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

Responses: 15

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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

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

Reduced $13k Credit Card Debt

I managed to rack up over $13,000 of credit card debt and have nearly paid it off in 3 years.
—Guest Ian

Change Your Expectations

Paid Off 30k in credit card debt and personal loans in 12 months. I changed my expectations, and decided my life-style should be based in financial reality. I decided that paying down debt was my number one priority. I started reading anything I could find on how to live frugally. I implemented numerous cost cutting ideas, such as using a price book and coupons, bundling services, and shopping for better insurance rates. I started making dinner at home, I canceled all memberships and magazine subscriptions. Anything and everything to reduce fixed monthly expenses. On top of that, I opened a second bank account. I pay all the household bills from one account using automatic bill pay. The second account I deposit a set amount of money for my "living expenses." When it's gone, spending is over. Any and all money left over goes to payoff debt. For me the way to succeed was to change material expectations and make debt reduction a priority.
—Guest GeorgiaD

Going "all Dave Ramsey"

My husband and I paid off our school loans (about $7,000) and about $5,000 in credit card debt in three years by following a budget my mom taught me....much like the Dave Ramsey method...except I didn't have to pay for the seminar! LOL! Pay off the smallest balance with the largest amount you can afford. Pay just above minimum on all others. Then once the first paid off, add that amount to the next debt, all the while paying just above the monthly minimum on others. It really works!
—dstoeck

Paid Off Five Cards

Many decades ago, my husband's business was not doing well. I found out by accident. At that time I had sold a small business and was receiving payments monthly. What I did was gather all of the credit card statements for one month. I believe there were five of them. I immediately began paying the minimum payment on each one ... within a couple of months, I took the smallest amount owed on one credit card - approximately $200.00, and begin paying double and triple the amount owed. Within a few months THAT particular debt was paid. Then I would take the money I was no longer spending on that card and apply double and triple and so on to the next lowest card, until they were all paid off. My husband could not believe how simple my plan was and doubted it could work but it did. He learned his lesson. No credit card debt now. Pay off is after 30 days only, or ELSE!!!! Money remains a touchy issue with me!
—Guest Guest

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

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