This guest post is written by Jason Holmes. He is a regular writer with Debt Consolidation Care and is also a contributory writer with other financial sites. His expertise is woven around various aspects of the debt management industry and with his e-books he tries to impart to people the different situations and simple solutions to get out of difficult situations. Some of his works include e-books like 'Credit Score The Quintessential Therapy for a Happy Pocket', Take Creditors and Collection Agencies to Small Claims Court' and, My Story- From Depression To a Smile'.
With god's grace I am leading a peaceful life for the past few years. I have a lovely wife, beautiful children and no financial problems. But things were much different 2 years ago. I was deep in financial crisis and had a lot of bills to pay off. The creditors were threatening to sue me. In short, my life was a complete mess.
I got married at the age of 21 and had a son within a year. Being a student with a low paying job made it very difficult for me to support my family. I needed quick cash. But instead of looking for a better job, I started using all of my credit cards. I hardly had money to pay the bills and within a few months my credit card bill amount was around $60,000. But my problems didn't end there. My son had a hole in his heart. The doctors were of the opinion that he needed immediate treatment. If any of you have been through this situation, you must be aware that such a treatment requires a lot of money. The total medical bill was around $50,000. I borrowed from my friends and paid $25,000. Still, I owed $25,000 to the hospital authority. So, things were getting out of hand!
My credit score was going down with each passing day. I was having regular fights with my wife. Out of the two of us, she is the sensible one. She kept advising me that I should look for a secondary source of income until I get a better job, and start making payments to the creditors. But I kept ignoring her. My wake up call came on that day when one of my creditors threatened to sue me. I realized that I needed to do something to get out of this situation, as I had a family to take care of.
I started thinking of the ways to get out of this mess. My total credit card bill amount was $60,000. The medical bill amount was $25,000 and I didn't have sufficient amount of money. I knew that the creditors won't work with me unless I could pay them what they asked for. So, I started looking for better jobs and this time I did get one in just 15 days! My wife is an excellent cook. She started selling home-baked cookies to the neighborhood. This increased our monthly income to around $15000.
I realized that even if I made the minimum monthly payments on each credit card, it would not be possible to wipe out such a huge amount of bills. My wife asked me to contact creditors and I did so. I requested them to lower the payoff amount. But they refused to do so. One of my best friends suggested that I enroll with a settlement company and I followed what he said. The consultant at the settlement company was successful in negotiating down the credit card bills up to 40%. So, I had to pay around $36,000.
The counselor told me to save as much money as possible and I did so. I stopped using credit cards, tried to save on my utility bills, made a budget and stuck to it. I also found a part-time job. Believe me, I was able to pay off the outstanding balance within a year.
Once, I have paid the credit card bills, I contacted the hospital authority and requested them to forgive a portion of the medical bill. The management was kind enough to forgive $10,000. I saved every penny and paid off the remaining debt within 3 months. A heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders the day I paid off my bills completely. I realized that hard work and determination can indeed help one get rid of financial problems.