Many shoppers have made an impulse purchase, maybe a high tech toy they knew they couldn't really afford or a gift for a child or loved one.
But few can tell a story quite like Sue Wade, who wanted to buy a great Christmas present for her kids 24 years ago, and is still paying for that gift today.
Wade was a single mother with six kids and just an OK job, so everything extra was hard to come by.
The year was 1989. Gas was 97 cents a gallon, The Cosby Show was No. 1 on TV, Milli Vanilli was at the top of the music charts and Wade was planning a great Christmas.
"My daughter and son were doing so well in school, I thought I would surprise them with a nice gift," Wade said.
She financed two very modest 13-inch televisions for their room. They cost $399 each, and she was paying her monthly bill when she had a back injury, and missed two months of work.
"Those two months have cost me a lot," Wade said.
She fell way behind on the payments, which had 24 percent interest on top of late fees, and an over-the-limit fee.
"I got the bill down to like $300, and while I was paying the bill, it kept going up and kept going up to over $1,000," Wade said.
Wade contacted the credit company in charge of her loan, and told them she just couldn't afford this. Her original $35 monthly payment had now tripled, and there was no end in sight.
"(I said) 'I will be paying the rest of my life the way this is going. Can you all stop the late fees and just let me pay it off?' They said they couldn't do that, and they didn't want to do that," Wade said.
So, she simply stopped paying, and the issue went to court, where a lawyer friend represented her.
Now, finally, after 24 years, the credit company is willing to settle the matter for $300 dollars. The televisions are long gone, and those teenagers are now 40 years old.
Of course, the burning question is exactly how much Wade has paid for those two $399 televisions, but Wade said it would be too upsetting to know.
"Oh, my goodness. I couldn't even begin to think how much I paid," Wade said.
Either way, this chapter in Wade's life is all set to go away forever, when she makes the final payment next month.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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