Going into Debt

November 29, 2008 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Dogs, Jesse | Leave a comment

I have to admit that I haven’t been very patient or understanding about most of the complaints I have heard/read in the news related to the mortgage crisis While some of the stories I have heard have been from people who sound like they were genuinely mislead, most were not. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point I completely lost my patience. Was it the people who were complaining about having to default on an investment property they bought that suddenly was worth half of what they chose to pay for it during the height of the housing boom? People who bought houses with no money down, a monthly payment they could barely afford and an adjustable rate mortgage assuming they would have increases in their income sufficient to cover the increase in their monthly mortgage? Something else? Whatever the cause was, my patience went out the window long ago and the “rescue”/bailout of the financial industry has bothered me for quite some time.

I’m just not comfortable with large amounts of personal debt and it seems that my definition of “acceptable” debt is very different from most of my peers (both in amount and type of debt). In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that there was a period of time when I was a young college student that I did not use credit cards wisely. I made some pretty stupid decisions, but I worked my way out of it and learned from it. Since then I have been careful about personal debt. I have a decent chunk of student loan debt, but it’s all from grad school and is quite a bit less than many other people in my profession have by the time they graduate and start working. It still makes me uncomfortable though. A year ago I had to get a car and was having a hard time because I didn’t want to buy a new car without knowing what my income was going to be this year (I knew the job change was coming up). I bought a reliable used car from a co-worker with a little help from my Dad and now have no monthly car payments. When I moved to NJ I was moving into a situation where I couldn’t bring most of my furniture, so I sold what I could and donated the rest to charity. As a result, when I moved here from NJ I didn’t have much to bring with me. I had obtained a couch from a friend my second to last year in NJ and it came with me, but is in bad shape. I really wanted to replace it in the next few months, but decided that I just need to get a nice slip-cover and wait a year. I can’t tell you how many people have told me I should just go to one of the furniture stores that offers no-interest/no-payment plans and buy one that way. I’d rather wait until I can pay for it in full and not have to worry about the monthly bill or eventually owing interest if I don’t manage to pay it off in a year. Basically, I really don’t like taking on new debt- particularly large debt- and most types of debt make me uncomfortable.

Well, today I found my weak spot. I opened up a brand new line of credit for what to me feels like a large amount of debt to go into. I have a new account with Care Credit to pay for Jesse’s vet bill. The initial line of credit is for $3,000 and it will cover the estimate for the current care he is receiving with a small amount of the credit limit remaining, but I think I’m going to end up paying cash for some of the services as well. Emergency Vet Care and hospitalization are expensive. I’m waiting on test results (a large portion of the charges are for a variety of tests he needs) and I’m hoping for the best, but it’s entirely possible that I’ll still be paying off the debt even after he is gone. He’s my Jesse though, so I’m doing anything I can to get him healthy again. Keep your fingers crossed for good news- some of the results should be in soon.

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