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No. of Recommendations: 8
I have $21,500 credit card debt and I would really like to get this paid off but I will have to do some kind of side job to do it. I am wanting to start investing in small amounts. My wife works a 2nd shift job and I work days. I am also considering going back to school. I was thinking of maybe doing some computer work of some kind at home while I’m watching the kids.

I would suggest that, in addition to picking up side jobs, you:
1) Stop using credit cards at all - that means no automatic payments, no subscriptions, nothing. If you want to get out of a hole, the best thing to do first is to stop digging.
2) Look around your house for stuff that you can sell on Facebook, Craigslist, eBay, etc. and put all that money toward the debt.
3) Picking up side gigs is good, if you already have the skills to do so. If you have to go back to school and that will cost money, it's probably not such a good thing. Try figuring out what you can do on weekends, like mowing lawns, handyman, etc.
4) Start tracking every penny that anyone in the house spends. And before anyone spends any money, you need to ask: Can we get by without this until tomorrow? If the answer is 'yes' - then don't buy it.
5) Use your tracking to see where you are leaking money, and figure out ways to stop doing so.
6) Figure out how you want to pay off the debt, and target all payments above the minimums to that single debt. There are generally 2 schools of thought - pay down the highest rate first, because that's the most efficient, and will cost you less money in the long run; or pay down the lowest balance first, so that you will remain motivated. Once you get the first debt paid off, switch to the next one, again putting all payments over and above the minimum toward the 2nd debt.
7) A small ($1000) emergency fund is a good idea, so that you don't have to use the credit cards again
8) Do not start investing in anything other than an employer plan that you get a match on (that you would otherwise lose), and then only enough to collect the maximum match. I would suggest that you read this thread to see a recent example of how investing when you have credit card debt can spiral out of control

I may also try to put all the credit card debt on a 5 year personal loan but I think personal loans are 10%.

What rate are your credit cards at? A fixed rate personal loan at 10% may actually be at a lower rate, and the longer the pay off period, the higher the rate - so I'm not sure you'd qualify for a 10% rate on a 5 year loan. That said, a fixed rate personal loan for $21,500 for 5 years at 10% will have payments of about $456 (possibly up to $475 if there are fees for the loan). If your credit cards are at 12% or less, your current minimum payments are probably in the $400 - $430 range - so, can you afford the extra $50 or so that the payment will increase? (Note - if a personal loan is at a 15% rate, the payment will be about $510, and if it's at an even higher rate, the payment will be higher)

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