08-25-2010 05:56 AM
Let's be pragmatic and hit you between the eyes:
1. STOP USING THEM! All of your rotating balances for visa, mastercard, discover are very near their limits and apparently you are bouncing off your high limits, leaving only enough to cover the interest. You have no reserves in the balances.
2. The cards in #1 can help you with life's emergencies, if used appropriately, They shouldn't be used to buy a pizza, pay cash. Kohl's or Macy's cards can't be used to fix your car if it breaks. In fact, I would suggest you payoff and get rid of all the "private label" cards, they are really useless, hurt your credit (probably why your credit limits on the visa and mc cards are so low!) and they all take Visa and MC anyway.
3. Don't get a loan, that is called pyramiding and you probably only want it so you can spend more. It is a very slippery slope. Then you will have the loan payment plus the card payments.
4. Be honest with yourself! You can justify anything to yourself, but that isn't really being honest.
08-25-2010 06:14 AM
I would add one more step. You are 21 years old, and making $50k/year. Take a really cold, hard look at your spending habits, and decide where you can cut back in order to get rid of the CC debt. REALLY cold and hard.
Some of the more common ways that people throw away money is the Five Buck at Starbucks approach--that's an extra $100 or so to pay down your debt. How often do you go out to a happy hour after work with your coworkers? Most people waste up to $50 a time on that, with buying rounds and garbage appetizers. Do you make most of your own meals, or do you eat out most the time? Fast food ISN'T cheaper than cooking for yourself, and it will take its toll on your health, too.
Unless you have a large car payment you've not included here, or are paying high rent and/or a house payment, you could, I imagine, find an extra$500 to $1000 every month that you could use to throw at your debt.
Because you want to do two things simultaneously, get to one payment AND get rid of the debt, once you have a realistic and doable amount to pay each month, take your cards, stick each of them in a bag of water and put in the freezer. If you have your card numbers and CVV codes written down somewhere, put that in a safe, but inconvenient to reach place, too, like inside a box inside a carry on bag inside a suitcase. The idea is to make yourself have to think, each and every time you want to use one of those cards.
Then use either of the snowball methods that is most workable for you: either pay minimums to all but the lowest balance cards, and pay them off in the first month, or minimum to all but the highest interest card, and pay the rest on it. Once it's paid, go to the next, and the next.
You have made a mistake in racking up high balances. But at 21, to have recognized it, and be willing to fix it, is great!
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