So how did I get myself into this financial pit? It all started a long time ago (1997) in a galaxy far, far, away (Tallahassee, Fl).
In 1997 I was a freshman in college. I was foot loose and debt free (not completely, I had a student loan). It was the week before class started and I was walking through the campus. I remember there were tables set up and you could get a "free" t-shirt if you signed up for a credit card. Like a fool I signed up for 6, not thinking that I would actually get approved. So you can imagine my surprise when the cards started showing up in the mail. Before I knew it I was the proud owner of a Discover card, Master Card, and 4 Visa's.
Hearing the horror stories of college kids and credit cards I did not use the cards for months. Then it happened, I needed books for class and my voucher would not cover the cost. So I charged them. It was down hill from there. A small part of me is proud to say I did not necessarily max out my cards on stuff like trips, eating out, and other college kid crap. I used my cards to live, groceries, gas, text books, sometimes even other bills all went on the credit cards. Of course I bought clothes too, but the majority went to survival.
Fast forward 4 years, I graduate and get a job making decent money considering what I majored in. I thought I would be able to pay off the cards, but between rent, car payments, utility bills, student loan payments, and food I barley had enough money left over to cover the minimum payments. Eventually I defaulted on two out of the four cards. I made payment arrangements with one and my mother lent me the money to pay off the other.
To be continued........