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Long divorce is killing my credit

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Long divorce is killing my credit

I have been in a divorce battle for 1.5 years. In that time, I have had to start living off credit cards because anyting worth selling is contested in the divorce. I am anticipating getting a sizeable settlement once the divorce is finalized, but we don't seem to be getting there anytime soon. They said maybe 6 more months. Its maddening. However, I am almost maxed on my credit cards now. I am obviously living beyond my means, but I am restricted from accessing joint assets and I cannot sell the items that would help. I have about $28k in debt now, which is humiliating since I have always had excellent credit. I haven't missed any payments but the interest is killing me. I am almost maxed on my cards, maybe $3500 left. My student loan monthly fees also just went up another $200, so that is killing me. My paycheck goes 98% to pay bills and debts. I have nearly no spendable income for even groceries.

 

I have continued to tell myself- just get through to the end of this divorce. But at this rate, I will run out of options and start missing payments on my debts. 

 

What options do I have? 

Message 1 of 13
12 REPLIES 12
Frequent Contributor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit


@jaymoq wrote:

My student loan monthly fees also just went up another $200, so that is killing me. 

 

 

What options do I have? 


Sorry about your situation.  Can you apply for some kind of forbearance on your student loans so that you can get a break from monthly payments until everything is settled with your divorce?


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Message 2 of 13
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit

Hi OP and welcome

So sorry to hear about your dilemma. You already know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel so here are some other steps you can take. Call every credit card company and be up front about your situation and ask how can they help you through this turbulent time.

*Ask if interest rates can be lowered.
*Ask if minimum payments can be lowered.
*As another poster stated, ask about putting student loan on forbearance.
*If you have a carnote, ask if next month’s payment can be missed and added to the back of the loan.

You said 98% goes toward bills and debt. If you have cable, cancel it. Don’t buy anything that is not a necessity—literally! Other suggestions: If your cell phone is over 60/month, find a cheaper plan. If you buy coffee, anything like that, stop. Take lunch to work. If you smoke—hopefully not—now is a good time to give it up.

Drive for Uber or Lyft. If Home Depot is in your area, I just read today that they are hiring.

And remember, this too shall pass.

GL2U
GOALS: Garden til APR 2020 and 800 Club


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JUN 2019: EX 788, TU 794, EQ 779
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Message 3 of 13
New Visitor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit

Thank you for the replies. I called regarding my student loans this morning. Because I am eligible for loan forgiveness after 140 payments, they encouraged me to see about reducing my payment vs. forbearance which could make me ineligible for the forgiveness. I certainly don't want to do that! I submitted my paystubs and explained my tax information doesn't reflect my own personal income. That should help. Even a reduction in that bill will be a blessing. Every dollar saved is a dollar I'm not putting on credit.

 

I am trying to take solace knowing that there is an end in sight. It will get better. I actually just moved last weekend (for the 3rd time since this started) and the rent is even lower, so every cost I can cut, I am. 

 

I had considerd lapsing on my credit cards  to try to negoiate or settle my debt, but that would be the nuclear option. My credit is still hovering at the high 600's because I've never missed a payment, but I am carrying a very high balance on my cards. I would hate to destroy my credit for 7 years. I am trying to just hang in there. 

 

I have paid down debt before in my irresponsible college days, but when I don't have money to even pay for groceries, my options become limited. Family has helped loan me money, friends have even helped. This feels so embarassing but I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. No one knows I am drowning in debt right now aside from a few close friends and I am trying my best to just stay positive while declining to go out to meals or travel. 

Message 4 of 13
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit

The one thing I think you should not feel is embarrassed. You better believe quite a few of us have been there.

 

I can recall a time when I wore the same clothes to work week-after-week because I couldn’t afford to put them in the cleaners. Thank Gawd, they didn’t stink 😂🤣.

 

I used baking soda for toothpaste, and hand soap for bath soap and shampoo. Hair was brittle, yes, but dire choices had to be made.

 

And I won’t even elaborate on how many boiled eggs and grits or Ramen noodles I had for all 3 meals. 

