Month End: August Snapshot

Over the past few days, I’ve considered re-targeting my focus on my credit card balances. I’m going to pray on it and talk it over with my fiancé. Just doing this action, shows me I’m not the same person I used to be. Before I would simply do the action, and then adjust to what happens. If you’re on this journey to a debt free me, I suggest that you do not do it alone. You’re going to face a lot of challenging choices, and it’s best to have someone that you can share openly your ideas and frustrations. Even if you have no one to talk to, I encourage you to talk to God. Where you are isn’t where you’re meant to stay. If you’re just starting this journey, and you’re overwhelmed by the steps ahead, and you feel uncomfortable about speaking to God or your family about what’s next, then feel free to contact me.

“”Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So, don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:7-11‬ ‭MSG‬‬

http://bible.com/97/mat.7.7-11.msg

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

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Credit Card Debt Reduction Options

There are many different ways to reduce credit card debt. Not all of these strategies fit everyone. The steps you need to take first are: pull your credit report, gather up all your monthly statements, and make a budget.

You need to know how much you owe, how much you’re paying out and how much you’re earning. Based off of how much you make and spend toward debt repayment and living expenses, these factors will let you know what options to pursue. Because I’m currently paying high interest rates I’m balance transferring

those balances to a lower interest rate. Doing this process ensures that my payments reduce more of the principal balance. This practice is in debt reduction.

But I’m also looking at additional ways to earn income. If you want to pay your debt down faster then you have to be willing to work, and sell what you don’t need. Here’s a link to a video by Bloomberg Business that shows three ways to get out of credit card debt:

Stay diligent about becoming debt free, and begin to save for your future

“Sloth makes you poor; diligence brings wealth.”

Proverbs 10:4 MSG

A Debt Free Me

Chipping away one step at a time….

The first two posts introduced you to my  current situation. How I got here, and what I’ve determined to do to get out. The most important fact to remember is once you start this journey, you’re not alone. Someone before you or someone after you will make a decision to get out of debt. The types of debt I’m specifically referring to are credit card, a line of credit, term loan, and student loan debt. These types of debt reflect my struggles. There are many different types of debt and some debt is good and some debt is bad. This journey to a debt free me is a journey out of bad debt.

I’m blessed to be paid on the 15th and the end of the month, so either every two weeks I’ll post an update, or I’ll post a monthly update. In the previous posts, I listed out my credit cards, line of credit, term loans (consumer loans) and student loan balance. Since I know that the term loans, and student loans are making principal and interest payments, my focus on the update posts is going to specifically be on the revolving lines of credit (credit card and personal line of credit) balances and the term loans. I  will not post balance updates regarding my student loans, but I will inform you of any offers regarding student loan consolidation. Here are the balances and the total amount that’ s been paid up to this point as of 8/15/2015.

Wells Fargo Line of Credit

$4,500.00

Capital One Card

$5,600.00

Barclay’s

$2,490.00

TD Ameritrade

$2,110.00

Since the Journey of a thousand miles post , I have paid off the Capital One card that had a balance of $2450.00 through a balance transfer to the Wells Fargo Line of Credit. The TD Ameritrade debt has been reduced by $211.41. The Wells Fargo Line of Credit has increased by $2305.00, and this increase does include some reductions. The other Capital One card is my main target. It’s balance has been reduced by $800. The total amount reduced so far just going by the payments to TD Ameritrade and Capital One is $1,011.41. How was I able to reduce the balances by this much within a span of less than 15 days?

The fastest way to reduce debt on a internal level is to have a burning passion to accomplish your goal.  When you have this desire, your mind is challenged to look for opportunities to make money appear. For me, I sold things I didn’t need anymore, I pulled money I had set aside to save, and I even liquidated some stocks. Your situation may be different than mine, but the worst thing you can do is to either bury your head in the sand, or throw your hands up and give up. You can’t hit Goliath if you run away from him.  I know that this month will probably be one of the best months of debt reduction so far, and with that I encourage you to sit down and create two things: 1) a budget and 2) a debt reduction plan. Once you sit down and create a budget, you will have a better awareness of your financial condition. If you’ve never made the time to create a budget  before, I’d like the opportunity to sit down with you and create a budget. Feel free to contact me.

