But some time in 2005, I had one of my many “aha” moments - - my consumer debts snowballed to levels that I could no longer make the minimum payments. To add insult to injury, American Express rejected my credit card application for a 0% balance transfer.
I created a handwritten list of my debts in 2005 in a Steno Notebook that I still keep as a reminder of those dark days. My debt balances at the time were:
Private Student Loans: $57,950.98
Oh, and let’s not forget that in December 2005, after I turned in my leased car, I took out a $25,000 car loan to buy a new car. So setting aside my student loans, my total consumer debt (credit card, car loan) as of December 2005 was approximately $61,713.78!!
In fits and starts, I ventured onto the rocky road of debt repayment I’m currently on now. It took me over 4 years, but I’ve finally rid myself of the soul-crushing consumer debt-hole I dug for myself 14 years ago. My student loan balance is still mortifyingly high (approximately $98k), but I feel the end of my debt voyage is nearing.
I’d like to say that I’ll immediately snowball my $1,053/month credit card payments into my student loan payments. But, alas, I think I’m going to give myself a “breather” until the end of the year. I’m five months ahead of schedule vs. my Snowball Repayment Plan I created in August 2008, so I think I deserve a break.
I’m planning to spend some of the money, but I’m hoping to replenish some of my earmark funds for vacation and other miscellaneous spending. I finally feel like I’m on my way towards financial freedom.