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Archive for the ‘Student Loans’ Category

Neither of the two Craigslist folks showed up yesterday (no email, no phone call) and the gal who was supposed to come by tonight emailed (at least) to let me know she would need to cancel. So, that’s a disappointment money-wise. The only other person who replied back seems to only be able to meet during hours I’m at work, so not sure we’ll be able to arrange something. I wrote him back, so we’ll see what happens.

I’ve had various luck using CL. Sometimes I get several flakes, or a bunch — yet one day not long ago, I was able to line up SIX people and they all showed. That’s got to be some kind of record. I think I’ll delete it, then repost my ad (so it moves back to the top) and wrastle up a new group of interested peeps. Someone HAS to buy something by next Monday or I’m screwed paying off rent and electricity, unless something else crops up.

I’ve been edgy all day. Having only 57 cents in the bank does that to a person. I’d hoped those folks yesterday would’ve spent enough so I could at least put some gas in my car and bought another pack of cigs. And yes, I am well aware that if I stop smoking, not only will I be healthier, but an annoying (guilty) expense will be taken off my shoulders. I’m a tense/anxious person by nature (on meds for it in fact) and having cut back on nearly everything I enjoy already, it’s REALLY difficult for me to consider giving up cigs too. I have cut back a bit though (1/2 to 3/4’s of a pack a day, instead of 1), so that’s something. At any rate, all day I was nervous not only because all my CL sales fell through, but because I was getting low on cigs. I would only have 3 left for the entire evening, which would’ve forced me to go to bed early. I love sleeping, but I don’t want to be forced to sleep so I won’t crave cigs. It would actually make me want them more, knowing I was nearly out.

After looking at my daily planner, I realized I was going to borrow money from that cash advance place on Wednesday, so I figured since my CL person cancelled, I’d just borrow that money a few days early. I’m still going to owe loan back the same week (after payday), so there’s no big difference. I zoomed over there after work, driving on fumes, got my $175 (payback amount will be $205.87), put $5 gas in the car, bought 2 packs of cigs, a sandwich for dinner and don’t hit me, more beer. Never mind, I’ll slap myself. I wasn’t even really in the mood for it, but then this sad song (that reminds me of a past relationship) came on the radio right when I was pulling into the convenience store parking lot…and as I suddenly contemplated splurging on the beer, I decided to just work harder to make up the difference. Which all sounds good and dandy at the time, right?

But, it’s not the end of the world. Everything else (including the sandwich) had been planned for, so it’s not like I blew a big wad o’ dough on a pair of shoes. Of course, if I’d done that, I’d still have the shoes tomorrow. But I couldn’t DRINK them, so there.  And thank the flying spaghetti monster I’m not one of those girly-girls who gets giddy about clothes and shoe shopping. Carrie Bradshaw I am not. Plus, when you figure I haven’t seen a movie at a theater in about 4 years, I don’t go to bars or clubs, and rarely eat at a sit-down restaurant, drinking cheap beer a few times in one week isn’t so bad. Ya think I’ve justified this one enough?

In other news, I called the temp agency this morning and asked my rep to try and get me a pay increase. She said she’d work on it and let me know. No message back tonight, so I don’t know if she’s called them about it yet or not. And, the manager of the office I clean called me (right before I picked up the phone to call the agency) to apologize for it being a bit more of a mess over there since they’re working on consolidating offices. She did mention that since I’ll be cleaning up after 3 new folks, we can renegotiate my pay if it winds up taking me longer to clean. I figure it will take a little more time with more furniture and pictures to dust, plus 3 more trash cans to empty, so I’ll probably try to eek out another $10 a cleaning if possible. Plus, I’m guessing the kitchen will get a little messier too. My estimate was a bit on the low side to begin with, so an even $50/cleaning will be a nice compromise I think…which, my fellow math whizzes, will be an extra $40 a month. Which is practically a million to me at this point.

As I was taking a smoke break today, I was thinking I really need to try to get a long-range financial plan together. Like I said in my previous post, it’s very hard to see past each week. So much up in the air. So many factors to consider. One thing I know is that borrowing from this cash advance place has got to stop soon. My feeling is “once I get caught up enough…” but there’s always a setback (i.e. my recent illness) or another debt I’ve put off that needs to be paid (i.e. 3 months to the IRS). Of course, I have had some rather unexpected turns of good luck, like landing this cleaning gig and that contract work, selling some bigger items via CL, etc.

