Credit Card Debt Report February 2009

Hello-

Time for another look at how much credit card debt I still have left to pay off.  I’ve been focusing my efforts and extra payments on my Universal Card since it has a special 6 month promotion of 9.9% on my balances that do not have a special rate.  After the six months is over, the rate jumps back up to 15.9% or so depending on the LIBOR rate.

So after that happens, I am thinking about transferring the balance to my Discover Card which increased my credit limit to $10,000 and has a short balance transfer offer of 4.9% for 6 months and then it goes to the standard rate of 15.9% APR after that.

I also got a nice rate increase letter from my Chase card this month.  They are not happy with the profitability of my account so they want to raise my rates to 19.99%.  Since I am not a profitable customer because I pay all my bills on time and do not give them the pleasure of charging me late fees or over the limit fees or any other crap fees they can think of.  So I have to write them a letter and opt out of their high rate offer and keep the special lifetime balance transfer offers I have with them at 3 and 4% APR.

And there are rumblings that USAA is increasing rates too for a lot of their customers to improve profitability of their credit cards but I have not received a letter yet so let’s cross our fingers.  If USAA does increase its rates on my card, I will have to opt out of that too and I will be left with my Discover Card as the only one I can use.

So one way or another, I will not be able to use plastic in the near future at all.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing.  Since I used those plastic cards too much to get in a mountain of debt in the first place.

Enough about that, let’s take a look at my current credit card debt for Feb 2009:

AT&T Universal Card: $9697.17

USAA: $10,167.73

Bank Of America: $16,057.08

Chase: $13,947.29

Discover Card: $0.00000000000000!

Add it all up and you finally get under $50,000! $49,869.27

Total credit card debt started with: $62124 Feb 2008

Total credit card debt paid off in last 12 months: $12,254.

My income went up in Jan so I should be able to make a few extra payments in big chunks to take a nice bite out of my Universal Card so I can stop paying so much in interest charges each month.

Thanks for reading,

Adam

The Credit Blogger

Getting out of debt – I have $55427 in credit card debt

Hell0-

The road to getting out of debt is not a short one when you owe over $50,000 worth of credit card debt.  Don’t you just wish you were a mega bank and you could just write down your debts when you make bad investments?

I wish I had that power.

I would write down a few thousand dollars worth of bad buys that I’ve made throughout the years.

Some people will think that bankruptcy is one of your biggest options when you owe so much money and you don’t even make that much in a year.  But for me, it’s more of a principle thing.  I spent the money, I made the good and bad decisions with the money I borrowed, so it’s my responsibility to pay off all the money I’ve borrowed and get out of debt.

Can you even compare the feelings of getting out of debt through hard work and being frugal versus getting out of debt using bankruptcy?

In one sense, you’ll feel total elation that you’ve climbed your way out of a huge hole and will have a tremendous sense of pride.  You’ll also have developed the financial habits that will lead to a very prosperous future.  You’ll be able to save money for retirement and for your kid’s college.

In the other sense, you might feel embarrassed that you had to file for bankruptcy.  You’ll struggle finding a job because your potential employer will be able to check your credit and see you have a bankruptcy.  You’ll struggle to buy a car or house because the lender will see you as a very bad risk.  This will go on for at least 7-10 years if not longer.

Don’t get me wrong, I have considered filing bankruptcy to just wipe out my credit card debts.

But for me, that’s not the best answer.  That would be the ultimate last solution.

There are plenty of other options available before bankruptcy is my choice.

There’s debt consolidation, debt negotiation and debt settlement.

Here’s my credit card debt as it stands now:

Discover $2696

USAA $9754

ATT$10856

Chase $14966

Bank of America $17154

So basically in a little over a month, I’ve reduced my credit card debt by about $1200.

I had a good month incomewise for the month of July so I’m looking forward to applying a good chunk of that to my Discover card so I can get that card paid off SOON!

I also had to divert almost $600 from credit card payments to help my girlfriend out with a dental surgery.  If not for that, my debt would have gone down by another $600.

I’m sure this happens to a lot of people out there, those unexpected expenses that take away from your debt repayments.

The key is to not let it get you sidetracked for too long.  Do what you have to do then get back to paying off your debts.

That’s all for now.

Thanks for reading.

Have a great day!

Adam – The Credit Blogger

2 ways to get out of credit card debt

Hello-

There are really only 2 ways to get out of your mountain of credit card debt:

1. Earn more money so you can pay off your debts faster

2. Spend less than you earn

The best way is to combine both methods to quickly accelerate how fast you get out of debt.

There are some tactics you can apply such as getting the banks to lower your interest rates or transferring your balances to lower interest cards.  But make sure you watch out for the balance transfer fees.

My Discover card keeps sending me a balance transfer offer of 1.9% for 12 months but it charges a 3% fee with a miniumum charge of $10 and a maximum charge of $99.

It doesn’t hurt to ask if your bank can waive that balance transfer fee.

You could also look into debt consolidation loans.  Do your research first.  Verify all the fees and use free online debt calculators to make sure how much money you are actually going to be saving.

Reduce your spending and apply all that money you’re now saving to pay off your debts.

In a short amount of time, if you combine earning more money and reducing your spending and applying that to debt reduction, you can wipe out big chunks of your debt quickly.

-The Credit Blogger

Who’s in control, you or your debt?

Howdy from Texas!

Who’s in control of your life, you or your debts?  Could you travel the world for a month if you wanted to without a care in the world?

Most people would say NO!

If you ask people why, they would say they don’t enough money, they have to work to pay the bills or some other excuse.

So who’s in control of your life?

For most people, it’s credit card debt and the credit card companies that are enjoying record profits at your expense.

They are getting rich while you and I are not.

We barely get by, we live paycheck to paycheck.  And then if our paycheck runs out, we have to borrow more money or get a payday loan and pay even more interest.

Now the question becomes, when do you want to get back control and power over your life?

When do you want to get out of debt?

When do you want to stop worrying about answering the phone because it may be another debt collector calling about those payments you’ve been missing?

When do you want to sleep through the night not worrying about how you are going to pay this month’s bills?

When do you want to stop making the credit card companies rich and start getting yourself a retirement or college fund?

Let me know when you want to get out of debt.

-The Credit Blogger

The dangers of having too much credit card debt

Hello-

Credit card debt is perhaps the largest reason why so many of us go into the hole every day of the year. We have begun to use our credit cards for everything from gas to food to very expensive toys that all our friends have so we have to have them to whether we can afford them or not.

Why not charge it?

Credit card companies encourage millions of us to spend money that we don’t have. Many people see a $10,000 credit limit as a target, and assume that they have been given an extra $10,000 to go mad in the online gadget shops and blow the money with very little consequences.

But there are consequences.

Very expensive ones.

“Financial analysts state that Americans are in, possibly, the worst financial shape than they have ever been. One of the main factors of that is the overwhelming debt that many families have put themselves in…”

The bad thing about getting out of debt is not easy, while getting into debt is no problem at all.

Heck, give me a credit card with a $10,000 limit and I’m sure I could spend it online in less than an afternoon.  Or give it to my girlfriend and she could blow it all at the Tiffany site in less than an hour.

The process of paying off your debts requires commitment and discipline on your part.

And if you never get out of debt, you will probably never have enough money so you can retire or pay for your kids college.

With a mountain of bills that you never pay off, you will never be financially independent and free to do whatever you want to do.

You will always be under the credit card companies control and you will have to answer to them.

You will never have the power you so desperately want over your life.

Do you want power over your life again?

Make the choice to get out of debt starting today.

-The Credit Blogger