 

But this kind of stuff builds character and you’ll be okay. And, IMHO, open up to family and friends. I believe they’ll understand. And those who don’t, weren’t your friends to begin with. 

 

Im rooting for you. 

GOALS: Garden til APR 2020 and 800 Club


SEP 2019: EX 791, TU 797, EQ 800
JUN 2019: EX 788, TU 794, EQ 779
DEC 2018: EX 777, TU 783, EQ 799

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Message 5 of 13
Established Contributor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit

Everyone always recommends uber/lyft

 

The best option is Pizza Delivery. Just do 1 night a week for maximum money. The part timers usually work 3-5 prime time hours. versus full time staff getting stuck there early in the day or late at night.

 

Most places will let you take mistake pizzas home with you.  So free food too.

 

 

Message 6 of 13
New Visitor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit

Thanks for the suggestions! There’s no Uber or lyft within 30 or so miles at least from me, so that may not be feasible but pizza delivery might. I’ll admit my first reaction is Oh My Gosh, especially as a state employee in the community to show up to clients doors with pizza but honestly, what’s pride? Not more important than survival! People would understand. However my job prevents me from taking any second job without first receiving approval so guess I better talk to my boss about how I start that process.

I keep hoping everyday my attorney is going to call and say we’ve got a settlement. The more I read through these forums the more I realize I am far from alone. And that gives me comfort.
Message 7 of 13
Senior Contributor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit


@jaymoq wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions! There’s no Uber or lyft within 30 or so miles at least from me, so that may not be feasible but pizza delivery might. I’ll admit my first reaction is Oh My Gosh, especially as a state employee in the community to show up to clients doors with pizza but honestly, what’s pride? Not more important than survival! People would understand. However my job prevents me from taking any second job without first receiving approval so guess I better talk to my boss about how I start that process.

I keep hoping everyday my attorney is going to call and say we’ve got a settlement. The more I read through these forums the more I realize I am far from alone. And that gives me comfort.

First:  What @CreditInspired said is true - a number of us have been there.  Be kind to yourself.   I had a divorce take 2 years (it should have been 60days), and there weren't any real assets to even argue over, but my ex kept stringing everything out and I also took some major hits on my credit.   Eventually, I got everything straightened out on my credit report, and made it through - I have no doubt you will, too.

Also, as a former state gov't employee who was also a manager - getting a second job isn't that complicated.    And you do not need to explain your situation to your boss, but if you have a good relationship with them, let them know what's going on.  It definitely helps me work with my employees' needs when they are going through issues in life.   Like I always tell them - I don't actually want to know what is going on in their life, but if they tell me, I will work with them.

Oh, when I was with the state, all we had to do was have an employee fill out a form about their second job and swear that it wouldn't interfere with their state job.  It did two things:  1.  Gave us signed informed confirmation that we came first 2.  Let us check that there was no conflict of interest.    I wouldn't be suprised if that's all you have to do.  Most of my employees worked second jobs.  Heck, I would have if I were not salaried and working irregular hours.     

Other job suggestions (assuming you work first-shift like hours like my people did) would be stocking at stores (usually later, at night), specialized delivery services (not just pizza - if they're in the area - I had a lot of amazon drivers), and any distribution centers (I had a couple of people working UPS and FedEx).   Other gig  jobs could be Instacart, Shipt, Dogster, etc.   (Hey, gov't employees aren't pulling down the fat salaries we're rumored to! hah).

Nov 2019


Garden goal: keep on keepin' on
Usually a faithful practitioner of AZE5or6or7; working on AZE1or2 and grumbling about it.
Message 8 of 13
Established Contributor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit

When I did pizza we had people from all walks of life including goverment employees, lawyers, and doctors.  Usually due to a new baby, a spouse losing employment, or divorce.

 

 

Message 9 of 13
Frequent Contributor

Re: Long divorce is killing my credit

I occasionally see suggestions to drive for Uber/Lyft. I've never done that, but various articles I've read suggest that after expenses (gas, tolls, car maintance and depreciation) you can expect to clear about mininum wage, and in some cases even less. I'd go with pizza delivery or something tipped instead.

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-you-earn-as-an-uber-driver-2014-6

 

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