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  1. Up until three years ago we had all credit cleaned up - looked so pretty. We hit a nasty medical wall (I was diagnosed with Lyme by one doctor and motor neuron disease by another, sought a second opinion with Mayo) and had bills out of our ears. Stopped paying absolutely everything to do medical. We're getting a good handle on everything meaning: We've settled on all major accounts and paid or settled on almost all minor accounts. Had several judgements. The mortgage was late a few times and we brought it current. The auto loans were late a few times. One is now paid off. The other is current and we owe $800 on it total. Good income (His, I can no longer work.) - $100k Two current and revolving cards that we've never been late on (both Citi.) But, because we've had judgements and very recently settled several accounts, the current score is 510. That's a FICO. Ouch. So, the question becomes can we get an auto loan? His truck is dead. The car is 1999 and though we love it, dependable isn't the word I'd use. The van is good but not a daily driver and we're going to need to get it modified for a wheelchair. And do we just hit the dealership? What are those rates going to look like? We're looking at a used car, ideally $8k range, $1k down.
  2. DH and I cleaned up our credit report and it was shiny. Bought a house , got some cards. Needless to say we hit a heckuva snag. I was working very part time when I got sick but it was pretty much covered credit card payments. Add in major medical bills and it is a disaster. We settled one big one and in the process of a second. Now #3 hit us with a lawsuit. Care Credit (dental) for $2k plus court costs. We go to court tomorrow. Is there anything we can say or do? Ill never work again. Weve spent the last year dealing with medical and Mayo. My diagnosis is still unclear. One says Stiff Person Syndrome and the other Motor Neuron Disease. Im doing treatments with Mayo in hopes that its Stiff Person and they can slow it down. Does the court care? Is it relevant to take any of that? Can they set payments to avoid garnishment? We *really* cant handle garnishment right now.
  3. Called the collection agency and they confirm - it is the State collecting the garnishment. They can also clearly see that we made a payment directly to the State of Oregon for the original balance plus all owed interest. So the only amount due is the fee to the collection agency and that will be taken. My choice is to pay now and pay the state directly. The state says this can be done and they will release the garnishment. But my original question still stands - can they legally collect the collection agency fee? We looked into the details specifically. Our payment posted on the 14th. The writ of garnishment was issued on the 17th for the full amount. It was presented to DH's company yesterday. It will be cancelled today after we pay the fee. We do have "free" legal coverage through insurance through DH's work. Is this worth pursuing? Do we have a leg to stand on to get that "fee" back? Hazard a guess?
  4. We got our credit report squared away. The debt left? State of Oregon to the tune of original balance of 1,711,00. Interest accruinng and in the second week of January we finally paid the entire balance ONLINE via their system of $2,159 - paid in full. This *had* gone to collections ,they *have* filed a lien, but I thought it was best to treat it like a medical collection and pay Oregon directly. Today - DH got notice of a garnishment for almost $2800. I called the Oregon DOR. Ooops. Yes, they can see the payment. Yes, it did clear. Don't worry - it will only deduct for the $661 and change for the collection fees. Wait. What? Can they collect the collection agency fees since we paid the DOR directly? Oregon DOR is allowing me to pay the Dept. of Revenue directly for the collection agency fees. Is this on the up and up or are they being sly? I didn't know the original creditor could collect the agency's fees.
  5. We bought a house 2.5 years ago and we've made some pretty significant remodels. (Finished the basement, replaced outdoor concrete, new flooring.) We're thinking of doing a refi in the spring. (VA) I know that currently DTI is counted at 1% of loan balance for student loans. Loans are at $65k so payment would be figured at around $650/mo. Does this change if you have a fixed payment? Do the banks then go off the fixed payment? For example, currently we can currently use am IBR plan with a much lower payment, however, I think it would be to our advantage, if I understand correctly, to switch to the standard (@$379) and it would be a fixed payment.
  6. We closed on our home May 15. We have about $50k, maybe a little more, in equity into the home. We've done a LOT of repairs. We owe $218k. The catch is that we've spent the last 12 months pouring into the house and we are close to maxed on CCs.... which drops our credit score. DH's score is 630. There is ONE (and I'm certain of this) old judgment still on there that is paid in full. The problem? No lates and that's fine. BUT our well casing just busted. We need a new well. That's about $7k from what I understand. We are USDA eligible for a re-fi. We could do a VA re-fi. The issue? That darn credit score. The other issue? I don't think they'll go off a new appraisal until 12 months after we closed, right? Please don't flame. I'm sitting in a house where we can't drink clay wondering what the heck we're going to do. I realize we screwed up, I'd prefer not to be flogged.
