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Question: How much credit card debt does your household have?
$0 I don't use them. - 16 (24.2%)
$0-$500 - 24 (36.4%)
$501-$2000 - 7 (10.6%)
$2001-$5000 - 7 (10.6%)
$5001-$10000 - 4 (6.1%)
$10001-$15000 - 2 (3%)
$15001+ - 6 (9.1%)
Total Voters: 65

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Author Topic: How much credit card debt does your household have?  (Read 2787 times)
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Kobra
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« on: November 20, 2006, 04:26:58 PM »

Just curious to see what kind of CC debt people have.  I saw a program last night on TV that said the average family/household carries between $8,000-15,000 in credit card debt.  Of the people I know around me, personally, that aren't afraid to share their financial status, this figure seems quite accurate.

I was in my sons Ortho the other day for his braces checkup, and we were in the orthos office and on her desk was a CC bill in plain view, on it was $59,221.00 charged up.  Here is a lady that makes in the area of $300,000.00+ a year with a pretty substantial credit card load - assuming this was her only card. (and I bet it wasn't)

Its anon, be honest, whats your CC debt?
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006, 04:37:33 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on November 20, 2006, 04:26:58 PM

Its anon, be honest, whats your CC debt?

Um, some of us post under how real names.

And even if I were so inclined (I'm very healthy financially thank you), I can't imagine that anyone with more than $500 would be smart to post in this thread lest they be berated by you later on every time they spend more than you think they should on a game or a piece of hardware.  You went after Hetz when you mistakenly thought he didn't own a house for Christ's sake.

Asking people to post their credit card debt strikes me as being in especially poor taste. 
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Arkon
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006, 04:42:30 PM »

I'll bite.

My household has between $5,000 and $10,000 in debt on credit cards.  In order to be able to afford a masters degree for my wife we had to take advantage of credit cards.  Everything was transferred to a card on a promotional 2%apr for lifetime of transfer.  That is about 7k of that debt. 

On top of that, I owe approximately $60,000 in college loans.  I had no scholarships, no grants all student loans, and didn't real well in school at first so I wasted 2 years of time, racking up a lot of debt.

That said our credit scores are very high.  I hate the amount of debt I have but am trying to pay it down.  Sadly that 60k in student loans has managed to land me a whopping $12 an hour job, so it is gonna take a while.
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Kobra
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2006, 04:44:50 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on November 20, 2006, 04:37:33 PM

Quote from: Kobra on November 20, 2006, 04:26:58 PM

Its anon, be honest, whats your CC debt?

Um, some of us post under how real names.

The poll is anon you dolt.  Nobody says you have to POST along with vote.  retard
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2006, 04:47:01 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on November 20, 2006, 04:44:50 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on November 20, 2006, 04:37:33 PM

Quote from: Kobra on November 20, 2006, 04:26:58 PM

Its anon, be honest, whats your CC debt?

Um, some of us post under how real names.

The poll is anon you dolt.  Nobody says you have to POST along with vote.  retard

Roger.  Didn't think of that.  That said, my original point stands, anyone brave enough to actually discuss their credit situation in this thread should be ready to have that info used against them by you at a later date. 
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Kobra
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2006, 04:56:46 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on November 20, 2006, 04:42:30 PM

I'll bite.

My household has between $5,000 and $10,000 in debt on credit cards.  In order to be able to afford a masters degree for my wife we had to take advantage of credit cards.  Everything was transferred to a card on a promotional 2%apr for lifetime of transfer.  That is about 7k of that debt. 

Arkon, often the most successful people have the largest debt.  It makes sense doesn't it?  You have to spend money to make money.  At one point the wife and I had magnificently high debt from university tuitions, it took awhile to pay it off, but we did.  My Ortho example was perfect, 60K on a credit card isn't really that much in the scope of things for someone that makes 300K+ and probably has a spouse making at least that.

Secondly, we need to factor good and bad debt..   Credit card debt is really only bad debt when it is a significant portion of your debt load AND you are being charged interest.  People with reasonable credit can easily get 0% APR credit cards and roll them year after year.  Or 2-4% for life rates.  In those cases, it makes SENSE to use their money, and keep your money in the investments making 5-18%.