One thing I’ve yet discussed is my credit card situation. I used to have 3 (two major ones, and one for an electronics retailer). Long story, but the bottom line is that several months before I was downsized as a legal assistant (fall of ’08), the minimum payments on the 2 major ones got to be too much for me to handle. This was before I cut out all my non-essentials like cable, Netflix and Rhapsody. I tried to pay them what I could when I could, but they kept bugging the crap outta me (“yeah, we got that yesterday, but when are you going to pay again?”), and they didn’t seem to even want the $25 or $50 I could send because it wasn’t “enough”. So I decided, I can’t win and stopped paying. Took awhile (oddly), but they finally both came after me with a vengeance via collection agencies: calls, letters, and so far, one lawsuit (which they won by default).

I sought counseling from a bankruptcy lawyer (free 30 minute consultation last fall). He was the one who told me to stop paying on my other card since it will be wiped out with the rest of my debt once I file bankruptcy. So now those fuckers are on my back. He was also the one who told me not to bother trying to stop that default judgement, because the best I could hope for would be maybe a 10 day delay in the court finding for the plaintiff.  Whatever. Only problem is, to get this all settled, I’m looking at about $1,000+ in fees, financial classes and court costs.  It’s so weird to me that you have to pay a chunk of money to officially proclaim you’re broke.  My original plan was to have the money sometime this spring, but obviously, doesn’t look like that will happen.  The nice thing is that I can retain him for as little as a few bucks and he’ll field any collector calls, but since it will be months and months before I can come up with additional money to add to my “bankruptcy layaway” (as he termed it), I didn’t really see the point. I just turned off my ringer and screened all my calls over the last few months. Fortunately, most of them have stopped now.

From what I understand, they will try to find out where I’m working to garnish my wages, and because I was unemployed there for a while, it may have been tougher for them to track me down.  I suppose any day they’ll figure it out, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.  My priority now is to keep the roof over my head and the utilities turned on. If I have to gear up the bankruptcy express, then that’s what I’ll do (via means I’d rather not think about right now, like crawling to my asshead brother).

I never thought I’d be in the position to be dodging creditors. It happened to my parents years ago and I vowed I would never get into the same mess. Plus, it makes me feel plain shitty for not paying off the debt I racked up. If, for some bizarre reason, I find myself drowning in a vat of money, I’ll pay every cent off in a heartbeat. Of course, my credit would still be a wreck, but at least I wouldn’t feel bad anymore. And if I had the money to at least get back to a “reasonable” payback schedule, I’d do that too. But it’s too late.  They want it all. NOW. Bastards.  No, I take that back. It’s my fault. I just wish they weren’t so…unpleasant about it, especially in this economy.

The two things I do feel good about are that: 1) I paid off all my student loans (I think I wrapped that all up in about 2002), 2) I paid off my car around the same time.  There’s another back story regarding my student loans. Won’t get into it too much now, but while I was in school, my dad had promised to pay those off for me “come hell or high water.”  Well, that didn’t happen. My parents did pay for quite a chunk of my tuition and living expenses though while I was in college, so I am grateful for that. However, I incurred student loans starting my freshman year, but my older brother only got loans his last year in school. I’m not exactly sure how it turned how that way.  My parents didn’t push him to apply for loans or grants when he went to college, and he never got around to getting paperwork done till he was a senior. We both went to private, rather pricey colleges. As far as I’m aware, his loans totalled around $5k. Mine were about $18k (plus I did work study and had grants). He landed a job making about $40k within 6 months of graduating (with help from my dad and a “mentor” he set my brother up with).  I was making minimum wage ($4.25) working part-time within 3 days of graduation. No help, no mentor. I’d been forced to move back home (3 hours away) because my parents were flat broke, and I was told to get a job “anywhere” and “fast” to help out. Like I said, rather long story, which I’ll elaborate on more later.

Bitter, who ME?

Alright, enough rambling for now. Oh!  I got one page view the other day (whoever you are, thanks for stopping by!)  I do so love I have this blog to get all this stuff off my chest when I’m in the mood.  If anyone else happens to wander in, I appreciate you taking the time to read my little diatribes…

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