Oh, and don't close the cards since they're in good standing - NJ just hide them somewhere.
Id suggest a safety deposit box. This will limit access but still make them available within 24 hours. Cutting them up means it may take a while to get new one. Living where I do, there are times (during Hurricane season) where you may need to have access to them if you have to evacuate. If your husband is responsible with money you could give him one card (for Emergencies only) and lockup the other ones.
One other question I had....
If I were to get JCP, AMEX, HSBC and Amazon all paid off, leaving the four largest CC's with an approx balance of $16000, what do you think the possibility is of getting a consolidation loan and stopping the crazy interest rates and having a normal 8% rate or something? I have a Harley Davidson motorcycle that I could put up for collateral if need be.
What's the best place to start looking for a loan with a normal interest rate? My local bank?
Depends on what motivates you IMO.
You've got $4k available now, if it were mine, I'd pay off the 2 highest interest cards out of the $4k, then the small balance after that. Immediate gratification of having 3 cards zero'd out.
From there... if saving the most money is the goal then hit the highest balances first (could be a big chunk of change)
If seeing the cards with balances dwindle sooner rather than later will keep you going then hit them in balance order - low to high.
Google debt snowball calculator to find some websites where you can enter the information and play with some different scenarios.
I wouldn't use the 4K if that is the ONLY money you have saved up.
If all your CC's are 20%+ and you can get a consolidation loan for a lot less, it makes sense.
What doesn't make sense is getting a consolidation loan, clearing up your cards, and then charging back on them again.
Then you'll have another 20K in CC's with whatever the new loan is at, at the time. Not smart at all. So, it's up to you whether you think you can control your spending or not.
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