I am 58 years old, married with one grown child (married and out of the household). I am employed and my wife is as well. I have a very stable position that compensates me approx. $135,000 year and I also receive a retirement annuity in the amount of $15,000/year. My wife works part time at an annual income of approx. $7,500. I own a home appraised at $350,000 and have a 1st mortgage balance of $201k (monthly payment $1293…I pay my own real estate tax and insurance) and a 2nd home equity of $105k (monthly payment $410).
I currently have approx. $105k in credit card debt. I manage all accounts with none in arrears but have experienced ever escalating interest percentages and minimum payment that make balance reductions difficult. I have tried to negotiate better terms with the card companies with no success. I have recently stopped using all cards completely but I want to be rid of these debts in 5 years which is an unrealistic goal if the interest rates cannot be lowered. I am not considering bankruptcy but have considered seeing if a debt consolidator can achieve better rates and propose a legitimate 5 year plan that is not a deception (Cambridge is one I have looked into). Thoughts?
If you can afford your minimum payments on your cards and want to get out of debt in five years then the Cambridge Credit Counseling approach is perfectly reasonable. I happen to like the folks at Cambridge and they are the people I send readers to for credit counseling help.
Did they give you a payment estimate that was affordable and doable for you on their program?
Just remember that there is no gain without a bit of pain. The cards you include in the debt management program will be closed and that might impact your credit, in that they are no longer active and being reported as open credit.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.