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My First Attempt at Getting Out of Debt

My First Attempt at Getting Out of Debt

I made my first attempt at getting out of debt when I was in my early twenties & married to my (now) ex-husband. We owed money on a few credit cards and two cars. One car was nearly paid off, but the other car wasn’t even close to being paid off. Not including our mortgage, I’m guessing that we probably owed around $16,000. To put the $16,000 in perspective, I earned about $13,000 total that year and the interest rate on our mortgage was about 10.5% (which was considered an excellent rate). Car and credit card interest rates were even higher.

I hated owing that money. Hated it. We tried and tried to pay it off, but it seemed like something always “came up”. Finally, one day when I was talking to my grandparents about how much I hated paying all that interest, they agreed to let us borrow enough money to pay it off, and then I could pay it back to them. (It’s been so long that I don’t remember if I even paid them interest — I hope so. But likely, I didn’t.)

Now, I did pay them back, and quicker than I’d agreed to too. But, what happened was that we got even further into debt. And I felt guilty about it. I still feel bad about it, and it’s been many years. I felt/feel like I let them down.

But I learned three very important things from that experience.

For me:

1. Borrowing money to get out of debt didn’t work.
2. Relatives & money didn’t mix, for a whole lot of reasons.
3. What worked was stopping the borrowing cold, & committing 100% to only using cash.

View Comment (1)
  • In the Dave Ramsey class that I took, two of his sayings about borrowing have really stuck with me.

    1. The borrower is slave to the lender.
    2. Thanksgiving dinner with people to whom you owe money just doesn’t taste the same. (my words)

    Great post!

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