Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and admit to mistakes you've made, especially in a public format, is really intimidating. As honest as I am on social media (and in life), I don't share everything. I cultivate the image of myself that I want to project. It's essential to my business that I'm careful and circumspect about what I say, but it's also about walking that tricky line that's become an issue with the advent of blogs and Facebook and Twitter. Balancing my own inclination toward privacy with the internet's invitation/temptation to share it all. Everything. All the time. With everyone.
I think I've spoken here before about money, which is definitely a loaded topic. And I may even have mentioned debt before. But I don't think I've shared the specifics of my story and how I
climbed clawed my way out of it.
So that's what I want to do today.
Several years ago, when I was relatively new to real estate, I was also drowning in debt. Over 50K in debt, to be exact. And it was diverse--student loans, credit card balances, a car loan, medical bills… you name it, I owed money for, on, or to it. Maybe you have similar debt, or more, or less. Whatever the amount, it can feel crippling. It can suck the life right out of you. Sometimes it's a gradual, creeping realization that we may have borrowed ourselves right into a life we can't afford. Other times it's a bright, flashing, blaring siren of dread the instant we signed our name on the dotted line.
This is how I felt: I was in a tunnel with no light at the end of it. The number was so huge to me that I literally couldn't imagine a scenario in which it wouldn't exist anymore. I was working so hard and none of what I was earning felt like it belonged to me.
The light appears...
I was with a small group of friends one night and a gal said there was a book about how to pay off debt for pennies on the dollar. That seemed way to good to be true. But I bought the book and read it front to back and then over again. I read it until I got the courage to start calling my creditors to settle the accounts. (Looking back, I learned some crazy amazing negotiating skills through that experience!) The thing I hadn't realized was that companies will settle with you for less than you owe for a couple of reasons. One is that sometimes the original creditor sold the debt to a company that just goes around buying existing debts for much less than what's owed on them. They then set about trying to collect. So, you can negotiate with them for pennies on the dollar because they only paid a fraction of what you owed in the first place.
Secondly, sometimes a company has essentially given-up on collecting anything on the debt. So, if you call and make them an offer of something, they'll take it.
Still, it is not a fun experience to make those calls. It's the opposite of fun, actually. And the good news for you is that you don't have to do it yourself. Our trusted team has a credit repair expert who does the negotiating for you and, together we can help you create a plan that leads not just to freedom from debt but to home ownership too. For some it’s a 6-month plan, for others it’s 18-months.
Just know I’ve been there. I personally short sale my property and contemplated bankruptcy a couple of times... so I'm not asking you to consider something I haven't already myself. There’s no shame. I know the struggle and I’m happy to help encourage you out of it. We should talk! Call us to schedule a confidential consultation.
I did a short video about my fun real estate math equation, where 1+1=4. Whether you're trying to get out of debt or avoid it, more and diverse income streams are a necessity. Check that video out below!