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Good afternoon. I am writing today to try to give full disclosure of all my finances and desperately seeking some good advice to get the ship back on course. I'm recently out of a LTR that left my finances in absolute ruin. I have an abnormally high car payment due to personal bankruptcy in 2008. Due to the recent break up I had to run for cover and am currently living at a friends house which isn't ideal. I'm not asking for a lecture, but that doesn't mean that I don't know I need some DRASTIC changes if I ever plan to be on a good financial path. I do not have access to any family members that can afford to loan or help me in any fashion. So I'm on my own to dig myself out of this hole. I know that there are some very smart people on this site and I would appreciate your valuable insights and suggestions.

Age: early 30's
Job status: employed full time, 3 years
Education: B.S.
Income: $1640.56 gross/every two weeks, one 2k bonus at end of fiscal.
NET MONTLY TAKE HOME $ 2500
Region: Midwest
401k balance: low 5 figures
401k contribution: 5%
Company Match: 5%
No other retirement accounts
Savings: $0

Expenses:
Rent: $450 + 1/2 utilities (usually $100)= $550/month
Verizon cell + netbook internet: $150 (450 minutes, internet 5GB mobile netbook)
Auto ($9.5k remaining): $551.70/ month (13.10%)
Auto Insurance: $65/month
Auto Registration: $307/annually
Fuel Expense: $160/month
Food Expense: $180/month
Student Loan 1 ($20k): $214.62 month (private loan due to parents high income and little FASFA love: blended mix of 8.00%)
Student Loan 2 ($45k): $440/ month (Direct loans: fixed rate: 3.75%)
Entertainment Expense: $160 month

Credit Card Debt: (Note: most are near the limits so no room for balance transfers)
1. Merrick Bank $307 balance 16.45% /$35 a month
2. BB Rwd ZNE MC: $494.89 balance: 25.99%/ $18 a month
3. Captial One: $1517.68 balance: 16.90%/ $46 a month
4. Capital One: $751 balance: 19.80%/ $23 a month
5. Navy Fed CC: $1032 balance: 14.90%/ $25 a month
6. Navy Fed LOC: $632 balance: 15.99%/ $20 a month

Back Taxes:
2011:
Fed: $500 + interest

Note: I work nights so will be responding most questions towards the early morning. I say this so you don't think I am MIA

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Simple math: CC debt ~$4700

You can't afford your cell phone, netbook internet, your car, or your entertainment.

Your expenses add up to ~2650 per month. What is your take home after taxes, 401k, etc.? Should probably be over 2650

What is your car worth? Can you sell it, buy a beater and get rid of the $552/mo. payment. That is one the biggest budget buster.
You need to cut down the entertainment and wireless expense.
Fuel expense seems high. Unless this is due to a long work commute, you can cut some there.

This should generate extra cash flow each month. Pay off the CC, highest APR to lowest (after paying the minimums on all).

Are there ways to get additional income? Second job, pizza delivery on weekends?

What is your net take home pay?

You need to cut your Verizon costs. $150 for a single person is pretty high. I spend a fraction of that.

Your auto loan payment is high. Can you sell the auto, as another poster mentioned? Or would Navy Fed re-finance it at a lower rate?

Entertainment expense is a bit high given that you really don't have the money to spend there. I'd cut that expense ASAP.

uutxs said:   Your expenses add up to ~2650 per month. What is your take home after taxes, 401k, etc.? Should probably be over 2650

NET INCOME $2500

What is your car worth? Can you sell it, buy a beater and get rid of the $552/mo. payment. That is one the biggest budget buster.

Car is worth maybe 12k. Yes, I can sell it. Credit situation not the best to get new financing for a car.

You need to cut down the entertainment and wireless expense.

Fuel expense seems high. Unless this is due to a long work commute, you can cut some there.

Yes, long commute. With dropping fuel prices and estimating on the high side this might actually be $135 a month.

This should generate extra cash flow each month. Pay off the CC, highest APR to lowest (after paying the minimums on all).

Are there ways to get additional income? Second job, pizza delivery on weekends?


My Job requires me to be on call. Having a second job might be difficult as I often have to put out fires for the staff I ovesee. That's not saying no, just need to find the right job

mikeg1 said:   What is your net take home pay?

Roughly $2500 a month In May I have 3 checks due to the way the weeks fell. $3750

You need to cut your Verizon costs. $150 for a single person is pretty high. I spend a fraction of that.

