This is a real pickle indeed.
While it is good that decided to invest your money, you chose the vehicle for that. But that is hindsight, and that is 20/20.
It is time to look to the future. You need to concentrate on getting out of debt. A chpater 13 would do better for you that settlign the debts. You’ll actually pay a little less for a settlement after you figure in the attorney fees, etc with BK. So I would suggest that you get rid of the credit cards first, through debt settlement, then use that extra cash for a savings and paying down the mortgage. Debt settlement will have a negative impact on your credit score (but I hate credit anyway) but it can be easily repaired…and quickly, depending on you.
When you get rid of the credit cards, you should have a lot of discretionary income. take half of that and use it to pay down the mortgage, and the other half into to safe and proven investments…like life insurance, etc. This should dig you out of the whole. It won’t make you welathly or anything like that but it will bring you to step 0 again. What you do at that point will up to you. I hope that helps. Jae is right about one thing. Pay off or settle the credit cards while you have some income to work with. However, I would recommend something more liquid than life insurance to invest any savings you may accumulate.
A short term CD or money market account will allow you the liquidity you may need if your job doesn’t pan out or you need access to your funds quickly. Also, don’t try any quick money schemes to
bail yourself out. Many people get desperate and go for a quick fix. The real fix is to spend less than you earn and pay regularly on your debt until it’s paid off. Then, learn from your experience. But unfortunately not to debt. I live on a small part time job, and I get SSI for a visual impairment from premature birth. I live in California. My home is my parent’s and paid for and left to me, so I haven’t a mortgage or anything Thank G-D! Every month I pay over minimums on my credit card debts, and most of them are on the way down.
But today, I got a letter from Juniper Bank about a Master Card I had opened in Christmas 2004 (I cut up the original card as I only wanted a computer and that’s it. Used my $2,000.00 limit and bought the box, cutting the card up after that) that because of January, 2006 when I had a problem and ‘insufficiant funds’ my e-payment was returned and I was then technically late…. I Made up for it after that and again always paid over minimums! For that one time, they are raising my APR to 27.99% from the former 17.6%.
I have a mind to go on ‘strike’ and pay them nothing. Let them send it to a collector. I don’t want anymore credit cards or the like, so what it would do to my credit rating that hasn’t already been done anyway…. All I know is I am getting so fed up, I try to get more hours at work, I got a roommate, I have budgeted and strived, and at least a positive, my credit rating is at 680 instead of the previous 520… All my other bills are going down and seeing the lesser balances every month is a good feeling.
When my dad died in 2001 it threw my income to less than $800.00 a month and Even with the P/T job and SSI I am just this side of $1,100.00 a month. Now, $300.00 of this goes to a collector for one of my dad’s cards with which MY name was also on it, so…. anyway I have 1 1/2 more years of that debt and it is gone. I dunno, I had to vent somewhere, as I don’t know what else to do that I am not already doing. I feel like such a loser!
I just looked at the letter and bawled. All that work, and for 1 (One!) late pay, they are socking it to me. Has anyone got these companies to back down and relent? at least going back to a lower rate? I can’t stand it how I see a positive on my other accounts and these guys at Juniper can be so awful.