We’ve got ’em on the run.

News from the financial front right now is phenomenal. We are paying many bills within days of their arrival. Many many. Almost all. We’ve just sent a payoff amount to another store credit card – Sears. That deals the killing blow to the last of them, and good riddance.

Sara and I both first got cards from Sears back around 1995 when we bought our first computer. It was a Packard Bell. Four megs of memory, 500 meg hard drive and Windows 3.11 for Workgroups. Between the computer, monitor and printer it all came to something like $2,300.00 and neither one of us could get enough credit to buy it alone. So we made the first joint purchase of our relationship and started down that long road of love (ing to be able to buy whatever we wanted) and commitment (to paying back what we’d borrowed). We actually paid off both of those cards, but then I got another in my name to buy a washer and dryer and Sara opened a new account three years ago to buy me a lawn tractor for Father’s Day. Sara’s Sears card was maxed out from day one, but mine was still good for four year’s worth of clothing purchases. Maybe some… tools. Those memories are fuzzy. So much for getting ahead. In our defense though, I’d never go back and raise two toddlers without a washer and dryer in the house. Don’t agree? Where are you gonna put that bedding covered in baby puke/urine/contents of dirty diaper until wash day? Hmmm? I thought so.

Now we are finally free of them. Next target: the personal loan we have through Citifinancial. We took out a personal loan for five grand with them more than five years ago when I switched jobs internally at C&S and watched half my weekly paycheck disappear overnight. It just so happened that an unsolicited offer from Citifinancial arrived in the mail that same week. It’s almost like they knew…

I gave them a call this past Monday to get a payoff value on the loan and the girl I talked to was very shady about giving me that info. She pleaded some privacy claim as the reason why she couldn’t give that info over the phone. Nobody else gives me the runaround like that. Mortgage. School loan. They want my money. They just hit me with a litany of security questions and off we go. It took me four minutes on the phone with my mortgage lender the other day before they’d even let me tell them I’d sent a payment. So, I’m not sure what this ‘not over the phone’ crap is.

Wait. Yes I do. They want me to come down to the office so they can railroad me into borrowing more money. They’re the enablers from hell. There were times when we’d been two, three months behind on our payments, dodging the phone calls about how very disappointed they are with us and as I was listening to the message they were leaving I’d be standing there reading a letter saying we should come on down to the office and get another $500. And then my brain would explode.

It’ll all be over for them soon. The tax return is coming…

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