For example we purchased new furniture last year to the tune of about $3000.00, nothing huge mind you, we could have paid cash.  But the store was offering 0% interest for 3 years.  I would be stupid to use my money in that case, as 3K over 3 years at 6-8% interest would earn me an additional $700+ in interest. Basically I saved $800 by using their free money.

So it ain't all bad.
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dbt1949
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2006, 04:58:19 PM »

Okay, I'll play. We have about $7000 in CC debt. With both of us living of disability we have to use the CCs to supplement our income. Fortunately with the high price in gasoline my wife's oil leases that she inherited are able to pay that off every year,but not by much.
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Arkon
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2006, 04:59:57 PM »

No, although my wife and I know nothing about investing.  We have a few thousand in a TIAA/CREF fund, not sure what the hell it even is, was something her parents started for her with $100 and we occasionally add to it.  When we have extra money for the month it usually either goes to the church or friends who are in need.
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2006, 05:18:42 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on November 20, 2006, 04:26:58 PM

I was in my sons Ortho the other day for his braces checkup, and we were in the orthos office and on her desk was a CC bill in plain view, on it was $59,221.00 charged up.  Here is a lady that makes in the area of $300,000.00+ a year with a pretty substantial credit card load - assuming this was her only card. (and I bet it wasn't)


I wonder if any of it is used for equipment purchases for the practice?

It's close to the end of the year, and it's very likely that new equipment is being purchased for use in the upcoming year. A boatload of it can be written off under Sec. 179, and it's a good way to earn miles, points, etc.. for the ortho. Even if it's in the ortho's individual name, the possibility exists it's being used for business purposes.

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Kobra
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2006, 05:32:26 PM »

Quote from: Spiff on November 20, 2006, 05:18:42 PM

Quote from: Kobra on November 20, 2006, 04:26:58 PM

I was in my sons Ortho the other day for his braces checkup, and we were in the orthos office and on her desk was a CC bill in plain view, on it was $59,221.00 charged up.  Here is a lady that makes in the area of $300,000.00+ a year with a pretty substantial credit card load - assuming this was her only card. (and I bet it wasn't)


I wonder if any of it is used for equipment purchases for the practice?

It's close to the end of the year, and it's very likely that new equipment is being purchased for use in the upcoming year. A boatload of it can be written off under Sec. 179, and it's a good way to earn miles, points, etc.. for the ortho. Even if it's in the ortho's individual name, the possibility exists it's being used for business purposes.

Given that it was on her desk, probably meaning for the accountant to pick up, I think you might be correct. 
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2006, 05:35:22 PM »

0.00.

We pay the CC off at the end of every month.
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depward
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2006, 05:39:02 PM »

Agree with Kevin on this one - I don't think this is a really valuable discussion point on an online forum.

Poor taste +1.
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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2006, 06:27:23 PM »

I have had up to about $30k in CC debt following my wedding. I got better. It's been 5 years since I carried any CC debt (married 7 years and change). I have two cards, only use one of them and pay that one off every month. It's a payment aggregator and gives me 1% back so it's a discount coupon too, woo. slywink I learned how to be irresponsible with credit in college and carried it on for several years after. Now, having learned my lesson, I make money off other people's irresponsiblity. What's in your wallet?
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2006, 06:30:05 PM »

Personally, I have zero.  Every now and then I'll space and forget to pay a bill, but that's due to carelessness rather than actual debt.

I believe teh woman has a bit left from her law school days, but I don't like to get into her finances if I can avoid it at all.

gellar
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2006, 06:47:02 PM »

Quote
I have had up to about $30k in CC debt following my wedding.

Oh man, I feel your pain bro.  My father in law was 'taking care of everything'.  Well, I felt compelled to send him a little cash now and then to help with that.  That was, until I found out that stuff wasn't getting booked, and he was essentially dragging his feet to delay the wedding. By the next afternoon I had a priest, a wedding chapel, the catering, and the guest list under way.  I footed the entire bill for the wedding, and also for the honeymoon on my credit.  It wasn't until about 3 years ago that I finally paid all of that off and my wife and I were married 10.5 years ago. 

