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Getting back to zero

That big check I sent off for the car payment hasn't show up as "cashed" yet on my eBanking account. I half-expected this to happen because whenever you send large checks, banks will wait several days for it to "clear". Hopefully it will clear soon and then I can get on with paying off the credit card, and then (insert dramatic music here) I will finally be back at "zero" again. Trust me, this is a good thing.

Everyone I know is in some sort of debt, be it a mortgage, credit card(s), car(s) or whatever it is. No one I know has small debts or is anywhere near "being at zero". Usually, the average debt I see for my age group (27 to 32-ish) is somewhere between $25000 and $45000 or more - not including any medical stuff which will add a few ten thousand more.

I got a few friends who have "consolidated" bills. Personally I think the consolidation thing is a stupid idea. Don't know what it is? This is what it is in a nutshell:

Take all your bills, and get a debt consolidation loan that 'pays' all those bills, then pay back the loan. The monthly payment for the loan is smaller than all the bills combined you were paying previously.

I said this was a bad idea. This is why:

My advice to anyone who's got bills: Pay them off the traditional way, don't get caught in the "miracle cure" of a debt consolidation loan because it's not a miracle. It's just a way for other companies to take your money.

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