I am currently out of contract for my verizon phone. In a few months I will be out of contract for my netbook

Your auto loan payment is high. Can you sell the auto, as another poster mentioned? Or would Navy Fed re-finance it at a lower rate?

Have tried refinancing with NFCU. Nothing lower interest wise

Entertainment expense is a bit high given that you really don't have the money to spend there. I'd cut that expense ASAP.


Will do

1.74% PenFed car loan refi <--If you don't get rid of it, at least refinance it at a significantly lower rate

Continue to look for jobs to 'jump' your income, and cut your expenses such as cellphone, netbook, entertainment, and fuel. Get a prepaid service phone plan, get a lower price internet service provider, stay a home more, and take the bus or walk. You should payoff all your credit card debts ASAP because they are pretty high interest. Your credit card balances should be paid the amount of balance, not the minimum balance, unless you are doing arbitrage with 0% interest.

1) Drop down your 401k. While that is usually the last thing someone would usually tell you, in your situation you have 10 creditors including the IRS! A 5% match is great when you aren't paying 26% on a credit card. I don't mean to kick you when you are down, but what on earth at Best Buy was worth taking out a 26% loan for? The netbook?

2) Get a pay as you go phone. Thanks to a post here on FW, I got a QWERTY keyboard tracfone with 3g internet with 15 months service for $50.

I'd pay the IRS first and then BB CC and go from there.

mactv said:   1) Drop down your 401k. While that is usually the last thing someone would usually tell you, in your situation you have 10 creditors including the IRS! A 5% match is great when you aren't paying 26% on a credit card. I don't mean to kick you when you are down, but what on earth at Best Buy was worth taking out a 26% loan for? The netbook?

The netbook was free with my plan through Verizon. Yes, I realize I was paying for it through monthly cost. I'll consider dropping the 5%, just thought it was throwing away a free $82 and change if I stop.

2) Get a pay as you go phone. Thanks to a post here on FW, I got a QWERTY keyboard tracfone with 3g internet with 15 months service for $50.

Do you have the link? Nothing else I know search is your friend. Can you port your verizon # to tracfone?

I'd pay the IRS first and then BB CC and go from there.


I was planning on it in May with extra check

If your job requires you to be on call then your job should pay for that.

Have you tried refinancing somewhere else on the car?

Have you tried applying for another card and doing a balance transfer?

Penfed has some good rates on BT for life and auto loans.

cabowabo7611 said:   uutxs said:   
What is your car worth? Can you sell it, buy a beater and get rid of the $552/mo. payment. That is one the biggest budget buster.

Car is worth maybe 12k. Yes, I can sell it. Credit situation not the best to get new financing for a car.

Sell the car for 12k, payoff the 9.5k loan, buy a beater for 2.5k. No need to finance, no more car payments.

jason745 said:   If your job requires you to be on call then your job should pay for that.

They supply a cell phone. Can't text from it.

Have you tried refinancing somewhere else on the car?

Yes, NFCU, they approved but longer period/higher interest which I wasn't interested in. Do have a PENFED account, but can't get approved for there products.

Have you tried applying for another card and doing a balance transfer?

Don't have a good enough credit to get approved.

Penfed has some good rates on BT for life and auto loans.


I tried.

Does anyone recommend I take a 401-k loan? I could get a 5k loan at 4.5% and stretch the payments out from 1 yr to 5 yrs?

cabowabo7611 said:   Does anyone recommend I take a 401-k loan? I could get a 5k loan at 4.5% and stretch the payments out from 1 yr to 5 yrs?
Can you still make contributions and get the 5% match with a 401k loan outstanding?

uutxs said:   cabowabo7611 said:   Does anyone recommend I take a 401-k loan? I could get a 5k loan at 4.5% and stretch the payments out from 1 yr to 5 yrs?
Can you still make contributions and get the 5% match with a 401k loan outstanding?


Yes, only emergency situations do they require you to STOP contributions.

cabowabo7611 said:   Does anyone recommend I take a 401-k loan? I could get a 5k loan at 4.5% and stretch the payments out from 1 yr to 5 yrs?

I don't think any more loan going to help you. Unless you are borrowing the 401k to payoff your high interest debt. If you borrow to cover your daily expenses, I would not recommend you do that. You have to payoff your debt in order to dig yourself out of the debt hole. Or, get a much higher income job.

cabowabo7611 said:   uutxs said:   cabowabo7611 said:   Does anyone recommend I take a 401-k loan? I could get a 5k loan at 4.5% and stretch the payments out from 1 yr to 5 yrs?
Can you still make contributions and get the 5% match with a 401k loan outstanding?

