I’ve mentioned before that the most significant thing I did to pay off my debt was start working with American Consumer Credit Counseling.
I don’t want to sound like a commercial for them – and I want to be super clear, I’m not getting any kickbacks for promoting them…(yet!).
They were able to do something I wasn’t – and that’s get the credit card companies to lower those insanely high interest rates. Because those interest rates are what is killing you.
Once those were lowered, it was just a matter of plugging away at it.
Now, when it comes to paying off the cards, conventional wisdom is to start hitting the card with the highest interest rate. While this is always a good way to do it, I found that I really needed to get rid of a couple of them just to show some progress, so I paid a little extra every month on the smallest one.
At the height of my debt, I had it spread over five cards. In the beginning, I was transferring things around to avoid interest rates – but eventually, I just filled them all up.
I had a couple that were small – around $5k each, and I started sending a little extra to one of them every month until it was paid off.
This had a double bonus. Because once it was paid off I felt great about having one of them done AND the amount allocated to that card then started dripping into the card that had the highest interest rate. Win-win.
I did the same with the other small one. Same win-win scenario.
With those gone, my highest interest card was gone in no time.
To be completely transparent, in order to do this, I worked a lot. Like 80-90 hours a week.
Without all that extra work, I would not have had the cash to pay the extra. So, if you can, get a side job. Or two. I know that’s not always possible, but it will make a huge difference if you can.