An Alaska man struggles with credit card debt in divorce
Many married couples are weighed down by debt. If they decide to divorce, balances can get even higher and paying them off can get more complicated.
When Troy divorced his wife, he walked away with $3,800 in debt. But he racked up an additional $20,000 in attorney fees, child support, mortgage and other bills.
He and his ex-wife split custody of their now-5-year-old daughter, while he took full custody of the debt. Troy says he did it to protect his daughter and “my daughter’s mom,” but it also turned out to be a smart move for him.
That’s because, like all marital debt, regardless of the amount, both the husband and wife are responsible for it. Usually, how debt from joint accounts is split is recorded in the divorce decree. Since Troy had more income, he protected his credit score and credit report by making sure the debt was paid off on time. If his wife had taken some of that debt and not paid it, Troy’s credit score would have been damaged right along with hers.
Still, Troy struggled to pay off the debt. Nothing worked until he landed at Consolidated Credit.
Troy asked his creditors for help…
“I tried negotiating with the credit card companies on my own, but they wouldn’t work with me. They said, ‘We can’t do anything for you,’ so I just accepted that.”
Even though this didn’t work for Troy, he had the right idea. Contacting your creditors directly is a great way to start your journey toward debt relief. Sometimes, they can work directly with you to reduce your rates and agree on a payment plan that will fit your budget in exchange for freezing your account.
Troy learned about Consolidated Credit while at work…
Consolidated Credit not only helps individuals but also businesses and their employees. Community outreach programs like the one Troy participated in teach financial literacy to larger groups and create a more money-savvy society.
“I had a chat with a presenter during a financial literacy session at my job. When he realized how much debt I was in, he asked me if I had heard about Consolidated Credit. I had, but I also heard that using a debt management program can damage your credit. He told me, “No it would help you far more than it would hurt you.’”
Troy made the call…
When you call Consolidated Credit, you get connected with a certified credit counselor who talks you through all of your debt relief options. They don’t earn any sort of commission, so they are unbiased. Their only job is helping you find the solution that works for your situation and suits your budget.
“Sheila enthusiastically and very brightly explained the benefits of the debt management program. She was just so full of energy and positive vibes, you could hear her smiling over the phone. I couldn’t help but feel better talking to her.”
If Troy hadn’t found Consolidated Credit…
“My next step would be talking to a bankruptcy attorney,” he says. Bankruptcy isn’t always the worst option. In fact, if you already have bad credit and your debt amount is too high, bankruptcy can be a good choice. It all depends on your situation. Your credit counselor will be there to help you decide.
Troy has a couple years left on the program. He wants to get out sooner so he can prepare for retirement…
Retirement is a big concern for many people in debt, and Troy was no exception. Enrolling in a debt management program allows you to pay off your debt sooner so you can save more for retirement.
“There are things that I don’t use anymore, so I’m selling them on Craigslist to generate more cash to put towards my debt. I’m turning 50 soon. If I don’t hurry up and pay my debt, I won’t have any cash freed up to enjoy my life the way that I would like to in retirement.”
Troy learned some lessons…
Credit counselors emphasize budgeting, and for good reason. While a debt management program can help you get rid of your credit card debt in a divorce, a budget will help you stay out of debt in the future.
“The biggest lesson is that you really cannot manage your debt without having two things: a budget and a spending plan. You don’t realize how much money you’re spending without having a plan and tracking your dollars. Something I’ve been forced to do lately is sit down and say, ‘OK, here’s my income, here are my bills.’ I look at that and say, ‘I can’t eat lunch out five days a week,’ so I carry lunch to work.”
Troy wants those burdened with debt to seek help…
It’s tempting to try to DIY your debt relief. However, that sometimes leaves you and your debt worse than before. The best thing you can do is call today. The advice is free, so there’s no risk!
“If you feel like there is no end, call Consolidated Credit. They took the responsibility of negotiating lower interest rates and payment plans that work for my budget. I didn’t have the skills to negotiate with the credit card companies – I tried but it didn’t work. I felt like I had no power. If you do not want to file bankruptcy and don’t want that on your record, Consolidated Credit is the answer to help you get through this stuff.”
Once he completes the program…
Like most of Consolidated Credit’s graduates, Troy has big plans for when he finishes his debt management program.
Does the credit card debt in your divorce have you torn between bankruptcy and debt management? We can help you decide…
If you’re confused about using a debt management program, call us at (844) 276-1544 and a certified credit counselor will be happy to assist.