Yes, only emergency situations do they require you to STOP contributions.

Depending on the plan, 401k loans are also only for emergency situations. If you are absolutely sure you can continue contributions and get the 5% match, you could consider a 401k loan. 5k would pretty much payoff all outstanding CC balances. You can then attack your student loan balance.

But do this only if you are committed to do the other things like getting rid of the car payment, cell phone plan etc. Do not take the 401k loan as an easy way out.

ETA: No need to bold your replies.

cabowabo7611 said:   
2) Get a pay as you go phone. Thanks to a post here on FW, I got a QWERTY keyboard tracfone with 3g internet with 15 months service for $50.

Do you have the link? Nothing else I know search is your friend. Can you port your verizon # to tracfone?


Yes you can port your number.

This is the same vendor, same triple minute qwerty 3g phone, but not quite the bundle I got. It is $5 less but only includes 12 months instead of 15 months.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-Samsung-S390G-with-One-Year-of...

cabowabo7611 said:   Good afternoon. I am writing today to try to give full disclosure of all my finances and desperately seeking some good advice to get the ship back on course. I'm recently out of a LTR that left my finances in absolute ruin. I have an abnormally high car payment due to personal bankruptcy in 2008. Due to the recent break up I had to run for cover and am currently living at a friends house which isn't ideal. I'm not asking for a lecture, but that doesn't mean that I don't know I need some DRASTIC changes if I ever plan to be on a good financial path. I do not have access to any family members that can afford to loan or help me in any fashion. So I'm on my own to dig myself out of this hole. I know that there are some very smart people on this site and I would appreciate your valuable insights and suggestions.

Age: early 30's
Job status: employed full time, 3 years
Education: B.S.
Income: $1640.56 gross/every two weeks, one 2k bonus at end of fiscal.
NET TAKE HOME $ 2500
Region: Midwest
401k balance: low 5 figures
401k contribution: 5%
Company Match: 5%
No other retirement accounts
Savings: $0

Expenses:
Rent: $450 + 1/2 utilities (usually $100)= $550/month
Verizon cell + netbook internet: $150 (450 minutes, internet 5GB mobile netbook)
Auto ($9.5k remaining): $551.70/ month (13.10%)
Auto Insurance: $65/month
Auto Registration: $307/annually
Fuel Expense: $160/month
Food Expense: $180/month
Student Loan 1 ($20k): $214.62 month (private loan due to parents high income and little FASFA love: blended mix of 8.00%)
Student Loan 2 ($45k): $440/ month (Direct loans: fixed rate: 3.75%)
Entertainment Expense: $160 month

Credit Card Debt: (Note: most are near the limits so no room for balance transfers)
1. Merrick Bank $307 balance 16.45% /$35 a month
2. BB Rwd ZNE MC: $494.89 balance: 25.99%/ $18 a month
3. Captial One: $1517.68 balance: 16.90%/ $46 a month
4. Capital One: $751 balance: 19.80%/ $23 a month
5. Navy Fed CC: $1032 balance: 14.90%/ $25 a month
6. Navy Fed LOC: $632 balance: 15.99%/ $20 a month

Back Taxes:
2011:
Fed: $500 + interest

Note: I work nights so will be responding most questions towards the early morning. I say this so you don't think I am MIA


Your LTR [long term relationship] was with a man? Did you think about marrying him? At least you could've negotiated something from the divorce instead of him just kicking you out of his house. Or am I wrong?

So your work phone already covers voice calls. Why pay Verizon for 450 minutes/month when you don't need it? Sounds like you can use the T-Mobile $30/month plan with unlimited text and 5GB data (only 100 min talk but you don't need that):
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tmobile-30-Wireless-Airtime-Card/15443...

Tethering should cover your netbook. Also consider porting your number to Google voice to juggle carrying two phones at once for voice and text respectively.

uutxs said:   Sell the car for 12k, payoff the 9.5k loan, buy a beater for 2.5k. No need to finance, no more car payments.

While some guys on here are experts at buying mechanically sound beaters for $2.5k, the average consumer will get a beater that keeps on beating them. The OP may lose her job without reliable transportation.

whodini said:   cabowabo7611 said:   Good afternoon. I am writing today to try to give full disclosure of all my finances and desperately seeking some good advice to get the ship back on course. I'm recently out of a LTR that left my finances in absolute ruin. I have an abnormally high car payment due to personal bankruptcy in 2008. Due to the recent break up I had to run for cover and am currently living at a friends house which isn't ideal. I'm not asking for a lecture, but that doesn't mean that I don't know I need some DRASTIC changes if I ever plan to be on a good financial path. I do not have access to any family members that can afford to loan or help me in any fashion. So I'm on my own to dig myself out of this hole. I know that there are some very smart people on this site and I would appreciate your valuable insights and suggestions.

