No. of Recommendations: 0
One time you definitely wouldn't want to contribute to a retirment plan is if you debt is at 10% or above. Think of it this way, if you're paying credit card debt at 25%, 30% the money you invest, over the long haul, is no way gonna earn anything close to that, even with tax advantages. You're in the hole a good 15% or more for every dime you 'invest'.

Would you take a cash advance from a high interest rate credit card and invest the money? No, you wouldn't? Well that's exactly what someone with high rate credit card debt and investments is essentially doing. They're imaginary investments.

Now, in your case, at least for those car payments, you're in a gray zone, so the question is, which do you prefer? A guranteed "post-tax" 8% return on your money by paying off the loan, or a maybe better, maybe worse return by putting it into your retirment account. I'd probably hurry to pay off the car loans at that rate, but that's just me.

As far as the CC, that rate is less than inflation, so I would just make sure you pay that off before the rate expires - and if it does, just pay the minimums, or whatever you feel comfortable doing (but do NOT add to the debt). I figure your student rate may be similarly low.
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