As far as current debt, I have ~2k - 3k that I'm chewing down to zero.  Every card has been destroyed and we are just getting rid of them. 

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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2006, 06:49:24 PM »

Quote
lest they be berated by you later on every time they spend more than you think they should on a game or a piece of hardware.

Thats not gonna happen again.   drillsergeant
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2006, 06:55:43 PM »

No credit cards & no debt.  If we did, Dave Ramesy would kick our asses.
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shaggydoug
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2006, 07:05:05 PM »


I always wondered if those surveys/studies only counted the debt that was carried over each month.  I rack up quite a bit every month.  I pay it off every month.   

- shaggy
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2006, 07:07:42 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on November 20, 2006, 06:47:02 PM

As far as current debt, I have ~2k - 3k that I'm chewing down to zero.  Every card has been destroyed and we are just getting rid of them. 

That's about where we're at also.  It was all paid off until I had to put in an A/C unit, get a new computer, and do car repairs over the summer.  Blech.  I keep one card for such emergencies, but don't ever use it otherwise.
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2006, 07:09:42 PM »

Never really used credit.  Which is probably a good thing, since all my friends have a lot of debt-related stress.  If I have no money in checking... I can't spend anything.
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Scott
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« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2006, 07:12:34 PM »

None, and getting rid of the cards one by one.  Mostly just use our 'check' cards.  XMas is always a rough time though.
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« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2006, 07:34:33 PM »

Ours is high.  Higher than most here I'd say.  Nothing to be proud about.  Now that we're married our debt has been combined.  And it's scary looking at it on paper.  However, we plan on getting out of debt in 1.5 years.  I've drew up a budget, spoke to an advisor who asked me what I have done so far, and he said that was the exact plan he was going to suggest.  He said we are on the right track, we addressed the issue, taken steps to fix it, now we just have to follow it.  Well, it's been 2 months, and we've already paid off the wedding rings, and 3 cards, with 2 more cards being paid off in December.  We ended up using most of our wedding money towards debt.  It sucked, but it had to be done, if we want to reach our goals. 

Basically my plan is, pay off the smaller balances first.  We do this for two reasons, we're both visual people, we need to see progress.  By tackling the bigger balance first, it would take longer to pay it off obviously, and not see any results fast enough.  Now we see less bills coming in because of it.  Secondly, by paying off the smaller balances, that's less minimum payments we have to pay. 

I pay the min payments for the cards with the highest balance, I figure how much we have to pay on non-credit card bills, savings, allowance, and misc, and put the rest as a bonus payment to one single card.  As we pay off cards, I use the minimum payments we used to pay and apply it to a different card as a bonus payment.

So everymonth, the bonus payments get bigger and bigger, while the min payments and balance decrease.  We only use 2 credit cards right now, and I make sure to pay them off as we spend.  I do that every Saturday.  We have a United Miles card and a American Airlines Card, and Erin is close to getting a free ticket, so once she gets that, we're going to cancel that card as well, and just rely on the United.  So far it's working, we're not getting behind, and the plan is doable.  We live off of $40 a month for personal allowance, $70 for date nights, (anything we don't use, will carry over to the next month) and $70 for misc funds. 

It makes us think before using the money, and it still gives us some freedom to do some things once in a while.

We should be paid off by Mar 2008 or sooner.
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« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2006, 07:36:45 PM »

$0. There's only been a couple of times when I've needed to carry a credit card debt, and for that I'm thankful.
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Kobra
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« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2006, 07:40:15 PM »

Quote from: naednek on November 20, 2006, 07:34:33 PM

Basically my plan is, pay off the smaller balances first.  We do this for two reasons, we're both visual people, we need to see progress.  By tackling the bigger balance first, it would take longer to pay it off obviously, and not see any results fast enough.  Now we see less bills coming in because of it.  Secondly, by paying off the smaller balances, that's less minimum payments we have to pay. 

