Get Out of Debt Guy

Viewer Questions - Divorce, Getting Out of Debt, Restoring Credit

Posted February 4, 2013
Updated February 6, 2013

Question: 

I just finished paying off my credit cards thru credit counseling, bought a house. I then applied for credit card, got denied due to being in credit couseling. How long should I wait to re-apply again? In the mean time, what could i do to erased the credit counseling on my report?

Answer: 

When you enroll in a credit counseling program the credit cards you place in that program are generally closed by the creditor.

The issue you are facing is not that it might be reported you were in credit counseling but that there is a lack of recent credit usage that is being reported.

I don’t think it was solely the fact that you were in the program but that it might have been a number of years since current good credit has been reported on your credit report.

It’s actually very easy to rebuild good credit again, just follow How to Easily Rebuild Your Credit and Have Good Credit Again.

That will do the trick for you.


Question:

I'm in a panic about my financial situation. I can't sleep, I'm losing weight, and I can't focus at work. I need to resolve this problem right away. Should I go with a credit counseling company or what should I do?

Answer:

The first thing you should do is take a moment to stop and breathe. The last thing I want you to do is react with a clear head and leap to make a decision that might not be right for you.

It is clear your financial troubles are weighing greatly on you. The stress and fear are leading you towards a whole host of emotions that may be leaving you depressed, anxious, and causing those symptoms you are experiencing.

The last thing you need is a "right away" reaction. Instead what you need is to find the "best and most logical solution" for your situation.

I'd suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth and The Truth About The Success Rates, Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

Then use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.


Question:

I got divorced and my ex-wife is supposed to pay half our joint credit card debt as part of the divorce agreement. The creditors are coming after me now and I've told them she is supposed to pay. What can I do?

Answer:

This is one fact people are often confused about. 

When you divorce your spouse you enter into an agreement about who is to pay what. That divorce agreement does not alter your underlying responsibility for the debt. So let's say your ex-husband is supposed to pay the old joint credit card bill but does not. The creditors can come after you for payment.

I often see people who get divorced and convert a dual income household to two single income households. For whatever reason, one partner struggles and can't pay their bills. They decide to file bankruptcy. When they do, all the old joint debts fall to the responsibility of the joint account holder who did not file bankruptcy regardless of what the divorce agreement says.

Many times it makes logical sense to follow up a divorce with bankruptcy to terminate all joint obligations and get the fresh start and second chance you are looking for.


Do You Have a Question You'd Like to Ask?

Just post your question in the comments section below and I'll gladly answer it on the WRAL.com website or on the air.

Steve Rhode

Get Out of Debt Guy

8 Comments

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  • steverhode Feb 6, 11:16 a.m.

    @Raleighied My personal observation is that the pricey online consolidated reports provide a great value if you want to make it as easy as possible to spot discrepancies and errors.

    People can receive a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com but they may arrive at different times and will certainly be in different formats. The consumer then has to compare report to report to see which bureau is listing what and what does not match up.

    On a consolidated report they generally list each line item and then what each bureau says under that line item. They are also color coded to spot differences in a flash.

    After having worked with thousands and thousands of people I just find that when using the different reports people easily miss errors they could have corrected to return their credit score to the best it can be. I guess it comes down to what is the price of missing something that could have been easier to spot?

  • Raleighied Feb 6, 9:38 a.m.

    What is the benefit of getting the consolidated credit report for $40 when I can use annualcreditreport.com to get a free report from each bureau separately?

  • steverhode Feb 6, 9:15 a.m.

    @srhodes4 Nice name by the way. If you are asking about government grants to deal with debt issues, the truth is they don't exist. There are infomercials that have proclaimed such statements but in the end the promoters of these grant claims get shutdown by the Federal Trade Commission. See http://getoutofdebt.org/29791/personal-government-grants-scheme-exposed

    One such informercial that is still lingering on the air right now is the "Free Money" commercial. I did a review of that commercial here. http://getoutofdebt.org/27095/review-free-money-they-dont-want-you-to-know-about-by-kevin-trudeau

    The mothership website for government grants is http://grants.gov and one thing you will notice right on their homepage is the statement "Grants.gov does not provide personal financial assistance."

    I did make an assumption that your request was about grants to pay off debt. If it wasn't. Please post another comment with greater detail.

    Steve
    WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

  • srhodes4 Feb 5, 11:01 p.m.

    Mr Rhode, How do you feel about Federal grants? I am interested in them but, don't know where to start

  • steverhode Feb 5, 12:47 p.m.

    @robijjjjjj The reality is that getting credit after bankruptcy is stupid easy. These days people are getting new card offers on the day of their discharge. I know one person that received a Capital One Via and Discover Card within a month after bankruptcy.

    The key here is you need to get back to building your credit score back up as quick as you can. I have a guide on how to do that at http://getoutofdebt.org/32410/how-to-easily-rebuild-your-credit-and-have-good-credit-again

    Regarding get a mortgage, see http://getoutofdebt.org/37631/mortgage-after-bankruptcy and also http://getoutofdebt.org/38590/how-long-after-bankruptcy-can-i-buy-a-house

  • steverhode Feb 5, 12:43 p.m.

    @Pseudonym I don't have a credit counseling service. In fact if you bothered to review the links given you would have seen I am critical about the success rates of credit counseling.

  • Pseudonym Feb 5, 12:37 p.m.

    To the person who can't sleep because of their debt: get a second job. This guy is just peddling his credit counseling service. All that does is move debt around and MAY make it a little more manageable, but it doesn't solve the problem. Increase your inflow and decrease your outflow. Cut any services not absolutely needed for survival: cable, smartphones, Internet, etc. Write out your bills on paper and stick to them. Get a second job delivering pizzas, parking cars, cutting lawns, etc.

  • robijjjjjj Feb 5, 12:23 p.m.

    If you are currently in bankruptcy, can you please let me know if there is any hope for ever getting financed again for a loan or credit card. I know it will be another 3 years before I am finished but I just want tobe clear of all of this debt and start fresh.

About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.