I have been browsing the boards for almost a month now. Finally decided to become a full fledged member. This shall be my first of probably many posts. I have downloaded the snowball calculator, filled it in, and am now ready to do some serious elimination. Here are my enemies. owed/limit rate min JC Penny 899/1900 24.9% 47MBNA 4885/5500 19.9% 134BofA 418/500 17.4% 10 Direct Merchants 2764/3000 19.6% 70Fleet 1539/1600 10.9% 31Citibank #2 2133/2300 10.7% 44Citibank #1 3708/4000 8.6% 77Student Loan 1250/xxxx 4.1% 51----------------------------------------total 17596Looks like a lot, but the calculator has shown me it is manageable. Maybe even by the end of next year. Good news is that me and the gf get an xtra paycheck next month, so its bye-bye to the JCP and part of the MBNA. I have examined the budget and found about $500 a month for snowball. Progress should be quick. I am hoping as some of the balances shrink, I'll be able to get some decent BT. Wish me Luck Ima gonna need it. Willis
Wish me Luck Ima gonna need it. Hi Willis,Looks like you've got something better than luck - you've got a PLAN!!Welcome, and I do wish you good luck to go w/ your plan, 'cause every little bit helps! :-)Glad
I too was a lurker for a long time and finally decided to join up months ago. I dont post much but read almost all.I wish you the best of luck and from the sounds of it, your snowball sounds great. You should see those balances starting to drop quickly. When I really started in April my balances were 15418 but as of right now they are just under 13500. They are not dropping as quickly as yours will go but there is light at the end of the tunnel and it can be done.Best of luck and welcomeMikey
good luck,I got scared looking at all that debt. phew.
I got scared looking at all that debt. phew.Greetings, coolprash! I'm guessing it must scare you quite a lot to hang out around here! :-) I recall saying you are debt-free; was there a time when you were also in debt and eventually retired it? Can you share your story?My story is that I am paying off HUGE medical school debts, to the tune of about $110,000. I'm not working full-time yet but once I am (by early next year, I'm anticipating) I hope to retire it reasonably rapidly. I do not add to it whatsoever - my credit card balance (on the card I use for purchases) is paid off every month. When the time comes to pay the monthly payment on all the other debt, I feel something akin to glee: every payment makes me just that much more free, and I pay the day the statement cycles to hold down the interest, though by now all remaining credit card debt generated during my last year of medical school is presently at 0% until summer 2003. I hope to have it paid off completely by then. Trust me, this kind of debt is far scarier than Halloween!xraymd
Good luck! FWIW: I paid off our smallest balances first, even though the "correct" snowball didn't have it that way...it help give us a boost, and it opened up cash flow a bit. I'd pay JCpenny and BofA first, then call all my creditors and ask for lower rates (if you have already done so, make sure and call them back in 3 or 4 months...they might give you a rate reduction then, after a few more payments). Then, with that kind of snowball amount, I'd knock out Citibank #2 and see what kind of balance transfer they'd give you...they gave me a 4.9 once, and I think they are currently at 6.9% or lower...you could transfer some of that gawd awful MBNA to Citibank, making your snowball more effective at knocking down MBNA.Do you have an efund? Maybe you could set aside $50 a month or so, to give yourself a cushion in case of emergency? impolite
I agree with impolite and would knock off some of the low balances just to get rid of them even though the interest rate game will tell you otherwise. Checks and stamps costs money too!So, Penney's and B&A would be gone first. Do call to see if you can reduce your rates on the other ccs and call again once they are paid down a bit in a few months and some of the small balances are gone. L
Hi there! Welcome to the boards. Here you will find a great group of people who offer equally great advice.I noticed that JC Penny, MBNA, BofA and Direct Merchants all have pretty high interest rates. Have you tried calling to request a lower APR? We have an MBNA account that used to have a 19.99% APR and when we called, they lowered it to 12.99%! A couple of our accounts had APRs of over 25% and would not lower the APR, so we applied for and was granted an unsecured loan from our credit union. We now save hundreds of dollars per month in interest payments, which will cause our debt to paid off at least a year sooner.We're glad to have you!
My story is that I am paying off HUGE medical school debts, to the tune of about $110,000. My husband jokingly refers to his medical school debts as his "first mortgage." He's an internist too (hospitalist). I added it up today and was excited to find that the current student loan debt is now under $50K!! $49,281.57 to be exact. He's medical school class of 96/finished residency in 1999.Repayment is a painful chunk of your pay, but after residency it feels great to make more than $8/hour anyway. The worst of our debt was created during residency (3rd year), when I had to stop working due to medical problems (irony!) and the medical bills started racking up... Moonlighting (post e-fund) kept us from life on the streets. I considered bankruptcy once but student loans don't get written off!Good luck with the job search. Are you trying to stay in AZ?-- Laura
Good luck with the job search. Are you trying to stay in AZ?Greetings, Laura, thanks for the encouraging words. Yes, I do plan to stay in Arizona even though the pay is less (in fact, a lot less) then elsewhere because my fiance is based here, too. Besides, I really love it here and, after all, it's not what you make but what you KEEP that determines your financial stability.Having just finished residency this past June, I expect to be on the same payback pathway by next year as you now are (congratulations, by the way!). Indeed, it is going to take some time to wipe away the accumulated debt but I'll be really glad to get started!xraymd
Willis,Welcome! As some of the other posters have said...even though the general thought is to pay the cards with the highest interest first, sometimes, in some situations, it might be better to pay some of the little balances first then go in order of interest.I would pay off JCPenney & BofA first...this will free up $57 more dollars to add to your snowball.Then I would definately attack your Citibank #2. Once it is paid off, ask for a credit limit increase and do a balance transfer from your MBNA. Once you tell them that you are interested in possibly transferring another card to them, they might increase your limit to accomodate the higher balance card. And the most recent BT rate they have offered me is 4.9%. If they won't increase your credit limit, just transfer what you can and attack MBNA to get rid of it!
