My first time with credit card debt :(

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 3
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

Just let this be a life lesson. This isn’t the end of the world. Cap spending until it’s paid off. Try not to use the credit card if you can avoid it until it’s all paid.

Post # 4
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Don’t worry. I feel like this sometimes too but it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and that you have the whole situation udner control. It’s not like your’re just going out and going on some crazy shopping spree!! 

Post # 5
6449 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I don’t think you’re an idiot. You realized what you’re doing and you quickly came up with a plan.

Is there anything you can return? Are you able to pay off the balance before the interest kicks in? I would make that my goal if I were in your position. If you’re tempted to spend again like this in the future just remember how disappointed you were when you realized how much you spent this time.

TBH, I would also change your view on credit cards. We built up a savings account for emergencies. Our credit cards are only there to earn us points and get us free money 🙂

Post # 6
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

This is a good (and less than super painful lesson). Make the sacrifices to pay it off before interest kicks in. To preserve your credit (the card open the longest is best to keep open), keep the card open, but DO NOT ever use your credit card to buy something you could not pay cash for. Lots of cards offer rewards, and I have no issue with wanting to rack these up, as long as you can pay them off. So, once you pay the full balance, reserve the card for things like gas, or groceries – things you would pay for anyway, and have cash for. Pay the cad off in full every month. Credit cards are only evil if you can’t handle them! Sounds like you learned the lesson and will be okay – consumer debt is no good, so you’ll keep it in check from here on out!

Post # 7
1275 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Ahhhh I’m so sorry!  I’m exactly like you.  I put $500 on my credit card and panick and then eat rice and beans until I pay it off, lol.  I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey if you have ever looked into his method of money management.

Honestly, this happens to tons of people and there are bees on this board, both younger and older, who are in significantly worse debt.  I know it doesn’t help any to say that right now, but it’s manageable.  You can totally bounce back from this.  It will take some work but hey, that’s what new years resolutions are for right?

Post # 8
810 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

You aren’t irresponsible/greedy/selfish/immature. You are a person.

Think of it as a little personal challenge.

Post # 9
12875 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Is there any reason to keep using the card?  Sounds like you just need to stop  using it and put everything toward it until it’s paid off.  Allowing any kind of debt, even if it’s under 1k unless it’s an absolute emergency is a slippery slope.  It’s a lot of money, but not *that* big to ruin anyone financially imo, so just take it as a lesson learned, pay it off, and try not to use your credit cards anymore unless you have the cash to back it up.  And rethink putting big purchases on credit.  We didnt furnish our house for months, and just furnished the dining room after almost 3 years.  Some things that seem like ‘neccesities’ really aren’t.

Post # 10
1822 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

I agree that you apparently did not plan your wave after wave of expected expenses well, but 4k is like training wheels of digging out of credit card debt. Tighten your belts, take the card out of your wallet so you won’t be tempted to use it again, and get cracking on the repayments. I don’t know your income, but 4k in 6 months can be doable.

Hopefully when this is resolved, it will scare you straight into spending only what you have (while always keeping a few hundred-1k buffer in the bank) 🙂 Good luck!

Post # 11
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Stace126:  It will be okay. I strongly recommend setting up a serious budget and paying off more than the monthly payments to make it go away faster. The software from really helped us dig out of debt and create a nice savings.

Post # 12
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

@Stace126:  It’s 0% interest right now, so just focus on getting it paid off before it starts to rack up interest.

I know people who use cards like these as part of a financial plan, as it frees up cash for them to do other things with it.

Right now, you aren’t really benefitting from this debt like that, but it’s not harming you either.

Post # 13
3353 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I paid off 22,000 in credit card debt in three years. So hear me when I say $4000 is not a big deal or hard to pay down.

Just make a budget, pay WAY more than the minimum, and freeze or cut the card up.

It was one of the greatest days of my life when I paid that last $ off those cards. I directed that money that was being used for CC repayments into our mortgage now, and that puppy is set to be paid in full in about three years. 

Post # 14
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’m not quite sure I understood your original post, but there should never be any credit card debt. If you can’t pay the entire amount, something is wrong. You’re not a terrible person for having debt, this is just a good opportunity to reexamine credit card habits. 

Post # 15
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@canadajane:  Actually having credit card debt can be beneficial to your credit score.  It needs to be considerably less the the max credit for the card, but if you revolve say $1000 on a $4000 card it actually helps your credit.

Most cards report on X date.  So if X is the 3rd and you pay it off before then, you aren’t showing you can “handle” credit, you just show you can pay for stuff with money you have.  Credit reports and scores are about managing credit (which means you have to have some credit and use it).  But if you, for example have a card with a $4k limit but when it reports on the 3rd at $1000… and never pay interest it shows you can manage your credit.  It’s sort of complicated… but kind of like a game (sorry, I love numbers and video games lol).

For instance I have an American Express Blue card I use for EVERYTHING I possibly can.  It has a $2k limit.  I like it around $500 but am ok to $900 before I get twitchy.  I also pay on it more than once a month so I don’t have interest charges (because of the grace period).  Basically pretend the limit is 1/4 to 1/2 of what it is.  Always carry some balance (within your comfort zone) but pay on it at least once if not twice a month so you don’t pay interest.  This shows you can have credit, keep a balance, but manage it… which is important for car or home loans.

I know it sounds silly, but it’s how the world works more often than not, sadly, which is why I said it’s like a game.  I have a friend who couldn’t buy a Harley bike with 75% paid in cash with even a cashiers check because he couldn’t finance the rest because he didn’t have any credit even though he had cards he paid off every month because he didn’t have any actual history of “managing credit”.  My parents are in their 60s and in their younger days “managing credit” meant you paid it off ASAP!  But not so for my generation (close to 40).  Now they really want to see you actually managing debt… have little compared to limits and income… but pay in regularly and more than minimums.

Post # 16
6449 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MrsTangerine:  I took the OP’s post to mean that she doesn’t pay it off fully and ends up paying interest which might be how Canadajane took it as well.

We do the same as you- we don’t pay it off  immediately but we do pay it off before it’s due and have never paid a dime of interest.

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