Tag Archives: credit card debt

3 Easy Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Just a few weeks ago, my husband, Kevin and I were in over $25,000 in credit card debt. No our cards weren’t maxed out, not a single one was. But they were close to their limits. We knew that we had to get rid of our credit card debt or get it under control FAST in order to apply for a mortgage loan. Read on for 3 easy ways to pay off credit card debt!

Let’s start with the easiest way to pay down your credit card balances.

Add a few bucks extra to your minimum payment!

You’re probably wondering why I said this first… well that’s because it is by far the easiest thing to do to lower your balances. It may take a while, but it can shave YEARS off how long it will take for you to pay back your debt. PLUS…. It saves you money because you aren’t wasting money on INTEREST!

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This is a screenshot for one of my December 2015 Credit Card statements. You can see that I had a $1,910 balance.

In this screen shot it shows you that if I would have only paid the Minimum Payment it would have taken me 11 YEARS to pay off that $1,910. PLUS I would have ended up paying at least $4,401 with all the interest included. Even before December 2015, I was paying at least twice on this card. Two times the minimum payment. So about $100 or so a month. But I used the card to buy my kids a new computer for Christmas. Sometime in December, Kevin and I had a heart to heart about our credit card debt. None of it was behind, but I felt like we were suffocating ourselves with the total amount between all of our cards.

So we made a decision to start putting an extra $500 a month towards our highest interest rate card (that would be the account I just showed the screenshot for above). Because of his new job and the increase in pay. Right off the bat, he was making 2.5 times what he made at his previous job. So we have been used to living off of next to nothing. Well we buckled down and paid off $1,500 on that card in just two months. I still have a small balance of around $170 to pay off in the month of April and that card will not be used unless of an emergency.

Now I know a lot of people that cannot afford to drop $500 a month or more on credit card debt. So put as much as you can squeeze out of your “budget” towards paying down your credit card debt. This will also help increase your credit score over time. In just about 3 months, my score went up around 66 points putting me into the “VERY GOOD” Credit rating on Experian’s website.

So putting extra money towards your minimum payment is step #1!

Get a Debt Consolidation/Personal Loan

Now this is something Kevin and I didn’t do. We used our 2015 tax return to pay off a TON of debt (more than $14,000). But when you get a debt consolidation loan, you’re getting one interest rate and only have to make one payment, not many. Plus your revolving debt will be gone and replaced with installment debt. Which basically means that you’re going to have a fixed payment. Your rates can fluctuate with a credit card regardless of your credit scores.

By having a fixed rate you’ll be able to save money on interest. So that means more money will go in your pockets than if you were to pay your cards off slowly over time. Such a win-win, in my opinion.

Take up a Second Job or Find a way to make or save money from home.

If you don’t have the time for a second job (Kevin can’t work a second job because of his travel), then find a way to make money from home or see if you can pick up some extra shifts/hours at work.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom like myself, than I suggest things like selling your crafts on Etsy/eBay, write an e-book and sell it on Kindle Direct Publishing (I’m doing this right now), sell baked goods, go flip thrift store finds on ebay or Etsy; if they are vintage. Refinish furniture, start a pet sitting service. Basically, find something you can do from home that will help you earn a few extra bucks to put towards your credit card payments like listed above.

Clip coupons. By clipping coupons and stacking them with sales, you can get great deals and save tons of money to put towards your debts!

We’re still working towards paying off the last $10,500 of our credit card debt. We’ll get there. Hopefully before the end of 2016. But very soon we won’t be able to dedicate $500 a month paying it all off. Because we’re hopefully going to be homeowners this summer. We’ve already got our pre-approval and are hunting for a home. So keep looking for updates and ideas on how to get rid of your pesky credit card debt.

You could apply two of these tips to towards any type of debt such as car payments, mortgage payments (we’ll be dedicating extra money to our mortgage as soon as we close on a house), etc. Keep an eye out for posts about paying down a mortgage in a shorter period of time than 30 years.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog! I really hope that you enjoyed my 3 Easy Ways to Pay off Credit Card Debt tips. If you did, I hope to see you back soon!

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Waiting Game

The next month or so is going to be a waiting game. Why? Well keep reading to see what the waiting game is all about.

For those that haven’t stopped by our blog before, let me give you a little background on our family.

We’re a family of 7 with a dog and 2 cats!

My husband, Kevin was a United States Marine for 10 years, he was honorably discharged in September 2014. He spent a year working for a small construction company, the pay sucked and the job itself wasn’t much better. But the owners of the company were great people. When I found Kevin’s new job and he accepted the offer, he gave his two weeks. They said if things with his new job didn’t workout, he was more than welcome to come back. They still text him every so often to say they miss him. He’s now been at his new job for almost 4 months. He loves his new job, while it’s not the same type of generator work that he was doing in the military. Job is great, co-workers are great, and the pay is phenomenal. He spends a lot of time traveling, but it is part of the job.

We have 5 kids (three are from my 1st marriage; that ended badly). They’re all under 12. Our house is always crazy. Someone is always doing something too loud, too messy, or too slowly. We’re looking forward to being back on the East Coast, as soon as possible. We’re trying so hard to get our lives together after the Marine Corps to give our kids the best. We have occasionally struggled to make ends meet because we support not only our children, but a house in Maryland that my in-laws live in. My in-laws are finally getting back on their feet, so we’re almost to where we need to be in order to purchase our dream home. No need to damage my husband’s credit by letting his first house get foreclosed on.

This tax season, we were planning on paying off debts (as many as we possibly could). Well we had to change some things around and decided to get all our credit card debt under control. We are just under 25% utilization between all of our cards (we have a lot, lol).

