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Is there a way out of this debt??

Established Contributor

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??


It is commendable that you've been able to reduce your balances already.  To speed pay-off can you:


  1. get a part time job?  Even baby-sitting can generate a  hundred or so dollars a week.   
  2. sell things?  Sell anything you don't use regularly.  Streamline your wardrobe and accessories.
  3. downgrade your cell phone, internet, cable plan?  You've probably already done this.  I know a co-worker who always gets a 50% discount on his cable and internet bill because he threatens to move to the competition every 6 months. 
  4. join a carpool?  This would reduce your gas and car maintenance costs.
  5. get a roommate, move to a cheaper apartment, or move in with relatives? 
  6. reduce 401K / IRA contributions?  Leave the money you have in your retirement accounts, but reduce or stop any new contributions and put them towards your debt.
  7. borrow from family?  Maybe mom/dad etc...can lend you the money to pay off you debt and you can pay them what you would have been paying to cc companies.  Just reducing the stress of having to meet payments on multiple credit cards will help tremendously. 
  8. start collecting on money owed to you?  Does anyone owe you money?  Have you looked into the found money database? 


Message 21 of 87
Regular Contributor

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

I know where you're coming from. I was under a load of debt not too long ago, largely stemming from being a frivolous and nonsensical spender. I never thought things would get better, and that a potential bankruptcy was in my future. After coming here, I resolved to do whatever it took to pay off my debt and never get in this hole again.

Fast forward a year and 7-8 months later: Things have gotten better, there is still progress to be made, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'll be there by June.

Yes, there is a way out. For me, it involved picking up a part time job on the side, cutting out restaurants/online shopping almost completely, leaving my cards at home and living on nothing but the bare essentials for a while. I think all of those are viable steps you can take.

After that, my major realization was: it's going to take time. It's so easy to swipe a card and rack up the debt, but it's a lot harder to pay that debt down considering that you, I and the majority of people have to address this debt while dealing with ongoing necessary expenses (rent, mortgage, insurance, car repairs, food, children, medical care, etc.) on a finite income. It's a major challenge, but with a long-term mindset and proper budgeting, it can be achieved.

Best of luck to you!

Scores: 790 TU (Barclay), 780 EX (Fico8), 790 EQ

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Message 22 of 87
New Member

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

Where did you find this graph? Or did you create it? This is impressive and I need one.

NFCU 10K, Capital One 2K, Macy's 1K, NFCU CLOC 1500, WalMart 3500
Message 23 of 87

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

bravo for not missing any payments and staying on top of all that.  i'd reiterate debt snowball and second job.  Also depending on the APR reduction they'd be willing to do, it may be worth it to consider closing one, any, or all.  if your transunion is 699 that is a decent score that will only go up as your utilization decreases, so once you are caught up and debt free i can't imagine you not being able to apply for and get whatever you want.  once again great job keeping everything current.

Message 24 of 87
Regular Contributor

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

First off, as much as it sucks to be in that position, you are taking responsibility and working to solve the problem. I hope you are proud of that.

I suggest writing an actual, on paper letter to the CEO of each company, explain your situation briefly and ask for what you want. Let the CEO you are exactly the kind of customer the company wants: willing to pay what is owed and live up to your part of the bargain. But you need just a LITTLE BIT of help.

Calling customer service can be like playing the lottery... with worse odds of winning. There is no downside to a letter and $3 in postage.

I wish you luck.
Message 25 of 87
Super Contributor

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

@maiden_girl wrote:

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 PaymentsAPR
Capital One $            4,722.23 $             5,000.00$135.0021.40%
CitiBank $            5,861.43 $             6,930.00$157.6618.49%
Chase Slate $            5,127.23 $             5,300.00$111.0013.49%
Chase Freedom $            4,565.16 $             5,000.00$142.0023.49%
Discover IT $            5,771.28 $             6,000.00$119.0016.49%
Lending Club (loan) $            5,519.66 $          10,000.00$341.7313.99%
Total $         31,566.99 $          38,230.00$1,006.39 

My suggestion would be to pay minimum + $ 5 monthly on each credit card account other than Chase Freedom, and whatever else you have towards

the Chase Freedom. When you get the Freedom paid down to zero, then start in on the next highest interest rate account.

Message 26 of 87
Established Contributor

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

Pay of highest interest rates first to pay off faster and save money. If I were in your shoes I would think about taking from 401k if I could not pay this off in a timely manner. There is no guarantee a 401k is even going to increase at all over the next two years. Meanwhile you are throwing away thousands of dollars at credit card interest that is compounding daily. If you take emotion out of it that is the financially smart move.
Message 27 of 87
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

I'm probably going to get grief for this, but I'm going to offer something that may sound weird. I wouldn't cut out all CC usage entirely. Instead, I would utilize my rewards as much as possible, and pay off any charges that same day when I get home.


For example, right now your Discover IT card offers 5% back on gas. Sure you may pay 4 cents per gallon more for using credit, but you are getting back 5 cents on the dollar in rewards. Depending where you live, that's 10-15 cents on the gallon. That could be an extra $25 every few months to pay on your card.


In april, your chase freedom will be offering 5% on groceries. If you spend just $167 a month on groceries, at the end of  the quarter, there's another $25 to pay on the card. If you're like me, it would be $25 a month.


As long as you are using money that was going out anyway (e.g. groceries and gas), and paying it off right away, the interest paid on the charges is just pennies. You just have to keep on top of it, and be sure to not use that as an excuse for buying things.

Message 28 of 87
Valued Contributor

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

If OP can keep to Brad's idea and stay on top of it, using rewards to pay the balance is not a bad idea. But if one could do so, they wouldn't be in credit card debt in the first place. So I'd be very careful playing this strategy.

Message 29 of 87
Valued Contributor

Re: Is there a way out of this debt??

Not giving grief for the notion, in general but HOW does that relate to paying down the acquired DEBT?

You're talking about MORE spending...Of course one has to eat and live and I the rewards "game" but ...And I mean no harm
If a payer already has "issues" with buying and buying and buying

Perhaps, now isn't the time for THAT party to yet complicate THEIR purchasing and spending, to Video game their CCs....In all fairness, that person just might be better off NOT convincing themselves to use their CCs MORE

It's like recommending better Scotch to a person whose darn near losing their wife and kids over a drinking problem....
Sure the Scotch might be out freaking standing but c'mon don't give THAT GUY a 'new' reason to head to the bar, dude needs help getting OFF the stool, not better liquor 😐

All things equal, knock yourself out beautiful plan ... When one has proven that, just maybe freely swiping cards isn't the best idea for their budgeting, they may as well kick a hornet's nest why don't you😎
Message 30 of 87
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