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Advice needed on next steps…


PennyJune90
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Newbie here, just found out about this site tonight, hoping for some advice. 
Two years ago my brother took his own life. He had just retired from the military, gone into police work, moved to the state he had been dreaming of since he was a kid and bought a house. PTSD clouds all the good in your life. The reason I give this backstory is to give insight of why I am where I am now. He was my older brother, only sibling, and I tried desperately to hold onto his dream house. The mortgage was crippling to me, I had my own rent and bills (in another state where my job is)and wound up burning through my savings and then living off my credit cards. Finally, I had no choice, the house had to go. I felt like a failure. All said and done I walked away with only a lousy $20k and I owe $40k in credit cards.
Here’s my issue my credit score has tanked (to put it lightly). I was at 760 before this, last month I hit 560. No late payments at all, no collections or other negatives. Just high utilization on 12/14 credit cards (maxed out). Here’s my question. I need to move for my job next May. I also need savings. I’m putting $10k in savings and going to pay the other $10k on debt. I need to bring my credit score up to rent a decent place. Do I…

1. Pay down the balances so they are not maxed out

or

2. Pay off the smaller cards (I could pay 5 in full) and keep paying minimum on others. 
balances are approx.

a. 800

b. 1200.00

c. 1900.00

d. 2500.00

e. 3000.00

f. 3000.00

g. 5000.00

h. 5000.00

i. 5000.00

j. 5000.00

k. 9000.00

 

All but 2 are maxed out. Of course they raised my interest rates. All but 2 are 28% or higher. 4 are over 30%.
I need the biggest bang for my buck. I need to save on the minimum payments which are crushing me (I was turned down for bankruptcy by 2 different attorneys, I can’t meet the means test).

I also need, as I said, to increase my score so I can rent a place. I’m working 3 jobs and doing all I can.

I realize I messed up. I let emotion and grief cloud my judgement and I’m here showing my stupidity to the world. 

If you’ve read this far I appreciate it.

Any advice?

 

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@PennyJune90

 

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I realize I messed up. I let emotion and grief cloud my judgement and I’m here showing my stupidity to the world. 

 

You are not the first and won't be the last to let emotion get in the way. It's okay. Many of us here, ended up in financial trouble because we did more feeling instead of thinking.

 

Since you failed to qualify for BK, I'm hoping others on this board can chime in.

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