This is the first video in a series we shot to help get a new perspective on money, credit, and debt problems.
I selected a series of questions sent in through the GetOutOfDebt.org site and we went out and asked some homeless people if they would be willing to participate in this project and share their opinion to help answer some reader submitted questions. We had to summarize the questions to ask them but the full questions and my answers are below.
Robert and Wilhelmina were paid $20 each for taking the time to help answer questions and Wilhelmina immediately used her funds to go buy some new shoes for work.
The questions included in Part 1 were:
- Cassi – I am slowly working myself out of credit card debt and make a little more than the minimum payment. I am not behind on my payments and I am not late on my payments. However, I have fairly high APR’s and don’t seem to be making much headway in paying off the debt. If I call the credit card companies, will they consider lowering the APR? Other than paying more every month, which is hard to do on my budget, what other options do I have? Thank you!
My Answer: You can certainly call and ask the credit card companies to lower your interest rates. It does not hurt to call and there are no penalties for asking. Outside of that your options for lowering the rates would be to first consolidate the loans in an unsecured fixed rate loan through LendingClub.com or including the cards in a credit counseling program, you can click here for credit counseling information. The credit counseling approach will probably lower your interest rates but the cards would be closed and that can impact your credit.
- Sandi – My husband and I have 2 boys, a college senior and a 6th grader. We filed Chapter 13 over 10 years ago when I was laid off from a job. Our current annual gross income is appr. $85k. We have a mortgage with Bank of America that has been late for the past few months and too many small credit limit revolving accounts that are near max. We have no savings. We know things could be worse but we are tired of the struggle. Is there any help for people like us, who on paper appear to be financially able; yet are way in over our heads? If so, please advise.
My Answer: The answers given in the video are a great place to start, see if you can cut back on expenses. If that’s not possible and you are just making it month to month and you can’t manage to save then you may need to consider talking to a local bankruptcy attorney again to reorganize your debt, save your house and get a second fresh start.