Age: early 30's
Job status: employed full time, 3 years
Education: B.S.
Income: $1640.56 gross/every two weeks, one 2k bonus at end of fiscal.
NET TAKE HOME $ 2500
Region: Midwest
401k balance: low 5 figures
401k contribution: 5%
Company Match: 5%
No other retirement accounts
Savings: $0

Expenses:
Rent: $450 + 1/2 utilities (usually $100)= $550/month
Verizon cell + netbook internet: $150 (450 minutes, internet 5GB mobile netbook)
Auto ($9.5k remaining): $551.70/ month (13.10%)
Auto Insurance: $65/month
Auto Registration: $307/annually
Fuel Expense: $160/month
Food Expense: $180/month
Student Loan 1 ($20k): $214.62 month (private loan due to parents high income and little FASFA love: blended mix of 8.00%)
Student Loan 2 ($45k): $440/ month (Direct loans: fixed rate: 3.75%)
Entertainment Expense: $160 month

Credit Card Debt: (Note: most are near the limits so no room for balance transfers)
1. Merrick Bank $307 balance 16.45% /$35 a month
2. BB Rwd ZNE MC: $494.89 balance: 25.99%/ $18 a month
3. Captial One: $1517.68 balance: 16.90%/ $46 a month
4. Capital One: $751 balance: 19.80%/ $23 a month
5. Navy Fed CC: $1032 balance: 14.90%/ $25 a month
6. Navy Fed LOC: $632 balance: 15.99%/ $20 a month

Back Taxes:
2011:
Fed: $500 + interest

Note: I work nights so will be responding most questions towards the early morning. I say this so you don't think I am MIA


Your LTR [long term relationship] was with a man? Did you think about marrying him? At least you could've negotiated something from the divorce instead of him just kicking you out of his house. Or am I wrong?


No out of a LTR with my ex-gf. I was not thinking of marrying her. No, she owned the house. Sorry fellas, no pics.

whodini said:   uutxs said:   Sell the car for 12k, payoff the 9.5k loan, buy a beater for 2.5k. No need to finance, no more car payments.

While some guys on here are experts at buying mechanically sound beaters for $2.5k, the average consumer will get a beater that keeps on beating them. The OP may lose her job without reliable transportation.


This is a concern. I am not very mechanically savvy to do my own shade tree work.

mactv said:   cabowabo7611 said:   
2) Get a pay as you go phone. Thanks to a post here on FW, I got a QWERTY keyboard tracfone with 3g internet with 15 months service for $50.

Do you have the link? Nothing else I know search is your friend. Can you port your verizon # to tracfone?


Yes you can port your number.

This is the same vendor, same triple minute qwerty 3g phone, but not quite the bundle I got. It is $5 less but only includes 12 months instead of 15 months.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-Samsung-S390G-with-One-Year-of...


Will definitely have to check this out. Since I'm out of a contract currently on my cell and soon to be out of a contract with my netbook.

nanotube said:   So your work phone already covers voice calls. Why pay Verizon for 450 minutes/month when you don't need it? Sounds like you can use the T-Mobile $30/month plan with unlimited text and 5GB data (only 100 min talk but you don't need that):
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tmobile-30-Wireless-Airtime-Card/15443...

Tethering should cover your netbook. Also consider porting your number to Google voice to juggle carrying two phones at once for voice and text respectively.


Good stuff Nanotube. This looks like a viable route to cut some of the fat off my monthly expenses.

1) Ditch the personal cell phone; use the work phone for voice, if allowed. Believe it or not, you can survive without texting.

2) There is tons of free entertainment, no need to pay for what you can't afford.

3) $180/mo seems high for food. Buy groceries and cook at home; take leftovers for lunch. Mooch off of friends.

Here's what I would do if I was OP:

1) Take 401K loan for max amount of $5K
2) Pay off the ~$4,700 in credit card debt & the $500 in IRS delinquent taxes.
3) Decrease 401K contribution to the minimum of ~$100 a month required to pay off the 401k loan.

