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Decision delayed…


And this is why you never ever count your chickens before they are hatched…and I am very glad I didn’t do so in this situation!  Oh it would have been nice to have extra money to dump into debt, but I was not “counting” on it!  The big boss announced today that a decision has been delayed until the summer.  While I certainly have some irritation about that announcement, given the stressful situation it creates b/w co-workers and individually for me, I am also happy to have SOME news.  I always do better when I have information even if that information is “no new information.” 

I am going to set aside time this weekend to call credit cards and start playing hard ball!  My payment history is excellent and I need to use that to my advantage.  My interest rates increased b/c I was running so close to the limits on so many.  While I don’t have any credit cards with Capital One (is that the bank that someone said will not budge?) I do have an account with Bank of America.  I read on one of the posts when Beks was still writing something about that emotional energy that certain cards can create in us…the cards we love to hate.  Yep.  That would be BofA for me.  

I’m looking forward to this weekend.  It is springtime in Texas friends and that means we have about 2.5 weeks of enjoyable weather.  I’m not kidding.  By mid April…the heat is on and then, of course, by July…hell is on.  I am already reminding myself not to make every post something to do about the unbearable heat come May b/c that will get annoying fast.  Last year was horrendous.  I believe it was near 60 days with 100+ degree days.  Air conditioning can’t keep up–residential or commercial.  I dread it.  We are doing a few things now to try to knock the utility bill down but with a very, very mild winter and temps already in the 80’s…we have an uphill battle indeed!



  • Reply Jonathan |

    It’s always great to squeeze the best deals out of credit card companies and why not use your excellent credit history, I know I do!!!!

  • Reply RB |

    I agree so much that BofA is EVIL. My loathe for them is so high that if they ever bought my mortgage I would refinance immediately whatever the cost just to get away from them. I am slightly less than $7K away from getting that incompetent bank out of my life for good. (My card was originally MBNA that got bought by them.)

  • Reply VIcki |

    Claire – I was the one that mentioned Capital One, or on my blog it is known as the Evil One, aka, Darth CapOne

  • Reply Marianne |

    That sucks about the delay. Our workplace is currently ‘holding my husband hostage’ with a job decision as well… It certainly is annoying and not really playing very fairly in my books. 🙁 I hope the decision comes sooner than later!!

  • Reply Angela |

    All of our credit cards raised our rates when we got close to the limit also, even though our payment history was excellent. BofA agreed to lower the rate to 5% if we did automatic payments and stopped using the cards, which we had planned on doing anyway. They did not close the accounts (which is better for your credit) and they will keep them open for use after if we want. I have already paid off one of the three and the others are very close. I also got a lower rate from Chase (2%) but they closed the cards. I am not of fan of either bank, but both were at least willing to do that much. Good luck.

  • Reply tina |

    I am enjoying reading your blog and I also wanted to say it is very courageous for you to post your life and struggles on this blog

    You may already know about this or someone may have already mentioned it but you may want to look into credit karma and credit sesame, both are free. You can track your credit scores and your current balances. They will also give you some options on credit cards you may be eligible for with better limits. They are both free and there is no obligation whatsoever.

    Good luck!!


    • Reply Victoria |

      Those are great tips! I have never heard of those sites and could use them! Thanks!! Journeys to being debt free are painful but rewarding! 🙂

      • Reply kim |

        I’ve used creditkarma and it is indeed free. Granted, I was scared of missing some fee, so got my scores & then immediately asked them to delete my account just in case. There is a lot of advertising for credit products, but you can ignore it. About a year later I applied for a mortgage, and the numbers were pretty close.

    • Reply Claire |

      Thanks for this Tina. I’ve never heard of these so I’m definitely taking a look!

    • Reply desperatelyindebt |

      Thanks so much for this tip… I’m am in the first stages of getting a handle on my debt and have been wondering what my score is. I just tried credit karma and it was pretty painless (signing up that is, looking at my score is a whole different story)

  • Reply Kellie |

    I wish you good luck on calling the credit cards. Another thing to look for is balance transfers that are free with a low %. Calling the credit cards and doing balance transfers will be a game you will play throughout your debt reduction. I had about 20K in debt and am thankful to say I paid it off a couple years ago and I love not living pay check to pay check now.

  • Reply Adam |

    I use creditkarma.com, but I’m not sure I should. As Dave Ramsey says, your credit score is just a number that shows how good are you at being in debt. Same thing with the balance transfers. It actually may be a good thing mathematically and may help you go faster, but it also means you have even more accounts opening, more paperwork, and more hits on your credit, which may make your other rates go up. My view generally is just to avoid the gimmicks and just pay off the debt you have.

