Lessons learned

Here is all the stuff that I wish somebody had said before we got into this mess. And if they did say it, I wish I had listened.

  1. Debt is the devil. Even when buying a house. Even when using it to start a business.
  2. Cash is king. (It’s cliché, but it’s true)
  3. You can live without a credit card.
  4. Get a plan: You need to have a budget. You need to stick to it.
  5. Problems don’t go away. They get bigger. Don’t procrastinate — deal with issues as they come up.
  6. You can’t move during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You’ll be denied on pretty much every apartment application (there’s a spot where they ask you about bankruptcy — and they will run your credit report). You’ll also be rejected from pretty much every loan application.
  7. If you’re in bankruptcy, and somebody offers you a line of credit (including a mortgage or a car loan), very loud alarms should go off. Do you really think they’re offering you credit by accident?
  8. Dave Ramsey is the man. There’s a reason why that fool is so rich. (Hint: It’s not his rugged good looks). His points on cash and debt are spot on.
  9. Credit is America’s (and maybe the world’s) most aggressively marketed product. There is a reason why people freak out at the idea of not having a credit card in their pocket: They’ve already gotten in your head.
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