Hello! I stumbled upon this site a couple days ago. After lurking for a bit I thought it might be good to come out of hiding and see what can be done in our situation.
After suffering an unexpected job change and a significant paycut, hubby and I fell into old habits and managed to stack up about $12,000 in debt. Now that my job situation is stable again and my salary is back up, we're ready to face the debt and fix it. We filed for bankruptcy 4 years ago and I'm ashamed to see how easy it was for us to fall into that negative lifestyle again. I'm proud and excited that we now have a budget and a plan to move forward. Gosh, I almost feel like we're finally growing up! :P
Due to being late with Capital One, the late payment fee turned into an over the limit fee and now they are stacking upon each other to the point that I'm not able to get it under control. I've called on two occasions and from what I could understand of the person I was speaking to, they were unable to help me. They would not/could not lower my interest rate nor could they drop any of my fees. Other than that one card, the rest of the accounts are in decent standing.
So, my first question: Is a debt consolidation program and a debt management program the same thing? If not, what is the difference between the two?
Is one of these programs the best option for us? I do not want to do a debt settlement.
What does an initial meeting look like? Are they real sticklers about looking at our budget and having us cut expenses? For example, we have a $50 gym membership that helps w/ stress relief. Will they require we cut that and our cell phones in order to cut costs?
We live in the corner of the state, bordering two other states. Can you use a program in another state, or should you remain in your own state?
And lastly, one of our cards is in my husband's business name. We are selling the business and closing everything involved with it. Would we be able to include this card in a program if it isn't technically in mine or his name, but we're responsible for it?
Oh...one more. Sorry! College loans. I just called and got them in forebearance for now while I sort this stuff out. They are pretty big, $28,000 and $10,000. Are there advantages to including these in a program or are they best left out of the picture altogether??
Thanks so much for any insight. I think this site is so valuable.