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A Little bit about me:

I do volunteer work for a local chapter of an organization that sends kids to Latin America to do service projects called Amigos de las Americas-Ohio Chapter. I live with my 82-year-old father. I raised two kids as a single parent (with a good family support system behind me). I graduated from college the same day my son graduated from high school. I attended college mostly on scholarships and grants. My own student loan amounts were small (Less than $5K for a 4 yr degree). When my kids wanted to go to school, the money was not there. It was a struggle, but even with their dad out of the picture, both of my children graduated from out of state schools. I paid on their loans till they graduated and got decent jobs. My son now pays his own student loans, but my daughter recently graduated and is struggling to pay for her loans, she is doing it every month, but I would like to eventually be in the situation where I can contribute toward them again. I help where I can, but my own financial life is a mess. I was unemployed for about 9 months in 2006 but I have been working in a very stable government job for the last two years.

I am finally committed to living within my means, spending less than I earn and getting the credit card monkey off my back for good. My goal is getting rid of all my 30%+ interest. I pay my bills. Not always on time these days, but I do pay them. I am hoping to get on an even keel so that I can reduce the interest I am paying and get out of debt for good.

My debt is massive. It doesn’t really hit you how much it really is till you add it all up. When the largest of the balances went from 16% to 32% overnight, it woke me up. It sent the minimum payment out of reach, I dismissed the idea of bankruptcy and then I got on the internet and started learning about debt, predatory lending and the credit myth. I really wish I had smartened up before I hit rock bottom. The CC companies won’t budge on their rates. Time to be proactive. I list on eBay, cut out luxuries, etc. But still I have more month than money. I’m not going to lie. I was foolish with money. But there comes a time when you have to take responsibility for your mistakes.

Since February of 2006 (date of my layoff) I have been struggling to keep ahead of it all, but last December it all came crashing down like a house of cards causing my credit to go into default rates. I got serious about my debts, started to research ways to pay it off. I found financial bloggers and if I have learned one thing, it’s that there are no quick fixes.

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