When we first started our debt management program with AAA Fair Credit Foundation in January of 2010, Mr. Man and I had just a little more than $25,000 in credit card debt.
Today, roughly two years later, we are down to $16,446.
We are both contributing to our 401ks, and we have $956 in savings.
While this may not be a wild success story, it is a clear case of slow, steady progress.
How Our Debt Management Program Works
Even though we’re getting out of credit card debt at a slow and steady pace, much like with diet and nutrition goals, we know that means we’re more likely to stay out of debt.
We started the debt management program based on the recommendation of a friend after we realized we were barely making a dent in our mountain of debt once all of our APRs were between 20 and 30 percent on our six credit cards. (Read more about why and how we got started with our credit card debt management program here.)
Rather than continue to pay all of our credit cards separately, we have one lump sum directly deposited to AAA Fair Credit Foundation and they pay our credit card bills. They negotiated all of our cards down to anywhere from 6 to 9 percent APR.
We are still free to pay extra on any of the cards separately, and we can raise our monthly payment to AAA Fair Credit Foundation at any time. All of our credit card accounts are closed, except for my Discover card because that’s the oldest card with which I’ve established my credit history. Plus, we wanted to keep one credit card open for emergencies.
We do pay a $35 monthly maintenance fee, which we feels pays for all the excellent and attentive service we have received from the staff.
Benefits of the Debt Management Program
- It eliminates the hassle of paying multiple credit cards with varying due dates.
It’s one payment that’s automatically deducted at the same time every month.
- The program is super flexible.
If something were to happen where one of us lost our jobs or an accident occurred or whatever, we can work with our advisers at AAA Fair Credit Foundation to renegotiate a new debt plan that we can still adhere to.
- We finally feel in control of our finances – not our finances controlling us.
That empowerment is such a psychological boost to increase confidence and reduce stress. We know there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we have a clear path to our end goal.
How did you kick your credit card debt or how do you manage it?