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I have about $ 15,000 worth of credit card debt(on more than 1 card). I don’t use the cards anymore. I’m paying what I can but feel like I’m just going around in cirlces. I haven’t defaulted on any of them and I’m not behind in payments. What’s the best thing to do?

6 Thoughts on Ok, once and for all…credit card debt. Is debt consolidation or credit counseling the way to go?
  1. Reply
    Matt K
    October 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Mike,

    The best thing to do is to pay down as much as possible each month, and in the meantime, do not use the cards for any reason.
    Those debt companies do nothing for you as far as improving your credit. You spent the money, now you simply must go down the long road of paying it back.
    Do not default. Save your credit b/c you will need to borrow money in the future at some point.

  2. Reply
    M G
    October 15, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Investigate both. Look at the details and the ramifications, and then decide. I went to credit counseling about two years ago, one visit consult, and they didn’t really tell me anything new.

    I handled the debt myself – am in a good place now, with no damage or remarks on an otherwise very good credit report.

  3. Reply
    DoveyBuzzy
    October 15, 2011 at 1:16 am

    The best thing to do is to pay off your cards with the highest interest first.
    Your other option (depending on your credit) is to transfer the balance to a credit card that has a low introductory rate.
    If your credit is good enough, you may be able to qualify for 0% for 1 yr.
    In the meantime, if possible, cut up your credit cards so you dont use them.
    Do not close them once they are paid off. Having that open line of credit looks good on your credit report.

  4. Reply
    truluv78
    October 15, 2011 at 1:58 am

    You could possibly consolidate if the equity is there, and posibly eliminate the total monthly credit card payments,and lower your mortgage payment if you have equity and good credit.

  5. Reply
    HEATHER
    October 15, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I am in the same boat, tho I have been chipping at it for a while, and will tell you that if you still have good credit, keep it that way. Do not use counseling or consolidation. If you can get a second job, do it. Even if it is only delivering pizza a couple of nights a week, or working on Saturdays at Home Depot. Also, have a garage sale and get rid of everything that you aren’t using. Cut expenses where you can, like getting rid of premium cable channels, bring lunch to work, cutting down on your cell phone plan and just using it for emergencies. Check out Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” from your library. Good luck!

  6. Reply
    Jeff
    October 15, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Neither.
    Debt consolidation only changes the names of your creditors. Or worse, with a new HELOC, you’ve just promised to give away the house if you miss a payment.
    Credit Counseling acts as a bankruptcy on your credit report, and there are more scam artists than legit conselling companies.

    If you feel like you’re going in circles, then what you should do is buy a 12 month calendar or day-planner, and every two weeks, write down exactly how much you still owe on all of them. If you’re making payments, you will see progress, you just have to track it.

    I would suggest you make a written budget, so that every dollar you make next month is spent on paper this month.
    That way, you’ll be able to see what you can cut back on.

    Personally, I’m looking at $ 33,000 in Visa balances.
    This past Christmas was “where am I going to find the money to fly to visit my parents for Christmas, when all my cards are maxed out and I got turned down for a new card”.
    I’ve heard enough about Dave Ramsey’s approach that I’ll give it a try. Nothing else has worked.

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