I read a great book once called Looking Out For #1 in which the hero talked about what his life was like when he was in debt and couldn’t pay what he owed. I’m pretty sure these were the days before business debt consolidation and debt assistance. He ended up living in a Ryder rental truck.
The fun bit of the story was how the collection agencies wanted him to clear his debt. The people would call and demand their money, much as they do today. They all work under the rock solid belief that you don’t want to pay your credit card debt-that you have stacks of money sitting around and are willfully refusing to pay up.
At one point the author finds himself in court and they demand to know where he is living. He tells them he is living in a Ryder truck and they pounce upon this and demand to know who owns the truck. Baffled the author says that he guesses the Ryder company owns the truck. His creditors clearly wanted to take the truck and sell it to help get some of their money out of him. The hero of Looking Out For #1 eventually pays off his debts and wishes later that he had just declared bankruptcy, as it would have been easier and cheaper in the long run and look better on his credit reports.
Bankruptcy has never really been an option that I wanted to pursue-as it cost money to do so-and I don’t have any money. This is the problem with the idea to consolidate credit card debt with the best debt consolidation possible. You still have to have money to pay the new consolidate debts just like you had to have money to pay the old unconsolidated debts. Credit card debt has allowed me, and millions like me, to live beyond my means and enjoy a better life. Like the United States Government, the problem with debt is that it not a Now Problem-it’s a Later Problem. Until you miss a couple of payments and the phones calls start rolling in.
The best debt advice is never go into debt in the first place. But I am well past that point in my life. So I get the debt collection calls where the future inhabitants of hell demand a check by phone-I don’t have any money in the bank. We can post date it to when you will have money in the bank. Ok, I don’t have any money for my debts-they are at the bottom of the list and likely to remain there for the foreseeable future.
I have looked at a couple of debt consolidation loan calculator and they kindly inform me that the numbers I have entered will never pay off my debt. Thanks for your assistance. When I have tried to do a bit of debt consolidation it has just added one more large debt to the herd of smaller debts I already have to deal with. Using a debt consolidation loan is like putting out a fire with gasoline. It might seem like a good idea, but it isn’t.
I am not as worried about being in debt as I once was. Life goes on and if I make more money this year maybe I can retire a couple of credit cards. The threat of bad credit means nothing to me now, as having good credit is what got me into debt in the first place.
The debt collectors have a job to do and I’m sure most of them feel no pity for the people they call and harass at all hours. They should have paid their bills then we wouldn’t have to call them. Well, true enough, but calling me ten times a day-unless you happen to have the winning lotto numbers for me-will not make money appear by magic when I don’t have it.
I like playing around with the debt calculators-all I need to do is set aside two or three thousand dollars a month and all will be well. Except, of course, that I don’t have two or three thousand dollars a month to set aside. Which is where all my debt problems get their start.
It’s time to start suffering and write that symphony.