SPENDING BEYOND YOUR MEANS: Where are you on credit card debt?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 03, 2009 5:10 PM GMT
    The economy and hard times have hit home with many people. I'm always kind of surprised the degree of credit card debt people carry...

    I have several gay friends and acquaintances that seem to spend an amazing amount of money for things we probably wouldn't consider as
    prudent (well depends on your lifestyle). I had a friend that spent $5,000.00
    on his 40th birthday party last August (he of course had to have new furniture for his family room for the event) and an acquaintance that took a cruise during the period of time his business was in tough shape.

    Being in credit card debt isn't a gay thing, it affects most americans.
    I pay mine off each month without fail or if there is a small balance I pay next to nothing.......but I despise oweing money on credit cards.

    And you? Where are you at currently?
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    Feb 03, 2009 5:15 PM GMT


    zero - if we don't have the cash we just don't have. The credit card is used for some things that can't be paid cash - like ordering dog food, or booking a ferry.
    That bill gets addressed the same or next day. Zero balance, zero interest.

    -Doug

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    Feb 03, 2009 5:22 PM GMT
    My partner & I have no credit cards at all, and therefore no card debt. For spending convenience we carry debit cards against our bank accounts, but only good for the money we have on deposit there. We enjoy having no monthly credit card statements, no interest costs, no annual card fees, and no payments. We have no intention of ever having a credit card.
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    Feb 03, 2009 5:24 PM GMT

    Maxed out. Paying monthly minimum due of about US$125.00 average per month. I curse the day Jimmy Choo was born!
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    Feb 03, 2009 5:26 PM GMT
    My net balances are paid each month - always have been.
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    Feb 03, 2009 5:27 PM GMT
    lol, im a student, I have a debt of more than 20.000 lollll
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    Feb 03, 2009 5:35 PM GMT
    Zip. I learned long ago to get a personal line of credit to pay off my credit card balances. The line of credit interest rate is 4.5%, the credit card interest rate is 19.5%. An easy decision.

    I also cut up my department store credit cards because the interest rates are outrageous (28+ %).
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 03, 2009 6:22 PM GMT
    When I think of straight credit card debt, I always think of this song:




    but of course sung by a gay man....
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 03, 2009 6:25 PM GMT
    SurrealLife saidZip. I learned long ago to get a personal line of credit to pay off my credit card balances. The line of credit interest rate is 4.5%, the credit card interest rate is 19.5%. An easy decision.

    I also cut up my department store credit cards because the interest rates are outrageous (28+ %).


    OMG... I have 2 credit cards, my 0% Visa (but still pay it off anyway) and a Dillards credit card. I love to use it because I get the reward points. I do have a $300.00 balance (0%) on some bar stools I bought, but it will be gone next month.
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    Feb 03, 2009 7:27 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    SurrealLife saidZip. I learned long ago to get a personal line of credit to pay off my credit card balances. The line of credit interest rate is 4.5%, the credit card interest rate is 19.5%. An easy decision.

    I also cut up my department store credit cards because the interest rates are outrageous (28+ %).


    OMG... I have 2 credit cards, my 0% Visa (but still pay it off anyway) and a Dillards credit card. I love to use it because I get the reward points. I do have a $300.00 balance (0%) on some bar stools I bought, but it will be gone next month.


    The 0% Visa must be an American deal. My Visa gives frequent flyer points, but the interest rate is onerous. I pay it off monthly anyways. I get 50% more points for using it at grocery stores, drug stores and restaurants. I now have enough points to fly two people economy anywhere in Canada and the continental USA. Life is good.
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    Feb 03, 2009 8:38 PM GMT
    Nothing right now....I was hoping to finish college debt free but if I may find myself in trouble. I won't get a part time job that pays as well as my others in my next year and If I have trouble finding anything that fits at all. I'll be living on the cards for a few months....


    I have a friend with $35,000 across maxed out 4 cards....He bought a car using cash advances from cards icon_redface.gif
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    Feb 03, 2009 8:41 PM GMT
    no debt! I refuse to have credit card debt...I drove a 98 Honda for years until I could buy my Lexus SUV with no financing...interest bites!
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    Feb 03, 2009 8:41 PM GMT
    I've paid most of my way through college with work, minus one initial loan that my parents took out my first year at NYU. All of the loans total up to $70,000 for the BA, MA, and PhD combined. Not bad, but definitely a lot of spending.


