The Financial Confessions: “$50k In Credit Card Debt, Donating Eggs, and Throwing Out Your Bills”
By The Financial Confessions | Monday, October 27, 2014
How Not To Be An Egg Donor
“I became an egg donor through college for various reasons. I was fit, healthy, happy, had good family health history, and massive credit card and student loan debt. Why not help an infertile family in need who could in turn, help me out financially? It seemed like a great option.
So in 2011 and 2012, I donated my eggs a total of 6 times. I received about $8,000 each time I did this, so I was able to pay off my credit cards, put a hefty sum down towards paying off my student loans, and buy myself a car with cash.
Unfortunately, I was an idiot and did not realize that I was supposed to set aside a chunk of this money to pay in taxes at the end of the year. So now I am in debt to the IRS as well as the state a whopping $15,000. So the thing that I did to gain financial strength and stability, ended up hurting me even more in the long run. And the worst part is that I had to open a few more credit cards just to pay the balance down enough for them to allow me to get on a payment plan. I am 25 now and will be in this hole until about age 30.”
50k In Credit Card Debt, And Getting Out
“So, here’s my story: I’ve always been bad with money. I learned to spend, spend, spend as quickly as I earned early on (not blaming anyone else, as I’ve continued to make these choices). And I had to take loans out in order to go to college.
The kicker is, I received a full ride for grad school, and zero credit card debt going into my masters degree. Because I was making such poor decisions, I ended up taking out an extra $16,000 in grad school (for what? I have no idea), and I ended up with about $3000 worth of credit card debt.
I ended up piling up more debt moving to NYC and then, my mom gave me the greatest gift – she cosigned a low interest personal loan for me, so that I could pay off all of my credit cards and a private student loan. Here’s the second kicker – I paid everything off, only to add another $8000 worth of debt to my credit cards and my boyfriend. So this was about five years of irresponsible behavior, and I’m in about $50,000 worth of debt. It’s not that I was consciously thinking “oh let’s make this bad choice.”
I was thinking, “oh I want/need this thing and I can pay it off later,” except later never came. I finally hit rock bottom, which was needing to get a second job just to have a little breathing room each month. I’m on a debt repayment plan now (I use free services through readyforzero.com – you don’t have to include this, but it’s cool and free and really helps, just in case anyone is interested).
And I’m finally getting my footing financially. It’s still really hard, and money is tight and there are lots of times I wish I could travel or shop or just basically do anything other than work, but there’s a new feeling of taking care of myself through financial responsibility that I haven’t felt before, and no item of clothing or food or whatever as an match it.”
Throwing Bills In The Trash
“I graduated from law school with over $100,000 in student loans, 60% of them federal loans. When they first came due, I deferred them because I didn’t have a job yet. My parents helped me pay my private loans, because they were cosigners, but I was the sole signer on my federal loans. I was employed once my deferral ran out, but I wasn’t making enough money to be able to support myself the way I wanted to (no roommates, with enough budget room to be able to go shopping/go to dinner every so often), pay my private loans (which I’d taken over from my parents), AND pay what they wanted me to on my federal loans. So what did I do once the bills started coming? Ignored them. Tossed them right in the trash. I was too scared to call them and see if I could get a different payment amount…looking back, I’m not quite sure what I was so freaked out by, but I just couldn’t handle acknowledging those loans at all.
By the time I started getting collection calls, I’d left the job I had and moved into a much lower paying, time-limited one in a different field. I just ignored the calls, hoping it would go away somehow. I only really woke up once I got a phone call to the office manager at the internship I’d picked up from a collections agency looking to garner my wage. They’d started calling my mom, my dad, my sister, my work. I couldn’t hide anymore.
I worked out a payment plan to rehabilitate my student loans, which ate up almost all the income from the full-time job I’d managed to score from my internship. Like, I had an extra $50/month once my bills and groceries were paid for. I lived like that for 9 months. My credit was terrible, I couldn’t even rent a car. I didn’t have a credit card and wasn’t able to get one to give me a buffer. Once those 9 months were up and my loans were rehabilitated, you better believe I got in touch with the Department of Education and got on a reduced payment plan immediately, and set up automatic bill pay so that I’ll never fall behind again. It’s been almost a year since and my credit is back into a healthy range (although still not great). I have a credit card that I maintain a low balance on to help my score get and stay better. I plan to take out an auto loan soon, and probably a mortgage in the next few years. My financial life is back on track.
Please learn from my mistakes. Ignoring your financial problems won’t make them go away. They just keep getting worse and worse until you deal with them. There are so many resources on the internet…I learned all about how loan rehabilitation worked, and how to improve my credit score once I got those loans under control. It can be really scary to be caught in a financial web that you don’t understand, but the worst thing you can do is put your head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. “
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