I suppose I will begin with my teeth and the horrible state they are in.
When I was much younger, around 14, per my parents I got braces. I followed the Orthodontists instructions the best I could. I went through many months of severe headaches and pain. There were times when I would yawn and it would pop one of the brackets. The problem ended up being that they didn’t account for the growing in of my wisdom teeth. They ended up growing in impacted, but not until after I removed the braces. That is correct, “I” removed them, since no one would listen to me about how much pain I was actually in. Over the years, not having dental insurance nor the money to get anything done, the wisdom teeth coming in impacted just messed everything up. Now, at 41 years old, the wisdom teeth are, mostly, gone, along with several other teeth that were near them. Three of my teeth at the front have broken as well. This was due to the glue/cement from the braces that remained on my teeth for many years. At this point, I would need to have everything remaining pulled, and either full dentures or implants. I have seen full implants, upper and lower, for as low as $2500 each. Those plus the extractions would run about $6000. A full sent of dentures plus extractions would run near to $4000. They only cost these amounts because the services rendered are through “non-insurance compliant companies”, meaning they don’t accept any dental insurance.
Now, my debt and my stupidity. I got my first credit card when I was 19 years old, and due to my lack of financial knowledge, I maxed it fairly quickly. Not thinking clearly about it, I applied for another and was approved. I swore that I would use it for emergencies only and work on paying the first one off. Well, that didn’t happen as I maxed the second one as well. I made strides to pay them off, but I was still spending more than I was making. So, I applied for a better paying job, which I managed to get. The limits on the credit cards were increased, by a large amount, due to my great pay increase. I did my best to get them paid off this time, and somehow managed to max both of them again. Applied for a third credit card and was approved for a limit I had no business having. Yup, I maxed it soon after as well. After a few years, and several credit cards and lines of credit with online retailers, I finally broke down and took out a debt consolidation loan. But, I had to get a co-signer in order to qualify. It took me about 5 years to pay it off completely. I decided that if I couldn’t save the cash for what I wanted, I didn’t actually want it. My credit card days were done with…for awhile.
Fast forward to 7 years ago, I needed some work done to my car and there was no way I would be able to save up what I needed in time. So, I applied for a credit card, and was approved. The limit was short of what I needed, so I applied for yet another an was approved. Not long after getting them, they were maxed.
Anyone seeing a pattern yet?
Throughout the past few years I have obtained more credit cards and they are all near maxed, I keep throwing a little extra at each one, but it’s not chipping away as fast as I would like. Another consolidation loan won’t work this time as I no longer have a co-signer. If I were given the opportunity to pay off my balances, I know I could maintain them. I have a plan written out, but I need them at $0 balance in order for it to work properly. I currently have seven credit cards with balances that add up to about $7000
Between the teeth and the credit debt, I would be asking for, $12,000. To have a chance to smile again and a reason to smile. That said, I would prioritize the dental over the debt. If I could raise the $6000 needed to get the implants so that I don’t have to deal with dentures, that would be amazing.
I have added a photo of my teeth, which is something that I haven’t shown to anyone before…it’s extremely embarrassing and I am ashamed that I let them get as bad as they are.