We had this client through our FUSA site from Charlotte NC who found a credit union to get his debt consolidation looked after in short order. Brad had just a little more than $20000 in debt to deal with. His debts were credit cards, a car loan, and a credit account with a custom auto parts store. He wanted to get the lowest possible interest rate for his consolidation loan and that was going to be somewhat difficult because his credit score was rather low at the time.
Brad’s Vantage Score and FICO score(s) were below 580 which put in him in the general category of “very bad credit”. This really affects your interest rate on a consolidation loan (or any loan for that matter), and Brad was determined to find lender in Charlotte that made exceptions for borrowers who have long time job security and a low DTI level.
Before we go any further with Brad’s file I would point out that we have another credit union consolidation loan for Marsha who also lives in Greensboro NC, and also Jennifer who consolidated $80000 in Raleigh NC.
Why Brad Needed Debt Consolidation With A Credit Union In Charlotte, NC
He got himself to financial trouble because of his obsession with racing. Brad races stock cars at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the money he spends on his passion is way out of control. It’s amazing that he doesn’t have a lot more debt than $20000 when you actually look at the prices of professional grade racing equipment.
His credit cards suffered with missing payments, late payments, and total debt runaway. He at one time had 5 credit cards in use and the interest rates were averaging of 18 – 22 percent. Almost all of his credit card debt was from buying parts and equipment for his car. He even lost a couple of girlfriends because of his spending and his time consuming obsession with “going fast”.
Brad lays some blame on his common-law spouse for adding to his debt problem and missing payments on a couple of his credit cards. He says this because she was the one who was sending payments to creditors and managing all their finances. This is unfortunately a common cry from people who have really bad credit scores.
Folks with low credit scores often blame their life partners for their debt and poor payment histories. But the credit score agencies don’t care why you didn’t make your payments and future possible lenders don’t care either. In the end state our credit scores and the overall health of our finances is up to us – and us alone.
For sure there are many people who are in deep debt trouble due to bad luck (being in the wrong place at the wrong time) and these people are usually suffering from a medical problem – or a medical problem in their family. We’ve serviced an applicant once who was in a spiraling debt situation that all started when he spent $7000 dollars on veterinary bills for his dog.
Debt Breakdown For Consolidation With Credit Union
Brad’s Credit Line Liabilities
Visa balance = $7,300
MasterCard = $1,500
American Express = $4,200
Custom Auto Parts Account = $7,400
Total Creditor Liability = $20,400
So his total is actual debt a little bit north of $20000
Luckily Brad has a steady job, so we’ll see how this all panned out for him.
Brad’s Credit Score Affected His Interest Rate
If you have a credit score lower than 580 like Brad did at the time of his application your interest rate will be big enough to choke a horse. However, the rate may be lower than what you’re paying on your credit cards so it may be an option. Of course in Brad’s case he wanted to pay back all the money he owed in full and didn’t want a debt settlement or debt relief plan. The relief/settlement option is available in North Carolina but that would further damage his credit score and he didn’t want to take that route at the time.
He wanted a pure debt consolidation program through a local Charlotte based credit union. In almost all cases people who are suffering with choking debt will first try for a consolidation loan – and some do get approved. The rub is that most folks get a consolidation deal with their bank and before you know it they’re out their shopping with their credit cards again.
Brad vowed he would never do that…..but he did. He did for about $600 and then common sense kicked in and he heard our warning. He cut up and cancelled all his credit cards and made some big changes in the way he lived his life.
Charlotte-Based Credit Union Brad Was Approved For Debt Consolidation
After a few false starts and stops Brad was finally approved for his consolidation loan with the Carolinas Telco Credit Union. I wish we could tell you what his interest rate was but he wanted to protect his privacy and the privacy of the credit union.
Their address is 2821 Crisman St, Charlotte, NC 28208 and their phone number is (704) 391-5600.
He was happy with the customer service he told us – they were courteous, and helped him fully understand what he was dealing with. He said they had “up front and friendly service”.
He had tried getting approved with his regular bank branch – PNC over on Kings Drive in Charlotte. He was told his credit score was too low. He was really kicking himself for not having his act together by keeping a close eye on all of his incoming bills and budget.
Brad’s Employment Record’s Weight With The Credit Union
At the time of Brad’s consolidation hunt he had been working for the same construction company for 12 years. He is a foreman on a crew now and he is entrenched into the company structure.
He has great references as well. Even though his credit score was below 580 he did have strong ties to the community at large in Charlotte since his family goes back three generations there. He did explain honestly everything about his experiences with his live-in girlfriend and how he dropped the ball in not looking after his creditors. He admitted his own mishandling of his finances and assured the credit union representative that he was now handling all of his own money matters.
He also showed his last twelve months of paycheck stubs to prove his income level and he also had a proof of his employment history with the same steady employer. The company he works for has been in business for over 70 years in Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina.
Nowadays you can spin any tale you want with bank representatives, but they judge your loan approval based on credit and payment history. Local credit unions are a little more flexible (usually) with members of their own community. This was the case with Brad.
Tips from Brad’s Debt Consolidation With The Carolinas Credit Union
So the lesson here is three-fold I suppose.
1.) Never let someone else affect your credit rating. Always manage your money yourself unless you have a long standing and trusting relationship with a partner. Even then make sure you keep track of your bills and sources of credit. Make sure they’re getting all their payments on time. Make sure you don’t forget any payments or creditors because it just takes one slip up to damage your credit rating/score.
2.) No matter how passionate you are about a hobby be financially responsible. Brad’s love for cars and racing is fine, and spending money on his passions is alright as long as you are earning enough each month to properly service the debt. If you can’t afford the activity you will have to find a way to earn more before taking on the extra debt.
3.) After you have successfully been approved for a consolidation loan don’t keep using your credit cards. Brad was close to doing exactly this. As mentioned above he spent around $500-$600 with a Visa card on something right after he had just consolidated his debt. Luckily for him he quit this and woke up.
Brad decided to sell his race car and drive for someone else. He paid off most of his consolidation loan with the proceeds from this sale. The end result has been great. He never over spends now and has a budget he sticks to.
He’s lucky. Some people have to learn the hard way and end up declaring personal bankruptcy. I personally had to do just that and it was quite painful. It’s not easy for most people to handle their finances perfectly. In today’s America the “desire for wants” is so strong that too many consumers just go ahead and use their credit cards for the extras in life.
If you learn to “live within your means” you will find life is MUCH less stressful and much MORE satisfying.
Do you know what happens to people who are independently wealthy and never have to worry about money? They almost always accumulate a lot of crap that they don’t really need. The term “empty consumerism” comes to mind. That’s when you buy stuff all the time on a whim that you don’t really need. Eventually this stuff becomes junk and you fill your house with it.
Your humble narrator is guilty of this. After I spent myself into personal bankruptcy I changed my lifestyle and created a lot more income. Then came the spending. Then came the junk laying around that I rarely used. It’s gotten better in the last few years but when you are in that mode it actually feels gross.
Well…from Charlotte North Carolina we bid Brad farewell and good luck in the future. This is another positive story about somebody using the services of their local credit union to get on the right track.