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Readers Respond: What are You Doing/Did You Do to Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt

Responses: 19

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A zero balance on a credit card is a beautiful thing. Tell us what you're doing/what you did to get your credit card(s) paid off. Share Your Story

25.5k in 2.5 years

With the help of a non-profit debt counselor, I was able to significantly lower my rates on 3 credit cards totaling $14,500 and $11,000 to pay off my car.. I've been blessed with a new job with a 90% increase in total annual salary. I lived like I was still paid at my old annual salary while using my new salary to pay off debt. I still saved a good bit of cash and when I had enough to make one final payment to pay off my largest interest bearing bills, I paid on lump sum to get rid of the debt that weighed on me for the last 5 years. Now off to pay of $20,000 in school loans by the end of the year...hopefully.
—Guest Jeff

I paid off all my credit cards twice

I racked up debt in college to eat, to go out, to travel once. I received an inheritance and wiped out the 7K balance. The rest of it went to pay off my last semester. When I graduated I had no job and so I used the credit card to again buy food. Before I knew it I had maxed out my highest interest card, then the next and the next. I was so ashamed. When I did get a job I didn't make much progress. I worked as a temp and it wasn't until my second gig that I paid off the 3K 30% balance. I was laid off and during that 9 months of unemployment I'm proud to say I didn't touch to card once. After my new gig and saving up money I cleared off the other two credit cards. Now I have 20K worth of available credit but no balance. I am sad to say I paid 14K worth of cc debt overall. But I think I finally learned my lesson!! Now if I use the cards (which were converted to rewards cards.) I pay them off immediately and reap the benefits.
—Guest Did it twice

Zero Balance (from 10,000 to 0)

I had debt from college, medical bills, etc...it seemed it would never get paid off. the past few years I was paying 500 a month sometimes more but always seemed to rack up debt from car issues, etc.. The first step was to pay less per month and build an emergeny fund (1,000). So if I needed to repair something, the bill would not be on the credit card. The second step was to take a loan from life insurance for half of the debt. I have a policy paid in full. Repayment can be whenever and how much I want. The other half I used tax refund money, any Christmas money, anything I could scrounge to pay it off. I am happy for the first time in 10 years, I have zero credit card debt. I still have my emergency fund and 1 months salary saved, building to 6 to 8 months. I guess the key is to have some saved for emergencies and then chomp away as quickly as possible. It's liberating! Buy only what you can afford to pay off! Plan ahead for emergencies. Find low interest cards.
—Guest Emma

Realized I was throwing away $3k a year

I'm almost 30, have 12 credit cards, and realized that since I was 18, I've been paying them off and it seems to never go away. I have vowed to pay them off by Nov 2014 by setting aside $800 per month to strictly pay them off. I have started with the highest interest (29.9% and a balance of $934). I wrote a check for $526 then paid the minimum payments for the rest of them (totalling $800). Next month, I will make the last payment on that one credit card and knock down the next high interest card which is 25.99% with a balance of $2400. Will update everyone few months from now how everything is going.
—Guest Lisa

Pain of debt

I too, am someone that paid off 30K + in CC debt. This debt was a combination of medical issues, job loss(es), and low paid jobs. It took me 4.5 years to finally retire this debt with help from a debt consolidator. Bottom line is that it can happen and you'll sleep better at night. The country is 17 trillion dollars in debt not counting consumer debt or unfunded programs. We may now be better citizens for our thrift and attention to debt but it doesn't say much for the example that our country sets.
—Guest tanker

It's paid off

Hey it's me again, the one with the $1500 balance left to pay from a credit card balance that was over $10,000. Well, I paid it off last month and I feel free again. But I have no money in the bank and thus I need to build that up now. But it's easier to build savings when there is no debt. Oh and one more thing, I had a negative net worth for the last 5 years. Now, I'm in the black, just barely, but definitely in the black now. 2014 here I come.
—Guest Stan

1500.00 left to pay

I racked up over $10,000 in a couple of years. Prior to that I would always pay my balance in full. But one month I charged too much to pay off, and the balance grew from month to month. When the balance got too high, I decided to cut the credit card. I only use a debit card now. I hope to pay it off before year end, a few months left to go. I have learned a LOT from this and am so much wiser about money, debt, and relationships. My ultimate source of wisdom in all of this is truly God (Jesus). He enlightened me greatly in all of this and is to be praised. May you have the willingness to listen to Him when He speaks to your soul. Stan
—Guest Stan

So Close to Freedom!

