A Debt Horror Story

My parents did their best to model financial responsibility for me. They taught me the value of money and how to use credit wisely. I saved my money for the things I wanted to buy, and then shopped around for the best prices. They taught me to work to earn the things I wanted, instead of instant gratification. Thats how they handled their finances.

When I was eighteen, I got my first credit card, because at the time it was required to have a credit card to write a check. I vowed that I would not use it except for that purpose. My vow didnt last.

I do remember my first credit card purchase, but I dont recall when things got out of control. Soon I had two or three Visa cards, several catalog and department store cards, and a gas card. They were all maxed.

I had a trust fund that I unfortunately had wrested control of away from my parents. I would dip in to bail myself out. But I always got back into the same debt mess, since I wasnt earning my debt freedom. I ended up having to move back in with my parents when I was twenty years old.

With my moms help, I started to really put a dent in my debt. Each payday Id pay my creditors and there was never much left over for me to use for other things. But I reasoned that Id already enjoyed the paycheck on things I purchased with the credit cards.

After four years of diligently working toward a debt-free life I ended up working for a very abusive boss. As much as I needed my income to continue repaying my obligations, I needed my mental health even more. I quit, swearing that I would never again work for a one person business again. I became caught up with a multi-level marketing company and all my progress towards becoming debt free was now wasted. The MLM convinced the participants to put all of their money back into the business and that any bills owed could be paid later.

After four months of that nonsense I went out applied for another job. I was so behind in my payments that I didnt think Id ever be current. Mom helped me again, this time with consolidation on a credit card in her name. She and I worked out a repayment plan. I had every intention of staying with that plan and getting out of debt.

But I had been so long without money or available credit that I went a little spend-happy and the account was soon at the limit. Again I missed a payment. The bank called Mom. She was quite angry with me. She closed the account and negotiated more manageable repayment terms.

I tried Consumer Credit Counseling. Unfortunately for me since the majority of my debt was in Moms name, CCCS couldnt help me. I decided to go it alone.

It took time, but I was able to rebuild my credit and achieve an excellent credit rating. I paid my bills on time and more than the minimum due. I regret wasting a trust fund so frivolously. I regret taking advantage of my moms assistance. But I cant live in the past and regret. I can learn from my past mistakes and not continue to make them. Debt consolidation was best alternative for me. Now free of debt, I know how to manage a credit card.