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I’m 48. She’s 29. We’ve Got a Baby On The Way – Bob

“Dear Steve,

I make 30,000 a year, have 12,500 in credit card debt and an un-secured loan for 10,000 (borrowed to buy the trailer I’m living in) lot rent is 240 a month loan payment is 250 a month and min payments on cards total 250 per mth. My live in girlfriend makes enough to cover her personnal bills and has plenty left for food, fun and entertainment for the family. I’m 48 , she’s 29 and we have a baby on the way!!! I’m scared I’m in over my head. We pay all our bills on time and have no bad debt or collections. Several of my cards have been sold to other companies which are charging higher interest. My 5 cards range from 500 credit to 4700 credit with interest from 9.99 to 19.99. All my cards are charged to 85 or 90% of there max…

Do I need to seek help and what kind would be best….I would like to take on a mortgage in 2-3 years.

Bob”

I asked my friend Susan Nilon to answer your question for you. I wanted to make sure you got an answer as quickly as possible as I’m a bit backed up at the moment. I’ll be watching the comments on this question and be around to help if you need me.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Dear Bob,

With a baby on the way, you are smart to be planning ahead. Buying a house that fits the needs of your growing family is goal that takes a lot of effort. Because you are thinking about it now, you can make smart choices that will end up giving you great options when you decide that the time is right to buy that house.

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Right now half of your income goes to your debt. This does not give you much room to play with when you are preparing for the birth of your child and your financial future. You need more of a cushion to help with those unexpected expenses that will come up. You have stated that your girlfriend makes enough money to cover her personal expenses, but my concern is that you both might not be on the same page when it comes down to paying down your debt and managing your money. The two of you are in this together. She must be a part of the process if you want this to work.

My suggestion is that you and your girlfriend start out by recording all of your expenses for the period of one month. Record everything – food, entertainment, bills – down to the penny. You will be amazed to see where it all goes. Once you have a better idea where you spend your money, you will be able to make a more informed decision on how it should be spent. It’s the first step at taking control of your financial future.

I would also seek the advice of a Housing Counselor. You can go online to www.HUD.gov. There they will find you a counselor from your area who can offer you free or low cost advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. Hang in there and remember that you are in control of your future. Having a plan and making carefully thought out steps will provide you with what you need to get ahead.

Sincerely,

Susan

If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask just use the online form. We are happy to help you totally for free.




About the author

Susan Nilon

Susan Nilon is someone who knows what it’s like to be unemployed and on government assistance. Even with two University degrees, she knows that life can turn on a dime. Starting with no capital, Susan took the first check she received from her client and put it right back into her business. Within a few years, her business grossed over a half a million dollars. Specializing in advice for small business owners and single parents, Susan can offer caring advice from the perspective of someone who has been there and done that.

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