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  • Financial Question

    I went into the academy hoping to find a career, and came out finding that I had a ton of debt, and the department I want to hire on with won't hire anyone with bad credit and outstanding debts. In order to afford my credit card payments and divorce costs, I had to take a higher paying job in the oil field upon graduation instead of going full time law enforcement.

    Here's my situation. I'm going nowhere financially. I'm 31 years old, and owe about 4 times what I'm worth. I make good money, but, my debt is taking all of my income, and more times than not, I have less than $20's in my account before my next paycheck comes around. It's my fault I have debt, and I'll be the first to admit it. I have my son every other weekend, and the weekends I don't have my son, I reserve for a sheriff's department. I don't make any money reserving, and I've been considering taking on another job on the weekends I don't have my son to help pay off my debt, but, the only weekends I would have to work would be the ones that I reserve.

    How do I justify it to myself to quit reserving, take the part time job on my off weekends, and pay off all my debt so as I can be a better candidate for the department in the town my son lives in?

    When I think about quitting the only ties to law enforcement I have right now in order to take the other job, I feel like I'm giving up on something I worked so damned hard to achieve, but, working to that point has gotten me to a point where I can't progress any further.

    Do I quit reserving, loose experience and pay off my debt in order to maybe in a few years have a better chance at becoming an officer in the town my son lives in?

    If I DON'T get my debt paid off, there's no way I can possibly live on an officer's wage. If I quit my reserve position, I'll loose "experience", and I'm thinking that might hurt me trying to get into the PD where I eventually want.

    Even if I wanted to work for another department, still closer to where my son lives, I STILL need to pay of my debt to afford to live on a smaller income.

    Last edited by kc5deb; 04-04-2007, 11:51 AM.

  • #2
    Financial Question

    At the end of the day, it's your decision. All things being equal, the indebtedness should be paid off. I certainly don't expect you to go into detail concerning the debts on this forum. That's your business. In general, there are several options, short of bankruptcy that you might consider. There are several reputable debt counseling services available, but be very careful in selecting one of these, as in check them out very thoroughly. A good service is often able to negotiate with your creditors and substantially reduce the debt, as well as consolidate your debts into one monthly payment. You may wish to retain an attorney who specializes in this area of law. I understand it's difficult for you to give up your connection with law enforcement, but you have to determine your priorities. (Time with your son vs. the Sheriff's Dept). Finally, in any future applications you make to police agencies, be certain to list fully, all indebtedness, and the steps you are taking to reduce or eliminate it. Good luck to you!!


    • #3
      Try using some Government approved Debt services. They can help negotiate your debt down, and help you with solutions to paying it.

      Or do the poor mans method....

      Pay the minimum on all your debts except for your highest interest debt, pay the max on that each month...then move down to the next highest debt once that first is paid off, etc etc etc.

      Another option if you have credit card debt on several cards is to do this....transfer your debt from your highest card onto your will still have the same amount of debt, but you will pay lower interest on that debt.

      Either way, look at a second job and selling off crap you don't need.


      • #4
        I work my second job mainly through the week after work. Any reason you can't do the same?


        • #5
          have you cut out or cut back all your "unneccessary" bills? Cable? Cell phone? Move into a smaller place? get an older car?

          if you have several CC's, another way in addition to VSPClem's listed methods, is to pay minimum on all cards, and put what's left over towards the one w/ the SMALLEST balance...This gets it paid off quick, and the feeling of accomplishment motivates you to attack the next one.

          Basically, you need to get to living well below your means, and put the rest towards that bad debt.


          • #6
            Choices (and the decisions we make in reguards to same) have consequences as you have now found out. You appearantly made some poor ones in the past.

            There is no easy way out, it took time (and poor choices) to get to this spot you find yourself in and it will take more time (and better choices) to get back to where you want to be (slippery slopes are easily descended, not so easily ascended).

            Good luck.

            "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

            "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

            >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

            Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.


            • #7
              I appreciate the answers so far on how to get out of debt. A little different than what I was expecting, but, appreciated.

              I have plans on getting out of debt. With a little help from Dave Ramsey, I know that I need some additional income, or else I do what I've been doing for the next 5-7 years.

              I guess the direction I was taking was more about if I should look for a job that works around my reserving, or, if I should put off reserving and work a little more. I guess I just answered my own question, huh....


              • #8
                Originally posted by kc5deb
                I guess the direction I was taking was more about if I should look for a job that works around my reserving, or, if I should put off reserving and work a little more. I guess I just answered my own question, huh....
                Dave Ramsey's a good one to follow...I don't agree w/ all his methods, but it definitely works.

                What's your priority?
                - Maintain your reserve status
                - Pay off your debt

                I can tell you now, the earlier you start working on your debt, the shorter it'll take to pay it off, and the faster you can get on w/ doing things "right" (financially).


                • #9
                  I just got back from talking to a guy about a part time job in town. It only pays $6/hr, but, that's more than I make as a reserve.

                  The good part is that the guy will pretty much let me work at my convenience, and is letting me work around my weekends I have with my son. The bad part is, even with the convenience he's offering me, I still don't see how it's going to be possible to keep my job with the Sheriff's department too.

                  But, like you said, it's a personal decision as to which is more important; my debt or Law Enforcement. My debt situation is a little more important right now, as much as I hate to admit it. I got myself into debt by being ignorant with my money, and I guess it's finally caught up to me with the current situation. And in the long scope of things, I'm not looking to get out of LE completely. If I lay off of it now, earn some extra $$$, get completely out of debt within a year or two, then it'll allow me to get into LE full time and afford it.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kc5deb
                    And in the long scope of things, I'm not looking to get out of LE completely. If I lay off of it now, earn some extra $$$, get completely out of debt within a year or two, then it'll allow me to get into LE full time and afford it.
                    w/o knowing all there is to know about you and your situation...that's how I see it playing out as well. It's not a derailment, just a set step back in order to make much easier steps forward in the future.


                    • #11
                      I think the answers you seek all lie in your original post. Allow me to simplify:

                      Option 1: Significant debt and more LE experience, PD will not take you.
                      Option 2: No debt and less LE experience, PD may take you.

                      I'd go for option two.

                      Good luck, I'm sure it will all work out in the end!


                      • #12
                        You've already got time in as a reserve officer so the department knows you and has seen you operate. If you explain to them that you are leaving the reserves to achieve your goal of eliminating debt for the purpose of making yourself a better candidate because you intend to apply for a full-time position, I can't see how that could work against you. You are demonstrating responsibility and a desire to do what it takes to join the force.

                        More power to ya. And I'm sure you're aware of this if you are on the Dave Ramsey train, but don't always assume more income will solve the problem. Take a look at your expenses and cut out anything you don't absolutely need, at least until you are back to zero on the balance sheet. Dropping cable TV frees up the same funds as working an extra week at the part-time job.

                        Be careful, kids. Daddy's summer car is like the Ark of the Covanent - if you touch it, you will surely die.


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