What is your household annual income? 140k is a lot of unsecured debt. If you annual income is under 60k and you already have a home mortgage I would probably either BK or default and settle either with a debt managment program or DYI. It will be a long road no matter what you choose but I think after it is over you will be in much better shape.

Sub: #3 posted on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 06:05

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Dollars, the OP has $100K in credit card debt; I'm the one with $140K--and we did end up filing BK. :(

Mom2boys, when I did it, I spoke with two different agencies on the phone and gave them all of our budget info., and they both said I didn't qualify for their debt management plans because we didn't have enough income to pay our creditors.

This is what I found on the NFCC website:

So it sounds like you could get budget counseling without using them for dmp. Anyway, I would say that it certainly wouldn't hurt to ask!

Good luck!!

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 09:18

alias1958 alias1958

(Posts: 1230 | Credits: )

Bah sorry about the confusion I saw the 100 and 140 and guess I picked up the 140.

Sub: #5 posted on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 10:13

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I too wonder what the best way of handling this situation. My husband and I for the most part have separate credit (except for the car we co-signed and student loan for him). This year we ended up loosing 80K due to a failed business and now we are hurting. We cannot make ends meet anymore and every day is a struggle.

My husband said since he doesn't have a job or income or assets -- we can just stop paying his bills and focus on mine since the credit I had was used for everything, house, cars, etc. My husband is about 3 months behind and just ignores the 28 phone calls a day. I have looked into all kinds of programs the past two weeks but am a little scared and am still not sure what is best. I have talked to many debt settlement / debt management companies and all the payments per month are still about $700-$900 a month and we just can't do that....right now. Maybe in a few months so now what?

Maybe attempting to settle myself would be okay but is there really anywhere that tells you step by step?

I guess the one thing that paralizes me is the fear of a wage garnishment. I don't want that to happen so I have sort of just done nothing.

Any input would be appreciated.

Sub: #6 posted on Sun, 08/17/2008 - 08:31

ranmarhall ranmarhall

(Posts: 1 | Credits: )

I would also like to find something that would tell us step by step how to settle ourselves. These debt management companies are scary. There is probably something on this site that can help with "do it yourself". Good luck!!

Sub: #7 posted on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 12:45

lorikristen lorikristen

(Posts: 8 | Credits: )

There is a lot of good information in the section on this site titled "Do It Yourself" (top menu bar to the left of the search box). Also, Nascar posted some good information here: gotiate.html

If you have other questions, members here will be happy to help you out!

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 13:19

alias1958 alias1958

(Posts: 1230 | Credits: )

Garden state consumer credit counseling, simply the best debt consolidation company, google it, they will help you!

Sub: #9 posted on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 13:22


Did we finally get a link to Cal's company...

Sub: #10 posted on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 13:27

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