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Why Paying Off Credit Card Debt Is So Difficult

5 October 2009 No Comment

Credit card debt is a scary thing especially for those individuals who have significant amounts of it.  Anything over $10 grand is pretty significant for average working individuals.  Most people who end up with significant credit card debt have a tough time paying it off and it can take years to do it.  Some people, it seems, carry the significant debt indefinitely .  Why is paying off credit card debt so difficult?

The Interest Payments

If you have significant credit card debt in the range of $10,000-$20,000, you’re interest payments can easily be $100 a month depending on a few factors.  For most people, just paying the interest is a challenge!  If paying the interest is a challenge, how the heck can you put any sort of significant debt in the balance you owe?

Life Is Expensive

For most of us, we’re just getting by with maybe a little money left over for savings or for putting towards a home or college or whatever.  It’s difficult to all of a sudden find the money to pay down a large debt like $10,000!  It’s very common for people to carry these balances for years.  Having such a burden for a lengthy period of time is very stressful and it makes it very tough to “get ahead” financially for a while; you’re putting off your financial goals several years while you try and pay off your credit cards!

Many financial advisors or writers talk about cutting expenses.  While this is good, simply cutting out your $4 latte isn’t really going to put a dent in your debt either.  Something bigger, more drastic is necessary to have the money to pay off this debt.

Taking Drastic Action

In order to fund your fixed expenses and a basic lifestyle and actually pay off many thousands of dollars in credit card debt, drastic action is necessary.  If you’re serious about getting out of debt and moving forward with your life financially, getting control of your spending is only the first step.  Additional steps, more drastic steps might be:

  • Moving in with family (or friends) for a few months to drop your expenses big time.  Offer to pay minimal rent or offer other basic ways to contribute to make your stay less a burden on the actual home owners.  While obviously your pride will take a hit, I think it’s time to put your pride aside.
  • Sell a car (if you have two cars).  This definitely applies if you have a newer, more luxurious car than necessary.  Kill your car payments, maybe some insurance and maybe some gas.  Learn how people used to share cars!
  • Get a second job.  While your lifestyle will definitely take a hit, your income will grow and you’ll probably have less time to spend money.

If you have minimal credit card debt, you can probably get rid of it by simply getting a better hold of your lifestyle and spending patterns.  If you have over $10 grand, you probably require drastic action to get rid of it.  If you don’t, there is a very good chance that the debt stays with you for years.  All the while you will be paying interest to a bank (money you won’t ever see again).  Get rid of the debt and move forward in your financial life!  Remember, just about everything financially is on hold in your life until you get rid of this type of debt.  I encourage you to get serious and take drastic action.

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  • Daniel said:

    Those solutions also work for people trying to save money! I'm trying to build up savings, and my solution to keeping costs down has been to live with roommates. Even in Washington, D.C. my rent is extremely low and living with friends always leaves me with someone to hang out with. While many people like having their own places, sometimes you have to suck it up for a few months/years in ordre to get to where you want to be.

    This site is great, I had no idea until this morning that this site existed. I've read Moolanomy for awhile now and am glad to have something geared more towards me! I will definitely be back often!