Commisurate With Me
I made a mistake, a HUGE mistake, that I will be paying for, literally, for years.
A couple of months ago, I was gathering information on line about various credit recovery programs.
One website (Credit Solutions) asked for contact information and stated that someone would be contacting me. That was it. There was no other information to obtain from the site and nothing else they wanted from me. I submitted my number.
The other website (Care One) was quite a bit more detailed. It had a form to fill out asking about my financial situation, bill amounts and various other information. I have been to other websites in the past that asked for detailed information like that (ie - Progressive Insurance), so I didn't really think too much of it. I just assumed that they needed the information in order to create the most accurate estimate, allowing me to make the most informed decision.
That was the mistake. I assumed.
I did not learn of this mistake until several weeks later when there was a rather large amount of money debited from my account. Or at least it was attempted to be debited from my account. You see, I did not have enough money in there to accomodate this payment. I did have some money that was allocated for other bills. However, when this large amount hit, it initially deducted the couple of hundred I had, bringing me down to a $0 balance. That's right, folks - ZERO. Can you guess what happened next?
You got it. The other bills that were hitting at the same time bounced. A total of 3 to be exact. That's a grand total of $90 in overdraft charges. UGH!
In the meantime, Credit Solutions had called me back. I was discussing my options, possible plans and payments with a very nice woman. She was extremely helpful. At that point, I had to tell her that I wasn't going to be participating in the program she was offering. I felt like I was cheating and had to break up with her.
Before I had a chance to call Care One to find out what was going on, I received letters from my credit cards stating that they had accepted the deal Care One had offered, and my accounts were officially closed. Bye Bye cushion. That pretty much made it a done deal. No backing out now.
Of course, in the confusion of this whole situation, I apparently missed a payment into my overdraft protection. That was cancelled, too. Bye Bye cushion. UGH! UGH!
I had not bounced a check or a payment of any kind in over 5 years, probably closer to 7 years. I used to have horrendous credit. It took me almost 10 years to clean it up. Almost 10 years to be in a reasonable financial spot. In the past 3 months, and all because of that initial debit to my account that I was not expecting, I have been overdrawn around 10 times!! At 30 bucks each, that's a lot of money!!
I have no one to blame but myself. I must not have read the Care One website information thoroughly. I made the huge mistake of thinking that for something this big in a persons life that a company as prominent as Care One would have a procedure in place whereby you would actually have to sign something. You know, actually agree in writing to give these people ultimate control over your financial future. That's what Credit Solutions did. They sent me forms and papers and estimates for me to review, sign and return. Nothing was going to move forward until I signed and returned those papers. Why would Care One not do the same thing???
Here I am, now 3 months later, still trying to recover from the initial devastation, and the whole just keeps getting deeper. I can't back out of the program. Or can I? What good would that do at this point, anyway? The damage has been done. These past few months have effectively ruined my financial future. I know that someday, it will all even out and things will get back to normal, but I don't want it to be someday. I want it to be now! I think I've waited long enough. I've paid my dues. I want to be part of the world of financial freedom. I am so tired of not being able to do the things I want to do because I have no money. I'm tired of hearing myself talk about having no money. I'm tired of living paycheck to paycheck. At this point, it's even worse than that. It's actually day to day, hoping that some other bill won't hit today and create another overdraft fee. (Of course, one did, by the way).
I'm not writing this for people to feel sorry for me or to feel pity for me. I just needed to get it off my chest. I needed to put it out into the universe and see what happens.
So, I guess the moral of the story is - Researcher Beware!