Hi-I’m 29 years old and received my first credit card when I was 22 with no credit history–a shiny new platinum citicard with a $4000 limit.
I was in grad school at the time and for a while had some difficulty making payments on it. They even increased my limit to $5500 during this time. When I was 24 I started my full time job and have been making on time payments of the minimum or more. At one point I had the balance transferred to a lower interest rate card but then had a wedding and before I knew it my citicard was maxed out at $8000 (yet more limit increases) and another card with $7000.
Now I am stuck with $15,000 in credit debt with our first child on the way and to add insult to injury citicards raised my rate from 13.24% to 29.999% right before the credit card bill of rights went into effect and it’s going to take me 30 years to pay off at the minimum payment which is really all I can afford right now. They gave me a lowered rate last year for six months after I called and ripped them a new one and I tried to get them to lower it again after that period (during which I made payments on time and in full) but they wouldn’t budge. Something about they’re not allowed to give temporary low rates back to back or something like that.
What are my options? I can’t conceive of giving these companies my money for the next thirty years not to mention paying all that interest. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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