Get Them Out of Your Life

Eduardo has six credit cards. He makes about $1,600 a month but is having difficulty paying off these cards. He's also in school full-time. Should he hold off on paying these cards?

QUESTION: Eduardo in Orlando has six credit cards. He makes about $1,600 a month but is having difficulty paying off these cards. He’s also in school full-time. Should he hold off on paying these cards?

ANSWER: The problem is you need more money. That comes from income, obviously. You don’t have much debt. But you can’t continue to pay off your American Express card and then keep using it again. You need to cut the stupid thing up and be done with it.

The first thing is that you must pay existing expenses such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation and utilities. Your next goal would be minimum payments on your credit cards, and your next goal would be the American Express card, in that order. Just cut that thing up.

I have to tell you that you don’t want to deal with American Express and their collections department. They are some of the trashiest, filthiest human beings on the planet. We deal with them all the time, and they are awful. It’s a horrible company. They lie, and the language they use, their collections department is filthy. You want to get a plan together to get them out of your life as quick as you can.

You are going to have to work some more. I need you to find an extra 80 hours one month. That puts them out of business forever with you. If you didn’t have American Express, then you could budget to pay off the other stuff. I would like to see your income come up a few dollars, or a few dollars per hour, or something during this time.

But you have to push this thing from every side. I don’t want a plan where it’s Christmas and you’re still messing around with American Express. You need to figure out a way to work and pay them because, even though I don’t like them, you still owe them money. You need to pay the bill that you owe.

Definitely find some extra hours, whether it’s at the cooking thing you’re doing or something else.