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Update on Line of Credit and Surgery


Update on Debt Reduction Strategies

I called to find out about the line of credit I applied for. It’s a good thing I am decent at telephone negotiations, because they definitely gave me the runaround. The application was stuck somewhere in the system, but I finally found out it is now conditionally approved (pending income verification). No comment on how I was supposed to find this out (carrier pigeon? Smoke signals? They certainly didn’t call, write, or email). The problem is that they approved me at a much higher rate and told me the promotion I applied for had expired!

Politely, I noted that I applied a few days after I got the email, well before the deadline of the 19th. I’m not psychic and no one reached out. For some reason, I had to explain that to two different people over the course of 35 minutes. I dislike wearing the “can I speak to your manager” hat, don’t you?? Regardless, the application moved ahead and I’m now putting together my proof of income. Fingers crossed they accept it. I included my bonus in there which wasn’t smart, in retrospect, but I receive that bonus every year.  I’ll include my tax returns as evidence. I also have side income I need to submit proof of. The whole thing is still a bit shaky but I remain optimistic.

What to do with a $9500 line of credit?

I plan to pay off my two credit cards with it. They are both at 19.99% interest and the payments are stressing me out! I’m not sure what to do with all the payments and subscriptions that come off my main Visa card. Things like my weekly transit pass, monthly subscriptions such as Netflix and Spotify, pet insurance. I don’t account for these things properly in my (let’s be blunt, non-existent) budget. I’m thinking of closing one credit card and keeping the other one open for these items, and paying them off every Monday to stay on top of the balance. How do you handle monthly payments on a credit card? I prefer the protection of Visa to Visa Debit linked to my checking account. Getting money back from erroneous billing/fraud in your checking account is next to impossible, whereas it’s fairly easy with credit card companies.

Eventually, I’d really like to switch to a travel rewards card. I want the premium economy leg room and airport lounge access, baby! A girl can dream. For now, I need to demonstrate I can be responsible with credit and work with what I have.

Surgery went well

Update on the glomus tumour removal! I feel SO MUCH better this time around! My hand already has more mobility than it did three weeks in to healing last time. The surgeon went in from the side to avoid existing scar tissue, and I get to keep my fingernail this time. I also have to say, this was my first time at this particular hospital (Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto). It was just so nice compared to the Scarborough hospital, which is down the street from me. Sunnybrook is far more advanced technologically! They were scanning the barcode on my wrist everywhere I went and had monitors in waiting rooms for families to see their loved one’s surgical status. I was able to give my parents my patient code and they could see my status online, too.

I moved around a bit in prep, and I was given three heated blankets in that time. The nurses would wrap the blanket around my shoulders and give a little squeeze. It felt so nice! And then in the OR, the surgeon noticed tears in my eyes, and he asked what was wrong. I said I regretted not having my parents there that day. He said his daughter is 30 and she would want him there if she was having surgery, too. He said, “We can go as slow as you want. I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. Let’s talk through what’s next and you can let me know when you’re ready.” He was so compassionate, and I was so tired and emotional. His kindness warmed me right through. He held my hand for a bit, and I will remember that forever.

Next up…

Time to get the financial house in order. It still feels like I’m free-falling with spending and expenses. The goal: get the whole budget done to minimize anxiety. I’m beginning work on that right now. I’m off work til Wednesday!


  • Reply Angie |

    I would normally advocate to keep a credit card for the protections. But you have to pay the balance in full every month. If you can’t commit to that…. don’t use a credit card. I’d consider using a debit card or cash for a month or two while you get your spending and cutbacks more consistent.

    Do you have a plan to pay the $815 or so in order to pay it off in 12 months before the rate goes up? The 12-month timeline could be a very good motivator for you to attack that debt with high intensity if you’re one that is motivated by deadlines like me.

  • Reply Den |

    Glad your surgery went well!

    We use our debit/VISA card for reoccurring monthly bills. Our credit union is great and has taken care of any issues immediately, so I’m not sure why you need a credit card for that?

    Also, why are you paying for Netflix and Spotify? Those are unnecessary expenses, plus with your crazy work hours, you don’t even have time to watch movies. I suggest using this chore of moving your reoccurring bills to either your debit or credit card to evaluate keeping or cutting them. You might be surprised how little you miss them.

    • Reply Elizabeth S. |

      Hi there! Thanks for commenting. I mentioned these expenses in my introduction. I pay for them for the family (they pay for other yearly expenses for me in exchange), and I use them every day! I have a long commute, and I usually do some e-learning, podcasts, or Spotify for that, and I use Netflix while I am cooking and cleaning. I am not interested in saving that tiny bit of money a month. I cut having coffee out, buying commercial pet treats, I haven’t had my hair professionally cut in ten years, I don’t get my nails done, etc…

      These subscriptions stay! Call it my haircut money!

  • Reply Karen |

    I use a credit card for recurring monthly expenses. I get paid every other Friday and one of the line items in my checkbook is to pay any recurring charges for the last two weeks. Never have a balance or charges interest. It’s easier than paying it off every month.

    • Reply Elizabeth S. |

      Hi Karen,

      I think that is what I will do beginning this Friday’s paycheck. Just pay off any new charges and make a payment as well. The only charges happening now are the automatic monthly ones, or an occasional parking fee here and there.

  • Reply Cynthia |

    Maybe this is a sign that the line of credit was not meant to be? While the interest rate is better than your credit card, it seems like there are better rates out there. If i were in your shoes, I would take a few months to hammer out a solid budget that I can stick with; as you’ve seen, it’s easy to think “I will just cut out this item completely,” but it’s not always realistic given what life throws at us, like your crunch week at work. Once you feel comfortable with your budget, then look for low interest rate offers that would give you a payment you could comfortably fit into your budget.

    Glad your surgery went well, and best wishes for your recovery!

    • Reply Elizabeth S. |

      These are really practical tips.

      One thing I will mention, I don’t know what kind of rates you guys can get in the States, but 4.99% is an incredible introductory rate for me. I’ve been looking for months and haven’t seen anything like that. I have ok credit (just above “good”, still building), and no one to co-sign. This is about as good as I have seen. So much better than the 20% I have now.

  • Reply Jazz |

    CC use is one of the things I’ve come to love with YNAB help. Now, I just budget to those categories, and the money gets moved for me to CC payment. When it comes time to pay, YNAB tells you exactly what you have allocated to pay it. So easy now that I’m working on getting off the float. It’s really helped me use credit cards more responsibly.

    • Reply Elizabeth S. |

      YNAB won’t support my cards! It’t not because I’m Canadian, it’s because my banks changed their security. My accounts used to import, and now both Capital One Canada and TD are having trouble. It’s on their status page. I’m so sad they haven’t resolved those issues yet.

So, what do you think ?