taking "charge" of my debt

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2005
taking "charge" of my debt
Wed, 06-04-2008 - 1:38pm

Hi everbody,

I've been lurking for a while and you all have been very inspirational to me. I hope that this returns the favor. :) I have decided to stop being scared of my debt and now I'm doing something about it. I feel better than I have in years. Here's what my process has been so far:

1) Learn more about credit-card debt. I have about $8,000 in debt, most of it from when I was in college. I get invitations for new cards in the mail (more since I got married), but couldn't figure out which was the best offer. So I went to google (yay, google) and found Card Hub's Education Center. Guess what? I suck at using my credit cards! And I found out that I could call my credit-card companies and ask them to lower my interest rate. So I did, and one of them did -- from 29.9% to 14%. This is a huge difference!

2) Once I was successful at this, I felt soooo much more confident, so I went to the car salesman who leased me my Subaru stationwagon. I still had 2.5 years on my 5 year lease, but with another baby on the way, my car wasn't going to fit our family anymore. So, I asked if they would buy out the rest of my lease, and they said yes! (though I had to walk out of the dealership a couple of times before they'd make me a deal :). They bought out my lease and now I've bought a 2005 minivan. The payments are $50 more each month, but I'm buying it rather than leasing it, so I'm building equity. Also, the van costs something like $30,000 new, so buying one a few years old (plus an extended 3-year warranty) will save me money in the long run, right?

3) Finally, I went back to Card Hub and did a search for a credit card that would give me a low introductory interest rate for balance transfers, plus cash-back on purchases. I transferred some of my balance from my highest interest-rate card (one of the companies said "no" to my lowered-rate request, so buh-bye!) to my new card. And, I won't be using that card for new purchases, because guess what? This credit-card will charge different interest rates on purchases, but when I make payments, they pay off the lowest interest-rate debts first.

I finally feel like I'm gaining some control over my debt, after feeling out-of-control for so long. Now if there were only something we could do about my husband's student loans!!


Money Mommy Marilynn E.

Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-04-2008 - 4:14pm
Hey-a Marilynn - thank you so much for your uplifting post!

All my best,

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2006
Wed, 06-04-2008 - 6:06pm
I agree with Danni's post to you; fantastic!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Wed, 06-04-2008 - 6:07pm

Thanks! I really found that the first step was to learn what I was doing wrong. Once I read through all the stuff on Card Hub, it really boosted my confidence.

I mean, calling the credit-card companies was kind of scary (which may sound stupid, but it was), but I figured that all they could say was "yes" or "no" and it wasn't any sort of judgment against me. Plus, the comparison engine helped me find a credit card that suited my situation wayyy better.

Like my mother always says, "Time spent pursuing education is never wasted!"

We can get out of debt! We can get out of debt!

Now, if I could just get my kid potty-trained. But that's another discussion, for another discussion group. :)

--Marilynn E.

P.S. My dad told me once that the quickest way to get what you want at a car dealership was to leave and come back another time, preferably after *they've* called *you*.

Edited 6/4/2008 6:12 pm ET by rhythmball_lynn
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2007
Wed, 06-04-2008 - 9:36pm

Welcome, Marilynn, and thanks for the link!