Living on a Budget, Saving Money/Reducing Credit Card Debt
Due to an ill wife (practically bedfast), I have very limited hours of work and a very limited income, and the wife is on Social Security SSI disability. Due to expenses, I have total debt from a few credit cards of $43,000. Some interest rates are such that the minimum payment (all I can currently pay) is more toward interest than the debt. I pay about $300 in interest a month. The debt figure slowly increases rather than decrease. I have had ads, etc. from a number of companies offering lower interest rates, and some offering debt "forgiveness". I am concerned about fraud or loss of credit rating from these (I have a good rating, except for only paying minimum amounts. I have missed NO payments.) What would you recommend for better debt reduction, lower interest, and possible debt "forgiveness"? Our total monthly income runs about $1,300 for 2 adults plus a nearby daughter that occasionally needs some help. Thanks!
I would stay away from the so-called "forgiveness" programs, because they will ultimately lead to bankruptcy (or equivalent), and this will adversely effect your Credit score. I'd also stay away from the the Credit Reduction people, because they will charge you a % of money saved, and this is money that you personally could have saved/acquired.
I would contact various Credit Card institutions (start with those that you have Credit card debt with currently), and attempt to consolidate all of your debt with the one that offers you the lowest rate. Make sure that there are no transactions charges for "rolling" your debt from one credit card company to another. In other words, read all of the fine print.
You'd be surprised how much money over the lifetime of the credit payments you can knock off, by just lowering your Credit Card payment % down by 1%.
I'm sorry to hear about your wife being ill. If she is up for it in the future, you may want to consider moving to a cheaper area of the country to lower your monthly expenses.
Best of luck to you moving forward.