  • Reply Adam |

    Sorry about the promotion delay – I got the same thing this year. 6 months of promises dashed with one “it’s not gonna happen this time, maybe next year” conversation. it makes you step back and enjoy the blessings that you do have in your life – including living in texas with beautiful weather!

    • Reply Claire |

      Thanks Adam! I predict I’m heading to that same outcome…eventually. I do have a choice to make it seems and that may very well be the point. I feel like a challenge has been issued and if I choose to accept the challenge I will spend the next 2.5 months confidently tooting my own horn…or I could passively object to the handling of the situation.

  • Reply Victoria |

    I can completely relate to this article. It is the most frustrating feeling when you expect something good to happen and then BAM you get another unexpectd bill or something goes wrong. When I started my blog about my personal journey and financial meltdown I learned very fast that disappointments happen all the time. You just have to keep on trucking and remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel! 🙂

  • Reply Maura |

    Great job on the debt payment so far! I love seeing on the side bar that the debt balance has gone down to 96k from 98K. Kudos too that you put aside a couple of hundred for ER Fund!. You’ll get there, just keep doing what you are doing!

    • Reply Claire |

      Thanks Maura–just put another $100 in savings today so it is up to $300. Thanks for noticing the progress!

  • Reply Debt-free Dan |

    How valuable are you to this company? If you are paid below-market, maybe it’s time to go shopping. Read Beks’ old posts and see how they took advantage of her.

    • Reply Claire |

      Dan-I did just receive a near 9% raise effective April 1, 2012 because I picked up pretty quickly on a new hire with less experience being hired at a more senior title and, presumably, at a higher rate of pay. I began barking immediately and didn’t let up until the raise came through. This new position is a promotion and highly competitive. We shall see.

  • Reply Todd |

    Whew, so many things in your post that I’m having trouble focusing my thoughts. I’ll just spit them out like the Maya Angelou of blog commenting:

    1) Having been institutionalized my entire career, I understand the anguish of waiting for a raise. For that reason, I’ve been dabbling in being an entremanure (that’s someone who starts their own business in between crappy jobs). Not to be entirely self-serving, but I’m posting my experiences on my blog.
    2) Good luck with the credit cards. For some unknown reason (my observation), that tactic hasn’t seemed to work lately. I think they’ve figured out that if you are as influential as you say you are, you wouldn’t be calling them trying to get your interest rate lowered. It’s also the equivalent of negotiating with terrorists, and that never ends well. My advice: terminate them with extreme prejudice as soon as possible! Umm….sorry, I guess that wasn’t very Maya Angelou like at all.
    3) I can empathize with your weather dilemma as we live in Florida. I tell my friends in the frozen tundra of Alaska that we have a lot in common weather wise; we have the same amount of enjoyable days, the rest are intolerable for opposite reasons.

    Good luck with the credit cards. If they won’t cooperate then it might inspire you even more to get rid of them. I actually adjusted my debt snowball to specifically get rid of a card faster twice; once to get rid of my Capital One card and now to get rid of my Bank of America cards.

    And, since I alluded to channeling Maya, I feel obligated to offer you this loosely paraphrased parody:

    You may lower my FICO score
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may lower my credit limit and raise my APR
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my awakening upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ‘Cause you know that now I’m inspired
    And that spells the coming of your doom

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still my net worth will rise.

    Did you want to see me bankrupt?
    Court managed and amortized?
    Then why do you lower my available credit?
    You know it makes my debt ratio rise.

    • Reply Jen from Boston |

      Bravo, Todd! Your poem brought a smile to my face. As did the idea of terminating credit cards with extreme prejudice 😀

    • Reply Claire |

      Todd–that is a GREAT comment! And you’re right…I am all over the place in my posts! Welcome to my brain…it’s a crazy, but fun place! That poem is awesome…but my favorite part of this post, by far…entremanure. Off to check out your blog! 🙂 Thanks.

  • Reply margot |

    I think the delayed job decision and raise will be a blessing in disguise. You are obviously used to earning a ton of money, and you and your partner are good at that. What you suck at is saving money and spending less than you earn. This gives you time to focus on being frugal, spending less than you earn and paying off debt on your current salary. That’s a good life lesson to learn rather than just having more money to throw at the problem.

    • Reply Claire |

      This is an excellent point Margot. Given how early we are in our recovery it might have been like giving a recovering alcoholic a shelf full of liquor to admire! You are so right…we totally suck at saving money and spending less than we earn! I do think it ALL happens for a reason! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply Theresa |

    Just a note on the BOA card, a few months ago my introductory rate expired and my minimum payment doubled. I called to see what we could do about it, and after a looong time on the phone, came to an agreement where they closed my account, but lowered the interest rate to 3.5%, and set up a payment where it will be paid off in 5 years. The payment is high, but I have that light at the end of the tunnel, which is nice because it’s our highest balance.

So, what do you think ?