Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Paycheck-to-Paycheck

Steve, You’ve Been a Big Help So Far But I Need Some More Advice. – Joan

“Dear Steve,

Your website gave me hope about my situation. I’ve been a single mom of 3 for years now, and have struggled with debt forever. I am now 51 and figured that was just my lot in life, but it gets old after awhile. I’ve always worked full time. I have a home, and for the first time have fallen behind 2 payments. I got a foreclosure notice in the mail that states that I need to bring it current by 7/16.

I was afraid to call them, but because of this site, and reading the first book, “Eliminate Your Debt Like a Pro”, I called. They were very nice, and if I supply them with the numbers of my financial situation, they can possibly do a loan modification or divide up my past due amout and attach it to the next payments.

I want a better financial life, do only have credit card debt of 2000, plus a non-secured loan of 2000. I want to look forward to life without so much worry. I was in 2 abusive marriages, and finally have peace as far as that’s concerned, but also want the peace of not living paycheck to paycheck.

If you have any advice about my situation, I would greatly appreciate it. You’ve helped me so much already!

Joan”

Dear Joan,

Thanks for the complements.

While you don’t have a lot of debt numerically, if you are just kind of making it from month-to-month it doesn’t matter what the total is, it’s still stressful.

I’d focus on three things. The first would be to continue your conversations with the mortgage company. I’m proud of you for taking that action and reaching out to them.

Second would be to look at LendingClub.com and see if your credit score is good enough to do an unsecured debt consolidation loan for the $4,000. The interest rate may be less than what you are paying now and the monthly payment may be less as well. At least check it out and make sure it makes sense for you. Don’t do it just because I suggested it. After you check it out, if you have questions about it, you can post them in the comments section below for me to answer.

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Finally, I need for you to push away from living near the financial edge. The best way to do that is to start saving money and build up an emergency fund. Life looks a whole lot better when you run into a crisis and have the cash to deal with it rather than worrying about how you are going to fix the problem.

I’m assuming you’ve already trimmed expenses so you might have to look at increasing income with maybe a part-time job and save all that money. While the part-time job might be a pain, imagine how awesome you’d feel with cash in the bank.

Oh yes, if you typically get a big tax refund back each year consider adjusting your withholdings so you break even at tax time instead. You’ll get more benefit from having that extra cash in your pocket each month when you need it most.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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