Credit union

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I know what you are talking about

I recently retired from the Army and I know what you are talking about. The Army, along with the other services have a lot of great programs, however, if you are an officer or an NCO, they frown on you using these services.

OK, you are getting little bit of pay raise in Jan, don’t go making purchases! Use the extra to paydown/off everything you can. I would suggest also go and talk to the credit union(s) branch manager on base and if applicable, the ones on the other nearby bases. Here is what I did once, when I had a similar problem. I asked them to open a credit card for the lowest possible rate (got 9% but that was a long time ago), transfer the funds and immediately close the account. Tell them you want to set-up an allotment to pay them more than the minimum. A good place to try and start is figure out what the monthly interest is, pay that plus the minimum. They may agree to this, especially if you bank with them. The great thing is, since you immediately close the account, you can not put anything else on it. To reopen it, takes another credit application, etc. If they will not help, try Pentagon Federal.

If you are doing your banking with the lousy bank that has the contract to operate on base, switch right away to the credit union. You absolutely can not beat the base credit unions with any of the banks.

The other great thing about the credit unions, you can stay with them indefinitely. I have been with 1st Advantage, which is the old Ft Easts Credit Union for almost 20 years.

Sorry to hear your plight. Of course, many of us have literally bought into the same situation. My first advice is to be sure to never make a late payment on that new card with 0% interest. They’ll jack your rate up so fast your head will spin! Second, re-evaluate EVERY expense you have, regular or otherwise. Use it up, make do, do without. Get lean and mean. Third, contact your current credit card companies, ask them for any program they have that will lower interest rates, forgive fees and lower payments for 12 months.

This is not debt forgiveness, it is a hardship program. Most have them. You may have to talk to a supervisor or special department to get it. You may have to call back every month for awhile. They have them. Be polite but impress on them your concern about keeping your account with them current and being able to pay them in full over time.

If you do all of the above, you may find that you can make ends meet. Then look for ways to create funds to pay off the debt. Sell that 8 track collection, old car, stereo or other junk. Every dollar goes to pay off the cards. Wife may have to get a job, or you a part time second one. It will take alot of effort but it will be worth it if you can avoid problems with the service.

Good luck and God bless you!