Saturday, August 18, 2007

Windfall

My mother is loaning us a lot of money. A lot of money. She's doing this so that I can pay off the lion's share of my only credit card, which has a ridiculously high balance on it and a scandalous 17% interest rate (I've requested they lower it many times, but they ain't budging). I could have transferred part of it over to another lower interest card, but I just never have. So, within a couple of months, I can pay of the remaining balance and cut the card up into little pieces and burn it in battery acid. Mom's loan comes with 2 very cushy conditions: 1) the extremely low interest (6.5%) will not accrue until after the rest of the card balance is paid off, and 2) we don't have to start paying her back until we pay off the rest of the card balance.

Now, I'm not one to usually blog about financial matters (except to engage in general whining once in a while), but this debt has weighed heavily on me and my pocket book for years. Even making biggie-sized payments every month, with that interest rate I was barely eating into the principal. And I used this card to buy plane tickets, etc., so the balance has always just sat there. Anyway, it just feels so good to know I'll be out from underneath that particular thumb very soon. I'd much rather pay mom back than the credit card. She's very worried about being painted with the "money lender" brush (even though the whole thing was her idea) and keeps saying that she "doesn't want to make money off her children!" (neither a borrower nor a lender be, I guess) - we had to force her to give us the interest rate she did, otherwise it would have been psychotically low. We've worked out a payment schedule and how long it will take and how much interest she'll be making. She just keeps saying, "whatever you think is fair!"

I wish I could see the look on my credit card's face when I make a colossal payment next month, tell them to lower my credit limit AND demand that they lower my interest rate as well! The balance will be so low that I could easily move it to another card with a cheap intro interest rate if I wanted to.

Sorry to blog about vulgar financial things, but I'm overjoyed and want to give a shout out to Medieval Mom!

8 comments:

jb said...

That's great--what a relief! Yay Medieval Mom!

Flavia said...

Girrrrl, I am with you on this one. Luckily I'm pretty good about transferring balances to reap the low APRs, but that debt has just crept up and up over the years, and last year was no exception.

Am really hoping that THIS is the year (one w/o moving expenses, delayed paycheques, and perhaps no monthly plane flights to QSC. . . and WITH a slight raise) that I finally begin steadily to chip away at my debt.

Congrats!

Hilaire said...

That is so wonderful. What a great thing for your mother to do. Your debt situation sounds a lot like mine. R has made a budget for me, meant to get my debt WAAAAY cown in the next year. Let's hope it works!

medieval woman said...

I hear ya, Flave. It's the moving around, setting up new houses, etc. and getting that late August check that does a number on the finances. JB, and Hilaire, we're all going through this now, I know! Flavia, I SO hope you can make a dent this year!

Here's to fiscal improvement for us all!

Sisyphus said...

Hooray for your mom!

And please, keep talking about the "vulgar" topic of money and the academy --- I think we need to hear more about this, and grad students especially need to hear about difficulties with paying off debt even when people _do_ get jobs.

And I sure know how having that debt weighing on you can add a low-level of stress and depression that makes the explicit stresses and worries of school/job/tt track even worse, and how much _lighter_ you feel when you pay it down!

What Now? said...

Great news! I had always been really good about not having any credit card debt until, ironically, I got a tenure track job. And then I had to move across the country (and my school paid only a teeny-weeny part of that) and buy more clothes and we bought a house -- which was a totally smart thing to do financially but also meant that we suddenly had all of these housing expenses -- and before we knew it we had credit card debt that wouldn't go away. And we transferred it from card to card, getting more and more stressed out all the time. And then, suddenly, one day we paid it off, and a huge weight fell from my shoulders. What an amazing feeling it was. Congrats on having that same feeling! And hooray for Medieval Mom!!

Belle said...

One tiny recommendation: don't close the account, just burn the credit card. In the weirdness of the credit world, having credit that you don't use is a good thing, but having a closed account is a bad thing.

I do envy you though; my credit card debt was minimal until I got full time, t-t employment. Now, it's the monster in the middle of the room.

medieval woman said...

Belle - I didn't know that! Thanks for the suggestion...