*After #1 & #2 the OPs cash flow should be approximately $82-100+167= $147 higher.
(+82 for decreased 401k contribution,-100 for 401k loan,+167 for credit card payoff)

3) Refinance auto loan to a loan under 3%. If not possible then accelerate auto loan payoff.
4) If auto loan refinanced , then pay down high interest rate student loan. If auto loan not refinanced, then pay down auto loan

*If auto loan refinanced to 3%, then monthly cash flow up approximately +$85.

5) Reduce that $150 cell+internet expense. I pay $25 a month for unlimited talk+text from Metro PCS. Surely you can get something like that too.
6) Reduce the monthly entertainment expense to under $100 a month

*I also didn't hear any mention of health insurance. I'm assuming your work covers you here. I'd recommend getting the lowest cost premium plan you can find for the near-term just to increase your cash flow.

Caveat: OP, this plan requires a lot of discipline and for the love of gosh don't rack up credit card debt ever again.

ArubaMan said:   Here's what I would do if I was OP:

1) Take 401K loan for max amount of $5K
2) Pay off the ~$4,700 in credit card debt & the $500 in IRS delinquent taxes.
3) Decrease 401K contribution to the minimum of ~$100 a month required to pay off the 401k loan.

Are you saying stop contributions totally? 5% is the match, 1 % is the minimum.

*After #1 & #2 the OPs cash flow should be approximately $82-100+167= $147 higher.
(+82 for decreased 401k contribution,-100 for 401k loan,+167 for credit card payoff)

3) Refinance auto loan to a loan under 3%. If not possible then accelerate auto loan payoff.
4) If auto loan refinanced , then pay down high interest rate student loan. If auto loan not refinanced, then pay down auto loan

*If auto loan refinanced to 3%, then monthly cash flow up approximately +$85.

5) Reduce that $150 cell+internet expense. I pay $25 a month for unlimited talk+text from Metro PCS. Surely you can get something like that too.
6) Reduce the monthly entertainment expense to under $100 a month

*I also didn't hear any mention of health insurance. I'm assuming your work covers you here. I'd recommend getting the lowest cost premium plan you can find for the near-term just to increase your cash flow.

Health Insurance offers $500 deductible, $500 and $1000 and $1500. I am currently at the $1000 plan in decent health. When open season comes up, I will switch to the $1500 plan. Health insurance is already included and comes out of my gross pay

Caveat: OP, this plan requires a lot of discipline and for the love of gosh don't rack up credit card debt ever again.

ArubaMan said:   Here's what I would do if I was OP:

1) Take 401K loan for max amount of $5K
2) Pay off the ~$4,700 in credit card debt & the $500 in IRS delinquent taxes.
3) Decrease 401K contribution to the minimum of ~$100 a month required to pay off the 401k loan.

Are you saying stop contributions totally? 5% is the match, 1 % is the minimum.

*After #1 & #2 the OPs cash flow should be approximately $82-100+167= $147 higher.
(+82 for decreased 401k contribution,-100 for 401k loan,+167 for credit card payoff)

3) Refinance auto loan to a loan under 3%. If not possible then accelerate auto loan payoff.
4) If auto loan refinanced , then pay down high interest rate student loan. If auto loan not refinanced, then pay down auto loan

*If auto loan refinanced to 3%, then monthly cash flow up approximately +$85.

5) Reduce that $150 cell+internet expense. I pay $25 a month for unlimited talk+text from Metro PCS. Surely you can get something like that too.
6) Reduce the monthly entertainment expense to under $100 a month

*I also didn't hear any mention of health insurance. I'm assuming your work covers you here. I'd recommend getting the lowest cost premium plan you can find for the near-term just to increase your cash flow.

Health Insurance offers $500 deductible, $500 and $1000 and $1500. I am currently at the $1000 plan in decent health. When open season comes up, I will switch to the $1500 plan. Health insurance is already included and comes out of my gross pay

Caveat: OP, this plan requires a lot of discipline and for the love of gosh don't rack up credit card debt ever again.

OP, your numbers are interesting.
you pay $65 a month for car insurance AND have a car loan. So you most likely have a low deductible (as required by loan agreement). That is a very low (almost unbelievable troll-like)car insurance rate IMHO.

OP's food expense for a single male also appears quite low. Eating McD's once a day for a month would be more than OP's entire monthly food budget.

OP's credit card interest rates are sky high. Call them and ask for a lower rate. Only use one CC, putting all monthly purchases on that one card, and pay down all others.

