It's been some time since I've posted in this forum. I have gone through significant life and financial changes. When I first came to this forum in 2011, I was so excited to start my credit journey, obtain new credit, and get credit limit increases. It was exciting and awesome....back then. Now that I am older and wiser and understand the consequences of credit a hell of a lot more, I am working to make better decisions. I came to this forum with zero debt. After job loss, cut backs, extended unemployment (this also includes making dumb decisions), I return with over 30k in debt. How did I let this happen? How did I get to this point?
I am currently working to get out of this mess I have made for myself. I am simply tired of not having money for simple things like groceries, gas for my car, or money for rent. It's like as soon as I pay someone, the balance goes right back up with crazy interest and a payment is due again. I have called several times every other month to have my APR reduced across the board. So far, only Discover reduced my APR from 19% to 16.49%. Most of the other companies raised my APR, lowered my CL, and INCREASED my minimum payments due *coughs* CitiBank *coughs*. I am living paycheck to paycheck at this point with a majority of my income going toward bills. I have cut all credit card usage completely and only use cash. I try to pay more than the minimum payment and currently working to pay off Chase Freedom by the end of the year because the interest is drowning me. I made about 29k last year but I expect to earn more this year as I just received a promotion at work. I used to look at people's debt situations and say MAN, that would never be me! I would NEVER let THAT happen. Well....I did...and here I am. Any advice would be greatly appreicated as to how to lower interest without closing accounts because my credit score would completely tank. Cap1 and Chase Freedom are my oldest accounts. Right now, Transunion FICO 8 is in the mid 699 and I think that's pushing it. UPDATE: no baddies, no lates, or collections. Accounts currently in good standing and payments on time.
|Credit Cards||Balances||Credit Limits||Payments||APR|
|Capital One||$ 4,722.23||$ 5,000.00||$135.00||21.40%|
|CitiBank||$ 5,861.43||$ 6,930.00||$157.66||18.49%|
|Chase Slate||$ 5,127.23||$ 5,300.00||$111.00||13.49%|
|Chase Freedom||$ 4,565.16||$ 5,000.00||$142.00||23.49%|
|Discover IT||$ 5,771.28||$ 6,000.00||$119.00||16.49%|
|Lending Club (loan)||$ 5,519.66||$ 10,000.00||$341.73||13.99%|
|Total||$ 31,566.99||$ 38,230.00||$1,006.39|
Thanks and unfortunately no. All my APR promotional rates expired at the end of 2015 and early 2016
Yes. I have cut out all entertainment and non-essential items. I made a lot of progress the last few months getting my debt down. Most of it was in the mid 6ks.
A friend was in the exact situation you are in. He borrowed from his 401k to pay down the credit cards. The rate you pay to borrow from your own 401k is very small and in reality, you are paying yourself.
First, hats off to you on keeping up with payments and not adding negative info. You can do this. I would advise you to just take a deep breath and view it as a temporary project. You're basically going to want to:
1. Simplify. No frivolous expenses whatsoever. This wIill free up as much cash as your can for debt repayment. Food, shelter, clothing, transportation. That's it. Write it down.
2. If possible, find a way to bring in even more money. This could be a small part time job, Uber, selling unwanted items on Craigslist or ebay, etc. Even an extra $200 per month could get you so far.
3. Google Dave Ramsey and the "debt snowball". This is basically a way of paying your debts off that gets results and simplifies the process for you. It works.
If you buckle down you'll be beyond this before you know it. It may take 24 months but what an accomplishment. You just need to stay focused.
The suggestions made so far have been great, I'll just add that an additional form of income couldn't hurt.
I'm a huge fan of learning to SALE something, ppl say they don't 'like' sales but ppl like to buy stuff, so service a need/want it's better than LIKING being stressed 😊
Another point was made about using one's 401k or TSP with you're a government employee
Please do NOT take this step lightly...Far too many ppl fall for the only borrowing from YOURSELF mantra because it's been pitched incorrectly far too often
Don't get me wrong, lots of things come on the table as a last resort..Gun to head but fleecing one's 401k/TSP is a much bigger deal than a simple loan to one's self
Too many folks wind up PLAYED come retirement time...When these funds nor their GROWTH are NOT there
Obviously growth and compounding that WOULD have happened are ROBBED from you when you do this NEVER to be regained, not to mention the tax deferment
Again, there are times we have to do what we have to but this option has been OVER used by way tooany,way too often for me not to mention a huge word of caution.
Again, much rather a person get a side gig than raid the 401k because it is much more than a simple loan to self
All I can say is "WOW"! You have made me think more about it.
Thank you all for your suggestions! I'm definitely not gonna borrow from the 401k. I kinda feel like I'd be robbing Peter to pay Paul when I could just pay it where it is. I'm gonna tackle this debt to the best of my ability. I'm already slated to bring in more income than the one provided above. So it is my plan to get rid of this debt within the next 2-3 years.