The Vision Quest – Part 3

March 15, 2010

Here it is March 2010. A large hole has opened up in front of me and I’ve fallen in. I’m in over my head and I’m not sure if there’s a way out of this hole. I have no job, no car to get to a job and a large number of bill collectors calling me throughout the day. To say that I’m stressed would be putting it mildly. I spend every minute thinking of this, thinking of how I am going to fix it. How am I going to make our lives better? How am I going to teach my children that this is not the way to live? Most importantly, how am I going to make things right?

Here is where I begin, admitting to myself and the world where I stand. Here it is: Step 1.

As of today March 15, 2010 I am in debt to the tune of:


That includes $18,384.26 in school loans. The remaining $19443.78 is in credit card debt.

WOW! I was expecting it to be between $25,000 and $30,000. I am shocked and disappointed in myself.

So now what? I don’t have a job. I bring in very little money each month. My projected income for April is about $800.00. This includes a few different ways I am earning some money. I will get into that more in a future blog post.

I have spoken to three debt collectors today. All my cards are set to “charge off” within the next 30 days. This means that the credit card companies are writing me off as a bad debt and a third party collection agency is moving in to try and reclaim some of the money I owe. I’m not sure if this is worse than just being delinquent or not. They all want 50 or 60 or $100. I can’t do that for every card. And why should I send them $50 this month when next month they are just going to add on a late fee to the tune of $39 and an over limit fee of $39. How does $50 help me this month? In my opinion, it doesn’t.

I truly do not know what to do. Working on figuring out step 2. As my favorite guys say, I’m taking this “step by step.”



11 Responses to The Vision Quest – Part 3

  1. Anonymous on March 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you so much! You've really inspired me to get off my butt! I'm really looking forward to see your progress. Every little bit helps! I know it's really overwhelming. Mine is below. Maybe sharing mine with you will keep me more accountable. I'm also have used $350 overdraught. UGH! I hope to pay the internet up tomorrow and a credit card payment. Ok I've rambled on enough. Please let me know if you ever want me to shut up! Thanx Sue (collinatedsue)

    Here's mine
    Total Debt $7980
    Credit Card Debt $7900
    Internet $80

    Current Debt $7980
    Credit Card Debt $7900
    Internet $80

    Amount Paid Off $0.00


  2. Jessica on March 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I am so touched to hear you say that I've inspired you! I think we both can do it. Good luck to you!!


  3. collinatedsue on March 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you! Good luck to you too!


  4. Kristina (mm) on March 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    I'm so proud of you! This blog is awesome so far.


  5. Jessica on March 16, 2010 at 1:04 am

    MM!!! I'm so happy you found my blog. I love and adore you so much!!! Miss you (and all the other TVrs sooooo much!)

    Thank you all for reading and replying.


  6. Anonymous on March 16, 2010 at 3:12 am

    I am so very proud of you that you took this step forward and made it "public". Trust me, we all have our debts here and there (well most of us). It´s not that easy to get a creditcard in Germany and it´s not the regular way to pay with. Cash rules. I am actually GLAD I don´t have a CC and I never want one, because I KNOW it would only drag me deeper in the circle of debts. I have been a weak and naiv person when I was younger, made a lot of mistakes and was with the wrong man. So when I had my kids I was almost unable to pay all of my debts, I could only afford some small steps with maybe $10 a month. Doesn´t help much. If I really go and add all of my debts, I will probably come to the same amount that you have, maybe more. I am just scared to do it. It will be around $34,000 – $40,000. Hubs and I are both without a regular job (well I have one, once a week, making less than $200 a month), he due to his bad health and I because of our son with special needs, that needs to go to a frillion therapies. We´re both working on getting a new profession, we have to get out of this black hole, that you know yourself. It´s just very frustrating. It seems like there´s no end and nobody is there to help you. It´s like a cold shadow covering my life.

    I will take your blogs and see them as an inspiration, I know there are a lot of people with debts out there, but it needs one, to make it public and talk honestly about it. Thank you for that. Maybe you´ll get me to the scary day, where I´ll add it all up and face it.

    Keep the good work up, you can do it!

    Inga (DEdmondW)


  7. Anonymous on March 16, 2010 at 5:25 am
  8. Heather on March 16, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I posted the link at TV, the girls are all asking about you! You rock for owning up Jess! Love it and you xoxo (HeathLee)


  9. Jessica on March 16, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Inga, I know you have had a rough year or two. I know the troubles with special needs kids (and husbands for that matter). I also know that if I can make changes, so can you!! Keep me posted on your progress. :)

    Heather, thank you for spreading the word Heather, I really appreciate it.


  10. Beckye on March 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Awesome posts. YOu know you aren't alone and others are in the same boat. I think you should start linking it with other and put ads on it. You could slowly start digging your way out through your blog.

    FYI, I have you on my blog roll.


  11. Sylvestrie on March 17, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Hey Jess, when I was in a similar situation (not with that volume of debt so take this information based on a debt of less than $2k- tho it did cost me a job w/ the FBI). Having the CCs go to collections might make it better off for you. For the credit cards at least: 1. I am pretty sure once it's a charge off it stops collecting fees & interest. And 2. They may negotiate a charge off amount that is less than the actual amount. If you DO pay it off (at whatever amount) it will stay on your credit report for 3 yrs. If you don't pay it at all it stays for 7.

    I would also prioritize…. Like your student loans, if they are from the fed should be your top priority then focus on one credit card at a time to pay off. Trying to pay them all a little bit at a time is pointless… Something my husband taught me is what he calls 'power paying' you pay the minimum for all the cc except 1 you pay the most to actually knock out principle instead of just interest.. Once that is paid off.. Move to the next.

    I know you might not be in a position to pay anything but that is just some info based on personal experience.

    I will be in debt for an amount equal to a 2nd mortgage when I'm done with med school and it's daunting to think about but you have to make a plan and tackle head on.

    You are so courageous for taking this journey and putting it out to the public. I am proud of you and I know you will make it through for you and for your beautiful boys.

    Love, M


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