Yes, I do plan to stay in Arizona even though the pay is less (in fact, a lot less) then elsewhere because my fiance is based here, too. Besides, I really love it here and, after all, it's not what you make but what you KEEP that determines your financial stability.Aha, back to the secret of life...Being with a person who makes you happy is worth more than the highest salary in the world.The only problem we had with a vast increase in income was that suddenly we felt entitled to everything that we'd missed when we were impoverished. We had severe cases of I want it now! We've never gone into more debt as a result (except house/associated costs) but it certainly slowed down repayment. Keep your head on straighter and you'll fare well...-- Laura
Aha, back to the secret of life...Being with a person who makes you happy is worth more than the highest salary in the world.The only problem we had with a vast increase in income was that suddenly we felt entitled to everything that we'd missed when we were impoverished. We had severe cases of I want it now! We've never gone into more debt as a result (except house/associated costs) but it certainly slowed down repayment. Keep your head on straighter and you'll fare well...Greetings, Laura, you are SO RIGHT about how being with someone who is the sun, the moon and the stars matters infinitely more than the salary matters! In fact, I am actually no longer an x-ray MD - I gave up radiology in Michigan in favor of returning to what I consider my real life in Arizona and I have never looked back. I am now an internist and (tooting my own horn) as of this past week got the notification that I passed my board exams from this past August so I am officially a board-certified internist! Woo-hoo!!I had the advantage of going to medical school later in life, starting at age 38. Prior to that, I had a wonderful career in pharmaceutical research which afforded me a comfortable salary (for that time, anyway). I was able to save in a 401(k) though, like virtually every one of my classmates, I still needed loans to cover the titanic and immediate costs of medical school tuition. But having already enjoyed much of life before starting - I traveled, dined, owned a house which I adored decorating in a unique style - I satisfied the "I want it now's" before they ever occured and that sense of entitlement which is so understandable after such severe deprivation (no money, no time, no life, no sleep) as constitutes medical training was somewhat diminished in me. More than ANYTHING what I want is to be debt-free once again as I have seen how that is the truest freedom of all. About my only real expenses at this point (leaving debt servicing aside) are for health, disability and car insurance/maintenance and whatever portion of living expenses (rent, food) that I share with my fiance. No car payment. In fact, my main urge now is to pare down to the minimum and I cast a hard, critical eye at all of the "goodies" I have amassed over the years. Already I've sold some books on half.com and am now thinking about selling some of my acquired treasures on eBay - that unique style of interior design I referred to above consists of high-end furnishings from the 1950s which have some value and are certain to interest the right collectors.I think if I want anything now, it is my good health (and same for my fiance), solid savings, steady income whether small or large, NO DEBT and plenty of time for the important things to me: not having to rush seeing my patients, being able to get away for a week or so on a regular basis, eating well (not necessarily expensively!) and lots of time to enjoy friends and family. To me, the bulk of "things to acquire" amounts really only to clutter and having come through 8 years of the most egregious demands on my life, I really aim now to keep it simple. Thanks for your thoughts!xraymd
In response to: Impolite The JC Penney Card is the first to go. It will be gone just after the 1st of Nov when we get the xtra paychecks. The BofA I am holding off on because I feel the $10 a month isnt enough of a burden to warrant a shade over $400 that cant be applied elsewhere. I have thought about doing what you said with the citibank, but Im afraid to apply all my effort to it and have them deny me a BT. I had called before when there was no balance on it, and they said "We are sorry we dont have any available." As for the E-Fund, that is something else I am working on too.uwalum: No cost for checks or for stamps because I use Bank of America billpay which I get for free due to the gf's truck payment.
xraymd - you're my hero!I aspire to reach that place you describe where you seem so content with your life, your career, and your situation.Great post.FF
I aspire to reach that place you describe where you seem so content with your life, your career, and your situation.Greetings, FloatinFool, thank you so much for your truly kind words.May I share a secret with you? You're my hero! I've read your many posts on how well you are coping with your husband's condition. Trust me, I have nothing but utter admiration for you and anyone who has undergone such a gigantic life change in reckoning with serious illness and still comes out optimistic and ready to face the day ahead.Another secret that I'll share is that while I am happy with how my life is going overall, it hasn't been an easy or entirely upward course. I had real doubts in the thick of my residency about whether I had enough stamina to handle it. Fortunately, I made it through a very rough patch of stress and exhaustion and emerged more optimistic but it's proven to me that happiness is not a birthright. Every single day we have to make the choice to be happy about how things are. Some days that choice is harder than others! I know that I will always worry about whether I am doing enough for my patients or whether I am keeping up with fast-moving developments in medicine but during this longed-for lull while I am not working residents' hours and am actually eating well and sleeping (!) I do have a chance to look over my prospects and reflect on any and all of the blessings that have gotten me this far.This board is definitely one of those blessings and I am grateful that you post here. Thanks so much again for your supportive thoughts; they are very uplifting.xraymd
Greetings, coolprash! I'm guessing it must scare you quite a lot to hang out around here! :-) I recall saying you are debt-free; was there a time when you were also in debt and eventually retired it? Can you share your story?hello xraymd,I have never been in debt until now and that is of $2800. I was unemployed so the debt started piling up but now I have got a job and am hoping to get this paid off by march 12, 2300.At the moment I am hoping to save $ 1000 a month and that will help get me to my goal of paying the CC debt.yours sincerely,coolprashPS: instinctively I have a high dislike of debt, being poor and for no savings.
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