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Should I pull back on 401k and stock to pay down debt or continue to invest and pay down debt modestly?

I would attack the four debt classes in this order: credit cards, personal loan, car loan, and then school loan. The car loan and school loan are installment debt, and the personal loan sounds like it is installment, too. Revolving debt should be prioritized because high revolving balances look bad on a credit report and it provides a convenient hole for a consumer to fall into. Installment debt will go away over time with no danger of increasing.

When January rolls around and your CC company wants to raise your rate to 18%, I would ask them to reduce the rate. If they don't, change companies. You've probably read this Fool page, but in case you haven't it has some tips on how to deal with, I mean credit card companies:

To finance the debt reduction I would not recommend selling your stock, especially since it has dropped in value recently. You sound like you're in your early to mid twenties and you have plenty of time to let that recover. I think it's great that you realize the value of 401k participation, but I would recommend pulling back your contribution slightly. It might be demoralizing to reduce your contribution down to 6%. Of course it's up to you whether you would rather take longer to get out of debt or contribute less to your 401k. I'm recommending a balanced approach by reducing your 401k to around 10% and using every penny that you save from that reduction to pay down debt. That way you can work towards both goals at once.

The main thing that most of us need to learn is to live within (or beneath) our means. You sound like you have realized that your life will be much better if you are debt free and you're willing to make sacrifices to achieve that goal. It's commendable that you've learned this at such an early age. It took me twice as long after college to learn this, and some people take much longer!

Good luck, although debt reduction takes more patience than luck. :)

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