1) Being debt free is more important than fico scores.
2) Not everyone's profile suffers the same from becoming debt free.
I lost about 15 points and a year later only about 5 down.
For me the score loss was very small.
Over the last 13 months we paid off roughly $55k in debt and cash flowed about another $20k in other (mostly) unexpected expenses.
It was a simple path to get there, nothing new or groundbreaking. We made a budget and stuck to it religiously, and also worked like a crazy person soaking up every minute of overtime available. It can be done.
That is insane! My fiance and I are in $55k debt accross her student loans and our car loan. Do you use a budgeting software or do you follow your own budget? We have been using YNAB to budget for the last 9 months and it has paid off quite a bit so far. I just received a raise and she will be due one soon so we're planning on using a good portion of that additional income for debt paydown. Your story gives me motivaiton to get become debt free as soon as possible!
I looked at it like this short term sacrifice would set us up for the rest of our life. Also we cut up all credit cards.
I really like your analogy here and I think that goal setting will go a long way convincing my fiance to jump on board. It's hard to keep her on the same page as far as finances go since she is a big spender and I was raised to be frugal and value money. We are planning on getting married within the next 1.5 years and and hoping to be able to buy a house in 3. I think she will be able to get behind the idea of short term sacrifices setting us up for success in the long term. We are both still very young and and have a long road ahead of us, I just want to make sure that road is a lot easier to travel!
Edit: I wanted to add that while I think cutting up your credit cards can be a good idea for some people who have a bad habit of over spending when using cards but when used responsibly can reap huge rewards. I look at credit card spending as cash out the door since I pay in full and responsibly budget all of my spending. I am pooling all of the cash back we earn to pay for vacations or to help justify a large purchase.