03 March 2007

Could there be a bankruptcy in your future?

No one wants to admit that their finances are out of control. We have all experienced more money going out than coming in.

In January of 1998, I quite my full-time job so that I could finish my college degree by August 1998. I had student loans and I knew that I was going to be working at least 20 hours a week for my internship during the summer, so I was not worried. I had everything planned.

By June I was in trouble. My savings were gone, I did not qualify for any more student loans, and my son was in private school. I started living on my credit cards. I had excellent credit, so I had $1000s in my line of credit on seven different cards.

By August, I was switching debt from one card to another, scared that if I missed a payment all the credit cards would start charging the regular rate and not the special offer rate that I always seem to find. I wanted to attend a credit counseling session, but I had just started a new job in Austin.

In the evenings, I would search the Internet for alternatives to bankruptcy. I followed the steps suggested, like calling my creditors and making a budget, but I could not consolidate my debt because I had just started a new job, and I certainly did not want to borrow any money from my family.

Lucky for me, an uncle died and left me a small inheritance. It was enough to repair my finances for a few years. I was lucky. Do not count on luck when it comes to finances.

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