  7. We're looking at two and thanks to the discussion here, we're really evaluating what we can do ourselves. The digging, yes, but also framing and headers. We can buy the windows obviously. The only thing we can't do is cut the actual hole. It's a poured basement vs. block construction and apparently that's tricky? I need to call for estimates but my best online guess is about $600 per.
  8. 20-30gb - we homeschool so AT&Ts plan is the cheapest but we're going to try to go sans all streaming and cut it to 10gb. No movies here except what you ILL at the library.
  9. I'm the poor sucker. Luckily we still like to read and my teens aren't whiners.
  10. See other thread about the 90% card.... Didn't mean to get so emotional but, well my friend, she's not so bad on the inside. (Just a little not financially savvy...) See CV, I can make fun of me.... Well, a little.
  11. Nicely worded. Yes, you're close to target on expenses. We spend just at $1k on the food budget, when I'm fully on the menu, the list, and the Costco trips. (My AmEx is the Costco TE and now you understand why!) Electric averages under $200/mo (rural electric coop) however LP is about $110 if you average it over a year through a rural co-op. We own our own tank and contract. We also use some wood heat. We don't drive new vehicles. Actually large vehicles are less expensive. They are usually rental vehicles so well taken care of but poor resale because how many folks need a fifteen passenger? Lol on the tv service. Cable? Internet? No. The only luxury is data. We can't get cable here. (Boy wasn't I surprised. It's more of a glitch than being very rural. Just where we happen to fall as far as areas of service.) Basics would be food, shelter, utilities, vehicles, insurance, gas, so, yes, under $4k, around $3,500, give or take for absolute basics. Whew. I don't think I'd ever done the math on six months of basic expenses. Hm. Thank you for walking through it to make $25k reasonable. To the PP, they are all indeed ours, and all ours together. . (Because those are the two questions we are asked most often, one directly after the other.). The oldest is in her freshman year at the state u on a full merit scholarship, the youngest is five months. DH worked his tail off to put himself through school, got his first degree, joined the military where they were kind enough to pay for his MS and his MBA. He's got fifteen years experience in aerospace manufacturing which has to be one of the most stable markets assuming whatever company you work for does both commercial and government/military contracts. But, yes, there is a lot of wisdom in at least six months set aside. Thank you for the clarity. And now I simply feel confuzzled.... Wondering how challenging egress windows are as a DIY project in a poured form basement. We're pretty handy but yipes.
  12. I'm left off wondering where I said no emergency fund? Nominal. Nominal is the word I used. I elaborated by saying a $3k bill would be doable on an immediate basis. I also said our medical savings is separate from this and must be maintained separate because they are FSA and HSA. That must be bigger than the average family, no doubt!!! But other emergencies are not going to change based on family size, like major vehicle repairs or home emergencies. But, honestly we could afford a major car repair so I'm left with major home repair. Frankly the two majors I could imagine as most likely is the furnace, the well pump, or, worst case scenario, well casing. It has a new roof, was built in 1992, is brick, and was fully inspected. So I would think the furnace would be proactive but I do wonder what other emergencies are there that I would need more than $10-$20k for in cash? Life insurance on me, on the DH, even on the kids, medical savings plans, private insurance, 15+ years at a stable company, both education and experience as a fallback, long and short term disability insurance. It seems as though I'm both naive and stupid, but we've been parents for almost twenty years and I can't think of anything over $10k where insurance doesn't kick in. We buried a child in 2001 and her medical and funeral didn't come over $10k when all was said and done. And, deep breath, all I asked was what kind of a hit was I looking at with 50% -60% reporting on one card with an AAOA of six years. My bad. I'll bet Bob has a chart somewhere. I knew it was stupid to be lazy and ask. Lesson learned.
  13. You're helping me think this through. Thank you. It is appreciated - as is everyone else's input. .
  14. Maybe we need to talk to me about what a decent emergency fund is. You say $8,000. That's not six months income. That's our tax return next week. So how much is a good idea? I'm thinking you're talking about a cash savings (six months income) of $40-$50k here.
  15. I do see what he's saying. And I see he's being helpful. . I also know we have medical savings, a small emergency fund, and we're not maxed financially. We have decent medical insurance as well as supplemental insurance, massive life insurance, and long and short term disability insurance, an FSA and an HSA. I can't think of any other BIG emergencies other than the well and that furnace. Naive?

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