So eat more and high quality food and systematically pay off the CCs. That is,
Place all monthly charges on one CC (assuming CL is high enough on one card) including:
Verizon $150
Auto Insurance: $65/month
Fuel Expense: $160/month
Food Expense: $180/month
Entertainment Expense: $160 month
150+65+160+180+160=$715
Use the $715 a month to pay off higher interest rate cards first month (BB Rwd) second month (merrick bank, third month (Crap One $751).

cabowabo7611 said:   jason745 said:   If your job requires you to be on call then your job should pay for that.

They supply a cell phone. Can't text from it.

Have you tried refinancing somewhere else on the car?

Yes, NFCU, they approved but longer period/higher interest which I wasn't interested in. Do have a PENFED account, but can't get approved for there products.

Have you tried applying for another card and doing a balance transfer?

Don't have a good enough credit to get approved.

Penfed has some good rates on BT for life and auto loans.


I tried.


does that phone have a data plan? there're a lot of apps that can be used for texting. Otherwise, Google Voice allows you to text from a PC. Paying $100/mo for texting is pretty steep.

imsparty said:   OP, your numbers are interesting.
you pay $65 a month for car insurance AND have a car loan. So you most likely have a low deductible (as required by loan agreement). That is a very low (almost unbelievable troll-like)car insurance rate IMHO.


OP's food expense for a single male also appears quite low. Eating McD's once a day for a month would be more than OP's entire monthly food budget.

OP's credit card interest rates are sky high. Call them and ask for a lower rate. Only use one CC, putting all monthly purchases on that one card, and pay down all others.

So eat more and high quality food and systematically pay off the CCs.

In that case, stop the "entertainment" that appears in the link cabowabo7611 said:   imsparty said:   OP, your numbers are interesting.
you pay $65 a month for car insurance AND have a car loan. So you most likely have a low deductible (as required by loan agreement). That is a very low (almost unbelievable troll-like)car insurance rate IMHO.

No trolling imsparty: NO TROLL



OP's food expense for a single male also appears quite low. Eating McD's once a day for a month would be more than OP's entire monthly food budget.

OP's credit card interest rates are sky high. Call them and ask for a lower rate. Only use one CC, putting all monthly purchases on that one card, and pay down all others.

So eat more and high quality food and systematically pay off the CCs.

imsparty said:   In that case, stop the "entertainment" that appears in the link cabowabo7611 said:   imsparty said:   OP, your numbers are interesting.


LoL, will do

Can you defer your student loans so you can pay off high rate car\ cards?
Netbook mifi monthly rate costs more than cancellation fee (should be prorated and be ~$50 if few months left you can call and ask).
For cell phone Kajeet offers 60 mins + unlimited text for $14.99 and you can use any old Sprint phone($50 max on eBay for basic qwerty phone)
if can't defer student loan payments, 401k loan for cards, once paid off maxed out cc your score will likely go up 50-100 pts and you would have decent shot at a car loan.
Personally, I would set up a payment plan with IRS for $25-50 a month. IIRC they charge 10% (4% +0.5% monthly penalty = 10%) which is less than cards\ car

take a community college class or two, defer your student loans. refi your car or sell it. pay off your CCs, realistically, get a new CC with an intro apr, push your new spending onto the new CC while paying off your old ones. any interest rate over 5pct you are going to kill yourself over. good luck

Yes, OP, I am recommending that you decrease your 401k contribution to the minimum until you get back onto stabler footing. The reason is that you have a significant cash flow crunch & are on the brink of bankruptcy if you were to ever lose your job.

A situation like yours calls for drastic measures in the short term until your cash flow problems are alleviated and you have bulked up your balance sheet (i.e. developed a cash reserve of at least 3 months expenses).

The good news is that once you start reducing some of those recurring debts to zero and start seeing your cash flow improve, there will be a sort of positive feedback loop going on & you'll notice you're cash crunch worries become smaller & smaller.

Also, as others have mentioned & I should have made clearer in my post, once you pay off those credit card balances you'll put yourself in a much better position to qualify for your car loan refinancing.

No, don't give up that 5% company match. It's pretty much free money. Find other financing to get through your cash crunch. Cut more expenses. Beg/borrow/steal, ok, maybe not steal. But do whatever to to keep that 100% return on your investment.

Skipping 44 Messages...
On an old, old thread - maybe this one- someone suggested paying off the smallest balance card in order to trigger potential BT offers ... possible option, as long as your credit is not already in the shi**er. OP, consider clicking that old thread and reading it; IBJanky was in way worse shape and he had success. Good luck!



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