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No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom

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Valued Contributor

Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom


@Zimmerman wrote:

This is my first post but I'm a long time reader and fan of this site. I've been inspired by other members and similar posts but mostly I've come to the conclusion that I will need help in accomplishing my goals. I've been delusional and generally care free with my credit decisions. The more in debt I became the less I payed attention to the hole I was digging. This has been going on for at least 6 years now. My lowest point was a high interest car title loan with OneMain Financial. There's a number of excuses I could make but only I'm to blame. I've tried several times to change course but it seems I lack the dedication to stick with it. My goal is to pay off all my debt and increase my credit scores in the process. I'm hoping that creating this post and sharing my experience publically will give me the purpose to accomplish this goal. I tend to get obsessive about things, and this has surely contributed to my current situation, but I've also found it can be a great asset if I focus myself towards more productive activities.

 

The good news is I do have a stable job that pays almost $80,000 year and I have good payment history on all my accounts.

 

My Fico scores listed below (from myFICO).

 

Equifax - 628

Transunion - 640

Experian - 670

 

 

I'll start with the changes I've already made.

 

  • I've learned to hate debt.
  • I've started meditating daily which I'm hoping will help with the long term dedication.
  • I've opened a second bank account and plan to use a debit card for all purchases until I'm out of debt.  I'll use one for all my automatic and fixed monthly payments which total $3,400 (loans, cards, rent, insurance, utilities).  This leaves $1,000 - $1,200 going into my second account for the rest of my monthly expenses.

 

 

Here's my current situation:


Cards

 

Chase Sapphire

23.99% APR - $7,019.30 - 88% Utilization

 

Cap-One Platinum MC

20.80% APR - $5,618.48 - 98% Utilization

 

Citi AA Platinum 

22.49% - $4,136.50 - 98% Utilization

 

Cap-One Platinum MC

20.99% APR - $826.27 - 83% Utilization

 

Target Card

22.90% APR - $54.60 - 7% Utilization

 

Chase Slate

23.99% APR - $1,000.00 Limit - 0% Utilization

 

BBVA NBA

26.24% APR - $2,000.00 Limit - 0% Utilization

 

Lowes Card

26.99% APR - $300.00 Limit - 0% Utilization

 

Home Depot Card

26.99% APR - $500.00 Limit - 0% Utilization

 

Totals   $17,655.15 Balances - 75% Utilization    

 

 

Installment Loans  

 

OneMain Financial Loan

27.78% APR - $6,843.23 - 3 months old

 

Prosper Loan

16.73% APR - $3,045.67 - 18 months old

 

Lending Club Loan

14.31% APR - $2,200.14 - 16 months old

 

Totals   $12,089.04 (loans) + $17,655.14 (cards) = $29,744.19 (total debt)

 

 

 

Here's my plan.

 

I'll have $3,000 next week that I plan to use on the credit cards. First get everthing under 90% utilization then attack by APR.

 

In September I'll be able to take a $3,000 401k loan to further pay down the credit cards.

 

I'm hoping by October/November my utilization will be under 50% and my scores will improve enough to take an additonal loan from Prosper or Lending Club to pay off the OneMain Financial Loan and a good portion of the credit cards.

 

I'd like to move most of my high interest debt to lower interest installment loans. At that point I'll continue using cash/debit until I pay off the installment loans. 

 

Is this a sound plan?

 

Thanks in advance. Cheers,

 

 

 


I think it's a very sound plan, with one exception (for me, anyway):

 

I don't love the idea of borrowing against your 401k. $3k doesn't really do much and *if* this all goes south at some point, you've messed with your 401k for nothing.  I also hate 401k loans because should you leave your job, they become payable in full. Could be a potentially stressful situation on top of everything else should that ever happen.

 

I'm curious about the breakdown of the $3400 fixed monthly expenses and the $1000-$1200 "other expenses" items. Something tells me there might be some things to cut in here.

 

Are you upside down on the one main car title loan? If you have any equity whatsoever, I would sell the car, ditch that loan, and buy a cheap car ASAP.

Ch 7 Discharge May 2015
Discover/Target/NFCU CLOC/NFCU More Rewards Amex/NFCU Platinum/PenFed Power Cash Rewards/PenFed Pathfinder Visa/Citi Costco Visa/CapitalOne SavorOne/Apple Card - $132,100 total revolving
5% down Conventional Mortgage @ 3.25%
Message 11 of 30
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Super Contributor

Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom


@CreditGuyInDixie wrote:

 

SouthJ is the king of CUs.  He knows a ton about them.  Glad you two are chatting.  He's a good go-to guy for anything actually.

 

 


 


Smiley Happy Thank you Smiley Happy


I am not worthy


Total revolving limits 653000 (575000 reporting)

Message 12 of 30
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Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom

Message 13 of 30
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Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom

I do realize the 401k loan is risky should I leave the employer. From what I understand I would be charged a 10% penalty and have to pay tax on the outstanding loan amount? That seems about the same as paying 1 year of interest if I don't take the loan. I also see myself staying at my current employer for quite a while. I have incredible job security. 

