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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Oct 25, 2018.

Question

I am a retiree in credit card debt $26,000 and counting. Problem, I own two residential properties in Florida and due to tenant neglect and damages it has been unoccupied since 6/2016. I have been paying the monthly mortgage $850, utilities approximately $80.00 per month and miscellaneous expenses out of pocket. I have had to use three credit cards at 0% for 18 months to cover all expenses. The zero percent offer expired and I am facing rates of 14.99 on two and 19/99% on the third and I can’t seem to bring the balances down. I recently received an estate settlement of approximately US$44,000 and initially I planned to purchase a condo in Florida with reasonable walk score and a safer location. Should I just pay the credit cards off or purchase the condo? Also, will I qualify for a mortgage with credit card debt. My credit score is currently 750. Please help.

Answer

Have you considered selling the two residential properties - they have been vacant for over two years. Generally, the high interest rates alone would be enough of a reason to pay off your credit cards.  I recommend that you meet with a CPA/PFS in your area to review your complete financial picture before you use the  estate settlement.  You already own two pieces of real estate and should consider whether your assets are diversified before investing in another property.

visit www.findacpapfs.org to find a specialist near you.


For additional information visit http://www.360financialliteracy.org/

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