Debt. We've got it. Most of it was accumulated when we had Pony Gal. We were not planning on having a baby for a few years when I found out I was pregnant. Add to that all the complications that ended up costing us more than the average pregnancy, and a militant midwife who unfairly charged for services that were not rendered, we were up to our ears. We then ended up living off credit cards in order to make medical payments. Contrary to what the collection and medical community wold have you believe, they will not really work with you. I was in the midst of ppd, most likely fueled by the trauma and guilt of what was to me my failure in the pregnancy. So, in short, we amassed a lot of debt, just to get by. That is what credit cards are supposed to be for-we were in no way living outside our means for the heck of it. Family was quick to offer to help in watching the kids so I could get a job, but yeah, that wasn't what I needed at all with some serious depression, and the fact that I was incredibly overprotective about Pony Gal, having had to leave her in the hospital for two months and the fact that so much could still go wrong with her state of health. The frustrating thing about that situation was that most of that family was quick to drop funds on other siblings who are constantly in trouble, but were not so much for us. (This has changed with some of them, but there are others who still are rather lopsided in the attention they give to certain children). I didn't want anything free-would have paid it back (which has never been the case with the siblings who were usually getting funds).
SO all of that leads to us moving in with Dad's dad to help with his care, and we end up with the house and farm. We are still paying on all that debt for Pony Gal. We get a new bill paid off each year, but with the economy the way it is, we are kind of nervous. Our credit cards have jacked all the rates, and so what we were getting paid down at a certain rate before has now slowed. Since we own the house outright, we decided to look into a home equity loan. Just to pay off the cards. I am so sick of making out several payments each month. I talked to Dad about several options,and the only one he was comfortable with was going to the jerk of a lender at our credit union. That man will make the richest of folks feel guilty for ever having to ask to borrow money. I was dreading having to go down there, especially since he was already familiar with our situation, and never cared about how/what and such. I came home to my email and saw a newsletter from a farm share member last year who just happened to be an incredibly nice guy, and a mortgage company owner. I shot him an email, and he immediately started working on our case over the phone. Within a day (over the weekend because it was Friday) he had an awesome plan shot back at us, that not only consolidated all those stupid cards (as an aside, every time I tell a cashier somewhere I DO NOT want their stupid card just for 10% today, they look at me crazy. Yeah, just applying for plastic attacks your credit. Our nations understanding of money and credit sucks. Seriously.) but also included the van loan, and student loans so that everything was in one payment, freed up the title in case (yeah, okay we already knew we wanted to) we wanted to sell the van, and threw it all in a low payment, saving us over 600 dollars a month. It does take longer to pay a couple things (like the van) off, but we will have a large amount of money come to us before the loan comes to fruition, and we will be able to pay it off before the final due date. This leaves me much happier-it will basically be a house payment, and no other debt. Our credit needed the boost of clean cards, and we needed the security in knowing that our monthly budget has just gotten a little less snug. We will most certainly be making extra payments to speed the process, but also rest in knowing we can finally start building savings again, and we can finally start paying cash for some smaller "big" items. Not to mention the bills of this house are so much more (in some cases) than our little Colfax number.
That's my shpiel on debt. I was just excited to finally gotten that in order after years of dealing with companies I do not like, and being one of "those" people with the large numbers in the credit card area. And not for irresponsible reasons, but there all the same. On the road to what Dave Ramsey calls "weird". We were most certainly not happy being "normal";)