 

My monthly cost breakdown is something like this

 

$3,400 goes into an account to cover my autodrafting payments:

 

$1560 - mortgage (financed by family member)

$134 - car insurance (wife and I)

$150 - utilities (electric, water, waste)

$80 - Entertainment (Internet, HBO, Netflix)

$135 - Cell Phones (wife and I)

$75 - IRS payment (installment from underestimating last year)

The rest is loan payments and credit card minimum payments.

 

Whats left over from my paycheck goes into my debit card account that I use for all other expenses.

 

$1,000 - 1,200 per month goes to:

 

groceries

restaurants

gas

dry cleaning

alcohol

pet supplies

traveling obligations

 

At this point you're probably wondering what my wife pays for. I've been covering all of our expenses for the past year while she's starting a business. She hasn't made much in the last year but things are starting to look up. I'm hoping to shift some of my expenses over to her once the business picks up.

 

The car was given to me by a family member. It would look bad if I sold it too soon. I'm also not sure if it's worth more than the loan. It's nothing fancy. It's an older car with low mileage and it's reliable.

 

 

Message 14 of 30
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Member

Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom

I thought about it some more and I've decided to listen to the advice in this thread. I've opened a savings acount with Truwest Credit Union. I read great reviews and they're a mile from my house. I'll let my scores recover and see what they can do prior to the 401k loan. If I can get a decent APR perhaps I don't need it.

 

Thanks again for all the replies and advice so far. I can tell already that this thread will keep me honest.

Message 15 of 30
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Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom


@Zimmerman wrote:

I thought about it some more and I've decided to listen to the advice in this thread. I've opened a savings acount with Truwest Credit Union. I read great reviews and they're a mile from my house. I'll let my scores recover and see what they can do prior to the 401k loan. If I can get a decent APR perhaps I don't need it.

 

Thanks again for all the replies and advice so far. I can tell already that this thread will keep me honest.


Wonderful Smiley Happy I'm envious. Looked at their website and they look great.


Total revolving limits 653000 (575000 reporting)

Message 16 of 30
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Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom

Very strange. All I did was open a savings account with Truwest Credit Union. I log in this morning and there's a new hard inquiry on Experian for an installment loan from Truwest.. The strange thing is it bumped my score up 4 points to 674. What's that about?

Message 17 of 30
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Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom


@Zimmerman wrote:

Very strange. All I did was open a savings account with Truwest Credit Union. I log in this morning and there's a new hard inquiry on Experian for an installment loan from Truwest.. The strange thing is it bumped my score up 4 points to 674. What's that about?


1. Credit unions often do a hard pull when you become a member; it's got something to do with living up to their responsibilities under the Patriot Act. Don't worry, it will be worth it in the end. Some credit unions will use that same hard pull if you apply for credit within X days. So you might want to inquire about Truwest's policy in that regard. PenFed, e.g., uses the same hard pull if you apply for credit within 90 days.

 

2.  It didn't bump your score. Your MyFICO alerts are often unrelated to the score change noted on the alert. There are certain events, such as a hard inquiry, which trigger MyFICO alerts. If there happens to be any difference between your present score at that particular bureau, and the previous score reported to you from that bureau, the score change is tacked on to the alert. No connection.


Total revolving limits 653000 (575000 reporting)

Message 18 of 30
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Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom


@SouthJamaica wrote:

 

2.  It didn't bump your score. Your MyFICO alerts are often unrelated to the score change noted on the alert. There are certain events, such as a hard inquiry, which trigger MyFICO alerts. If there happens to be any difference between your present score at that particular bureau, and the previous score reported to you from that bureau, the score change is tacked on to the alert. No connection.


Still, wouldn't that be great??  I'd be at 850 in no time! And my friends would ask, and I could say "hey, it was easy, in fact it just APPened..." :-)


Current Score: EQ779 TU781 EX805
Goal Score: 800's once again


Note to self: Garden. Must garden till 3rd Qtr, 2019
Message 19 of 30
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Re: No More Delusion - My Journey to Debt Freedom


@zipperhead wrote:

@SouthJamaica wrote:

 

2.  It didn't bump your score. Your MyFICO alerts are often unrelated to the score change noted on the alert. There are certain events, such as a hard inquiry, which trigger MyFICO alerts. If there happens to be any difference between your present score at that particular bureau, and the previous score reported to you from that bureau, the score change is tacked on to the alert. No connection.


Still, wouldn't that be great??  I'd be at 850 in no time! And my friends would ask, and I could say "hey, it was easy, in fact it just APPened..." :-)


Yes it would be great. I would be the king of credit.


Total revolving limits 653000 (575000 reporting)

Message 20 of 30
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