Thursday, June 26, 2014

A turning point

Three and a half years into this blog and we've reached a milestone: We are finally able to throw snowballs at this stupid debt!

Prior to this, the minimums have consumed all of our income. When we first started this, we didn't really even have enough to cover the minimums. We were candidates for bankruptcy. We couldn't keep our heads above water.

But thanks to putting several cards into Bank Liquidation Programs, with lower interest rates and a set monthly payment for five years, we kept up. Early on, that sometimes meant robbing Peter to pay Paul - using a balance transfer from one card to cover the payment on the next.

But here we are, several years later and tens of thousands less in debt, and we are finally seeing real progress. I attribute it to a combination of factors: I have picked up some small freelance jobs that are bringing in just enough to make a difference; and as balances have dropped, so have the amount of interest we are paying and the minimums due. The balances of our accounts were all so insanely high to begin with that we have only been able to pay off one account in full in all this time.

I think we can count on at least an extra $300 a month to throw at the debt on top of the minimums. The current target is the American Express card, because it is not in a BLP and the interest rate is ridiculous. I want to be close to getting rid of this one by the end of the year. We'll see how it works out.

I remember not so very long ago not being able to sleep at night worrying how I would pay this month's bills. I don't do that anymore.

For anyone ready to throw in the towel: Don't. There are better times ahead and I know now we are going to get there.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Can they do this?

Just checked my Union Plus account to make sure a payment posted and happened to notice that my credit limit had been raised ... $5,000!!

I do not remember receiving any notice of this change and, frankly, am irked that they did this. I checked my last statement and there was nothing there about raising the limit.

In fact, I have received several offers lately from other cards to have my limit raised and have ignored them. And while I would never deliberately agree to it, I'm tempted to just leave it as is and go on with my life. We don't use the card anymore - I'm not even sure we still have the actual card. The higher limit would, I imagine, be good for the credit score as it would lower the debt to credit ratio.

I don't know. Mostly it reminds me how much I hate credit cards and the game the companies play with consumers. I cannot wait until the day when I no longer have a credit card balance!!