Racked up over 40k in cc debt and more including other debts and two vehicles. For years I've been working to pay it all off. Next week... Final Payment on the last of my debt (not including a low mortgage). I cannot wait!! Many difficult sleepless nights coming to an end. My family and I can soon celebrate our new freedom! I cannot describe the excitement!! You're next. It's all about one big decision and a many small decisions!
—Guest Stoked!!

Second chance

Initially, I was doing well regarding my credit card purchases since I was receiving extra money at work. But since last April 2013, it stopped and me and my boyfriend racked up on credit card debt totaling 88,000 on 4 credit cards (due to eating in restaurants, travelling, shopping). We were just paying the minimums for months that came after. Thank goodness I did apply for a personal loan to pay our cards. Recently, another blessing from work came and I got just enough to pay off our 4 credit cards (though 4,000 was still left). It really was a a big help and a reality check for the both of us. We committed to lower down our lifestyle and stick to this second chance on financial freedom.
—Guest Charisse

Eddie C

You can do it if I could! We had over 30k in credit card debt between my wife and myself, we focused on the goal to get out completely, what we did is pay off the smallest first, then the next smallest etc. we had 10 different credit cards, as we paid them off we cut them up and the key was not to add any new debt. We felt we would be in debt forever, less than three years we did it! Car loans are next!
—Guest Eddie C

It finally happened.

I just paid off all my credit card debt, about $8700. It's truly a psychological burden lifted.
—Guest Qubit

Paid off 7 cards, down to.the last one

In November of 2011, I just decided that enough was enough. I was getting ready for a new job and knew I would be getting a 7% raise. I calculated how much I would make with overtime. I started with my smaller balances, and kept paying just above the minimum, or just the minimum on the other cards. After one card was paid down, I went on to the next. The closer I got to the finish line, the better I felt. I went down about $11k in one year. This year, I got another 7% raise in February. Just last Friday, I got 7.25% of my salary as a company bonus. I work overtime every week. In May I get another bonus, and another raise. I'll have my credit card debt finally paid off by 5/17/13 at the latest. I'm down to exactly $3,600. After I pay off my credit card, I have six months to pay off my car which is nothing. I figured, if anyone is going to make $$$ on me, then it should be me, not a #@$% credit card!!! Make debt free your reality, not a dream. Let's stop living check to check.
—Guest Calvin James

$12000 in credit card debt in 2 years

I was 36 and single. I worked a lot of overtime and was rewarding myself with presents. I had recently ended a 2 year relationship and was lonely...again I rewarded myself with presents. At Christmas I got one of 3 credit card bills with a balance and it had reached nearly $10000!! I could not believe I allowed this to happen. I had always been fairly smart with money. I have been saving towards my 401k since I was 25. I had a few thousand dollars in my savings as well. I made a commitment that month to scale down. Instead of signing up for more overtime I actually quit working it. I was worried I would fall off the frugality wagon and justify it with how hard working so much overtime was. I began living on my regular pay and learned to live on A LOT less. I scaled back groceries to $25 a week. I cancelled internet and turned in my blackberry for an old school cell phone. I quit getting any salon services and even pushed back hair appts from 6 to 8 weeks.Today I'm cc debt free.
—Guest loann

$19,000 paid and counting

My husband and I had a hard time after moving to a new state and managed to rack up around $28,000 in debt (mainly cc debt). Last year we made a commitment to pay it off. My husband took on a second Job and I returned to work after having our 2nd daughter. We pinched every penny. We had "no spending days" every week, ate many meals with rice and beans, got rid of our car and rode our bikes everywhere (even with 2 kids) we turned the heat down and even turned off our internet (we never had tv). I called all the utilities to get whatever discounts were available. As soon as our tax return came in I wrote a check for the exact amount and put it on our highest interest credit card. Soon the debt started to melt away and we felt more free every month. We are still working on it but life is more enjoyable without the crushing feeling that comes with $28,000 in debt. I just want to say it was not easy for us, people didn't understand what we were doing or why. Just do it for yourself!
—Guest $19,000 paid and counting

Cutting Debt

I contacted my credit company and said I have this much to satisfy my debt. I'll pay you if you report to the agency that it's settled. They took it. We've cut back on spending, lowered all our bills except our car payments. We may even sell one car and I'll ride the train to work.
—Guest Andrea

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What are You Doing/Did You Do to Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt

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