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Author Topic: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt  (Read 9538 times)

Bird

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PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« on: July 06, 2006, 04:58:10 AM »
I'm set to begin law school at Columbia in August, but I've got $20k in credit card debt split among 5 different credit cards. 

I'd like to consolidate my debt and get a lower rate, but I don't know where to begin.  I have nothing to offer as collateral.  I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to survive during law school and make these payments.   

Can anyone on LSD give me some tips on what I can do?

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.








johnnydavis

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2006, 05:27:12 AM »
$20K... :o

can't you rely on debt consolidation services?

mobo

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2006, 05:54:06 AM »
given that i am an aggressive investor but a conservative spender...you might not like what my suggestion is.

defer law school for a year, cut up the credit cards, get a roommate (or two, or three, or move in with your parents), clip coupons, sell your car and get a cheaper one, get a full time job and extra part time job, and make the 20k in debt go away.

starting law school with deferable federal loan debt is one thing, starting it with cc debt, when the cc companies can just arbitrarily decide to put your interest rates into the atmosphere just because you are...oh...unemployed....like you will be in law school....well, to me it seems like a pretty big deal.

i am assuming you will be taking out some loans to pay for law school 'cause if you had the cash you could pay off the cc's, right? law school is a huge ding in your financial health. it is kind of like surgery. your best bet to survive it, and as painlessly as possible, with as speedy a recovery as possible, is to be in the best shape you can before the surgery. same thing with your finances and law school. and this situation is fixable within a year, so that is why i think deferring might make good sense. or cents.

(and in no board is it more appropriate to say...just my $.02)

Bird

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2006, 10:55:42 PM »
Thanks for the advice.  Unfortunately, deferring is not an option :-(

Does anyone else have any words of wisdom?




given that i am an aggressive investor but a conservative spender...you might not like what my suggestion is.

defer law school for a year, cut up the credit cards, get a roommate (or two, or three, or move in with your parents), clip coupons, sell your car and get a cheaper one, get a full time job and extra part time job, and make the 20k in debt go away.

starting law school with deferable federal loan debt is one thing, starting it with cc debt, when the cc companies can just arbitrarily decide to put your interest rates into the atmosphere just because you are...oh...unemployed....like you will be in law school....well, to me it seems like a pretty big deal.

i am assuming you will be taking out some loans to pay for law school 'cause if you had the cash you could pay off the cc's, right? law school is a huge ding in your financial health. it is kind of like surgery. your best bet to survive it, and as painlessly as possible, with as speedy a recovery as possible, is to be in the best shape you can before the surgery. same thing with your finances and law school. and this situation is fixable within a year, so that is why i think deferring might make good sense. or cents.

(and in no board is it more appropriate to say...just my $.02)

baytostay

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2006, 11:14:26 PM »
Cut up the credit cards and go to some consumer credit counseling non-profit for help.  They can ususally get your debt consolidated at a lower interest rate.  Then suck it up and get a side gig and consistently make payments bigger than the minimum and pay it down.  Whatever you do--don't miss a payment and @#!* up your credit.  If you have to pay 100K of law school debt back at a higher interest rate you'll really be screwed. 

Also, what do you mean that deferring isn't an option? Get creative.  Lay it out there for the admissions committee--I bet they'd grant you one.

cesco

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2006, 11:34:18 PM »
I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to survive during law school and make these payments.   

Everything I have read about financial aid says schools will not take monthly cc payments into account when formulating your budget. $20,000 is going to bring you some pretty big monthly payments...

I know you said you don't have the option to defer, but what if you just can't make the finances work??  Do you have any family that can help?

Have you called your schools financial aid department and discussed it with them? Perhaps they have seen a similar situation in the past and can direct you?
2L

queencruella

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2006, 11:55:09 PM »
I don't know what your CC interest rates are right now, but the minimum payment on $20K is going to be pretty significant. How do you plan on covering it with the student budget? It seems like you'll have no choice but to get a part-time job and you'll probably have to find something non-law-related after 1L just to bring in cash to pay the credit card bills. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but with only one month to get things in order, it just seems like it's going to be very difficult for you to manage financially when school starts up.

If there is one thing they tell you on financial aid web sites, it's that you have to have your credit in order and should minimize your debt before entering LS, because there's very little financial aid can do to help you if you have poor credit or other debt outside of law school. Unless you were accepted off a waitlist, I think that a good deal of schools see financial issues as a valid reason for a deferral. Even though you say it isn't possible, I'm not sure that you're going to have a positive law school experience if you're going to be stuck working 20 hours a week trying to get enough money to pay your credit cards debt down.

shaz

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2006, 12:30:26 AM »
let's see now...

20k at say 20% is 4k in interest that first year, right?  why not take 2/3k out of your financial aid to make the 9/10 minimum payments and work your butt off that first summer to pay it down.  if you repeat this process during 2L, you should be able to manage it.  heck, you might be able to pay it all off. 

you also might want to contact the cc companies and threaten to take you debt somewhere else if they don't lower your interest rates.  this might get you a lower rate.  you also might consider applying for another card to see if you can 0% 1 year apr and a high enough limit to balance tranfer all the accts. 
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Momo09

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2006, 02:08:56 AM »
I'm set to begin law school in August, but I've got $20k in credit card debt split among 5 different credit cards. 

I'd like to consolidate my debt and get a lower rate, but I don't know where to begin.  I have nothing to offer as collateral.  I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to survive during law school and make these payments.   

Can anyone on LSD give me some tips on what I can do?

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.









wow, 20K. 

depends on what and how you spent your money to accumulate this debt, it probably is impossible to pay it down/off this much during school living off of financial aid.  The most I ever owed on CC as a student as $4k, even that took 16 months to pay off because I can only skip so many meals....

Deferring LS may be the best advice so far.
Bruin once again.

goodnews

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Re: PLEASE ADVISE --- how to handle massive credit card debt
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2006, 12:34:51 PM »
Ok taking into account the fact that you can't/won't defer, and you don't want to starve yourself to death paying for it w/ your student loan money, how about getting an extra private educational loan from Citibank or Bank of America?  I think they let you borrow up to $30k, so you can take out the $20k and pay all the CC's off at once.  Obviously the interest accumulation will suck, but hey, $20k in CC debt and school starts in a month.  What other choices do you have.
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