My Debt Story

MY AHA! MOMENT

In May 2013 I realised I must stop living in financial denial. I have spent years living from paycheck to paycheck, paying off one credit card but opening up another and, truth be told, my financial situation has never bothered me to the point where  I would scream “enough!“. Until quite recently.

I knew I had to sit down, calculate exactly how much I owed and come up with a plan to pay it off. I knew I owed a significant amount but I had no idea what the exact number was. It was a little over £13800. I am not sure if this number scares me or not. I guess it’s not so much the number itself, as the very fact that I am and have been in debt for a while now, and boy does it not feel good! So there it is… I am planning to pay off all my debt in 2,5 years! All of it. And here’s how.

DEBT PAYOFF PLAN

I have divided my debt into two big chunks:

  • debt#1 – my credit card balance of £4340 currently at 0% APR until July 2014 (last year I transferred my credit card balance from a high interest to a 0% credit card for a small fee).
  • debt#2 – my personal loan for £9460 at 15,9% APR (ouch!) which I took out in December last year to consolidate two smaller loans. I am currently making monthly payments of £243 towards my loan repayment and at this rate I have got 4 years and 5 months left to go.

I have decided to settle my £4340 “bill” first, and I am going to do this in 12 months making my very first payment of £362 on the 1st of August. I will have paid off debt#1 by 1st July 2014 to avoid an interest increase.

Once my debt#1 has been settled, my next step would be to renegotiate an interest rate on my personal loan and change my repayment plan. I will attempt to pay off the remaining amount of my debt#2 (which should be around £7000-7500 in July 2014) in another 16 months which means I should be debt free by 1st December 2015.

You may also want to read: How I Began My Journey to Debt Freedom

4 comments

  1. I’m just curious: is it not possible for you to negotiate a new interest rate on your loan sooner than next summer? That seems like a long time (and a lot of interest) to wait.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Cait! Yes, it is possible to request reassessment of an interest rate sooner. However, the reason I plan to do this next summer is because I want to also change my loan repayment plan and start making accelerated payments (which I am unable to do just yet, but will have an opportunity in July next year once my debt #1 has been paid off). Every time I make some sort of amendment to my loan agreement, I pay a penalty fee. I would prefer to only pay one penalty fee as opposed to two, but I am yet to check which option works out to be more cost effective (to keep paying all this interest for another 12 months or pay two penalty fees). I have to admit I need my time to come to terms with these lifestyle changes that I had to make (and this is still work in progress) and at the moment it is one step at a time.

      1. Oops! Sorry I didn’t see your reply sooner. That all makes sense. And I can honestly say that my debt repayment journey started the same way (one step at a time). Actually, life is still like that! So do what you can with what you have. I just didn’t want to see you pay extra interest, if you could avoid it!

      2. Thanks Cait! Hopefully I can reduce my interest rate sooner, rather than later. It really annoys me to keep paying so much in interest charges.

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