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Got in over my head.. Now what?

Established Contributor

Re: Got in over my head.. Now what?

craigh wrote:

Not to knock down some other posts but I just graduated college and am starting a job in a week. I know graduating is very important, but


 there really is no difference between an A and a C


Maybe it was just my particular degree, but my employer doesn't look at my academic transcript. 


Really no difference?


What degree do you hold?


Also if you don't mind my asking.


Did you find it hard or relatively easy

to find employment in today's job climate?

Message 11 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: Got in over my head.. Now what?


some of my advice may be repeats and some may be new, but I think it's important to hear what others who have been in your place have done.  


I graduated in Dec 2003 with my B.S. and $17K in credit card debt, and that doesn't count my student loans.  By the time I started focusing on paying the debts off, when I was almost 27, nearly 4 years later, I had over $28K in credit card debt, plus a carthat was only 2 years into payments, and the student loans.  I put myself on a budget, cutting out almost everything, though I did give myself a small amount of money each paycheck to do what I wanted with it. I cut out every and all expenses that I could that were not mandatory.  If you have Netflix, get rid of it, if you have cable that you're paying extra for, get rid of it.  If you have a cell phone that you're paying more than $50 on, go down to a lower plan.  If you're texting and paying for it, stop.  You'll be able to put those things back in, but trust me, you don't want to be 28 and still living with your father because you have too much credit card debt, like I am. 


I started my budget in Sept 2007 and in Dec 2007 I obtained a second job.  I continued to use my credit cards, but only because I was disciplined enough not to rack up more debt.  If the card had an outstanding balance, I didn't use it.  Once the card was paid off, if I chose to use it, I charged no more than I could get paid off in full by the due date. 


If you can't trust yourself with the cards, cut them up and don't use them until you can trust yourself.  Know exactly what your credit card debt is, in full and on each card.  When we don't keep those numbers straight, we allow it to be easier to continue to charge, 'because we're not in that much debt'.  


I found Balance Transfers for lower interest rates when I could, when I couldn't, I paid the minimums on all my cards except for the the card with the highest interest rate and I paid all I could to that.  I know others will disagree, however if you focus on paying the smallest debts off first, it will take you longer to pay the debt off if you are allowing debt to stay on those higher interest rates.  Balance transfers are harder to find, especially when you really need them, but if you can find one take advantage of it.  


If you have anything you purchased that hasn't been opened, return it.  Things you aren't using, don't need try and sell, either on E-Bay or at a pawn shop, or perhapsto others you work with or go to school with can purchase things.  


What another poster said about your GPA not mattering when you get a job, I have to second.  I went through some personal difficulties, which is where a lot, but not all of that initial $17K in debt came from, and my GPA was 2.93 overall when I graduated.  Now my job didn't care, but when I decided I wanted to get my Master's Degree my GPA wasn't high enough and I was only allowed in on Probationary status.  So, don't let your grades slip. 


But you do need to find a way to get more money, whether it be some additional hours at your current job, or obtaining a smaller second job.  Look and see if there's a college job whereit's only a few hours a week.  Anything extra will help. If you can't do more while you're in school, what about working more during spring break or this summer?  I get that the economy is bad right now, but if you start looking as soon as you can for this summer, you should be able to find something.  If you can get a job that promises you 40 hours a week, get a paper route to go with it or another part-time job.  


The first part to getting out of debt is making sure you live within your means, every day, every week, every month. 


As of Feb 6, 2009 I am out of CC debt, without a Debt Management Program or Bankruptcy, and this year I will pay off my car and buy a house.  So it's doable, but it takes time, and effort and planning.  And always reminding yourself that getting out of debt is more important than anything you can buy.  




P.S.:  If your're getting a tax refund, put most of the money towards your debt, and put a smaller portion aside for yourself to use as spending money, but think long and hard before you buy something.

Message Edited by woopah on 02-24-2009 09:23 PM
4/16/09: TU: 775, EQ: 805
2/11/09: TU: 773, EQ: 790, EX:790
11/16/08: TU: 773, EQ: 785, EX: 780
Goals for 2009: 0 Credit Card Debt & 0% Util (achieved 2/6/09), Mortgage! (achieved 11/2/09), getting closer to 800 scores (I crossed this earlier this year, but I'm sure I'm not there anymore!)
Message 12 of 12