Your Questions About Debt-free Living

Ruth asks…

What is a good job that pays enought to pay off 5,000 in 3 months?

I have 5,000 i need to pay off after that I am debt free!

John answers:

Oh gee! I only have to pay off 5k in 3 months… Oh, and i need a job.

The 1st 3 answers were great.

Okay, you need $1,667. Net per month (after your other living necessities). Wish you well.

David asks…

How do you get back a good credit rating?

About a year ago I defaulted without realising how serious it was.. I’m 20 years old and now have a baby on the way, I’ve realised I need to do something about it quickly so I paid off one of the companies today and plan to be debt free with the other within the next 2 months but how do I go about rebuilding my credit score? I was looking at mortgages and I can’t even get a phone contract out in my name at the moment it is that bad! What is the best thing to do and will this stay on my record for the next 6 years and make it hard for me to do anything until it clears? I live in England so if you know anywhere that I can get a credit check from for free so I know exactly how bad it is atm that would be really helpful and if you’ve been in a similar situation and knew what to do would any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am really worried I want to plan my future out so I do have some control over what happens and not struggle to get by with a baby renting somewhere with my partner. I’d like a nice home to have a fresh start in.

John answers:

You’d need some sort of money coming in. Unless you’ve ran off with a new car’s worth of non payment then you’re fine. I have a perfect credit score; I don’t know your exact credit score, but I couldn’t get a phone contract because the computer works out that I won’t have enough money coming in to pay the 12 months so it’s not all about credit scoring, it’s about having money coming in to really really be able to upkeep. Prioritise.

Laura asks…

How to rent a apartment with NO credit.?

I am 23 years old and am just now getting into the “adult world” of paying for bills, rent, etc. I graduated college in Dec of 2012 and was a live in nanny June 2012-April 2013. I moved up to PA to spend time with my family I never saw thanks to growing up in a military family. I lived in my dad’s house during college until I became a live in nanny. I am debt free and have a no credit, I am working as a young toddler teacher now and have a reliable source of income. I tend to make about $700 every two weeks after taxes. I have been looking at the apartments in my local area and they are expensive, $600 for a studio and $800 or more for a 1bd. My daily expenses are not extremely high (I coupon to bring down my day to day food and other needs) my health insurance in reasonable and I fill up my gas tank ($60) about every 3 weeks, I have the Straight Talk $45 plan and a few small other things.. I am currently living with my grandmother and I do not believe I will be able to stay here much longer. She likes her space and is not a fan of another person being around. I have a dog but work long hours 7:15-6:15 Tuesday-Friday with Saturday-Monday off. I am debating over attempting to rent a small studio by myself or try and find a roommate.
I have several questions. Please do not answer them with snide remarks.
What is the process of renting at the age of 23 with no previous rent history?
CAN I rent without credit, no rent history and possibly no co-signer?
If I decide to find a roommate how do I go about finding a good Christian roommate?
Although I was a live in nanny and have paperwork to prove I did work that job I have only worked in my current teaching job for 3 months. Will someone rent to me with only a 3 month history of work?

John answers:

You may need more income (or a roommate) and more job history but maybe its ok. No credit might be ok (or a problem) since everyone has to start somewhere but I’d go get a credit card or at least some store cards and buy little stuff and then pay them off to work on your credit. You income is $700 every 2 weeks after taxes, so I’d guess this is $850 (maybe more) before taxes, and close to $2000/ month (assuming 4.33 weeks in a month). You can, barely, afford a studio at $600/ month (assuming income needs to be 3 times rent) so I’d start by trying to get one of those. If that doesn’t work out go for a 2 bedroom split iwth a roommate but if you don’t have any friends you can team up with then finding a roommate is tough. You can advertise on Craigslist or wherever but there are a lot of turkeys on those, along with many other decent people so just check out whoever you talk to carefully.

My advice is just go ahead and try for a studio and if you can’t get one (due to not enough income/ job history) either build the credit/ job history as long as you can, or try for a roommate if you must.

Donna asks…

Is it better to save our tax return or pay off credit card debt?

My husband and i were surprised when we ran a quick check on our taxes to see that we were getting more back than expected. We anticipated around $2 back in taxes and we are getting closer to $6500 back. We don’t own a home and will be renting for some time. My husband is now back in school full time, so we will not be getting a return like this again next year. We also recently came into another $2500 in cash and another $1000 check we are waiting on. We are currently starting our own business, with little start up cost, so we are going to use the $1000 to put towards the business (website development, inventory, marketing costs).

Currently we have
$3500 on a credit card with a $5600 limit (12% interest)
and $4500 on a Credit card with a $5000 limit (9.5% interest)
We also have one small credit card with $700 on it (retail credit card)

Is it better to pay off these 3 credit cards and be “Debt free” (except my student loans of 35k…that my parents are paying until they retire in 3 years and our car loan we owe $10k on)….so essentially “credit card debt free” or to put the $6500 in savings? This would bump our total liquid savings to some where around $19k

We are hoping that when my husband finishes shcool we can save his salary (we live on mine alone) for a few months and then buy a home.
Our 3-5 year plan includes not only a home but a baby. I don’t want to have a child until I have at least 30k liquid assets int he bank so if i wanted to take 6 additonal months out of work beyond my maternity leave, I could. Or I could go back to work part time. this is really improtant to me.

my husband thinks we should pay off debt. Cut up credit cards. Then start socking away money for a vacation in europe for 2014 and savings (since we have no mortgage or kids we want to enjoy the next few years by traveling and being “alone”…who knows when we’ll be able to do that again!)…

i think we should put the money aside. it will help us get to our 30k goal faster, and even surpass it hopefully in 5 years so that we also have an emergency fund and some money for a downpayment on a home. And then pay off one of the credit cards above and just keep paying on time, double payments on the 2nd one.


John answers:

Pay off the debt but don’t cancel the cards. They raise your credit score for when you get the mortgage.

Jenny asks…

Should I put my wife on the mortgage?

I live in Alberta and am about to redo my mortgage. I was going to put my wife on the mortgage but he said that’s a bad idea. Why would I want to put debt on her? He said if I were to die that under the dower rights she would get the house. Now would she still have to pay off that debt? Or is the house hers debt free?
What about if she were to die then? Would I just rely on her life insurance?
I probably have more questions but this one sticks out the most right now.

John answers:

Hey, Alberta is in Canada. You are listed as US here. The laws may be very different in Canada vs. The 50 US states. They don’t talk about dower rights in the US.

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