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Go 'Fer Broke

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  1. My credit score is 500 on all three credit reporting companies. I've *always* paid everything on time... Until I lost my job in November 2010. I am still unemployed. I had to short-sale 3 homes; this is why my credit score is so low. Today, I owe a little more than $40K on my credit cards. I expect to be employed in the next 3 months or so. So, here is my question: should I spend the next year digging myself out from under this $40K, while trying to improve my credit score? Or would it make more sense to just stop paying my credit cards now and settle with them, because my credit score cannot get much lower? In other words, why pay back $40K and rebuild from 500, when I can rebuild from around 500 *without* paying it back (assuming my score can't drop much more)? Thank you in advance for your input.
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