Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Three weeks to go and my life will forever be different

Why is my EFT request change such a big deal? How is my life changing forever?

Story Time:

12 Years ago I was a college student, stupid and poor.
On orientation day there were so many vendors and people to meet and see and it was so incredibly exciting. It was HOT, and I wore black (like an IDIOT).
I wanted to get inside, get a cool drink and relax. Down to the student center I went, and in the lobby was a whole slew of tables with credit card reps.
FREE Frisbee's, water bottles, pens, hats, t-shirts!
All I had to do was apply for a student credit card. Sign my name on the dotted line and get some cool swag.
It wasn't like I was ACTUALLY getting a card, it was just an application right?
I'd had a checking account for years and always been pretty good with money, what could it hurt?
So I signed, 5 TIMES, at each table.
Got my goodies and went about my life.

The semester started a week later and I had a ton of books to buy, and where were these lab fees coming from? How many specialty pads of paper and pencils for art class? The college bookstore had everything but it was so expensive. My loans covered some, but not everything. I got a job at a local clothing store and moved in with some roommates, and managed to get everything and pay rent but my job didn't pay much.

It happened about 4 weeks into the semester, I opened up my mailbox and there were 3 thick envelopes, each containing a shiny plastic card, each with a $1000.00 limit, and 7% interest (of course that was only for the first 6 months, but what did I know about fine print?).
Swipe, it was so easy at the grocery store, I didn't want to be late for class!
Swipe, I really needed some new work clothes.
Swipe, my room mates had extra cash for rent but needed a hotel room, fair trade right?
Swipe, gas, laundry mat, skateboard, shoes, books, supplies... and on and on.
Minimum payments were low, I was getting more hours, swipe, swipe, swipe...
More envelopes arrived, more shiny cards.

A few years later... debts piling up, minimum payments rising, credit extending to $5000.00 and 10,000.00 max limits, that 7% interest grew to a whopping 21% and 18%. A baby was in the mix by then, better job, no more school, more bills, MORE CARDS.
Store cards, loans, car payment... you get the idea.
A never ending pile of debt, building up... and I was only 25.

For years I fought the debt, dodged the calls, sent everything I could, a little here and there, never catching up and barely hanging on. I started working with Take Charge America in early 2007.

In 3 weeks, on October 1, 2011 I will make my final credit payment, EVER.

I'm just going to let that sink in a minute.

I've been sinking in this sea of debt for nearly 12 years and paying it off faithfully for the last 4. The end is so close I could reach out and hug it. I can't thank everyone in my life enough for helping me through these years of torment and near-poverty while I got this debt out of my life forever.
I can't explain the feeling of near Utopian bliss that comes over me when I think about this part of my life being over.

To my Husband and my children for every sacrifice they have had to make for my mistakes, I am truly sorry and eternally grateful to you all. I love you guys :)


Sarah Hurley said...

wow, you should be incredibly proud of yourself, thats amazing! Well done you.

Sarah x

Siobhan aka Kiwivandal said...

Thanks girl! It was a long fight, but the end is in sight!