Finished reading it yet? Alright. Yes, it's a really sad situation that Dana is in. She charged about $15,000 to credit cards while in college. (That seems to happen a lot.) She has $12,000 in student loans. Then she gets in a car accident which cost her $16,000 in medical bills (although, I'm unsure if the $2,000 to fix her front teeth were included in that) and is now paid down to $3,400. Sure, she makes $64,000 a year as a bartender but at 24 years of age, that's a lot of debt. Heck, her boyfriend and her both make the payments on the car. Anyhow. I'd like to address a few of these issues.
- Credit cards should only be given to college students with jobs. In other words, they need a way to pay it back before being given a line of credit. In the article, she mentions that her father helped her out while she was in college but she would see a shirt while shopping and charge it. This seems to have become a habit as $15,000 in clothing later she is having issues. It is later noted in the advice that she stop spending $850 some months on clothes... hello!! You got a shopping problem. Learn to sell some of those on eBay. They'll even teach you how... after you fix that computer.
- $12,000 in student loans isn't abysmal. I just wonder. With a degree in Fashion Marketing from Indiana University, why is she tending bar? She had a job managing a Ralph Lauren store and at least that was using that education wisely. Yes, at 24, she might have discovered she went for the wrong degree but, then again, there is a little hope in something mentioned later about her working for a friend that is starting a clothing line. This could become that step in the right direction as she could help market this line. With the experience and contacts made there, she could really start her career.
- They were pretty vague about the accident causing the medical debt. "She was in a car wreck." Was she insured, at fault or under-insured? Was the other driver insured? The direction of the article points to her not having medical insurance as being the culprit here but if the other driver was insured and at fault... those medical bills would be paid and the settlement would have paid off some of those credit cards. What I believe happened here is that she was at fault, was paying liability insurance only, under-insured or the other driver wasn't insured. One or several of those. Medical insurance is still extremely important but I kept waiting for something to pop up in the article saying, "this never would have happened if she was in Canada."