Welcome to part two of my story! I am so excited to share the triumphant part of my journey and how I paid off $13,000 in 1 year from credit card debt. It was a hard realization that I had that I was in a BAD position with my shopping habits, and I was determined to make it better.
Once I realized that it would be impossible to pay off my debt with how I was currently living, I was determined to change. My husband and I had a talk about what we could do to improve our finances and make sure we had enough for our life’s basic needs, and how we would pay off our debit.
Our first step was signing up for a credit card debt relief program. Now, this is a controversial method, but it 100% worked for us because of the way we did it. Here are the pros and cons of one of these programs.
- You are able to get your monthly bills greatly decreased, which is easier on your budget. For us, we were paying around $1500 in minimum payments towards our credit cards. We got it reduced to about $400 a month.
- The debt relief companies work with creditors to lower your interest rates. This makes it so you can pay off your debt faster.
- You have all your payments lumped into one easy payment that can go into the budget. This took a lot of the headache away.
- You are required to close every single credit card account you have. This can be a pro and a con, because you aren’t able to add to your debt but now you don’t have any kind of safety net for emergencies. You also can not open any more credit cards.
- You usually are paying off this debt for years with these plans. I think our debt was scheduled to be paid off in 4-5 years if we kept making the minimum of $400 payments. This payoff can be an annoying part of your budget.
- Your credit score is hurt pretty bad when you close all your account. But with all the credit card debt I had, my credit was already bad.
The reason why this program worked for us is because we were able to get rid of a lot of the interest we were paying, and we were able to have it work in our budget a lot better.
Enter one of the hardest decisions of my life
We were doing ok paying off this debt, but we knew we wanted to it off much faster than the program allowed. We also knew we needed to buy a house soon, so we needed good credit scores and a good savings. My husband and I were both working full time, so we decided we would dedicate my whole paycheck to paying off debt/saving for a house, and then live off of one income. The ONLY way we could do that was to move out of our independent apartment and move in with my in-laws and live rent free. Now, I love my in-laws, but it’s never easy to share a space like this for either of us. I am so thankful that we had that option because we wouldn’t have our home today otherwise. It was a hard transition because we were living with someone else and had to respect boundaries we didn’t use to have. But it was worth it to be able to put $2,000+ a month just into paying off debt.
So, what we would do is we would put my paycheck into savings until we had the exact amount to pay off one of the credit cards. Once I had that amount, I would call the credit card debt relief company and ask them to pay it off in full. We were able to do this for about 6 months and then we were debt free! And our credit scores skyrocketed back up to great numbers because of this. Which in turn put us at saving for another 6 months for our home’s down payment + having good credit and getting a good mortgage rate.
Now I know that moving into another home isn’t an option for everyone, but if it is, DO IT. I can not recommend this enough. If you do decide to do this, be sure to have a specific plan in place so both parties know how long you will be staying. This keeps everyone on track and an end in sight to the living situation. If you don’t have the option to live rent free, look into moving to a place with less rent to pay. Or even working more hours/working a second job or side hustle, and just put everything extra into savings. This will make it so you can pay off debt in big chunks and pay less interest!
Thank you so much for listening to my story about how we paid off $13,000 in debt. I hope this inspires you to make a plan on how you can cut spending. This will allow you to live a better, more freeing life. Being without debt is a great feeling, and I recommend it to everyone! It’s worth the hard work and temporary discomfort! If you’d like to follow more of my story, feel free to check me out on Facebook and Instagram!