It’s easy to feel alone when you’re struggling with debt – like nobody else understands what you’re currently going through. But there are thousands upon thousands of debt success stories proving that people can and do climb out of deep debt! Everyone takes a slightly different journey, but the often-triumphant endings show that it’s possible to overcome debt-even if it starts out as tens of thousands of dollars or more.
Here are just three credit debt success stories to learn from as you navigate your own financial journey.
Post-College Credit Card Conundrum
The transition from college to “the real world” is already an action-packed time in many graduates’ lives. When you throw significant debt into the mix, it can be downright confusing. However, many students have no choice but to charge expenses like housing, food, textbooks, travel and more to credit cards throughout their education.
Business Insider reported on one such case, in which a tech reporter racked up $21,000 in credit card debt while getting his creative writing degree. After spending carte blanche while in college, Dann Berg had to face the music after graduating.
How did he manage to pay off his five credit cards in four years? He used a combination of aggressive budgeting-going so far as to skip meals-and debt consolidation via a non-profit program. While not everyone is an eligible candidate for such programs, some debtors have success making reduced fixed payments each month until the balance is paid off.
As Berg told BI, “I’ve paid (lenders) an extra $6,000 just in interest over the past four years. It feels great to not have to anymore.” This highlights one of the trickiest aspects of getting out of debt: managing mounting interest rates while still covering living expenses.
Settling $20,000 in Credit Card Debt
Some people are not candidates for debt consolidation, often because their credit scores do not allow them to qualify for such programs. Another alternative is debt settlement, which entails working with a negotiator as part of a program to reduce the principal amount owed.
Let’s look at an example: Is Freedom Debt Relief worth it? Well, one success story demonstrates how the right debt relief strategy can help people get back on track in terms of personal finance. A client named Rita J. sought help after racking up $20,000 in credit card debt following the birth of a daughter. She had a “handful” of credit cards, which was making it convoluted to tackle her debt-related issues-which she describes as feeling as if they popped up overnight.
She eventually utilized debt settlement negotiators to work with creditors and resolve her debts in a lump sum. How does Rita feel after getting out of debt? “Freedom is just really what I feel the most. I just feel free from all that. It’s a very good feeling.”
The “Snowball Method” in Action
Some people swear by the “avalanche method” in which consumers pay off large debts with high interest rates first. Others believe the “snowball method” works better because consumers gain confidence and momentum with each small debt they pay off, eventually working their way up to their largest balances.
One woman used the latter to pay off $20,000 in credit card debt. Like many people, Monique Harps’ credit card began as a tool for covering small purchases and spiraled out of control. It took a combination of savvy budgeting, increasing her income and using the “snowball method,” starting with her smaller balances and moving upward. The excitement of making obvious progress fueled continued perseverance, which helped her pay off her credit card debt in a bit over a year.As you can see, there’s no one way to alleviate credit card debt. However, there are options for those willing to ask questions, get organized and stick to a strategy.