Friday, January 7, 2011

Credit cards are your worst nightmare

I got my first credit card while in college.  I thought I was all grown up cause
trusted me with their card.  Little did I know this little card would cause me havoc!!  I thought I could buy whatever, then pay it off.  What ended up happening is I went over my limit of $1,500.  I would send in the minimum payment, but that was not getting me anywhere.  Well I ended up getting into a car wreck and the insurance gave me money for pain and suffering.  I used that money and paid off this nightmare and shredded up the card and sent it to DISCOVER in an envelope and told them to close my account.  Since I paid the card off in full and my credit was good, I began receiving more and more pre-approved cards.  I declined the offers which was a smart thing, but then I got married and my husband had no credit.  He did not have bad credit, just no credit.  He always paid everything in cash.  I called DISCOVER back up to see if I could re-open my account and add Brian to it.  They gladly did and up'ed my credit to $3,000.  This began the love/hate relationship with credit cards.  After this Brian began receiving pre-approved cards and he got a few of them.  One of which we put our addition to our house on.  Then the cards just kept coming in.  We would put tires for the cars on one just to keep it open, put a vacuum on another... and so on.  Well that began another nightmare.  I started getting department store credit cards and well I would shop and not really think.  Oh believe me, I am thinking now.  Okay can you say shocked?

I went overboard and knew better, but did it anyway.  I have been paying all our debts and we have been doing okay.  Our credit is good, but I want to pay off all our debts and be debt free.  So yesterday I called some consolidation companies and I think I found one that will help us out in the long run.  We will be debt free in 5 yrs, instead of 35!  Yes you read 35 right.  The main debt we have is the addition to our home.  We have went from $25,000 down to $6,500 on that card alone.  But the kicker is all these small cards which add up.  Have I learned my lesson?  Yes!!
The moral to my story is this, if you have children that are getting ready to go to college, be sure to prepare them by telling them to NOT get a credit card.  Credit cards are fine, but watch the APR.  My department stores APR are horrible at 29.9%.  I was never taught much about finances growing up, but as an adult I sure have learned the HARD way!!