This makes perfect sense, and is often a strategy debt counselors use.  You can visually see rapid results, and shredding a card gives you motivation to keep plugging along.  $400 to pay off a lesser card, shred it, call the CC company and telling them to shove it is FAR more valuable than applying $400 to a card with a 9K balance.   Funny how it works, but it plays on our instant gratification receptors in our brains.  nod

Your plan is great, good luck!   thumbsup thumbsup
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« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2006, 07:43:31 PM »

Too much.  Working it off but it's slow going.

We went from a 2 income household with no children to a 1 income household with 3 children, and took too long to adjust.  We're now sitting on $20k+ cc debt.  Interest is between 3-10%, the bulk of it is at 3%.

Wife is starting to go back to work.  That's pretty much our plan on how to pay it off. smile
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« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2006, 08:14:03 PM »

Zip, nada, nothing.  I fell into the credit card hole when my ex-wife and I were married and had my credit practically ruined because of it and her desire to not pay any of the bills.  I've since built it back up and now the only thing I owe on is my car, which will be paid off around summer of next year.  I'll be debt free at last!  WOOHOO!

glyc
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« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2006, 08:29:19 PM »

Quote from: ATB on November 20, 2006, 05:35:22 PM

0.00.

We pay the CC off at the end of every month.

Same here.  icon_biggrin
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2006, 08:35:24 PM »

My wife and I have two credit cards. One has a running total of $1000-2000 a month. It's used for large purchases, emergencies and as a designated card for business expenses that will be reimbursed. The other card is our everyday card which we always pay off at the end of the month.

One thing I can never understand is people who have literally 15-20 or more credit cards. Hell, who ever needs more than one or two? To carry more than that is inviting trouble. Luckily for me, I've never been tempted to get drawn into the credit black hole.
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« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2006, 09:41:33 PM »

I got just over 2k of CC debt right now.  That is only becuase I just got a new house and it was time to replace the 13 inch TV with a 46 inch LCD with surround sound.  smile

My wife and I had 65K in debt (cars, student loans, cc)when we got married 7.5 years ago.  It took about 5 years to pay it all off.  Of course we were both working during that time. 

Biggest key is to make a budget,  Agree to staying with in it (both persons), and then spend some time each week or every two weeks talking about it.  That way you both can see the results and the progress. 

For me, Credit Cards are a tool to be used when neccessary.  I couldn't have paid 5k for my new LCD TV with my "Check Card".  It has a 1500 Limit.  Otherwise they are for emergency or large item purchases (which have been planned/budgeted before hand). 

Funny story, when applying for our house loan, our mortagage lender asked about our debts which we responded with 500 CC debt.  "That's all?!" He replied.  "How unAmerican! *laugh*".  It really helped when we went to bat for us to get a lower interest rate. 

smile

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« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2006, 09:55:42 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on November 20, 2006, 08:35:24 PM

One thing I can never understand is people who have literally 15-20 or more credit cards. Hell, who ever needs more than one or two? To carry more than that is inviting trouble. Luckily for me, I've never been tempted to get drawn into the credit black hole.

I think I have near 10 or so.  I once thought that more than a few were unnecessary, but apparently a portion of your credit score is dependent on HOW MANY major banks believe you to be credit worthy.

gellar
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« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2006, 10:19:45 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on November 20, 2006, 07:40:15 PM

Quote from: naednek on November 20, 2006, 07:34:33 PM

Basically my plan is, pay off the smaller balances first.  We do this for two reasons, we're both visual people, we need to see progress.  By tackling the bigger balance first, it would take longer to pay it off obviously, and not see any results fast enough.  Now we see less bills coming in because of it.  Secondly, by paying off the smaller balances, that's less minimum payments we have to pay. 

This makes perfect sense, and is often a strategy debt counselors use.  You can visually see rapid results, and shredding a card gives you motivation to keep plugging along.  $400 to pay off a lesser card, shred it, call the CC company and telling them to shove it is FAR more valuable than applying $400 to a card with a 9K balance.   Funny how it works, but it plays on our instant gratification receptors in our brains.  nod

Your plan is great, good luck!   thumbsup thumbsup

Actually, pay it off, but don't cancel the card.

