Wednesday, September 30, 2009

$0 Balance testimonial: How she paid off a $2,900 credit card bill

I've heard from many people this week congratulating me on reaching my $0 balance goal or telling me their own success stories in paying off credit card debt.

But yesterday I got a comment from Lechelle, who like many who are contemplating taking my $0 Balance Challenge, is concerned about making it happen in just one year:
I do see myself becoming debt-free, but I need a few things first to take place to see my dream come true...more revenue or additional revenue. Things are just tight, but I know I need to start somewhere. Therefore, I have been brings my lunch more and more every week.

I think your concerns are realistic Lechelle, but I need you to not give up or give in because of the tight times. There will always be reasons why not, but your imperative is to be motivated by and think of the reasons why. Also, if you're a spiritual person, remember that like everything else in life, there will be negative forces that seem to crop up more and more the closer you get to your goal (I'll talk about how that affected me more in a later post). DON'T LET THEM STEAL YOUR VICTORY!

So this post is for Lechelle and anyone else with doubts about whether you can do it. Here's the story of someone who committed herself to pay off a card and succeeded. If she did, you can!

- Adriennewrites, 30, Chicago, who blogs at
I owed Discover card about $2,900...a lot of money for me, since I'm not really a credit user. Then, they raised my 5 percent interest rate to 9 percent two years ago and then to 11 percent last year and now to 14.99 percent. I was livid because I've got an awesome credit score, so I decided to pay it off and never use it again. I gave myself a year to pay it off. I got pissed seeing that I was paying $40 in interest a month and that the interest was compounding.

I set my auto-pay with my online bank to just pay $300 a month and I started bringing my lunch to work so I could afford it. I did this because I was tired of paying money to this credit card company who was doing me wrong and refusing to lower my rate again to 5% even though it had pretty much hovered between 5-9 percent for the last 7 years or so.
When I got an extra $50, I added it to the pot. Now I only owe $50. That'll be paid off , um, today!

My tips on making it down this far? Set up autopayments with the bank. Think about how cutting back on just one hairstyle or one pedicure can remove debt forever. I thought about how I wanted to go to Paris, and needed my money for Paris, not to be paying off some clothes from The Gap that I bought 5 years ago. How lame is that?

I also cut back on my savings so I could pay this off. I figured that once I get it paid off, I get to put the full amount into savings. So now that same $300 a month is being switched into both savings and paying off the next credit card bill. It will take me another year to get rid of this Visa bill, but I'll do it. I'm worth it.


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