My Credit Unions

How I Paid Off $24,000 in Credit Card Debt

How I Paid Off Debt, And So Can You!

(Guest Author – Sharing a Story of triumph)

The typical American household charge card financial obligation is $15,191, which made me above-average in the United States for the past six years. In September 2016 I finally surrendered by paying off this debt.

That is the time I made the final repayment that is the last $24,000 of unsecured debt that gave me the heartburn for long years. The shackles are finally coming off, Finally, SUCCESS! Debt had me locked up for so long and caused me so stress that I could not wait for September 2016. That kind of optimism has been lacking since 2011.

I was barely into his 40’s and still in decent shape (or so I would like to believe) that is enough to coach junior high school football five nights a week. I am a dad that is married with four children, all good students whose only problem ended up being determining exactly what college to attend.

I was a distribution manager for a building supply company in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area that serviced the housing industry at the tail end (I didn’t know it!) of a decade-long run of prosperity. Raises, bonuses and happy times were all GONE!

Then I ran into one of those stages of life you’re only supposed to read about. In 2011, I suffered a heart attack and so did the economy in South Florida.

I spent five days in the hospital and was out of work for another month recovering. The economic slumped, which lasted a long time, dragging so much of South Florida’s housing industry underwater that you needed a boat to escape.

The combination of medical bills and lost income pulled the financial floor out from under me. I already had a mortgage, but took out two loans against my 401(k) program to try and keep up with the medical bills. When that didn’t keep up, I turned to charge cards.

Work bonuses went from pretty healthy to nil overnight. As far as raises, we either didn’t get one or, whenever we did, it was minimal. I tried to keep up, but one day I sat down at the table, looked at all the bills and cried or screamed (Really both) ‘Uncle!’ I give up!”

The $24,000 in credit card debt was spread over three credit cards. They carried interest rates anywhere between 18 and 20 percent (Awesome right?!?). I could no longer afford the minimum payments.

I went to the employee assistance program at work and they gave me two numbers to call for help. I tried the first number and after telling my story, the person on the other end of the line told him there was no way out, I should just file for bankruptcy.

I know that bankruptcy is all some people may do, but that is not me, I thought. I borrowed that money, I owed that money and I was searching for a way to pay it back.

A Credit Counseling Solution: National Debt Relief Program

I called the second number and got the answer I was looking for. A credit counselor from National Debt Relief asked some questions about my financial situation and recommended a debt management program.

Benefits of a DMP (Debt Management Plan) include lowering the interest rates on credit cards and consolidating all bills into a single monthly payment. The interest rate on cards dropped to just six percent, meaning my monthly payments actually attacked the principal balance.

That wasn’t even my favorite part of the program. I liked the fact that the DMP deducted the money automatically from my bank account each month. It helped add discipline to my bill paying. I had to become disciplined about having the money in my account on the first of every month. That really helped me keep on track.

In September 2017 I just celebrated 1 year of anniversary of Financial Freedom. I would personally not want anyone to experience this kind of stress in their life.”