One meter they look at for credit (and yes, it is stupid... VERY stupid) is your percentage of available credit.  So when you cancel those cards, you are giving a very hard hit to your overall percentage, since you are shrinking your available credit, even though your total debt may be the same (or lower, even).

IMO, credit card companies just make things like this up so they can start charging more, and that is the sole reason.
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« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2006, 10:35:17 PM »

Quote from: shaggydoug on November 20, 2006, 07:05:05 PM


I always wondered if those surveys/studies only counted the debt that was carried over each month.  I rack up quite a bit every month.  I pay it off every month.   

- shaggy

this +1
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« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2006, 12:41:10 AM »

Quote from: ATB on November 20, 2006, 05:35:22 PM

0.00.

We pay the CC off at the end of every month.

+1
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« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2006, 01:55:02 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on November 20, 2006, 10:19:45 PM

Actually, pay it off, but don't cancel the card.

One meter they look at for credit (and yes, it is stupid... VERY stupid) is your percentage of available credit.  So when you cancel those cards, you are giving a very hard hit to your overall percentage, since you are shrinking your available credit, even though your total debt may be the same (or lower, even).

IMO, credit card companies just make things like this up so they can start charging more, and that is the sole reason.

This can be a double edged sword..  Credit ratings also factor how much credit is unused, and view it as a potential risk and lack of activity.  It actually looks BETTER to many agencies if you carry small balances on your card, then send in triple the minimum payment, it looks like you can overly afford your card and your score goes up.  I learned a lot of wierd tricks with credit a couple years ago reading up so I could get my wife and I over 800 on our credit scores.

Right now, our houses are our primary indicators on the credit reports since we paid off everything except our homes and have no car payments any longer.  So I expect our rating to drop to the high 700's, which is fine, we bought 2 homes (1 rental, 1 to live) and we've got no need to uber high credit scores for extra good rates - we've locked into 30 years.
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« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2006, 02:26:23 AM »

I stopped caring a long time ago as my credit is fucked. (Somewhere around 300)
Still in shock that T-Mobile approved me for a new contract without a down payment just the other day..
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« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2006, 03:21:27 AM »

Haven't had a credit card (or any debt other than a mortgage) in years.  Credit score is in the high 700s, but since it's just a gauge as to how much more debt you can get into, I don't particularly care one way or the other smile  I literally had a credit score of 0 when I bought my first house - All I had to do to get a conventional 5.75% mortgage (15 years, no points/origination) was prove I was employed and paid my bills on time.
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« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2006, 03:36:07 AM »

Zero.  I use my credit card all the time out of convenience, but if I don't have the money in the bank to pay off my bill in full then I wouldn't buy it in the first place.  I've never carried a balance from one month to the next.  I can't wrap my brain around the idea of paying outragous interest rates.

Unless we're talking about a house, why would you buy more than you can afford?
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« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2006, 04:18:05 AM »

Ten months ago: 0K

Six months ago: 75K (yeah, that's seventy-five large. I still twitch uncontrollably when I think about it.)

This month: 30K

A few more months: 0K

My wife and I typically don't carry any credit card debt. This year was an anomaly brought on by building our own house.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 04:20:23 AM by VynlSol » Logged
Calvin
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« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2006, 04:45:33 AM »

Some.
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Farscry
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« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2006, 02:35:28 PM »

After college, and also a period of unemployment, I racked up around $1700 in CC debt, which was a HUGE amount to me to have to pay off.

As of this past spring, around March, I paid off my last CC debt payment. I haven't incurred any new CC debt in over two years; that was just paying off my old debt.

My only debt at this time is my student loan debt. My car is paid off (though I'm going to have to trade in sometime in the very near future unfortunately) and I don't own a home yet (but that's a good kind of debt anyway).

But credit card debt? No. I don't want to deal with that ever again. Emergencies only - period.
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