How To Reduce Your Debt Overnight: A Simple System To Eliminate Credit Card And Consumer Debt Fast
Then I had a nodule spontaneously grow on my thyroid and the biopsy couldn't rule out cancer, so I needed to have a thyroidectomy to remove it. I was switching jobs when my appendix burst. No insurance. The first ER doctor sent me home and said I was hysterical. Six hours later my [significant other] brought me back nearly dead. I had enormous complications and ended up back in the hospital for an additional week.
I have a very poor credit rating and cannot get a job with any reputable company in my field due to background checks. I cannot rent a home. I cannot get married to my [significant other] because in our state he would then be liable for my debt. The kicker is I had just completed a bankruptcy the previous year and I'll have to wait to file again. I have a medical condition which is called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which affects my heart. Medical expenses are crazy these days. I have no choice but to stay insured. I have kids, and trying to maintain some kind of normalcy for myself and my family has become quite difficult.
We went back and forth with insurance and they finally said they would approve infusions, which I started in July. At that point, I had already had three. Early one Sunday morning around 1 a. An X-ray showed an enlarged gallbladder, and I was told to call my wife and was immediately prepped for surgery.
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I was never told anything before surgery and woke up hours later minus a gallbladder. I found out that the surgeon they called in was out-of-network and had brought in another colleague to assist. My insurance paid the first surgeon a negotiated rate but refused to pay the second. I spoke to the hospital and was told they call in whichever emergency doctor and could not help. I a veteran but did not want to drive 25 minutes farther to [the veterans affairs hospital]. That was a mistake.
It continues to haunt my credit, but I will never pay them. It's ridiculous you can have an emergency and go to an in-network hospital only to be assigned out-of-network surgeons, and it is absolutely legal. These diseases are all chronic, all impact my daily life, and all cost me a lot of money.
I typically meet my out-of-pocket max by February each year. While unemployed, I had an emergency issue that sent me to the ER. Later, after I landed a new job and new health insurance, I had emergency surgery to repair an incarcerated hernia. That surgery resulted in complications. I've been sent to collections multiple times due to unpaid health care bills. My continuity of care has been interrupted due to the fact that some doctors now refuse to see me due to the debt I've defaulted on.
I've considered declaring bankruptcy due to my medical bills, but it seems moot, as I will just rack up new bills. When I was 26, my appendix almost burst. On my first visit to the ER I was checked for ovarian cysts, and given a few different scans. Then, I was sent home and told to come back if the pain got worse — it did. I had surgery and a couple of nights in the hospital. I tried applying for Medicaid but was denied.
I panicked when I got the bill. I was off work for two weeks between the surgery and recovery, which already set me behind on my monthly bills, and I was still in school at the time. Eventually, I called to set up a payment plan with the hospital's billing dept.
There was no help. About six months after my appendix surgery, I slipped on ice and broke my arm. That was another surgery and around four months off of work. Luckily those bills were covered by workers' comp. I was able to get some small workers' comp checks while off of work, but they only covered my normal bills. I completely shut down over the stress, and my hospital bills went into collections. My credit score just went down drastically, because I still have medical bills in collections. I have more frequent mental breakdowns, anxiety attacks, and low moments due to the financial stress.
I've had some help paying my bills, and for that I'm grateful, but the reality is, there is not a lot of help.
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The vast majority of that has been for IVF. Long story short, our first cycle failed. We have now switched clinics, and are driving over miles round trip to a top-rated clinic in San Francisco. Still not pregnant, but we do have a few frozen embryos, and we are going through another retrieval to hopefully make some more. In I had a gallbladder infection. At the time I did not have insurance. I ended up in the ER vomiting uncontrollably for hours. An emergency surgery and a weeklong hospital stay later, I ended up with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
Some of the cost was covered by a charity, some I borrowed money to cover, and the rest I put on my credit card. I thought the story would end there, but it didn't. It began a very long relationship with doctors, hospitals, and bills. I started having suicidal thoughts. A psychologist told me he couldn't help me and dropped me, but sent a few thousand in bills because at this point I still did not have insurance. I tried to kill myself, which landed me in the hospital, and I continued to accrue thousands of dollars in debt to treat my depression. In I got severely ill.
After about seven months of going to doctors, my employer decided he couldn't keep letting me take so many sick days and I was let go. This led to a spiral in both my physical health and mental health. I attempted suicide twice that year — more bills. I kept putting them on my credit cards. In I was hospitalized twice. Luckily I had insurance through my husband's employer.
Unbeknownst to me, I was signed up automatically for another insurance provider through my employer while I was in the hospital. Because I was hospitalized, I was not aware I had this insurance for about 45 days. The other insurance I had would not cover the hospitalizations because they had never approved a prior authorization. I had two insurance providers and neither would cover my hospitalizations. Recently my insurance has denied claims, more than a year later, and will not cover them because "more than one year has passed and we will no longer reprocess these claims as valid.
My debt load is so high that I can no longer see a doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist. I just can't afford it, and I am scared to death the debt load will get worse. I acknowledge that putting the debt on credit cards was stupid, but I was always optimistic that I would get better and be able to work at full capacity again.
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I lose sleep and have panic attacks when I see the pile of bills from providers I have to deal with. In the winter of , I was walking to work in Philadelphia and slipped on a small, unshoveled patch of black ice. The doctors would not give me an MRI until I completed six weeks of physical therapy, which made my symptoms a hundred times worse. At some point, I picked up a new health insurance plan through my work and stopped paying for my other plan.
Since it was the same insurance company, I assumed they would just switch plans for me. But five months later, my original plan automatically reinstated itself with the new year — but I was not paying for it. My [physical therapist] billed the wrong plan for months of PT, and insurance would not do anything about it, even though I went to headquarters and showed them the mistake. Both of these issues were making it not only excruciatingly painful all over my body, but also difficult to do simple physical things, like stand, sit, walk, exercise, etc.
