It took me five years of hard work and living in less than perfect accommodations but I finally got $30,000 worth of debt worked off. I was young, what can I say. There's so many ways to make excuses for your past experiences but it's when you realize that your decisions are a part of you that you can't get rid of that you can finally turn the ship around. It wasn't too late before I realized this but it very well could have been. My frivolous spending caught up with me and my awful credit prevented me from buying anything else or getting any more credit. My life as I knew it then had ended.

I have to admit that I did freak out a little bit. I thought that the world was out to get me and everybody just wanted to see me fail. I swore the giant lending corporations were just planning to get me in a whole bunch of debt so that I could eternally be paying them back. Although I was sort of right, they really didn't want me to declare bankruptcy, they wanted me to work my way out of this grave I had dug for myself. And that was a very painful realization too. That it was me that did this to myself, no one else.

So anyways, here I am, broke as a joke and unable to pay next month's rent, not even on credit. I figure it's time to get a real job where I sit in a cubicle all day and punch numbers in my suit and tie. First, I needed a suit but I couldn't get anybody to sell me one. I had no money in my overdraft, no credit left on my credit cards, and I was scared to death to ask any family or friends for money. I needed some sound financial advice. It was an instantaneous decision to change my life. It felt like getting off crack or quitting drinking (I can only assume) and a huge weight felt like it was lifted off my shoulders. I hadn't even done anything yet, just made the decision to change.

I wasn't really sure what to do but I knew that a credit card was the wrong decision. My first stop was the department store. I picked out a perfect two-button light grey suit with pinstripes, asked about tailoring and picked out a couple shirts and ties. When I was done, I added it all up, added taxes on and then went to find a loan. I went to my oldest bank account holder. I walked into the small credit union that had managed my money, or lack thereof, since I was five years old. I knocked on the lending manager's door and plead my case. I showed him my suit calculations and told him about my upcoming interviews (I had three at this point). He made me shake his hand and say that this would be the first loan I repaid and then proceeded to extend my overdraft account by a couple bucks more than the suit would cost.

Ecstatic, and unable to believe that my plan worked, I skipped down the street, bought the suit and got measured for tailoring. A couple days later, I picked it up and kept practicing for my interviews.

When my interviews finally came 'round, I was so optimistic that I couldn't believe I was me. The interviewers definitely noticed my demeanor too. I nailed my first interview and thought for sure that I had got it. I didn't. The interviewers did really like me but they had to hire someone with the same credentials who was an internal candidate. One of the interviewers in particular called me and told me that he had suggested a friend of his give me a call in regards to a job. I thanked the man and awaited the call.

The other two interviews happened on the same day and they both went swimmingly as well. I was brimming with confidence and everybody could see it. As I was walking out of the third interview, my cell phone rang. The first interviewer's friend wanted me to come by and finish up the day there. I had a job without even being interviewed. He said he trusted his friend enough to give me a shot. Anyways, to make a long story short, I kept the job, moved into a smaller and much cheaper, but more appropriate bachelor apartment, sold my car and walked to work, and began paying off my debt, which was more than my rent each month.

Now, I have gotten out of debt, completely, aside from my mortgage, which my good old credit union set up for me. I paid back that lending manager before I paid anything else as a gesture of thanks and bought him a bottle of scotch. I find it a bit ironic that it was a loan of all things that got me rid of my bad credit but I don't care. Literary devices don't mean anything in real life. It was, however, because of that loan, bad credit is a thing of the past for me. I can't believe that that's who I used to be but I learned so much from a carefree spending life that I will never go back to it.