  • Csrobbie2000

    Posts: 359

    Feb 03, 2009 8:52 PM GMT
    I'm lucky I paid off my student loan and my car - just my mortgage. I have a rule that I will not buy something unless I know I have enough money in the bank to pay for it when the bill arrives (except for big purchase like house or car of course).
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    Feb 03, 2009 8:54 PM GMT
    zero! I have two kids I'm helping support one in college the other in private school. The kids are not mine they are my sisters kids.
    I cut those cards up long ago. Never to reactivate, debit card/cash and carry only.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Feb 03, 2009 8:54 PM GMT
    I got caught in the T-shirt for a credit card in college.
    I am down to 3 and only about 3500 if I could pay it all off at once.
    But in the last year I've moved and had to buy a car so with bad credit rating it puts intrest very high.
    oh well.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Feb 03, 2009 9:02 PM GMT
    I only have one credit card that I'm in for about 1200. I pay my other card off each month.

    That of course doesn't include my car payment, student loans, or my new computer which I financed.
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    Feb 03, 2009 9:10 PM GMT
    Well thankfully my debt is at a minimum, I only have one credit card which gets paid in full each month, a student loan on which I only have $600 bucks on and my car payment so adding it all together it comes to about 20% of my monthly income. Unfortunately my husband on the other hand is in the hole for about 80K which we're trying to pay off asap.
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    Feb 03, 2009 9:15 PM GMT
    None at all. BTW, some debit cards have those "points" programs now, if that's important to anyone.

    I used to have a few with that "pay the balance every month" philosophy. Then I took on a couple of long-term projects funded by the Federal Government. They were going to "reimburse" me for some fairly large expenses each month. What could go wrong? Turns out, the government is pretty casual about paying on time. Six, eight, once even fourteen months went by before I got paid. Banks are not casual about this sort of thing.

    ----> No credit cards at all, no dependence on government projects.
  • SeaMichael

    Posts: 138

    Feb 03, 2009 9:23 PM GMT
    Oi...I feel like such a horror compared to some of you! I have no car payments or anything, but I do have four credit cards - although each one serves a purpose. Only one of them carries any significant balance (about $1500), and I keep the others around...well, I'm not so sure why...but I pay two of them off every month, and the other is just about paid off.

    Of course I prefer to pay cash for things, and luck out in that I am not overly materialistic. Hurrah! I do know people, though, who have some serious credit card debt, and recently found themselves unemployed (a few, actually). That sucks.
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    Feb 03, 2009 9:55 PM GMT
    $7.43


    I worked as an EMT long enough to pay off the $1,000 that I had gotten from my bank's card and a guitar center credit card.
  • boilerup_82

    Posts: 188

    Feb 03, 2009 10:05 PM GMT
    I, thankfully, do not have much credit card debt. I usually charge an amount that I can pay off at the end of the month. That way, I pay no finance charges while y scores improves.

    the only dent i have are my school loans....DAMN COLLEGE! **shakes fists**
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    Feb 03, 2009 10:06 PM GMT
    I only use my credit card for school books, and sadly it is taking way longer to pay off than I would like.

    It's the student loans that are killing me. icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 03, 2009 10:06 PM GMT
    I have an MA and BA in vocal performance from Juilliard and the entire time had nothing over $1,000 in student loans and credit card debt. So, I have great credit, but in this economy that doesn't mean shite.
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    Feb 03, 2009 10:55 PM GMT
    I use to have credit cards, but not anymore. Had I known what Suze Ormand teachs, I would have kept the accounts open with a 0 balance because closing them hurts your rating. At the moment I do not have credit card debt because I don't have any credit cards. I dont have a car right now. I do have a laptop and a desktop, both of which I paid cash for and got very good deals to be able to do that. I think most of us, particularly gay men, have an issue with keeping up with the Jones'. If we can afford the luxury cars, homes, etc, then so be it and no one should be jealous or judge us for it. However, as is the case with my roommate that I witness on almost a daily basis which is causing me to plan on moving at the end of this lease, I see people spend money because of what others will or will not think of them. It really isn't necessary. And when we choose our friends or potential partners base on their finances, especially at the beginning-what kind of place they live in, what kind of car they have, what kind of job they have (in this economy, lucky if they have a job). Exceptions do rule on occassion, however. I no more than anyone else wants to get involved with someone only to find out after we have bought property together that I am now tied to a ridiculous amount of debt, but that is a conversation that needs to be had BEFORE the dotted line is signed and many of us focus too much on what doesnt matter, rather than what does matter.

    Anyway, I am sort of off topic. If you have debt, dont beat yourself up about it and dont let others beat you up about it. Just start doing something about it. You never know when you may have to have a decent credit rating for that next job since more and more companies are using your credit rating to gage whether they should hire you or not. More than ever, it is time for each of us to be more individually responsible. icon_lol.gif