Back when I was foolishly using my credit cards to buy whatever I wanted, when I wanted, I desperately wanted to be “the king” of my neighborhood when it came to having the beat gas barbeque grill, which included a fancy wet bar and built in refrigerator. The price tag for my dream BBQ was approximately $5,000 and I want it badly. I had been receiving credit card solicitations in the mail almost every other day and decided to jump in and get yet one more card. This one had a $5,000 credit limit on it. I now call it my $7,000 gas BBQ grill.
In roughly 10 days I received a brand new credit card and immediately went down and made my purchase. They even offered free delivery with a $75.00 set-up fee. Not a problem and I had to be # 1 in my neighborhood. I even had a plan for paying it back and promised myself not to use that card again until it was paid off.
I knew I could afford to pay back $150/month, so figured at this pace I would have paid my grill off over the next 34 months. I mean $150/month times 34 months is $5,100. However, these credit card debt companies are not dummies. They prey on people like me who desire to have things NOW, and worry about paying for it later. They also know that because of the interest they would be charging me on my credit card is where they will make their money. It turns out that the “new” gas BBQ grill I bought three years ago, was actually going to cost me $7,115.42 at 18%, and that is because I never used that credit card to buy anything else!
To me, I bought into the game. However, very much like 175 million other Americans, I have to have too much credit card debt. It is leftover from my late 20’s and early 30s, before I got married and spent time out with “the boys,” going to ballgames, hunting, traveling, whatever “I” wanted to do. The worst part of it all was my job was a financial planner for a bank. Back then my salary barely covered my rent, car payment, suits for the job and my extra-curricular activities.
At age 31, I got married, and used my credit cards to basically pay for the entire event, including my wife’s wedding ring! I was in over my head. Then I lost my job. I was in the “debt trap.” I was upside down on my condo, my car payments and my credit card bills, with, what I thought was no way out. Had it not been for the Nationwide Debt Reduction program, I do not think I would even have children today.
Debt relief companies are for guys (and gals) like me, who truly through no fault of their own, find themselves unable to pay their unsecured creditors back the money that they owe. What these companies do is negotiate with each of your creditors, on your behalf.
I personally was able to get all of my debt ($48,000) behind me in three and a half years. I was so greatly relieved, I swore off credit cards forever and today that is how my wife and I live our lives. If we do not have the money to purchase whatever it is that we want, we set aside the money until such time we can afford the item.
This was a very hard lesson for me to learn and I definitely learned it “the hard way.” I am just really grateful there are Christian companies out there like Nationwide Debt Reduction that I was able to trust to help me get back on track again.