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Let's pay off those credit cards!
Who's with me? Swings cutlass.


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#1 feralstreak

Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:33 PM

So I've been inspired by the ways to save money thread, particularly by Little Bird's fabbo suggestion on how to sock money away electronically (thanks again!) and I want to pay off one particular credit card that I don't use.

The card's balance is $5000 and is almost maxed out. I am hyped on barbecue shapes and coffee and I want to pay this off ASAP!

So today I have:

Had a squiz at our monthly budget and found $160 to put on the card.

Rang the bank to check I'm on the lowest possible rate.

Got the bank to lower my credit limit from $5000 to $4900. Whenever I pay a bit more off, I am going to ask them to reduce the limit accordingly. Who cares if I feel a bit silly asking them to reduce my limit by $50? It's my card and I'll do it if I want to! tongue.gif

(Just thought I'd mention that I had a very low balance transfer rate on this card but that has run out. I'm on unpaid maternity leave at the moment and DH is self employed, so it's doubtful the banks will let me transfer to another card. I will have a look around though.)

So who's with me? Come on, me hearties, let's all pay off our cards together! Whooppeeee!

#2 misshavok

Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:39 PM

I'm at the tail end of doing the same thing with all our bank credit. Two personal loans finished and my credit card has $500 (from $4,000) left on it - all pre-marriage debts. Then we'll be hitting DHs card which is part work/part personal at the moment. Once we pay more off the limit will be dropped and it will probably stay at around $3000-$5000 for business ONLY. Our debit MasterCards pay for things like concert tickets and whatnot anyway so we don't need to use the other card for those things.

Good luck OP! It's so good getting rid of that debt.

#3 feralstreak

Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:42 PM

Thanks Misshavok! Well done on paying off all that debt!

Can I ask what your approach is? Do you start with the highest interest first, or the smallest debt first, or the largest debt first? And do you pay your debt off weekly, or at the end of the month? I'm trying to get into a bit of a routine with paying debt off.

#4 feralstreak

Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

Should have mentioned that with the new payments, my current credit card debt will be $4690. DH is banking a cheque today so will try and pay off a little more when that goes through.

#5 misshavok

Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:52 PM

We did highest interest as my credit card was just killing us. For a long time the repayments were almost completely eaten back up by interest. Simply changing from $80/month to $60/fortnight was a big help and then when I could shuffle more money around, I upped that payment too. As my interest is calculated daily, the bank actually told me to make payments weekly or fortnight so there is less principal to calculate interest on.

ETA - I lie, we would have technically done smallest balance first. Majority of the money went on the credit card but some went on the loans. They were paid off first because by time I got my butt into gear those balances were already quite low. When I did the figures, it only put us out by a minimal amount of  money (IMO) so I preferred to wrap those up first.

Edited by misshavok, 07 May 2013 - 03:58 PM.


#6 The 8th Plum

Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:54 PM

Highest interest rate first!

I've found it best to put the money on the card/debt as soon as possible, as then it's less likely to go on something else.



#7 Lego

Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:42 PM

We used the debt snowball method successfully. Smallest debt first regardless of interest rate.

#8 feralstreak

Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:24 PM

Thanks guys! It's been interesting reading your different methods! This is our smallest debt with the highest interest rate, so I guess win / win eh? tongue.gif

That's a good tip Misshavok, I will try to make payments weekly as well.

So I've got a three dollar scratchie that I would usually use to buy another scratchie, or grab a coffee with, but I'm going to bank that three dollars and put in into my card! No sum is too small for me to put on my card.

This may well turn out to be the most boring thread on EB, but I'm going to try to post whenever I pay my debt down, just to keep me motivated.

#9 feralstreak

Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:33 PM

So did another squiz and when the cheque clears I can put another $163 onto the card. That plus my $3 will make it $166, which will bring my total to $4524. Onwards and downwards!

#10 feralstreak

Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:47 PM

Also if anyone wants to share how much debt they paid off and how long it took, please do! I am hoping to pay this off in a year or hopefully less.



#11 *LiMa*

Posted 07 May 2013 - 07:08 PM

I get paid in about n hour or so, so I just logged on and transferred the balance of my spending account onto my MasterCard.  It's only $3000 in total that I owe there, and I've just knocked another $67 off it.  I've also been paying DDs sports fees off for the last few months, which is now fully paid for, so while I still have actual employer (as opposed to ppl) income for the next 8ish weeks (about to go on maternity leave I'll keep paying that weekly amount onto the cc too

#12 ChunkyChook

Posted 07 May 2013 - 07:16 PM

I'm chipping away at mine, every time I pay a chunk off it I lower the limit. I have the option in my internet banking so do it all the time.

Mine is currently sitting at $8,400. I am planning to have it paid off by then end of August.



#13 Essjaesee

Posted 07 May 2013 - 07:19 PM

In the past 5 months we have gotten our $8000 CC debt down to $3,127.89. That's $4872.11 paid off! Although a good 2.5k of that was money given to us as wedding gifts. This month I have only paid the minimum off both cards as we need cash for a deposit on a new car. But once that is purchased I'm going back to putting $800 a fortnight off the cards.

#14 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 07 May 2013 - 07:31 PM

Don't have one.  Neither DP or I have a CC.  I am a funny old fuddy duddy who saves up before she buys anything.

The only loan we have is the mortgage.

Good luck with operation debt-reduce-o Silverstreak and the gang!

#15 feralstreak

Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:15 PM

Thanks CountryMel! One day I hope to be as good with money as you are. Nothing wrong with fuddy duddiness! It's just too easy to slap the plastic nowadays!

Congratulations everyone else on their achievements!

Essjaesee, that is fantastic, well done! So impressed.

