I walked away from the wreck unharmed. I was sideswiped by a semi.
One of my concerns is trying to find a reliable used vehicle. My commute to work is short, but I do like to take road trips from time to time. I do know that car requires maintenace, but I don't want a money pit. I actually never bought a used car. I would like to keep the loaner car for a month or two to pay off some debts before purchasing another car.
IMO your debt does not warrant bk. Student loans won't be discharged. If as you say its not far to work have you thought about a bicycle.
I believe at least one member here uses a bike. After hearing about about the bike beeing used my DW got her bike fixed up and can peddle down to the closest store about 1 1/2 miles away with ease. She does this sometimes on the weekends.
I think I just need to buckle down and watch where I spend my money.
OP, I quoted your most important statement.
Buy a $2200 car and immediately cease all excessive spending. No roadtrips, going out, dining out, starbucks, netflix, amazon prime, cable, etc. I would also tell you that you need to get on a $50 cell phone plan, but something tells me that you already are on one, but the difference in amount is for the iphone that you financed on contract. You have no rent and no car payment. You make $41,000 a year and your only obligation is $110/month. Groceries, gas (to drive to work and back) and minimum auto insurance should be your only other expenses.
Most of us have been there, including myself, and changing is not easy. Right now you have a problem that can be solved in about 2-3 years under your current conditions. Without change, you will be at $50,000 in debt in the next 2-3 years.
For the past week I have been working on my budget. I am using the app Debt Payoff Planner. It has shown me a plan for each month, which is a great help to me. I am still in the process of finding a car. I have been searching Craigslist, Cargurus, KBB, CarFax and Facebook market place. I also have informed my mechanic that I working for a good used car.
I actually rejoined myFico to check my current score, currently it is 691.
I'm sorry to hear about your car accident. I actually think you can restructure you debt without having to go the bankruptcy route. You indicated that you have will have additional $500 free until you pruchase another vehicle, so you have something to work with.
If I were in your position, I would contact credit counciling(CCCA is free and will not do a forced settlement) to see if they can come up with a plan to help lower the interest on your debt. If not then, I would use a $1000 left over from your accident to pay down your debt. Then I would use the extra $250 each month to pay down your credit card debt. Using the minimum payments to cover the interest and basically 1% of the balance, and just the extra $250 a month, you will pay off your credit card debt in 4.3 years. There is an assumption that you will not incurr any more credit card debt and you will not have a significant increase on your card's APR.
You also indicated you are using your income to support your parents' household. I would call your student loan provider and see if you can lower payment, explaining that you are having to help your parents. The worst they are going to say is no. If they are able to lower your payment, I would use the saving from the student loan payment to pay off your credit card debt.
With regards to buying a new car, I would save the remaining $1200 for a down payment. I would definitely try to hold off on buying a car as long as possibe, becuase you can use the addition $250 to go down toward your down payment. I would work on finding something under $250 month while you work on paying down your credit card debt. I would also try to workon building up your saving, even if it's a couple of bucks every paycheck.
I had to declare bankruptcy because I had over 180k in unsecured debt. I do believe it's possible for you to do this without too much sacrificie.
All good advice here. The only thing I will add is that you can always rent a car for the times you want do a long trip and are concerned about reliability.
You will be surprised how few times you will need to do this. And it is much cheaper than paying every month, for something you rarely need
all the best.