No. of Recommendations: 0

I've been in your shoes. Not quite that much, but DW and I ran up $64,000 in credit card debt. Our snowball for paying it off was twice our mortgage payment. I finally got the message when I realized that the finance charges where approaching the size of our mortgage payment. We cut up the all the credit cards but one (which we locked up in our safe deposit box), went to using only cash and debit card, and took out a 10 year home equity loan. I know thats dangerous, but we have avoided carrying any balances on the card for the last 7 months - had to use it to charge plane tickets but immediately paid it off. We have also set up a budget and are building up our efund (currently $3100). The fixed rate HEL freed up over $800 per month in cash flow, which has allowed us to pay all our living expenses in cash, plus add to our efund. Once we have built the efund up to a comfortable level, we will start accelerating the payments on the home equity loan.

It is imperative to stop using the cards immediately - freeze them, cut them up, do whatever it takes to take them out of your hands. If you do tap your equity, be VERY sure not to run up any more debts. It is very easy to do if your cards are still accessible to you, so make them as inconvenient (or impossible) to use. There is hope, but you have to get so totally disgusted at your spending habits that you become willing to change.

There is hope. Read some of the past threads on this board, and you will see that there are some folks who managed to dig themselves out of some very deep holes. Hang in there and keep visiting these boards - we're rooting for you!

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