‘I might as well take back my credit score and put it out of its misery’ – This Mom Stopped Paying Off Credit Cards and Has No Regrets

By | March 18, 2024

While financial pressures are increasing for many in the middle class, the impact of inflation, despite reports of a slowdown, continues to put pressure on personal finances.

Against this backdrop, Brandi, known as @miss.brandiii on TikTok, has drawn attention to the harsh realities many face in managing their finances. Brandi, a mother of two with a sales job, has taken a bold stand by choosing not to pay her credit card bills, instead prioritizing her essential needs.

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In a viral video, Brandi shares her decision to forego credit card payments, a choice motivated by the need to spend her limited resources on basic needs. “I don’t care what I bought last year or six months ago or when I swipe the credit card. Thanks for letting me have that stuff. I don’t have any money to pay you right now,” she said. This revelation came after she decided to turn off automatic payment on her bills, which led to her receiving calls from the credit card company threatening to send her bills to collections.

Despite having an income, Brandi hasn’t paid her credit card bill in seven months. She underscored the economic challenges of managing both her basic needs and credit card payments.

In the video, Brandi says she has systematically avoided calls from creditors. However, she describes a specific incident where she accidentally took a call from Teresa, a credit card company representative; she couldn’t remember if it was Credit One or Capital One. Brandi recounts this conversation vividly, emphasizing the relentless nature of the fundraising efforts.

During this conversation, the impact of her unpaid bills on her credit score was discussed. Brandi’s response to Teresa was both poignant and dismissive, highlighting her current financial indifference. After Teresa threatened to send her account to collections that would ruin her credit, Brandi clapped back with her response.

“Teresa, don’t you know that if you don’t pay your credit card bill, your credit will plummet too? You might as well take back my credit score and put it out of its misery,” she said.

Brandi questioned the relevance of her credit score given her inability to pay for significant purchases. ‘Do I look like I’m buying a house? Do I look like I’m buying a car? Does it look like I can afford to buy anything ever again?

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She asked the credit card company to forward her debts to collections, which was a sign of resignation to her financial situation. “Teresa, I’m going to save us both time here… just send it to collections now, because if you keep calling me between now and next month, nothing will change. Nothing. Sorry about that, but thanks for all the stuff I bought with the credit card. I don’t know what to tell you. And it’s going to be in collections too,” she said.

Brandi’s prioritization of her spending was clear: essentials like food, housing, car payments, insurance, medications, and clothing took priority over her credit card debt. Her statement: “I’ve had to deal with debt collection my whole life” speaks volumes about her long-term battle with debt.

As of the fourth quarter of 2023, Americans are struggling with a massive $1.129 trillion in credit card debt, marking an all-time high since tracking began. This situation highlights the growing challenge many people face in managing credit payments in the face of the rising cost of living.

Delinquencies, an indicator of financial stress, have increased, with 3.1% of outstanding debts entering some stage of delinquency at the end of December. This trend is especially pronounced among younger and lower-income households, indicating increasing financial pressure within these demographic groups.

The average household credit card balance is $10,263, reflecting the broad impact of these financial challenges on the U.S. population. The average balance is higher than last year, indicating a significant burden for many U.S. households, especially when combined with an average annual percentage rate (APR) on accrued debt of 22.75%.

These statistics are more than numbers; they reflect the real-life issues of individuals and families navigating the complexities of financial management in challenging times. As households struggle to balance essential expenses against the backdrop of rising debt and interest rates, the stories shared on social media platforms highlight the urgency and severity of these financial challenges.

Individuals and families may find it helpful to seek advice from financial advisors. These professionals can provide personalized strategies to manage debt, optimize spending, and plan for future financial stability. This expert guidance can be especially critical in navigating the complexities of high-interest debt and budgeting to ensure essential expenses are covered without exacerbating financial pressures. Consulting with a financial advisor can provide a path to financial health, providing tailored advice that takes into account each household’s unique circumstances and goals.

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*This information is not financial advice and personal guidance from a financial advisor is recommended to make informed decisions.

Jeannine Mancini has written about personal finance and investing for the past thirteen years in various publications, including Zacks, The Nest, and eHow. She is not a qualified financial advisor and the contents of this document are for informational purposes only and do not and do not constitute investment advice or any investment service. Although Mancini believes that the information contained herein is reliable and from reliable sources, no representation, warranty or undertaking, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information.

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