So to get back to the topic of this post… we’re playing the waiting game with our credit scores. Now, before you jump to conclusions we both have good credit scores, we’re just waiting for them to get better. The better the score, the better the rates we can get for a mortgage.

So we’ve got to wait until our credit reports update with all the proper account information. Until then, we’re still going to make more than our minimum payments until our cards are paid off and we’re going to put all of Kevin’s overtime pay into our two savings accounts (only one has online and access via debit card, the other requires Kevin to go to the bank to deposit while he’s in Virginia).

I’m not sure what is worse… the “two week wait” when finding out if you are pregnant or not… or waiting for our credit reports to update.

This has been a long time coming… We’ve just been waiting it out for the last year. We attempted to purchase a house in 2014, but with all the other issues (not getting rent money from his family) we had to put our dreams on hold. But this is a much better year financially and this is the right time for our family to do the things we want to do.

Well enough random ramblings. I’ve got to go do laundry and dishes. The life of a stay-at-home mom/housewife are never done! But I wouldn’t change this for the world. The freedom it allows us, as a family is awesome.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. The kids and I have some science fair projects to do.


So Kevin and I take pride in having good credit. But we want excellent credit. My goal is to be able to walk into any car dealership or apply for any loan/credit card and be approved, allowing us to get the best possible interest rates.

Now we don’t plan on going out and buying a new family vehicle at this moment. We’re just going to continue to repair my old SUV so we can continue to enjoy not having a vehicle payment. We have been car payment free for just over a year. We made the lasjujut payment on Kevin’s truck in March 2014. We’d rather save up for a new family vehicle than take out a loan. This would/could prevent us from obtaining a mortgage loan when we are finally ready to purchase our dream home.

But in the off chance that we have no other choice but to take out a loan… I want to know we’re getting the best rates possible. So we’re working on paying off credit card debt, one card at a time.

I’m also going to write two goodwill letters for two derogatory marks on my credit reports. They’re from when I was married to my 1st husband… So I’d like to get them off my credit reports. This alone will help boost my scores a little bit.

I’m so close to having a 700+ credit score. In fact I’m about 10 points from 700! By paying down our credit card debt, I’ll be lowering our credit utilization thus raising our credit scores! Boom!

Are you wondering how to get your head above all your credit card debt, mortgage, car payment, student loans, etc? Well leave me a comment below and I’ll post a blog about how to pay down or off your debts early by only changing  little things.

I’ll be updating all you loyal readers on my success or failures, as far as the goodwill letters go. I’m really hoping that I can persuade them to remove the negative marks because I’ve already paid the debts off last year in September 2014. Of course, it takes about 45 days to get any real response from creditors and the credit bureaus. So check back for updates on this subject around mid-August.

Is there something you’d like me to blog about? If so, please leave me a comment.


Credit Card Debt

Just like the average American, Kevin and I have a decent amount of credit card debt. Enough so that it will take us about 18 months to pay it all off. We don’t at all promote excessive usage of credit cards. In fact, we try our hardest not to use it unless necessary. But in when our lifestyle changed, our spending habits and financial situation changed. So now we need to work on getting rid of that debt, so we can start putting money aside for our dream home.

Starting July 1st, we’re cutting out all unnecessary spending. No more Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. No more spending money on makeup, until we’ve paid off all our credit card debt. No more wasting money on Netflix, since our kids never even use it anymore. We’re cutting back on our data plan with our cellphone company, to save a little extra to pay towards our debts. Every little bit helps to pay it off that much faster. By the end of July, we’ll have paid off one of our credit cards. Then it will take us about 3 months to pay off each of the rest of the cards. So by April 2016, we’ll have gotten our tax return back and can pay off our last two credit cards. Which means we’ll have no more credit card debt.

So you’re probably wondering how we’re going to pay off all this debt in a matter of approximately 10 months. We have just under $19,000 in credit card debt. That’s a lot of credit card debt. But lucky for us, we can definitely pay this off in less than a year. We’re good with our money, we don’t go out and by things we can’t afford.

Since we’re cutting out Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts (until we pay off our credit cards) we’re going to use the money we were spending on coffee towards our credit card bills.

If two coffee’s everyday costs us about $7 (from Dunkin’ Donuts) and we buy coffee everyday in a month we’re spending about $210. Just on coffee! So our plan is to take that $210 and our minimum monthly payment and put it on the first credit card each month until it’s paid off (it will be paid off by the end of July). Then we’ll take the $210 and the last cards minimum payment (add those together) and then add them to the new cards minimum payment (e.g. $210+$25+35=$270). Once the 2nd card is paid off, we’ll keep on adding the next card’s minimum payment amount to the previous figure until we get our tax return back. By the end of April 2016, we’ll have paid off all our credit cards if we put our entire tax return on our last two cards. Please note: We’ll still be paying the minimum payments on all our other cards while we’re doing this, until we get to the card with the lowest interest rate. By paying off cards from highest to lowest interest rate, we’ll save money in the long run. We won’t be skipping any payments, as we don’t want to hurt our credit scores… we want to improve them as much as possible before we purchase our dream home. No need to get stuck with a higher interest rate on a mortgage than we need too. We have decent credit right now, we could have a 3.375% interest rate through our credit union. But we just haven’t found our dream home, nor do we really have the finances to purchase a home that really fits the needs of our 5 children.

 

So as of right now we’re working on getting ourselves out from under all this credit card debt. I will occasionally update on this subject, so I can tell you how well this system is or isn’t working for us.