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Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

Valued Contributor

Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

I spent too much across several cards and find myself in a bind that could very well lead me to bankruptcy. I have been trying to figure this out myself but I think I need help. Below are my cards, balances, limits, UTIL, and APR in an Excel spreadsheet I made that calculates various totals using formulas. I only had about an hour to make this so its still very basic. I am working on adding pay down amounts over time too but for now, this serves my purpose.


I need a plan of attack. Lowes is at 0% until 7-2018. Amazon has several 0% periods going on but they won't last another couple of months. I don't have enough money to pay them down to a manageable amount that I can afford each month without going under so my plan is to pay them down enough to make my scores go up by reducing my UTIL on each card (My overall will drop with the payments so I am not too worried about it since its not far from under 30) in hopes I will be able to get a balance transfer card to consolidate at least some of the higher interest ones. 


I am open to other suggestions as well. My plan is to pay down the high UTIL cards to under %50 and then with the money I have left pay off the lower balances. I have about $10k I can put towards these right now but after that it will be slim pickings until the years end unless my side business picks up which is not likely since it relies heavily on the political landscape. So I need to make a big impact now so my future payments make a bigger impact than just paying interest. I no longer use theses cards except to pay my monthly bills for the cash back. They go on Chase and I pay it off. I don't eat out or party or anything else anymore. I work all the overtime I can and I already have a business that I am trying to increase my profits while moving more products. 




Please help. I am not proud and I am not beyond admitting when I am wrong. I know it is bad and I know I might get some tough reposnes, I am ok with that. I want to own this and get it taken care of. I have filed Ch7 before and I do not want to go through that again. 

Experian: 679 (31) | TransUnion: 700 (33) | Equifax: 694 (6)
Gardening as of: 5-30-2017
Updated 11-10-17
Regular Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

I've used this calculator it's great. You can pay down your cards to a certain amount and then pay them off. It will select the best strategy for paying off which card first based on APR.
Starting Score: EQ: 597 | TU: 610 | EX: 606 (12/2016) | TCL - $3,550
Current Score: EQ: 691 | TU: 668 | EX: 702 (6/2017) | TCL - $91,450
Goal Score: 700

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Regular Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

Hi there! Sorry to see you are in a bind. I'm sure some more experienced folks will chime in but have toy considered CLIs to help improve your utilization and maybe applying for a new card that you could BT to? Neither would reduce the amount you owe, if course, but might alleviate some stress and prevent you from getting slammed when your 0% periods run out in Amazon (you need to SD those cards you transfer balances from so the problem doesn't get any worse). Might help buy you some time and interest fees while you pay down your balances.

In the garden until spring 2018. Final date to be determined by closing on my new house!
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

It takes guts to admit. First thing would absolutely be to stop the bleeding if you are going to have retroactive interest coming up. Before doing anything, can you check to see if you prequals for:
Chase Slate
Citi Diamond Preferred
BOA BankAmericard

$500k+ club. | FICO 08 [Oct 2017]: EQ 746 EX 738 TU 733 | World's worst gardener.
Established Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

First thing I would do is pay off all the cards with a balance below $2,000... According to your spreadsheet, that is 7 cards. Depending on the minimum payment terms, that's getting rid of at least $175 in monthly minimums, probably more.

From there, I would then throw as much as I can at Amazon so you can avoid back interest if those promo periods expire.

After that, I would concentrate on paying off the next lowest balance card, and then the next, etc. The idea being that as you eliminate more minimum payments, you're able to pay off the next card quicker.

If you're able to work out a plan, that's preferable to BK.

My cards:

Amex BCE: $15K | Cap1 Venture: $18K | NFCU CR: $14.3K | Wells Fargo: $11K | Cap1 QS: $8.5K | Barclays Rewards: $7.75K | Discover IT: $6K | Sportsman's Guide: $5.9K | NRA: $5.5K | Legacy Visa: $2.75K | Elan Plat: $2.3K | Cap1 PS: 2K | Cabela's: $1K

Current Scores: EQ: 718 | TU: 742 | EX: 716

Valued Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

of all the cards, the one with the highest need to pay down is  Amazon the promotions are cool, and can save money but you get in trouble fast because if you miss the zero percent interest window they hit you with all accrued interest you would of paid, so missing by $10 can cost you 100's...  I read the stories,  I often use them, love amazon but always move heaven and earth to get it paid off on time.  


step 1 check all your existing VISA/MC/AMEX/DISC  for balance transfer deals, most of them do them even if your not new. If none you can apply for a new card with a  0% offer, but if not may need to bite bullet and transfer to another high interest card just to remove the interest bomb AMAZON will deliver,  check your promotional offers statement under activities,   "Interest Deferred, But not Charged"   is the amount to be charged if not PIF in time.  


after that is defused you can take a look at many of the pay off methods to pay down your cards, you aren't the first to need to pay off massive amounts of credit debts lots of posts here.  



Cards: Chase Southwest 20k & CSR 10k & CSP 10k & Freedom 6.6k & Amtrak/Freedom 4.6k, FNBO DISC 25.1k Oregon Duck 5k, & AMEX BCP 15k & Hilton Surpass 7.5k & Delta Gold 6k & Zync NPSL, Fidelity AMEX 17k Commerce5.9k & Cash Forward 7.5k & Sams Club MC 10k, Paypal Extras MC 7.5k, CapOne Venture 15k, QS 2.5k, QS 750, Amazon 5.9k, Walmart 10k, Citi Simplicity 9k, Discover IT 16k and a nice stack of store cards.
Last APP/HP 5/15/2017 Marcus Loan. 30k
Established Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

No judgement, we have all been through tough times. Smiley Happy


Now ,y advice... google dave ramsey debt snowball plan. It is just what you need. 

Giving up on the images for now

Stepped out of the garden 10/9/16

Valued Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

A chapter 7 might be in most ends best option, depends on your income and so on, no credit or debt is worth loosing health over it.try what ever u can but it might get there.

Frequent Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

Sorry to see you are in a bind.

You do not need new cards. or start the money shuffle games.
First -- STOP spending on the credit cards.
Pay all your bills, food, etc with debit, cash, checks.
Cut back you spending, you are spending more than you should if you cc's are going up.
Pay a little more than the minimum due this month, and do not
lower it next month.(Continue paying this months minimum or more).
You have approx $34,000 at an average of 16%-int, depending on cc's about 700-800 total min payments.
If you pay 800 each month you will be clear in about 5-6 years. If you lower each payment
to the new minimum payment the loan will not be paid for 25-years. Spend less, pay more and you
could see daylight in about 4-years. ($1000/mo)

Good Luck - It will be hard - no movies, and beans.

Frequent Contributor

Re: Need help with a plan to pay down high utilization

In my above response, I was using average CC-APR, your APR is about 23%, and if you did not add more debt about $33,000

Here are amortization chart top-bottoms for 700, 850, and 1000 dollars a month