Once upon a time a debt collector made me cry. She shattered my world with her lack of consideration for my situation and up until a few years ago I resented her and wished nothing more for her than a miserable life of being known as the source of others misery.

It was 2007 and I had just moved back into my patents house after leaving the abusive relationship. I used all the money I had to drive home to Charlotte, North Carolina from San Antonio, Texas. I was rock bottom. I was estranged from my friends.  I had left Miami before graduation to support my then mentally unstable, steroid addicted boyfriend as he pursued his dream as a mixed martial arts fighter. I was enrolled in an online finance course so I could finally finish my BA but that finance class was a completely different beast from my Public Administration courses and I had a C, which threatened my undergraduate career.  So I was poor, pregnant, emotionally scarred and broken, facing the possibility of failing the class my degree hinged on, and falling deeper and deeper into debt.

While Iw as living in Texas my mom would always fuss about debt collectors calling her house (up until three years ago my life was unstable so my parents address and phone number was my permanent house). About a week after being home a debt collector called and my mom was more than happy to hand me the phone. For the first 6 minutes I tried to reason with the woman but when that wasn’t working I got personal.

crying on phone

For some reason I thought she’d understand and back off. I told her “I’m unemployed, in college, and pregnant”. She responded, “it’s not my fault you were dumb, this debt needs to be paid and you need to uphold your financial obligations.”

I cracked. Even the debt collector realized how dumb I was. My mom came running into the room to find me yelling and crying at the same damn time. She took the phone, cursed the girl out and furiously hung up. I stopped speaking to debt collectors that day and continued to sweep my debt under the rug.

Debt is frightening. It can be depressing and overwhelming. Since those days I’ve grown incredibly and learned how to deal with my debt do I don’t have to deal with debt collectors anymore, however for many it’s an ongoing reality. I began to arm myself against them by learning about my rights as a consumer and that debt collector harassment is prohibited. Becoming an informed consumer, has been one of the best decisions I made for myself and it is a core reason of why I started MyFabFico. Many people don’t know their rights when it comes to debt and collectors often manipulate people into making decisions that make things worse by praying on fear and shame.

Check in later this week. I will be providing valuable resources about what consumer rights  against debt collectors.