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How Long To Become Debt Free?

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    How Long To Become Debt Free?

    I am new to the forums, and I came here to help try to get myself out of debt. I was just wondering how many of you have been able to get out of debt and are now debt-free? I would also love to hear any of your stories about how you were able to get out of debt and the feelings that you had when you became debt-free. I'm just looking for any type of motivation that I can get to help me take the steps that I can become debt-free.

    #2
    It will take - as long as it takes However long it takes you to get out of high interest debt, it's worth it!

    It all depends on how much income you have, versus what expenses you have each month, and just how much debt you currently have.


    If you'd like a little practical motivation, just look at how much of your income goes to pay your debts each month. Then imagine what you could do with all that money instead. When your debts are gone, you can keep all of your income for yourself and your family.

    I personally enjoyed looking at paying off the debt while thinking - 'this is just like investing at a guaranteed X%' I didn't have any credit card debt, but just had some student loans that were around 7-8% or so. Knowing that each dollar I paid down, was saving me a rate of guaranteed interest you can't get anywhere else was at least comforting to me. It was around $9k, and took me less than a year.

    That's how my mind works though - don't know if it'd work for you or not.

    Best of luck! Keep us updated on your journey, and we'll be glad to give you any advice you need.

    Comment


      #3
      Definitely not an overnight thing. It would need lots and lots of time. However, that do not mean it is impossible. Motivation, determination, and time. That's a start.

      Comment


        #4
        I know of this saying, "if you have a steady income it will sure be not enough" I mostly agree with it, since we humans desire too much and compromise of our freedom easyly, we sell our future for today (sadly for cheap). I do not know how old you are but if you still have long time in your future for your dreams and goals make sure to value it more, while doing that forgive yourself for being in debt and look for some extra earnings in the mean time. If you get 5 bucks from the pizza you delivered and if you used it to pay down on your loan than you just made 7 bucks instead of 5.

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          #5
          Cheapwine, it took us about 16 months to pay off all of our debt. It felt absolutely incredible to dump that weight. In fact, it felt so good that we have dedicated our lives to coaching and counseling others to be able to do the same.

          Make your plan, grit your teeth, celebrate your small victories, and destroy this debt monster once and for all! You will NEVER regret it!!

          Thanks for sharing!

          Comment


            #6
            How long it takes depends on how much debt you have, how much you earn and how low you keep your expenses.

            Personally, it took 12 years to get rid of my student loans. That didn't make us totally debt free but our HEL was paid off soon after and we finished paying for DD's braces not long after. All that remains now is the mortgage but we are throwing about $1,000 or more per month at that currently. It'll be another 5-6 years before that is gone.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


              #7
              We got credit card debt free by paying the smallest amount on the credit cards and building up an emergency fund.

              Make sure you don't have the habit of running up debt for fun expenses - that is financial ruin - stop that immediately even if that means not entering a restaurant for a while, no vacations, shopping for essentials only, etc...

              Read about this in a financial book. Build up your emergency savings because many people stay in the trap of using their credit cards for emergencies. Once you have enough cash to cover emergencies you then don't keep running up your credit cards.

              You don't use them at all (now they have the inactivity fee on some, and other 'perks' for their benefit which is why am glad we totally avoid them).

              Then you pay them slowly and tediously a bit above (sometimes a little bit more) the minimum amount and keep building the EF.

              This is not the 'pay it down quickly' technique.

              Yes, after a while this does work and you will not need a credit card again much less want a credit card.

              And have read the theory that once you know the effort it takes getting out of credit card debt you know it is not easy and avoid any credit card usage at all.

              We do use debit cards.

              Comment


                #8
                I have been trying for several years to get out of debt, and I agree that once you get a mortgage it is next to impossible. It can happen, but may take a decade or two for some people on a very limited or fixed income. There is no one answer that is right for everyone. It takes you longer to get out of debt if you make less and have higher debt. Also depends upon your interest rates on debt.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Frugal View Post
                  I have been trying for several years to get out of debt, and I agree that once you get a mortgage it is next to impossible.
                  If getting a mortgage makes it next to impossible for someone to pay off their other debts, they probably shouldn't have gotten the mortgage.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The first time I was debtfree I did it by selling my house. The second and last time, I only had a car payment(other than my mortgage) which I paid off in 2 years. In late 2007, when I heard the "R" word, I got hyper-focued on getting debtfree and building my emergency fund. Withing 1 year, I paid of my truck, built 4 months EF and paid cash for a wedding.

                    I am saving my debtfree scream fro when I payoff my mortgage.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We paid off our car loan and built out 6 month EF in about 12-18 months with the help of our wedding presents and frugal living. We still have student loans pending, but we don't have to start tackling those for another year thanks to deferments. We are currently saving up so we can pay a lump sum.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Its going to take atleast 5 yrs for me to get out of debt.

                        44K on CC and 12K on Car Loan. We just bought this second car for 12K. I am currently maxing out my 401K and my wife is also maxing out her 401K basically to reduce our taxable income as we are not owning the house and renting an apartment.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by FoolFromAZ View Post
                          Its going to take atleast 5 yrs for me to get out of debt.

                          44K on CC and 12K on Car Loan. We just bought this second car for 12K.
                          What made you take out a 12K car loan when you were already dealing with all the CC debt?
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Our credit card debt will be gone in 12 months, student loans and a car a year after that! Budgeting, attacking debt, patience and perseverance pays off!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              There's a lot of great advice to be had on this forum.

                              I initially posted on this forum because I had (lets see if I can remember) roughly $10-12k of student loan debt, and sufficient cash to pay it off (~20K), but was convinced I was doing myself a great favor by earning interest on it in a checking account (I can deduct the loan interest right?). I was putting the bare minimum to get a match into my 401k (4%) and didn't have a budget for any of my expenses.

                              After a bit of head bonking on here, I paid the loan off in full (it felt amazing deleting it from my autopay), increased my 401k percentage to 25% (take home pay didn't decrease that much, but savings skyrocketed) and gave a good long starring at my expenses. It turned off I was spending too much money because ... I was going places where I would spend money (and telling myself I needed things that were merely just wants.)

                              My debt is gone. My 401k has like.. tripled in size, and my bank account is almost back where I started. Good times. Now I just need to increase my income.

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