Thanks for the phrase "operation-debt-reduce-o", CountryMel, I like the sound of that! I can pretend to be a svelte 60s spy in some shiny white boots! smile1.gif

#16 laridae

Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:31 PM

QUOTE (silverstreak @ 07/05/2013, 03:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Got the bank to lower my credit limit from $5000 to $4900. Whenever I pay a bit more off, I am going to ask them to reduce the limit accordingly. Who cares if I feel a bit silly asking them to reduce my limit by $50? It's my card and I'll do it if I want to! tongue.gif


You may be able to change your credit limit through netbank - so you don't feel silly calling up to ask for it... (my bank you can).

I don't have any credit card debt (I do have a credit card, but its paid off every month in full), just a mortgage - but I do a similar thing with that.  Recently paid off a car loan - so I changed the scheduled repayments for that to go on the mortgage instead.  Every pay rise I put the extra as a scheduled transfer straight onto the mortgage.  
Daycare price just dropped by $20 a week (moved up a room & its cheaper), so I'll add that to the amount transferred also.  Also saved over $100 from shopping around for car insurance (got a quote from a different company, called up the company we are with & told them and they dropped it even lower than that), so that can go on too!

#17 Bodacious Prime

Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:40 PM

What a great idea. We're on the bones of our bum right now but DH and I both start fulltime jobs on Monday. I can't wait to get cracking on our card. The limit is $6500. It's currently sitting on $6439.

#18 mumto4boys

Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:46 PM

Wishing you all good luck.

It was a thread just like this about 4 years ago that finally helped me to kill off my credit card debt.


I was incredibly lazy with it and my credit card balance generally sat at around $4500. Sure, I'd pay some off each month, but I'd spend almost an equal amount. This meant that I was wasting around $1000 a year in interest. I look back now and see how stupid it was because it went on for years.

Like most of you, I made small plans but I kept at it over about 8 months, paying off a little more and not adding as much to the card.

It does become addictive and these days I'd do almost anything to pay the card off each month. I don't think I've paid any interest to the bank in just over 4 years now and that feels good.

The change in spending habits also meant that once the credit card debt was gone, that I focussed on savings instead. I switched one of my accounts to a high interest online account and now the bank is paying me a decent amount of interest a month instead of the other way around and that feels great!

Anyway, good luck to all of you in your plans.



#19 feralstreak

Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:26 AM

Laridae, I like your technique of saving in a particular area and putting that saving onto a debt!

My bank does offer a credit limit reduction option via internet banking, but for some reason it wasn't working today. They think perhaps the system was waiting on a payment to go through?

Hi there Bodacious Prime! Let's kick some bank butt!

Thanks for the good wishes and good advice mumto4boys!

#20 7LittleAustralians

Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:35 AM

I'm pretty good with the credit card, we only have a total of $2,500 between us which we use for online stuff like paying bills, online shopping, booking flights. I will admit though that at the moment I'm probably at least $2200 full.

But when I know it'll take me more than a month, I put most of my money on it for the fortnight, all the shopping money, bill money, petrol money etc and then use it to pay for those things. That way the earlier purchases are paid off and it reduces / prevents the interest I have to pay. I think I'm lucky to ever pay more than $50 interest in 12 months and I'd use at least $20k on my credit cards a year.

So for example say today my credit card has $500 on it which I used 3 weeks ago. I pay $500 to it, then use $250 to pay for shopping. The original purchase has been wiped and I've got a month to pay that extra $250 for the shopping before paying interest, rather than a week.

Edited by Dien W, 08 May 2013 - 01:35 AM.


#21 feralstreak

Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:37 AM

So my new balance is $4690 and I've just reduced my limit to $4700. Woohoo! Tried to do it over the internet but it wouldn't let me.  mad.gif

When I called to do it over the phone they said their system could be down for maintenance. So I'm hoping I can do this over the internet on a regular basis, as it's much easier.

So today I have reduced my credit limit by $300 and I feel quite chuffed.  blush.gif Really looking forward to when that cheque clears and I can put some more money on the card.

#22 feralstreak

Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:41 AM

Dien W, that system sounds really good! I'm hoping to get to that stage (either that or not using credit cards ever!) I really admire people who get their cards to work for them and earn points, vouchers etc whilst avoiding paying interest. I am not one of those people!

#23 7LittleAustralians

Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:14 AM

I've never thought to have one that earns points. Considering that I use it so frequently to pay everyday things, perhaps I should look into it. We've had the same credit card DH got when he was 18 and never looked into changing it.

#24 Relish*

Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:34 AM

Me, me, me! We have a $2500 card that is sitting at about $2300 at the moment. We usually pay it off in total with tax/fao refunds, and then it just creeps up slowly as we get behind throughout the year. My parents just gave us $2500 for various wedding related things (wedding was a couple of months ago), and while I had planned to put that on the card I had to have my wisdom teeth out so it all went on that instead!

This year is about debt reduction for us, I'd love to get rid of the credit card and the card loan (around $5k). I've taken on the idea from the other thread about transferring the little amount to the card (that was a beauty!), rang our insurance company and saved $13 a month on the car insurance and $5 a month on contents insurance. Would definitely recommend doing this.

I'm lucky enough to have a rewards system that works and a very low rate on the credit card because I work/ed at the bank, otherwise the interest would kill us. Still, I'm too scared to add up what interest we've paid over the years, I'm sure it wouldn't be pretty.

Good luck everyone, will be keeping up with this thread and will update as I make progress. biggrin.gif

#25 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:46 AM

I'm, a credit card noob - does Visa come with some point system automatically?  Ours came with the home loan.   We pay it off in full every 4 weeks or so when the interest is charged on the home loan - it's linked to an offset account, so we keep the money in there for as long as possible.




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