I remember it like it was yesterday. Okay, I really don’t. But somehow, someday, I woke up! It was about the time that I realized that Alann was paying 32% interest, I was paying 18%, we were both about maxed out, and I was feeling mighty strapped for cash. Somewhere in December of 06. I started fantasizing about some obscure relative dying and leaving us loads of money. Okay, not loads, just enough. Suddenly, I just wanted to have enough. I didn't want to worry about bills or finances. I was tired of not getting what I wanted, tired of being broke, tired of everything. Life didn’t look so rosy now that I was handling the finances. Alann had when we were in Columbia. Made sense, he had the job. Now I did, because I had the main job. And it was not a pretty picture. There had to be another way!So we started shopping around. One of the local credit unions was running an advertisement about a consolidation loan. We went in, and a consolidation loan requires back up, a car, or something that can secure it. (Which we didn’t really have.) But they could give us MORE credit cards! Just what we always wanted right? But, there was difference. My interest rate was cut in half! I had a $10000 card with a 9.5% rate. Pretty sweet. And they wouldn’t charge us for a balance transfer (as in, no fees). Also sweet. And Alann got a $5000 card with an 11% rate. Much better than 32%. So we paid off our USBank credit cards and CLOSED them! My bank buddy Kyle asked me why I was closing my account with them when I gave him the check. I told them I had a new CC with 9.5% rate. He was flabbergasted, couldn’t believe it. He said he would switch too. I laughed. (Ahh Kyle, why have you abandoned me? He got promoted and changed branches.) That felt pretty sweet, but the snowball was still calculating YEARS of debt before we could pay it off. My choice became clear, I must get a second job. (ominous music in the background.)
If I ever can pay off my credit cards, I intend to live without them. I will have it, but I will not use it. It will exist in an ethereal state of nothingness, being called out of nothingness only in the state of absolute, undeniable emergency. Credit in and of itself is not evil. The companies that ceaselessly promote you to “spend spend spend”, they are evil. For more information, go rent (or even better borrow from the library) the movie Maxed Out. It just might make you angry enough to do something about the debt that threatens to swallow you.