Debt Free at Last

Discover CardGorgeous and I finally paid off the last of our debt, this one was originally mine from before we got married. She has done an amazing job dumping money from our accounts whenever we had a surplus into paying down our debt.

She has sacrificed shopping trips and vacation weekends for two years to get us to this point, not to mention telling me, “no!” almost every time I wanted to get something we didn’t really need. We’ve stopped using our credit cards just because we didn’t have much in our checking or savings. Credit cards are for needs only when the accounts are insufficient, and that’s it. The amazing thing is that they keep raising our limits and I keep insisting on them lowering our APR.

Here is what you have to do:

  • Leave your cards at home or hide them in your wallet/purse so they aren’t easy to use. Do whatever you have to do to not use them unless you’re stranded, need to make an emergency trip, or need to make a huge car repair.
  • Try to get your interest rate(s) lowered.
  • Pay off your smallest card first. This frees up that monthly payment to go toward the next card.
  • If your cards are of equal balance, pay off the highest interest rate card first.
  • Whatever you do, don’t pay anywhere near the minimum balance on your target card. I am talking about paying 2-10 times the minimum balance to make any headway.
  • When a card is paid off, put it away so it stays empty. Use it every once in a while for gas or something to keep activity on it, but that is it. Pay it off by the end of the month to avoid any interest at all… same day if you have a problem with that.

Discover Card just introduced a neat feature that shows you the effect of increasing payments and eliminating all of your spending on your cards. Just not using the card can take your plan from 28 months to 4 months. Check it out at Discover Card’s site.

  • Jerry

    Congratulations Jesse!!!
    That’s just how we got out of debt, too. Feels great, doesn’t it? It’s like getting a humongous raise. Once we got free of the debt, we started using just one card and making sure we never put more on it than we could repay at the end of the month.