Keeping count:

As of 8/4/15 my revolving line of credit debt was:

$15,856.41

$13,661.41- credit cards $2,195.00- Wells Fargo Line of Credit

As of 8/15/15 my revolving line of credit debt was:

$14,700.00

$10,200.00- credit cards $4,500.00-Wells Fargo Line of Credit

My personal goal is to have paid down my credit card debt down to underneath $10,000.00 even if it’s only $9,999.99. It’s important to set small and measurable goals, and if that’s hard to do, then at least set a goal and work toward it. I believe in your journey too. Getting out of debt does require sacrifices, and moments of doubt, but when you make the end of this journey, you’ll find that you’ll have the knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge. Don’t be discouraged, and I encourage you to pray into your situation. See you in the next post.

“The very steps we take come from GOD; otherwise how would we know where we’re going?”

Proverbs 20:24 MSG

A Debt Free Me

How did I get here?

How did I get here?

Almost ten years ago, I didn’t know how I had amassed so much credit card debt. Looking back on it now, I was very much in love with the idea of instant gratification. I wanted to get as many things as possible to celebrate my freedom of youth, to drink, and to basically have fun. And that’s where the problem is. If you find yourself emotionally spending, then your emotions are controlling you, and not the other way around. A person can have an intelligence in storing information, but if he doesn’t have the emotional control and the wisdom of how to apply that information effectively, then the person can fall victim to his feelings.

Looking over the past two years, I can tell you almost exactly how I amassed the same amount of debt vs. back then. The increased debt came as a result of the engagement ring, a new car, helping a family member pay off an existing debt, making an advance to open up a day trade account, purchasing equipment to store excess things I’ve accumulated over the years, and spending on day to day living.  But here’s something I do know; if I really wanted to I can accurately find out where all the money went and how I got here. How do you do that? The answer is simple take a deep breath, and collect all  the credit card statements from the past two years and you’ll see where the debt came from.

Credit card debt can be bad if you’re not willing to stop digging the hole. Credit cards are also great tools to accurately track where the money goes. A good rule of thumb to follow is this rule: If you can’t pay the balance off in less than a month, then pay it off in a year, but if you can’t pay it off in two years, then you may want to consider terming this credit card debt out, by getting a term loan. Here are three peer2peer lending sites that can help you convert your credit card debt into term loans if you have less than perfect credit:

Lending Club

Prosper

Upstart

The most important step to a debt free me is asking yourself: How did I get here?

“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”

Proverbs 13:20 MSG

The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

On August 1st 2015

I decided to get serious about paying off my consumer debt. It was roughly a decade ago that I was in this exact same position. The big difference is this time I’m engaged to be married and I have a relationship with God. This blog is dedicated to my journey to a debt free me. Can you do it too? I certainly believe it. However what it takes is patience and an uncompromising will to pay down your consumer debt. My consumer debt is composed of four loans and five revolving lines of credit. The four loans which I’m making principal and interest payments on are comprised of a student loan, and three loans that will be paid off in three years. The five revolving lines of credit are in the form of four credit cards and one personal line of credit.

As of August 4th 2015

Here are the balances of the term loans and the payment amounts:

Navient

Balance

$24,868.54

Payment

$69.12

Wells Fargo

Balance

$8,997.00

Payment

$330.00

Upstart

Balance

$5,200.00

Payment

$250.00

Prosper

Balance

$8,890.00

Payment

$375.00

Here are the balances of the revolving lines of credit

Wells Fargo

$2,195.00

Capital One

$2,450.00

Capital One

$6,400.00

Barclay’s

$2,490.00

TD Ameritrade

$2,321.41

My total term loan debt is $45,760.54, and my total term loan debt without my student loan is $20,892.00

My total revolving line of credit debt is $15856.41, and my total revolving debt without the personal line of credit is $13,661.41

My total overall debt is $61,616.95.

Is it possible to get out of this deep of a hole? The answer is yes, and the most important step is if you find yourself in a hole and you don’t want to be in one; stop digging.

If you notice, I didn’t list out the payment amounts on the revolving lines of credit. The reason I didn’t do that is because revolving lines of credit payments are normally interest only. I also separated out the student loan debt and the revolving line of credit debt. The reason I did this separation is because your student loan debt will normally have a lower interest rate, and a unsecured/secured line of credit will have a lower rate than your credit card. The payment amounts and interest rates are important. Are you ready to begin the journey to a debt free me?

“I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.”
Psalm 27:13-14 MSG


http://bible.com/97/psa.27.13-14.msg

A Debt Free Me