Earlier in the year I wrote about my relationship with debt and my resolution to pay it off and position myself in a place that is more conducive to personal growth and freedom. My goal was to pay off 80-90% of my credit card debt by the end of the year and in keeping my promise of transparency, here is my update.
I created an Excel spreadsheet to get a better sense of what I actually owe in credit card debt, taking into account the annual fees and interests. Based on that document (which was pretty eye-opening) I made a realistic but aggressive payment plan and regularly checked in to monitor my progress. About three months into it, although progress was steady, I realized it would take me years to pay off my credit cards and get my credit score to a place where I can easily move out of my apartment into a bigger one and ultimately buy a home.
My best option was to get a personal loan.
After much research and comparison, I ended up taking out a loan and applied all of it towards paying off my credit cards. Now I have one monthly payment to make, which is significantly less than my previously combined credit card payments, with lower interest. And by paying off my credit cards and making on-time payments on my loan, my credit score went up by over 100 points, which will make it easier for me to get approved for a bigger apartment and when the time comes, qualify for a low-interest mortgage.
The money I am saving from paying off my credit cards will now go towards saving for a much-needed family vacation with my kids and a down payment for my long term goal of buying a home ownership.
I have achieved my goal of paying off my credit card debt well before my target date without having to drastically change my lifestyle but more importantly, I have a better understanding of debt and the importance of financial literacy.
See you on my next update.