I have thousands of dollars' worth of debt now from simply just trying not to be in pain. I have not been able to pay off these debts, and my credit is ruined. I get calls from collection agents each day, but I have to pick and choose what bills to pay since I make so little money in my career. I have to live with my debts, and neither my body, nor my credit score, will ever be the same.
I have dealt with health issues since I was 19 years old. At age 25 I had major surgery to remove a massive fibroid tumor from my uterus; at 26 I began to experience intense pain in my right thigh. For most of the past 21 years I have not had health insurance. My debt has been accumulated over many years of having to use the ER for health care. Because chest pain is a frequent issue and because I have abdominal issues, it can be terrifying to just wait things out. I only go in for extreme or highly unusual pain, or a big fall, but in the last 45 days that has been four times — more often than usual, but it happens.
I developed epilepsy out of the blue at Every time I have a seizure in public, they insist on calling an ambulance. If I have hit my head, there's an X-ray. The debt racks up. They call me at work. I have written letters. I have done payment plans. In between trying to pay for student loans, mortgage, day care, prescriptions, car payment, and everyday bills, they continue to call. Since the cost of health insurance is so high, naturally I pick the cheapest one but with the highest deductible.
I found out I have endometriosis last year. I got the wrong surgery. Thus began the year from hell. I started developing severe nausea in January of [last] year. Unfortunately I found out I had adenomyosis so I had a hysterectomy. But I always pay them. Every month. This may not seem like much, but for a single-income family.
Last year, I had to check myself into the psychiatric ward at the hospital that is covered by my insurance — twice. Then, following an unexpected side effect of one of the medications I tried, I passed out in public and was taken to hospital by ambulance. Not even a month later, I was told I have the very early stages of cervical cancer and herpes.
I slowly started paying this off. In this case, its probably best to go with paying off the card with the smallest debt first. That way you get some wins quicker and build the momentum and confidence to pay off the higher amounts. As long as you follow this step, you can stop focusing on the debt. You really want to focus on paying off more than the minimum amount otherwise you will never pay off the debt. The banks are clever at setting it up like this! If you can, do some research on the credit cards that offer the best interest rates.
Or talk to your own bank to see how they can help you. You might be able to consolidate all your debt onto the one card with a better interest rate. You might even get a personal loan that has a much lower interest rate. Then you just have to pay off the loan with the smaller interest rate. For our last credit card, we moved the balance over to a new card that had an interest free introductory offer for six months. By this stage, we were pretty good at money management and paying off debt, so we believed we could eliminate this debt before the no-interest period ended as the rates can then jump high.
Removing any interest payments in the interim gave us a healthy boost of happy vibes.
You can boost yours, but it could take some time
This confidence helped to bring in the means to take the sucker down and we wiped it out completely. Because I was not focusing on the debt, I had no idea that we even had paid it off, until one day I logged in to check something in our personal account, and noticed the balance of zero. That was such an amazing feeling. We were free! Did this experience help you to become better at managing money? Are you aware of the debilitating impact debt has on your life?
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Are you committed to never getting into debt trouble again? And never if you cannot pay off the balance in total each month. We use our credit cards to pay for almost every purchase both business and personal. We do this to collect frequent flyer points or cash back rewards, which we use whenever we have unexpected flights or need to purchase goods. At the moment we have enough points to fly to New York and back. You have to be super smart with money to follow this strategy. Only buy when you can afford and always pay off the balance in full — the sure-fire secret to staying debt free.
If you have to pay for necessities on credit card, you MUST come up with a plan to reduce your expenses and earn more money. You can do it. You are powerful and smart enough. A little bit of sacrifice and smart choices will get you where you deserve to be. Caroline Makepeace is the co-founder of yTravel Blog. She loves helping people unplug from the chaos, follow their bliss, travel more and create better memories. She has a free travel planning toolkit to help you do just that! Caz is the flighty Libran, bringing harmony to the family through crystals, meditation, and downward dogs and the odd glass of wine at 5pm.
It's all about the balance, right? Follow her on Instagram. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Excellent guide … I also carry a significant balance, but I account for it in my daily budget … I earn over and above the minimum payment every day, leaving me with a large amount of money at the end of the month to make a payment on top of my monthly minimum. Systems build the momentum which leads to greater success! Thanks for sharing your experience.
Awesome article! The Gourmand household believes in a debt free lifestyle. Through principals taught by Dave Ramsey, we eliminated all debt except for our mortgage. Talk about freedom! We now live on a strict budget which allows us to do MORE than when we had debt. I love Dave Ramsey! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. Great post. I know how badly student debt can cripple Americans so well done for getting rid of it! Financial freedom and your post is a topic near and dear to our hearts.
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Wonderful article! Congratulations on all of your success. Had to make a few sacrifices, but the peace of mind is worth it. I think Caz that part of dealing with debt is taking responsibility for it and stop putting your head in the sand. So just stop spending and start fixing the problem. The sooner you start fixing the sooner the problem is dealt with and you can go back living a more fruitful life. Hey guys!
Great tips, credit card debt can be particularly hard given the repayments depend on how much is owing on the card. You are an inspiration for the all people who are living a stressful life because of the huge debt. With you post it is quite clear if you have your priorities are right, then paying debt is not impossible. I recall the stress I felt at the time when my bill came in for the card — laughable nowadays! Thank you so much for posting this.
When I was made redundant in May we immediately used part of my payout to wiping off one of our credit cards. The fortnight-to-fortnight payments are a little harder to manage but we generally try to pay a little more than the minimum, even if we can only afford to pay a few dollars extra. Hi Caz, great article!
No worries Amanda!